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Salmond: No One Can Stop Scotland Using Pound

(c) Sky News 2014
 

SNP leader Alex Salmond has insisted an independent Scotland could not be prevented from using the pound.

He told Sky's Adam Boulton: "All this stuff about being able to be vetoed from using the pound actually isn't true.

"No one can stop us from using (it)."

Mr Salmond reiterated his desire to hold on to sterling, saying: "It's sensible - England is our biggest trading partner, and Scotland is England's second-biggest trading partner after the US.

"There will be a common sense agreement for a common currency."

A Sky News poll of nearly 2,400 Scots found that 57% of voters were clear and 38% unclear whether an independent Scotland would be able to keep the pound.

Mr Salmond also condemned any intimidation of people against independence.

"There's always idiots in any campaign, on either side, their behaviour should be condemned ... online, offline, where it's untoward," he said.

"But what we should remember is 99.9% involved in this campaign are behaving impeccably."

Better Together's Alistair Darling told Sky News the campaign had "soured" , while Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael claimed Yes campaigners were using "intimidation tactics".

Mr Salmond also told Sky he was sorry for the fact that Scottish expatriates outside the country would not be able to have their say.

"It's the one thing about the whole arrangements to the referendum that caused me the most grief ... it just wasn't possible to find a foolproof franchise."

People from other parts of Britain who live in Scotland will be able to cast a vote, as will residents from other EU countries, but Scots living outside the country are barred.

An opinion poll for The Daily Telegraph of more than 1,000 Scots now puts the No campaign ahead on 52%, with Yes on 48%.

The result, which excludes undecided voters, is mirrored in an ICM poll for the Scotsman newspaper and a Survation poll for the Scottish Daily Mail.

But the four-point advantage is close to the margin of error, raising the prospect that the cliche "every vote counts" could ring true on Thursday.

Mr Salmond also earlier dismissed "the vow" from the leaders of the three main parties for more powers for Scotland as a "last-minute desperate offer of nothing".

The "Devo-Max"-type offer is seen as the big play to convince voters to stay in the Union.

But the Yes campaign said people would not be fooled into voting to stay in the UK by the promise of new powers and questioned why they had not been on offer before.

The Sky News poll suggests 61% of voters are unclear and 33% are clear what devolved powers would be given to Scotland if it remained in the United Kingdom.

The SNP leadership seized on Nick Clegg's backtrack over tuition fees to prove that the Westminster men could not be trusted.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg made the pledge in a letter which appeared on the front page of the Daily Record newspaper with the headline "the vow".

The letter promises "faster, safer and better" change under a No vote.

It says the Scottish Parliament would get "extensive new powers", including "the final say on how much is spent on the NHS".

But the promise, and the confirmation of the Barnett public spending formula - which effectively means Scottish people get around £1,200 more per head than English counterparts - has triggered a backlash among some at Westminster.

A number of MPs are calling for an English parliament in the event a No vote brings about the devolution of powers.