New currency would make Scots less likely to back independence, poll finds

Scots are less likely to back independence if Scotland adopts a new currency, a poll has found.

Almost one in five Yes voters in the 2014 referendum would be less likely to vote the same way if it meant a switch from the pound, the Survation survey revealed.

The SNP has proposed moving towards a new currency if Scotland was to become independent, although Nicola Sturgeon has attempted to address concerns about such a move by saying the pound would continue to be used unless the Scottish Parliament voted for a different currency.

The poll of more than 1,000 people, commissioned by campaign group Scotland in Union, found 40% of Scots would be less likely to support an independent Scotland if a new currency was proposed.

A larger proportion – 42% – said changing Scotland’s currency would not affect the way they vote, while 12% said they would be more favourable of leaving the UK with a new currency.

Releasing the polling data at the launch of a campaign to keep the pound, Scotland in Union chief executive Pamela Nash said: “The SNP’s plans to ditch the pound and use a new currency are deeply unpopular with the majority of Scots voters.

“We are launching a campaign to save our pound, so voters can send a message to Nicola Sturgeon.

“By remaining in the UK we can keep our pound, protect mortgages, pensions and salaries, grow our economy without extra red tape for businesses, and use a stable currency backed by the strength of the UK’s central bank and 30 million taxpayers.

“The SNP should drop this reckless plan, stop playing games with Brexit and take the threat of a divisive and unwanted second independence referendum off the table.”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “The proposal I am putting to the SNP’s spring conference would see an independent Scotland retain the pound until we can move safely and securely to establish a new currency, a decision that would be made in Scotland by a democratically elected Scottish Parliament.

“This poll has completely backfired on Scotland in Union as it shows that for the vast majority of Scots, these plans would persuade them further or have no bearing at all on their support for independence.

“With independence, we can pursue a currency policy that’s right for Scotland – maximising opportunities as a proud, successful European nation in a global economy.”

Ms Sturgeon was questioned about her party’s plans for Scotland’s currency during First Minister’s Questions last week by both Labour and the Conservatives.

Explaining her policy, Ms Sturgeon said: “Until a democratically elected Scottish Parliament decides otherwise, we will use the pound, which is our currency just as it is the currency of other parts of the UK.”

Tory interim leader Jackson Carlaw said a new currency would cause “chaos” for the economy.

He said it could see people being tied into mortgages or car loans and be at risk of paying more by using an untried currency.

“The SNP is preparing to launch a new currency, according to their deputy leader [Keith Brown], which would throw people’s mortgages and Scotland’s economy into chaos”, he said.

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