Salmond needs to spell out his Plan B on currency

All three main parties are clear on where they stand with Scotland and the currency issue - Alex Salmond needs to spell out his Plan B, and fast.

All three parties likely to form the next government are clear on where they stand with Scotland and the currency issue – Alex Salmond needs to spell out his Plan B, and fast.

In a month today the people of Scotland will go to the polls to make one of the most momentous decisions in the country’s history.

As they prepare to do so however, what is becoming clear is that on the central issue of what currency an independent Scotland would use Alex Salmond and the SNP more widely have and continue to be found wanting.

Speaking  yesterday to Radio Clyde, the First Minister admitted that he could have made his position clearer in respect of the currency during his first television debate with Alistair Darling, and said he hoped to shed more light on the issue when the pair debate during the BBC debate a week today.

For the Yes campaign however, it is not so much clarity that is needed as a full plan B that they should now explain to the people of Scotland.

Whatever the bluster, the reality is clear: all three of the political parties in Westminster likely to form the next Government have made crystal clear that they would not entertain the idea of an independent Scotland remaining in a currency union with the rest of the UK.  It is opposition echoed by Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones and one suspects also by Northern Ireland’s First Minister, Peter Robinson.

It is little wonder therefore that  polling conducted by ICM for Scotland on Sunday and released over the weekend has shown that  52% of Scots have dubbed the SNP’s policy on currency as “unconvincing”, with just 26% convinced, and 22% undecided.

For all their attempts to do so, the Yes Scotland campaign cannot simply dismiss the opposition across the UK to an independent Scotland remaining within a Sterling zone.

Next week, Alex Salmond has what is likely to be his final opportunity to tell the people of Scotland what would happen in the likely event of Scotland not being able to keep the pound. Failure to do so could be the moment that his dreams of independence well and truly go down the pan.

If the SNP want independence they should be calling for it. What we have at present is a hotch potch of incoherent ideas that amounts to Scotland being a little bit independent but not completely so. Independence will bring with it negative consequences and in the interests of an informed debate the First Minister should admit it.

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