Westminster turning its back on shared currency would mean serious consequences for the rest of the UK

We are now in the final few weeks of the referendum campaign.

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In two weeks time, postal votes will start falling through letterboxes and in just over five weeks, polling stations will open.

But while the moment of decision is drawing closer, the campaign is far from over and I have no doubt that there will be many twists and turns before polling day dawns.

For me, one of the most wonderful aspects of the campaign has been the high level of public interest and engagement it has inspired and the extent to which people have become incredibly well informed about the issues at stake.

Any politician or campaigner trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the public won't get very far.

And that is exactly why I am so confident that people will see through the attempts of the No campaign to sow fear and doubt and instead grasp the opportunity that independence will give us to build a better country.

Take currency - the issue that has dominated the media in the last week - as an example. According to the No campaign, if we dare to vote Yes, Westminster will deny us the right to use the currency that belongs to us just as much as it does to any other part of the UK. However, for that argument to work for the No campaign, they must depend on people both being ignorant of basic facts and on them believing that, in the event of a Yes vote, Westminster will act against its own interests.

And the problem for the No campaign is that people are not daft. Even though the Scottish Government proposition is use of the pound within a formal monetary union, the fact is that any country can use the pound if it so chooses. Both Ireland and Australia continued to use it when they first became independent.

It is also the case that for Westminster to turn its back on a shared currency with Scotland would result in serious consequences for the rest of the UK.

Businesses trading with Scotland would face additional costs of £500m per year in currency transaction charges. The UK's balance of payments would lose the value of Scotland's exports and its trade deficit would increase as a result which, in turn, would undermine the value of the pound.

And by denying us the right to share the asset of the Bank of England, Westminster would be allowing Scotland to escape the £5 billion per year cost of servicing our share of UK debt.

For all these reasons, I suspect that any UK chancellor taking such a position would quickly find him or herself out of office.

That's why I am totally confident that an independent Scotland will continue to use the pound.

And because that position is based on hard-headed common sense, I believe that the Scottish people will see through the scaremongering and opt instead to grasp the once-in-a- lifetime opportunity that independence presents.


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