News Column

Darling gives Salmond a pounding on Plan B for currency

August 6, 2014

KASMIRA JEFFORD



ALISTAIR Darling piled the pressure on Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond last night over his plans for a Scottish currency after independence as the two rival campaign leaders battled it out in their first television debate ahead of next month's referendum.


During the two-hour exchanges broadcast only to viewers in Scotland, Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign and former chancellor, repeatedly asked Salmond what his "plan B" was - given that the UK's three main parties have already ruled out backing a currency union.


He warned that keeping the pound without a currency union, in the way Panama uses the dollar, would be "ruinous" for the financial services industry.


But the SNP leader refused to answer except to say that Westminster would ultimately agree to a union and that keeping the pound was both "logical and desirable".


An ICM poll of viewers for the Guardian released immediately after the debate showed Darling had won by 56 per cent to 44 per cent.


However Salmond also put up a fight in what at times were angry exchanges, pressing the former chancellor of the exchequer over whether he agreed with Prime Minister David Cameron that Scotland could be a successful independent country.


Setting out his case at the start of the debate, Salmond urged Scots to seize "the opportunity of a lifetime".


He said: "No one, absolutely no one, would do a better job of running Scotland than the people who live and work in Scotland."


SCOTLAND DEBATES: Page 3 .


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Source: City A.M. (UK)


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