15:47 GMT +316 December 2017
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    Former First Minister Alex Salmond

    Ex-First Minister Says Independent Scotland May Leave Currency Union With UK

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    Scotland would attempt to remain in the single market after a potential independence referendum and it might abandon the sterling union with the rest of the United Kingdom, former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond told the Financial Times newspaper on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Salmond reportedly said that Scotland would not be joining the euro, but might introduce a new currency instead of the UK pound it is currently using.

    "That vote [on independence] will have to take place before the end of March 2019," Salmond also said, as quoted by the newspaper.

    According to the newspaper, the former first minister said that UK Prime Minister Theresa May would not be able to deny Scotland this referendum if Holyrood voted in its favor, and any attempt to delay the vote until after Brexit could lead to a stronger support for independence.

    "[Incumbent First Minister] Nicola Sturgeon will fight a very modern campaign. She’s learned a lot of lessons from 2014," Salmond, who led an unsuccessful pro-independence campaign in the run-up to the independence referendum in 2014, said.

    The former first minister reportedly said that independent Scotland could have the same flexible border with the rest of the United Kingdom as May promised for Northern Ireland and Ireland.

    Salmond also argued that Scotland would experience growth after independence because of autonomous policy, increase in productivity and immigration influx.

    A Wednesday ScotCen's Scottish Social Attitudes survey showed that while the support for the independence was on the upswing, Scotland's skepticism toward the European Union was at its highest point in 17 years, with 67 percent of Scots having doubts about the bloc.

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