The SNP have drawn up the best possible scheme for international recognition, Fenwick told VoR.

“They take the most optimistic of all possible scenarios and assumed that everybody in the international system will operate in Scotland’s interests, rather than in their own national interests.”

He says that domestically the SNP have been extremely optimistic about both the level of North Sea oil revenues and overall taxation.

“For 30 percent of the electorate this is about Scotland becoming an independent country and the finances don’t make any difference. But the issue for Alex Salmond and the SNP is that 30 percent isn’t going to be enough – they need to get 50 percent plus one vote.”

The majority of Scots have been very clear that they like the Scottish parliament but they also don’t want to put their standard of living and their children’s future on the line, says Fenwick.

Asked about what the currency union actually means, Fenwick told VoR that as proposed by SNP it is “basically recreating the euro with all the failures and vulnerabilities that we saw in its first phase”.

He says that “no one can stop Scotland using the pound informally and that would be the decision for the independent Scottish government but that would mean the British monetary policy would be conceived without Scotland.”

“So what Scottish voters are being offered is a very constrained form of independence, in which the markets will place very significant demands on Scottish government. Our assessment is that austerity in Scotland up to 2020 will be more severe than it is planned for the rest of the UK.”

(VoR)