SNP's Salmond insists that Scotland could join EU

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond insists that no EU member state has indicated it would block a move for a newly independent Scotland to join the political union.

That clashes directly with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, who on the BBC's Andrew Marr show said that "it will be extremely difficult to get the approval of all the other member states to have a new member coming from one member state."

On the currency an independent Scotland should use, the SNP leader restated his belief from the a report by the Scottish Fiscal Commission, which found that "sharing the pound in a sterlingzone is the best option for Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom".

Salmond said during his speech in Aberdeen that "sensible technical conversations" could now start regarding EU membership. He says that such discussions have already begun with the Bank of England.

The Yes campaign has come under heavy fire, as opponents of independence have suggested that the economic case has not been properly thought through.

Salmond would see an independent Scotland with a "tax edge to counter the huge gravitational pull of London."

Speaking on the size of Scottish's financial sector, which some have suggested would be disproportionately large relative to the size of an independent Scottish economy, he disputed the calculation that concludes Scottish banking assets add up to £1.89 trillion, 1,254 per cent of GDP:

To obtain a figure close to £1.89 trillion, a large proportion of the assets ‘allocated’ to Scotland inflate any reasonable assessment of the size of the banking sector of an independent Scotland.
In a recent experimental series of tax revenue statistics, HMRC estimated Scotland’s share of the Bank Levy (a charge on the balance sheets of banks) to be 7.3 per cent of the UK total. This is in sharp contrast to the near 25 per cent which would be required to be consistent with this earlier analysis by HM Treasury.

Salmond believes that in the event of a yes vote, anti-independence campaigners would drop their opposition, and a spirit of constructive cooperation should return.