Tuesday 12 August 2014 5:02 am

Independent Scotland should keep the pound, say majority of Scots

A new survey has shown a majority of Scots back the continued use of the pound should the country vote for secession.

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey showed 68 per cent supported using the pound, compared to just 14 per cent supporting the creation of a new currency.

On Sunday, Alex Salmond wrote in an article for the Sunday Herald: "There is literally nothing anyone can do to stop Scotland using the pound."

If an independent Scotland decided to keep the pound it could follow the example of countries such as Ecuador and Panama, which use the US dollar.

Indeed, as the research director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, points out:

An independent Scotland could flourish either by using the pound sterling without the permission of the UK (or by setting up a “ScotPound” pegged to sterling through a currency board, which would achieve a similar end). This ‘sterlingization’ would emulate a number of Latin American countries that use the US Dollar without an official agreement with the US government.

Although was a slight uptick in support for independence, 39 per cent of those polled believed they would be financially worse off should Scotland go it alone, a substantial increase from the 29 per cent seen last year.

Conducted between May and July, 74 per cent of those asked said they said they were "very likely" to vote in the September referendum, up from 61 per cent in 2013.

The Better Together campaign had a substantial lead, with 43 per cent saying they would vote no, compared to 23 per cent who supported secession.

However, there was a much narrower gap when Scots were asked whether they thought independence would make them more proud of their country, with 47 per cent answering in the affirmative and 40 per cent saying it would make no difference. Only six per cent said they would have less pride in Scotland if it went independent.