Salmond: No state would block Scotland's EU membership

First Minister Alex Salmond said no European Union state has indicated it would block Scotland's membership. His claim comes after Spain's prime minister warned Scotland would not automatically become a member of the EU if it votes for independence.

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  1. Richard Edgar

Salmond's numbers stack up but does it matter?

Alex Salmond has estimated the total cost of losing the currency union that businesses south of the border would have to bear as £500 million.

The calculations use Treasury methodology and seem to add up - but the question I'd ask is: does it matter?

Trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK is worth over £100 billion, making Salmond's "George tax" estimate of £500 million seem quite small in comparison.

Plus, foreign exchange risk doesn't put British companies off trading around the world.

So, while important, this issue isn't quite the "poison pill" that Mr Salmond says it is.

Scottish referendum: calls of bluff from both sides

George Osborne is "bluffing" when he insists an independent Scotland cannot keep the Pound, according to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

But when speaking to ITV News Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander accused Salmond of bluffing too, claiming he has no currency plan.

Both sides of the debate are now firmly entrenched, reports Martin Geissler:

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PM: Salmond is 'a man without a plan'

Responding to Alex Salmond's speech this morning, David Cameron described the Scottish First Minister as "a man without a plan."

"He told us that he wanted to have a currency union and that now looks under threat."

"He told us that he wanted Scotland as part of the European Union. That is under threat."

The Prime Minister described the First Minister's speech as "empty" Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

"He is making, I think, quite an empty and rather angry speech today, but he hasn't got a plan and I think people will see that he hasn't got a plan."

"We were promised a detailed response to the economic arguments that I, the Chief Secretary and the shadow chancellor made last week, but instead we got an empty speech" said Chancellor George Osborne.

"Detailed analysis and independent advice shows clearly that what is best for Scotland is keeping the stable and durable currency union we have now."

Salmond: Osborne's 'currency union diktat has backfired'

George Osborne's stance on a currency union with Scotland has "backfired" according to First Minister Alex Salmond. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

George Osborne's stance on a currency union with Scotland has "backfired" according to First Minister Alex Salmond.

Speaking to business leaders today Mr Salmond said Mr Osborne's speech had been received "poorly" in Scotland.

He said: "Phone-ins, newspaper polls taken after the Chancellor's statement indicated his diktat had backfired badly.

"People do become sick and tired of the succession of day-tripping Conservative ministers flying up to Scotland to deliver lectures and then flying back to Westminster again."

Rejecting currency union 'could damage UK business'

Alex Salmond said Mr Osborne had "downplayed the disadvantages to the rest of the UK from a sterling zone", as he warned that rejecting a currency union could damage business in the rest of the UK.

I am publishing today an estimate of the transactions cost he would potentially impose on businesses in the rest of the UK.

They run to many hundreds of millions of pounds.

My submission is that this charge - let us call it the George Tax - would be impossible to sell to English business.

– Alex Salmond

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Salmond: George Osborne presented fiscal 'caricature'

Alex Salmond speaking to business leaders today.

Ruling out a currency union with an independent Scotland would cost businesses south of the border "many hundreds of millions", Alex Salmond has warned.

The Scottish First Minister hit back at Chancellor after he last week ruled out doing a deal on currency if there is a Yes vote in September's independence referendum.

In a speech in Edinburgh last week, Mr Osborne declared: "If Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the UK pound."

Mr Salmond said George Osborne had presented a "caricature" of research by economic experts which had backed a currency union.

Alex Salmond to defend independence plan

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is expected to underline his commitment to sharing the pound with the rest of the UK. Credit: PA Wire

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is due to mount a defence of key plans for independence today.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) leader is expected to underline his commitment to sharing the pound with the rest of the UK despite the plan being ruled out last week by Chancellor George Osborne and all three main political parties at Westminster.

During a speech to business people in Aberdeen, he is expected to say: "The reality is the pound is as much Scotland's as the rest of the UK.

"By suggesting otherwise, the Westminster establishment - Tories, Labour and Lib Dems - are reaping a backlash from the ordinary people of Scotland, who feel this is an attempt to bully Scotland ahead of the democratic choice we all look forward to this September.

"I will be deconstructing the Chancellor's ill-thought-out and misinformed intervention point by point, making clear why a currency union not only favours Scotland but is in the clear economic interests of the UK as well."

Alex Salmond to defend Scottish independence

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond will mount a defence of key plans for independence today after a weekend of pressure on whether the country could keep sterling as currency or expect a smooth transition to EU statehood.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Scottish National Party (SNP) leader is expected to underline his commitment to sharing the pound with the rest of the UK despite the plan being ruled out last week by Chancellor George Osborne and all three main political parties at Westminster.

Mr Salmond's opponents have since ramped up calls for him to set out a "plan B" and he has been urged by some pro-independence campaigners to at least consider an alternative, such as a new currency.

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