LONDON Feb 17 British politicians risk
provoking a backlash in Scotland by saying that Scots will not
be able to keep the pound if they vote for independence,
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond will say in a speech on
Salmond is fighting a closely choreographed attempt by
London to scupper Scotland's Sept. 18 vote for independence by
undermining his central economic case that Scotland could be a
prosperous, independent nation.
"The reality is the pound is as much Scotland's as the rest
of the UK," Salmond said in comments supplied by his office.
"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."
The twin pillars of Salmond's bid for independence - keeping
the pound and European Union membership - have been shaken in
Finance minister George Osborne has warned Scotland could
not keep the pound if Scots vote for independence while European
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso cautioned Scotland on
Sunday that it would struggle to gain European Union membership.