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Currency key to Scotland's independence

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 02:21

Scotland's pro-independence leader Alex Salmond easily won a final TV debate on Monday night just over three weeks before a breakaway referendum. But as Joanna Partridge reports it wasn't clear if this would help him catch up in the polls.

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Their second and final chance to convince voters ahead of Scotland's independence referendum. Leader of the pro-independence campaign Alex Salmond once again jousting with the No camp's Alistair Darling. SOUNDBITE: SCOTLAND'S FIRST MINISTER AND PRO-INDEPENDENCE LEADER, ALEX SALMOND, SAYING (English): "We're a rich nation, a resourceful people, we can create a prosperous nation and a fairer society, a real vision for the people of Scotland. This is our time, our moment, let us do it now." SOUNDBITE: LEADER OF ANTI-INDEPENDENCE CAMPAIGN, ALISTAIR DARLING, SAYING (English): "One of the reasons that I believe Scotland is better and stronger together is by being part of the United Kingdom, we have that greater security." This time - opinion polls straight afterwards found Salmond came out on top. Recent surveys have shown support for independence rising, but the debate win still may not be enough. Martin Sorrell is CEO of WPP. SOUNDBITE: MARTIN SORRELL, CEO, WPP, SAYING (English): "The polling that we do at TNS shows quite clearly that the "No" vote is ahead of the "Yes" vote, but the "Don't Knows" which are excluded from that analysis are greater than the gap between the two. So there's all to play for." The men discussed a range of topics, from Scotland's oil industry and nuclear submarine base, to the National Health Service. They again clashed over what currency an independent Scotland would use. Here, Salmond was more confident but equally vague. SOUNDBITE: SCOTLAND'S FIRST MINISTER AND PRO-INDEPENDENCE LEADER, ALEX SALMOND, SAYING (English): "What I'm seeking a mandate for, is to have the pound sterling. So we pay our messages, we pay our mortgage, we get our wages in the pound." SOUNDBITE: MODERATOR ASKING: "What would be the best plan B option if not going with the (currency) union?" SOUNDBITE: LEADER OF ANTI-INDEPENDENCE CAMPAIGN, ALISTAIR DARLING, SAYING (English): "Honestly they're all second best, and I'm not going to argue for a second best option." SOUNDBITE: MODERATOR SAYING: "You can't criticize Alex Salmond not giving us a plan B, you're not giving us one either." All three major UK political parties have ruled out a currency union. The issue could be key, says Patrick Armstrong from Plurimi Investment Managers. SOUNDBITE: Patrick Armstrong, Managing Partner, Plurimi Investment Manatgers, saying (English): "It's also what happens to the debts, do Scotland take a share if Scotland doesn't take the pound sterling as its currency. How are those debt calculations done. The currency is the wrench but don't think Scotland will be leaving the United Kingdom." If Scotland's 5 million people choose to go it alone, there'll be profound consequences for Britain - and the rest of the EU. Other European countries will be watching the vote closely - as regions like Catalonia in Spain also eye independence.

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Currency key to Scotland's independence

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 02:21