Scotland politics

Nicola Sturgeon says an independent Scotland would use the pound

Nicola Sturgeon Image copyright BuzzFeed/Facebook
Image caption Ms Sturgeon was speaking at a town hall event organised by BuzzFeed and Facebook

Nicola Sturgeon has said an independent Scotland would look to retain use of the pound, regardless of Scotland or the UK's EU membership.

The first minister was pressed on what case she would put forward for Scottish independence if the UK votes to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum.

Speaking at a town hall event organised by Facebook and BuzzFeed, she said "the pound is Scotland's currency."

The SNP plans a summer drive to refresh the case for Scottish independence.

Former first minister Alex Salmond has said the case relating to currency should be "refurbished", suggesting the Yes side had been "gazumped" on the issue.

During the online event in London, which also features Prime Minister David Cameron and UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Ms Sturgeon was questioned closely by audience members on her support for EU membership.

The SNP leader, who has previously said Scotland being "dragged out" of the EU would "almost certainly" lead to a second independence referendum, repeated that "many, many people in Scotland" would "want to look again at independence to protect our membership of the EU".

Analysis by Sarah Smith, Scotland editor

Image copyright BuzzFeed / Facebook

Polls are not currently showing a majority of Scots saying they would vote for independence - even when they are asked to imagine a post-Brexit scenario.

The hard fact is that the SNP will not call another referendum until they are certain they can win it.

Because they know if they lose again they really will not be able to ask the question again for at least a generation.

Ideally, the SNP will wait until polls suggest 60% of Scottish voters will vote "Yes" and they want to see that majority sustained for at least six months before they dare call another vote.

Most of the senior politicians I have spoken to do not believe Brexit alone will necessarily produce that kind of majority.

Of course it is foolish to try to predict the future in politics - and even harder when trying to imagine how voters will respond to emotional issues such as national sovereignty and identity.

Read more from Sarah

Stressing that she did not want Scotland to become independent because of a Brexit, Ms Sturgeon warned there could be "all sorts of consequences" in the scenario of a Leave vote.

And asked if an independent Scotland would look to join the Euro currency as well as the EU after a Brexit, Ms Sturgeon said she would want to retain the pound.

She said: "The pound is Scotland's currency as much as it is England's currency. That's the currency I think all parts of the UK should use and it's the one I'd want Scotland to use.

"Scotland uses the pound. It's our currency just as it is your currency, and that's the currency I think we should continue to use."

Image copyright BuzzFeed / Facebook
Image caption Nigel Farage made the case for Brexit at the event

Dismissing claims it was hypocritical of her to advocate being part of the European Union but not the United Kingdom, Ms Sturgeon appealed to voters from across the UK to vote Remain.

She said: "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. Don't base your decision about the future on a gripe or a grievance you might have about Scotland or the SNP or me or anybody else.

"Do what you think in your heart is right for the UK."

'Dishonest Dave'

Making the case for Brexit, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said there had been "lots of heat and not much light" in the referendum campaign.

He said the UK had "about 10% of the say over our future" while part of the EU, and would have greater control if "independent".

Mr Farage said that Mr Cameron, who he called "dishonest Dave", should be replaced with a "Brexit PM" in the event of a Leave vote, saying this would result in the UK getting a better deal in exit negotiations with the EU.

Earlier, armed forces minister Penny Mordaunt warned that "you can never really trust" the EU, saying Brexit would allow the UK to "take back control" of its laws, borders and money.

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