Experts warn an independent Scotland could be forced to join the euro

Scotland could be forced to join the euro after independence, one of the Alex Salmond’s top advisers has said.

The SNP wants a separate Scotland to stay in the European Union and continue to use sterling, with the issue of joining the euro to be decided by a referendum. But this has been thrown into doubt by a new book, Scotland’s Economic Future, by Professor Andrew Hughes Hallet, of St Andrews University, who is a member of the First Minister’s Council of Economic Advisers.

He states: “First, all new members of the EU are required to join the euro eventually, and it is not clear there are grounds to argue that Scotland has the right to inherit the UK’s current euro opt-out.”

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Jo Murkens, of the London School of Economics, added: “It would not be Scotland’s choice. They can’t say they want to be a member of the EU and not the euro.”

The Scottish Government is now facing calls to publish the legal advice it has received on the subject.

Labour finance spokesman Richard Baker said: “The SNP are in fantasy land if they think they can rewrite European treaties. It is now of huge importance that the SNP publish the legal advice they have received on this issue.”

A spokesman for external affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland is already an integral part of the EU and would be in exactly the same position as the rest of the UK.

“And because Scotland would not be a new part of the EU, the issue of the euro would be decided by a referendum of the people of Scotland only when the economic circumstances were right.”