Independent Scotland '˜should have own currency and central bank'

A nationalist MP has said an independent Scotland should have its own currency and central bank.

Tommy Sheppard, MP for Edinburgh East and Constitutional Affairs spokesman for the SNP, was speaking at the Scottish Independence Convention.

Whether an independent Scotland would have its own currency proved a contentious issue in the lead up to the 2014 referendum.

Then Chancellor George Osborne said the UK Government would refuse to allow an independent Scotland to use the pound.

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Sheppard told the convention meeting in Glasgow: “The time has come to say that if we want our own government which is capable of investing in our economy and making sure we develop and modernise our industry, then that government will need to have a central bank behind it, under its own control, and we are going to have to have our own currency.

“One of the lessons we learnt from 2014 is that it is very difficult to go into a campaign when one of your central policy points relies on consent from your opponents, and therefore the next time it will be clear that what we will say we can offer we can do in Scotland using the political power we seek from the electorate.”

He added: “I know it has to be tested, I’m not suggesting we start printing the leaflets just yet.

“But we should spend this year looking at the options, testing the possibilities, looking at the downsides and the upsides of policy options, but I think at the end of it we will come out with a belief we can run our own economy with our own currency and that will make us stronger.”

Sheppard played a prominent role in the Yes campaign ahead of the September 2014 vote and was elected SNP MP for Edinburgh East in 2015.