Scotland Currency Claims 'Bluff And Bluster'
Scotland's First Minister has told Sky News the Yes campaign for Scottish independence is gaining ground in the wake of revelations over a possible currency union.
Alex Salmond MSP said the No campaign was struggling because of its negativity ahead of the vote in September and reiterated the removal of Trident submarines from an independent Scotland was not up for negotiation.
Speaking on Sky's Murnaghan programme, he said: "The reason that the Yes campaign has a spring in its step is because we believe that month by month, week by week, poll by poll we are gaining ground.
"The reason we are gaining ground is that we are putting forward a positive message about what Scotland can do and can be as an independent country.
"We know that people when faced with a positive, optimistic prospectus and vision for the country will want to vote for that, as opposed to the negativity the entrenched doom-laden scaremongering of a No campaign that has nothing positive to say."
On Saturday, the Government denied claims in The Guardian that a deal on sharing the pound with an independent Scotland would be made in return for allowing Trident to remain at Faslane.
Mr Salmond said the claims, made by an unnamed Government minister, showed the "bluff and bluster" of the No campaign. He denied knowing who the minister was.
He said: "It's a very, very difficult 48 hours for the No campaign and it's going to get a lot worse, because they are not basing their arguments on a positive vision of the future, they are basing their arguments on whatever they can say or do in this campaign to try and intimidate people of Scotland out of voting for independence and their bluff has been called.
"It's a very important demolition of the No campaign.
"The best people to govern and shape the future of this country are the people who live and work in this country."
Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the Trident submarines remaining in Faslane would be part of any post-independence talks, but a currency union was "off the table".
He told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "The Trident base at Faslane is hugely important to Britain's defence. We provide defence for the whole of the UK from that base.
"But if the Scottish people were to vote for independence there would be a protracted negotiation about many issues and the future of the base at Faslane would be one of those issues."
Chancellor George Osborne insisted on Saturday that if Scotland opted for independence it meant "walking out of the pound".
And Labour shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint MP told Sky News: "The SNP are running scared of a debate because they want to have their cake and eat it.
"They feel that they can have independence but keep everything the same.
"I'm a pretty common sense sort of person, I don't know how you can have full independence and expect to remain the same."
A YouGov poll for The Times newspaper last week suggested that 45% of Scots did not believe Mr Osborne's pledge to rule out a formal currency union.