Sturgeon shoots herself in the foot as independence currency plan exposed in TV debate

Scotland: Sturgeon and Douglas Ross clash during debate

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Scotland’s political leaders made their final pitch to the electorate last night before Scots head to the polls on Thursday, May 6. The two pro-independence parties, the SNP and the Greens, highlighted a key flaw in their cause during the 70-minute programme, as they clashed over what currency the country should use after quitting the UK.

During the dispute, Ms Sturgeon failed to expand on her currency plans for an independent Scotland.

Taking a cautious approach, she said the country would continue to use the pound for “as long as necessary” before switching to a new currency when the conditions are right.

When asked how long that would take, Ms Sturgeon said there was no fixed timetable for changing the currency.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie disagreed with the SNP leader’s uncoordinated response.

Instead, he said work on a new currency should start “immediately” after Scotland voted to end the Union.

The lack of agreement between the two pro-independent parties was seized upon by the remaining Unionist parties.

They said the despite showed how the next parliament could be consumed by infighting within the Yes movement if voters elected a pro-independence majority on Thursday.

Ms Sturgeon also repeatedly came under fire during last night’s TV debate, as opposition leaders accused her of focusing too much on independence rather than recovery from the pandemic.

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Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross warned voters that Ms Sturgeon couldn’t focus her on time on Scotland’s recovery if she also led a referendum campaign.

He said: “Nicola Sturgeon has been clear.

“If she gets a majority, she’ll take her eye off the ball for Scotland’s recovery, for rebuilding this country from this pandemic and seek to hold another independence referendum.”

Labour leader Anas Sarwar agreed and said: “You can’t lead a referendum campaign and lead the recovery at the same time, it is simply not credible.”

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Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie also piled the pressure on and said the government should focus all its efforts on coming out of the pandemic.

He said: “I don’t want this to be the argument for the next five years, I do want to focus on recovery.

“Because the people who are waiting an age for mental health treatment I think deserve better than this.

“People that are desperate for a job deserve better than this.

“The children who have lost out on a lot of education in the last period, and Scottish education plummeting the inter-national ranking, I think we deserve better than all of this.

“And that is what will happen if we get a Nationalist majority later on this week.

“Because despite Nicola’s best intentions, there will be all the different factions of the nationalism movement will argue among themselves for the next five years about the timing, about the Border, about the currency, about Europe.

“All of those things will be the focus of the parliament for the next five years.”

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