Independent Scotland would keep the pound - SalmondTuesday 26 November 2013 19.03
An independent Scotland would keep the pound and remain in the European Union but have its own defence force and collect its own taxes, First Minister Alex Salmond has said.
In a 670-page blueprint aimed at convincing Scots they should vote next year to end a 306-year union with England, Salmond said there would be no need to increase taxes if Scotland broke away.
With separatists lagging in opinion polls, his Scottish National Party is hoping the blueprint will win over the many sceptics, answering questions the SNP has been accused of dodging.
"We know we have the people, the skills, and resources to make Scotland a more successful country," said Salmond, head of a devolved government in Scotland, which for now is still part of the UK.
He said Scottish taxes would not be spent on nuclear programmes and that the UK's nuclear missiles would be removed from Scotland for good.
Nicola Sturgeon, the deputy first minister, has described the document as "the most comprehensive and detailed blueprint ever drawn up for a prospective independent country".
Scotland's bid for independence is being watched closely internationally, particularly in Catalonia where 80% of people favour a vote for independence from Spain.
With 10 months to the Scottish vote, many of the 5 million Scots are still undecided.
The latest poll, published in the Sunday Times this week, suggested the gap had narrowed with 47% opposed to quitting the UK, 38% in favour and 15% undecided.
Britain's three main UK-wide political parties have argued against independence, saying Scotland would be worse off economically on its own and unable to defend itself or project power on the global stage as well as it can as part of the UK.
At stake are British oil reserves in the North Sea while debates over how Britain would split its national debt and the issue of the nuclear weapons are already fraught.