Salmond Triumphs Over Darling in Second Scottish Referendum TV Debate
August 27, 2014
As the days count down to the Scottish referendum on September 18, the battle between the ‘Yes Scotland’ and ‘Better Together’ parties is intensifying – as displayed by the second live TV debate on Monday.
Following a victory for the ‘no’ camp, led by Alistair Darling, in the previous TV debate, polling company ICM has claimed a comprehensive fightback triumph for Alex Salmond’s ‘yes’ brigade with 71% of those polled believing Salmond had come out on top in the debate, against 29% for Darling.
Although opinion figures still show an overall majority support for Better Together, the Yes Scotland party believe its momentum is growing – just at the right time.
Here are the key points raised from the feisty second and final debate, as discussed by both leaders:
Will Scotland be financially safe if independent?
It depends on currency we use. The pound sterling belongs to the UK as a whole. Scotland is better together being part of the UK and has better security.
We will be safe and secure economically with an independent Scotland. No-one can stop us from using the pound and we believe the best situation for Scotland is to have the pound.
Successive governments have been too optimistic about the amount of production and revenue we get from the North Sea.
In the last couple of years, the amount of revenue we got from North Sea has been £5bn less than was expected. Problem has been looking ahead. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I don’t want to see my country be so dependent on something that is so volatile.
Relying on the oil would be gambling with our children’s futures.
The No campaign is the only people in the world who argue possession of substantial amounts of oil and gas is somehow a curse as opposed to an asset for a country.
North Sea oil and gas would be about 15% of Scotland’s overall economy. It’s about 20% of Norway’s overall economy and I haven’t seen it doing Norway much harm over the last 40 years.
North Sea oil and gas will be with us way beyond 2050.
I want us to share sterling in a currency union. We don’t need permission to use our own currency. The no campaign argues they will deny us the assets of the Bank of England.
That will not happen because if they deny us the financial assets then the rest of the UK will get stuck with all of the liabilities.
No UK Chancellor will let Scotland off £5bn a year debt payments we have offered to make as part of a sensible currency union.
I think a currency union would be bad for Scotland because Scotland’s budget would have to be approved by what would then be a foreign country.
We could use the pound – but the problem is if you are using somebody else’s currency you don’t have a central bank so our financial services can’t exist in Scotland.
Countries like Panama, Ecuador and Hong Kong that use other people’s currencies, they have to run a surplus, they can’t borrow and you would have a huge deficit, and that comes out of schools and hospitals.
At the moment, we don’t have financial control over the NHS and that is a serious problem. The danger for Scotland is if England goes down the road of privatising and charging and the general cuts to public spending, they can’t force us to privatise – but the financial pressure makes it extremely difficult for health service in Scotland.
We have to have financial control.
Health service is critically important to all of us in Scotland and being part of the UK means we can fund it, especially with the pressures of an aged population in Scotland. We need less scaremongering from Alex Salmond.
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