THE Yes campaign will not repeat the mistakes of 2014, Derek Mackay has said – if the SNP backs his plan for a new Scottish currency.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday National, Mackay (left), Scotland’s Finance Secretary, says proposals drawn up with SNP depute leader Keith Brown on introducing a new currency for an independent Scotland will “arm” activists with the answers to questions that derailed doorstep campaigning five years ago.

No indyref2 date has been set, but in January Nicola Sturgeon said she would outline her position “in the coming weeks”.

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On Thursday night the BBC reported that Whitehall is preparing for a request from Edinburgh to hold the nation-wide ballot, something Theresa May will “flat out refuse”.

That report came hours before Brown, writing exclusively in The National, outlined the economic plan he and Mackay believe will build support for independence – and create the basis for stability and growth once this is achieved.

The pair will ask their party’s spring conference to back a resolution that commits to establishing a new currency in an SNP-led independent Scotland. Starting out with sterling, Parliament would vote on when to introduce its replacement by the end of its first term, a decision informed by annual reports from a new national bank and other institutions.

Mackay says this – based on the findings of the SNP’s Growth Commission and its National Assembly sessions – is “the most credible economic platform that the party has ever had”, and the “antidote” to Westminster austerity.

On the chances of winning support from delegates, he said: “I hope the party backs this. I think it’s really important that the party backs the power of work that’s been put in to answer many of the questions we were challenged on in 2014.”

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The SNP then advocated a formal currency union with the rest of the UK, something rejected by then-Chancellor George Osborne and dismissed as not credible by the No campaign.

Mackay says the new plan, which retains the flexibility to “choose our currency based on what is right for our economy at that point in time”, will provide the reassurance needed to convince more people to back constitutional change.

He went on: “We have looked at all the small advanced economies to see what it is that they have got that we have not. The truth is we have got what it takes, we have got it all. The only thing we don’t have is independence.”

He continued: “If we don’t deliver the best economic policy, our social policies are out of reach. Poverty shouldn’t determine someone’s success, but our nation’s success should impact on poverty.”

On the reasoning against using a new currency from day one of independence, Mackay said: “Currency is about choice, it’s about giving the stability and stimulus to our economy and credibility for people paying their taxes and contributing to the wealth. We have only got one shot at it and we do it at that safe and secure transition. Then the days of Scotland’s fortunes and Scottish lives being bought and sold by others are gone. If we reach too soon, the currency will literally be bought and sold by other financial institutions and we lose the chance we were building.”

On whether or not the plan would have changed the result in 2014, he said: “I don’t know, but what I do know as someone who was campaigning in 2014, speaking frankly to activists, if we are having to debate currency on the doorstep, we aren’t having the opportunity to inspire people to vote for independence.

“I was there, I was knocking the doors and windows, spending a hell of a lot of time explaining a currency proposition when I wanted to be talking about the case for independence.

“Let’s not look to the past, we are looking to the future. We want to be armed with the answers, with that economic case on why we should be independent.”