THE boss of a leading business organisation has backed an independent Scotland continuing to use the pound before gradually establishing its own currency.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, chief executive of the pro-independence Business for Scotland, has given his support to the principle of moving to a new currency “when it becomes advantageous to do so”.

READ MORE: Andrew Hughes Hallett: Here are the currency options available to Scotland

He said: “So to begin with there would be no change to the currency used by the people of Scotland but when it benefits the people of Scotland to move to a sovereign currency we will do so.”

His remarks come as SNP members today debate at the party’s Spring Conference in Edinburgh what currency an independent Scotland should use.

The discussion follows a motion submitted by depute leader Keith Brown and Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.

The National:

It is based on findings in the Growth Commission, a report published last year which outlined a new economic case for independence, which included a recommendation to keep the pound, though not in a currency union with the UK, until six key economic tests were met when a new currency could be brought in.

However, the proposal is opposed by some in the SNP who believe an independent Scotland should establish a new currency in the first term of the independent parliament to ensure greater control over economic policy. They have lodged an amendment to Brown and Mackay’s motion calling for the six key tests condition to be scrapped.

READ MORE: Without its own currency, Scotland would not really be an independent country

MacIntyre-Kemp previously underlined support for the introduction of a new currency, but has insisted his views have not changed.

“Prior to the Sustainable Growth Commission report being published, BfS issued our currency position which was covered on the front page of The National and we haven’t changed our position,” he wrote on his organisation’s website alongside a picture of a headline in our paper “New Currency Urged for Indy Scotland”.

“We believe that an independent Scotland should have a sovereign currency at the time most in line with the economic and social wellbeing of the nation. That time might be right away, it depends on the political realities of the day, but it’s probably after a transitional period where Scotland uses sterling, until it suits us not to do so.”

The National:

He also urged flexibility and suggested meeting six economic tests could be too rigid.

“Flexibility is key in this approach, the Scottish Parliament should have the power to make the change when the time is right and that means that the SNP’s six tests are not flexible enough,” he said. “If the independence negotiations go a certain way, then we also have to accept that ASAP is the answer to when we launch the sovereign currency.”

He added: “The SNP is a broad church, its achievements have been gained through gradualism. It is not about to change its spots and adopt radical policies that undecided and persuadable voters will not buy in indyref2.”

He concluded: “Any stance that doesn’t offer the flexibility to take advantage of any scenario is dangerously limited and so, although it’s not perfect, I hope the SNP’s revised stance is adopted by the SNP conference this weekend.”

His comments follow one of the world’s leading economists Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett spelling out the advantages of continuing to use the pound. Writing in The National yesterday, he said using the pound would provide financial stability for the new independent Scotland.

He pointed to the newly independent state of Ireland in 1922 which carried on using the pound successfully for a prolonged transition period without being in a currency union with the UK before moving to its own currency. The move was also managed despite the country having experienced years of civil war.