AN independent Scotland should ditch UK European scepticism and embrace the euro in a step towards being an enthusiastic EU member, according to a leading political analyst.

Writing in The National today Anthony Salamone argues the new nation should model itself on Finland and Ireland and move away from negative attitudes which have long marked the UK’s stance.

“The question must be asked: why is the euro so unpopular in Scotland? Scotland is demonstrably a pro-European country. By contrast, public reaction towards the euro often appears viscerally negative. Even within the independence movement, the seeming default presumption is to reject the euro out of hand,” he wrote.

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“Yet the UK’s caustic debate on the euro, driven by Eurosceptic mentality, has probably been the most significant factor. UK-level institutions, from Westminster politicians to London media, have long fostered a climate of hostility and fear towards the euro.”

He added: “The truth is that the single currency is the norm across the EU. At present 19 of the EU27 countries (70%) are in the eurozone. Nearly all of the remainder will eventually join. Ireland and Finland – countries to which many in Scotland look for inspiration – have been part of the euro project for over 20 years.”

Salamone, who runs a political analyst company, went on to argue that it could also be to an independent Scotland’s economic benefit to join the euro as it increases trade links with Europe and reduces those with the UK, as it will enable Scotland to have greater influence on the EU.

He wrote: “Scotland would be a European small state. It would benefit from the large European monetary union – and the world’s second reserve currency – in which it would have a say. The vast majority of small states in the EU have already reached the same conclusion.

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“Beyond economics and trade, the euro question is fundamental to what kind of EU member state Scotland would seek to become. For many EU decision-makers, the single currency – even more than the internal market – is the core of the EU. Future political integration will largely be based in the eurozone.

“Scotland can only have influence in the EU where it participates. Outside of the euro, Scotland would be disconnected from some of the EU’s most important decisions on the future of European integration.”

The SNP’s policy is for an independent Scotland to continue to use Sterling before moving to its own currency once six key economic tests are met.

During a TV debate in May former MEP Alyn Smith, now MP for Stirling, said an independent Scotland could join the euro as one of the options open to the new state.