ALEX Salmond has said Scotland must have its own currency after independence, which should be ­established “immediately”.

The leader of the Alba Party said although a new currency may not be established on “day one” ­after ­leaving the UK, it was also not ­something which could be done at an ­“indeterminate point in the future”.

Among the options discussed at his party’s second policy conference yesterday was operating a “dual ­currency” with sterling while the Scottish currency is introduced.

Alba is due to set out its full stance on this and other issues, including its strategy on Europe, when it launches its manifesto this Wednesday.

In the first referendum of 2014, ­currency proved to be one of the most contentious issues and was a key ­battleground for the independence and Unionist campaigns.

As First Minister, Salmond sought a currency union with the rest of the UK, arguing it would be in the best interests of both sides.

After this was rejected by then Chancellor George Osborne, he ­refused to back down on using the pound and said the UK Government would have no moral or political right to stop Scotland using sterling if it did vote for independence.

Salmond told the Sunday ­National his position on sterling is the ­correct one at that time but a second referendum would be being held in a different environment. He said: “The world has changed not just because of the pandemic, the world has changed in a range of ways since 2014.

READ MORE: 'The shame of Scotland': Alex Salmond in blistering attack on BBC executives

“Seven years on we are now in Brexit Britain, where we are into a post-pandemic economic situation where the nature of the challenges we face are fundamentally ­different and greater than what they were ­previously.

“All of these things mean the ­perspective of 2014 is no longer that of 2021.”

He said currency was one area in which this change had to be taken into account.

“In 2014 I led us into a referendum whereby it was the correct position to look at a Sterling arrangement with the UK,” he added. “That is no longer the world we are in.

“We are in a world with very low interest rates, where borrowing costs are at a historic low and where there is a great urgency in establishing your own currency at as quickly a rate as possible.

“Obviously there are ways to do that – you may have to have a period of transition, you may have to have a dual currency operating because of assets and liabilities are still in ­sterling.

“But construction of currency in rapid time is now a major priority because of the way the economics of the world have changed in the last seven years and therefore the balance of what needs to be done has changed.”

“Scotland must have its own ­currency now.”

Salmond added: “There can always be a debate, of course there can, but what Scotland needs to do has changed.

“That doesn’t mean you can ­introduce a currency on day one, it takes time to establish a currency.

“But equally nor it is it something if you take the Growth Commission proposal that at some point in the ­indeterminate future it has to be ­established – no, it has to be an ­–mmediate project.”

Salmond said Alba’s manifesto would be “refreshing and different” and criticised other parties for a lack of new ideas.

So far, the SNP, Scottish Greens and Scottish LibDems have unveiled their election plans.

Salmond added: “I have to say there has been nothing inspiring of any kind in the manifestos I have seen launched to date.

“The established parties in Scotland seem to be stuck in something of a rut, which is very unfortunate in terms of the life of an election campaign where you should be discussing new ideas and new concepts, not old well-rehearsed, well-trodden ground which they have been on for some considerable time.”