AN independent Scotland could keep the pound for several years, Ian Blackford has said.

The SNP's Westminster leader said keeping the British currency would provide stability after a successful Yes vote.

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP insisted that an independent Scotland wouldn't need to change its currency in order to use its fiscal powers to drive up investment in the economy.

The politician's comments come despite the party conference voting to rapidly introduce a new currency after an independence referendum.

The Sunday Times reported Blackford as saying: “Keeping the pound will provide stability.

"The whole point about being independent is to create the circumstances for growth and to take responsibility for improving the economic prospects for Scotland.

“The priority in an independent Scotland will be to use fiscal powers to drive up investment, particularly in the new green technologies and industries in order to improve growth and increase living standards.

"This will, in turn, deliver positive outcomes for people, including tackling poverty. We don’t need to change the currency to do that.”

Blackford said key economic tests would have to be met before there could be a transition to a new Scottish currency.

However, he said that should not prevent the government from making preparations for a Scottish reserve bank.

He went on: “As an independent Scotland grows and creates confidence amongst people and in the financial markets, a timely transition to a new currency can take place.”