Alistair Darling ready to take Scottish referendum battle down to the wire

Better Together leader Alistair Darling and First Minister Alex Salmond
Better Together leader Alistair Darling and First Minister Alex Salmond

Alistair Darling again used Monday night’s debate to repeatedly press the First Minister to set out his plan B for a currency if a formal deal could not be agreed with the rest of the UK to allow an independent Scotland to retain the pound.

But the former chancellor appeared to accept Scotland could use the pound regardless of whether Westminster signed up to such an arrangement.

He said: “Of course we can use the pound... we could use the rouble, we could use the dollar, we could use the yen. We could use anything we want.”

On Tuesday, Mr Darling insisted the No campaign had been “right to focus on currency”, adding: “One of the things that is striking in the last three weeks is the amount of people who have come up to me and said ‘What about this plan B?’ is quite remarkable.”

When asked if changes would be made to the pro-UK campaign following the TV clash, he said: “Absolutely not.”

Postal votes for the September 18 referendum are presently being sent out, and Mr Darling said that as the “finishing post” comes into sight, Scots are increasingly focused on the decision to be made.

He said: “I’m increasingly confident we will win, but it is our job to win well and to win well we’ve got to carry on campaigning up until 10pm on September 18.”

The Better Together leader continued: “I’ve always said I thought this would be a fight right down to the wire, but I am increasingly confident.”