CONTINUING to use the pound in the first years of an independent Scotland would be the "right thing to do", the author of a major new report has insisted.

Andrew Wilson was tasked by the SNP with producing a new economic blueprint for Scottish independence.

On the issue of currency – which was key in the 2014 independence referendum – the Sustainable Growth Commission he led recommended Scotland should keep the pound during a transition period after any vote to leave the UK.

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A separate Scottish currency could be set up after independence if six tests are met, the report added.

The report was published days after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told the Treasury Select Committee a currency union between Scotland and the rest of the UK was possible, but it would be for politicians to decide whether they want one.

Speaking about the continued use of sterling, Mr Wilson said: "What we are recognising is that Scotland is very integrated with the rest of the UK and we need to give people honest and straight answers about what happens to our pensions, to our mortgages, to savings and so on, so therefore this solution allows us to maximise certainty and stability, whilst focusing the efforts of government on growing the economy, getting right the public finances and getting an efficient, modern country set up.

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"This is not just our idea, we are actually instructed and informed by an interview given by the predecessor to the current Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, who said that this was the best possible solution."

He added: "The substance of economic policy is far more important than the symbol of what you use as your currency."

Mr Wilson went on: "It may make sense for Scotland to do something different, to set up its own currency in due course, and we have six different tests against which to judge that decision, chiefly saying are we prepared for it and it is in the best economic interest for everyone in the country."

Speaking about the timescale of any transition period, where sterling would remain in use, the former former SNP MSP said it would take five to 10 years to "fix the public finances that we inherit from the rest of UK".

"We might be able to do it more quickly if we grow more quickly," he stated.

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He also insisted that if Scotland were independent and in Europe, there was "no evidence" that the country would be forced to adopt the euro.

"You make the choice about the currency that suits you on the prevailing circumstances of the time," Mr Wilson stated.

"We've set out what we think the right thing to do is, the former governor of the Bank of England agrees with us, there's precedent albeit in a different world, with what Ireland did at the start of their story.

"This is the right thing to do and in due course when we're so successful that we meet the six tests, we may move towards our own currency."

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He added: "I do understand that some folk would rather move more quickly to an independent Scottish currency.

"I put it to them that if they look at the six tests we've set, none of them are unreasonable, all of them make sense and protect the interests of everyone."