Alex Salmond: I never said independence referendum was 'once in a lifetime'

Posted On: 
19th March 2017

Alex Salmond has claimed he never said the first Scottish independence referendum was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity - despite a video showing that he did.

Alex Salmond with Nicola Sturgeon during the 2015 election campaign.
PA Images

The former SNP leader made the surprising claim as Nicola Sturgeon admitted she did not know what currency Scotland would use if it quit the UK.

Ms Sturgeon announced on Monday that she wants to hold another referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 - but has been told by Theresa May it cannot happen before Britain leaves the European Union.

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The last referendum was held in September 2014, when Scots backed staying in the UK by 55% to 45%.

Appearing on Radio 5Live's Pienaar's Politics' this morning, Mr Salmond insisted the SNP had not gone back on their pledge not to hold another one so soon.

He said: "The phrase was not once in a lifetime, it was the opportunity of a lifetime, I said it on the Andrew Marr show, it’s just one of these collective myths that evolve."

However, a video of that interview from 2014 shows that Mr Salmond said: "In my view this is a once in a generation - perhaps even a once in a lifetime - opportunity."



Meanwhile, Ms Sturgeon has said an independent Scotland could continue to use the Pound even after it had left the UK, as she admitted will be several months before the SNP says what currency the country would have.

In the last referendum, the UK government ruled out the SNP's plan for a so-called "currency union" with Westminister.

But on Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News, Ms Sturgeon said: "The starting point of our consideration is that Scotland would use the Pound. It’s our currency, it’s a fully tradable, international currency.

"But as I’m sure you know I have a growth commission right now looking at a plan for the economic future of Scotland, but also looking in detail at currency options for Scotland."