Scotland and the United Kingdom would together have more European Union votes and greater influence in the bloc if the former becomes independent, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said Tuesday.
Salmond said he wanted to present a positive case for independence, and he criticised "fearmongering" from the government in London over a referendum that he wants to hold in late 2014.
"In the European Union, on the many occasions when Scotland agrees with the rest of the UK, we will have greater collective influence, and more votes, operating as two nations rather than one," Salmond said in a speech in London.
Scotland would also "continue to share close ties with its neighbouring countries", including the monarchy which it currently shares with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's government has refused to say whether an independent Scotland would be able to keep the pound, preferring to hint that it might be forced to adopt the debt-ridden euro.
Salmond rejected the suggestion as "economically illiterate", along with claims by London that Scotland's economy would suffer from independence.
"Since sterling is a fully tradeable currency, the UK Government has absolutely no power to stop an independent Scotland from using it," he said.
Salmond said independence could be good for both Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
"Fearmongering about constitutional change is nothing new. But it is disappointing to see such an approach being adopted," he said.
"Therefore, as an antidote and a counterpoint, may I attempt to present independence for Scotland in a way which is positive about Scotland and positive about England."
The issue has sparked confrontation between London and Edinburgh since last month when the British government said only it had the power to organise a referendum, and that it wanted it sooner than Salmond's target of autumn 2014.
The first talks between Salmond and a British minister on the proposed referendum are due to take place in Edinburgh on Friday.
Source: AFP European Edition