Scottish Conservative conference: Ruth Davidson would stand after Yes vote

BBC Scotland's political editor Brian Taylor puts your questions to Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said she would stand for election in an independent Scotland.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Davidson said she would want to "continue to be part of the political life of this nation".

She also hinted that a currency union with the rest of the UK may not be in the interests of Scotland if it voted "Yes" in the forthcoming referendum.

Ms Davidson was speaking as the party held its annual Scottish conference in Edinburgh.

In a webcast based on BBC news online reader questions, Ms Davidson also confirmed that recommendations on further devolution for the Scottish Parliament currently being finalised by Lord Strathclyde would form part of the Conservative manifesto for the 2015 general election.

Start Quote

I see no reason why I would not want to continue to be part of the political life of this nation”

End Quote Ruth Davidson Scottish Conservative leader

And she said she was committed to achieving a 1p tax cut for people in Scotland when new tax powers are given to Holyrood in 2015, regardless of the outcome of September's referendum.

Asked whether she would stand for election in an independent Scotland, Ms Davidson said: "I don't see any reason why I wouldn't.

"I hope that there won't be [an independent Scottish parliament], I'm fighting to make sure that there isn't, but I see no reason why I would not want to continue to be part of the political life of this nation."

The Tory leader was then questioned on whether she would support a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK following a "Yes" vote.

The UK coalition government, supported by Labour, has ruled out a formal sterling zone with an independent Scotland.

The Scottish government maintains such a currency union would be in the best interests of both Scotland and the rest of the UK.

EU referendum

Ms Davidson's deputy, Jackson Carlaw, had previously said that should Scotland vote for independence, he would argue to keep the pound.

She said of his position: "[Jackson Carlaw] obviously thought that a sterling zone would be in its [an independent Scotland's] interests. I'm not sure that it would. I might be on the Patrick Harvie side of that.

"What I don't know is whether it would be in an independent Scotland's best interests to have its own currency or to be part of a sterling zone."

She said she would support an independent Scotland's entry into the EU.

The Conservatives have promised an in/out referendum on the UK's membership of the EU by 2017.

Ms Davidson was also asked whether she would like to see tax cuts when Scotland is given power over income tax in 2015.

She said: "I want to see the tax burden reduced for everybody. When the [new] powers come to the Scottish Parliament in 2015, we in my party are committed to trying to find a way to reduce taxation by 1p in the pound in the course of the next parliament."

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