26 Nov 2013

SNP outlines vision for Scottish independence

The Scottish government publishes its “blueprint” for independence and promises to answer hundreds of questions about the country’s future.

The official white paper will contain a comprehensive Q&A section and explain the “opportunities” of independence, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

“The guide and the answers it provides will show clearly and simply the difference that we can make in Scotland if decisions on Scotland’s future are taken by those who care most about Scotland – that is the people of Scotland,” she said on the eve of the launch.

“Our message to the people of Scotland is simple: read this guide, compare it with any alternative future for Scotland and make up your own mind.

“This guide to an independent Scotland will set out a vision for Scotland’s future, the ways in which we can use the powers of independence to build a wealthier and fairer Scotland and ensure that everyone benefits from our natural wealth and talent.

“This guide to independence will move the debate forward from how Scotland can become an independent country to the kind of country we can be.”

‘Scotland’s Future’

Ms Sturgeon will be with First Minister Alex Salmond to unveil the document, called Scotland’s Future – Your Guide to an Independent Scotland, at the Glasgow Science Centre this morning.

The blueprint runs to more than 200 pages and provides answers to 650 questions on independence, the Scottish government said.

The answers, along with downloadable copies, will be available at www.scotreferendum.com and live coverage of the launch will be streamed online.

People in Scotland will be asked on 18 September next year whether the country should be independent, ending three centuries of political union with England.

An opinion poll published on Sunday suggested 38 per cent support a yes vote and 47 per cent back a no vote, meaning a swing of just 5 per cent could lead to Scotland leaving the UK.

The Scottish government has already set 24 March, 2016, as “independence day”.