Independence – 650 questions to be answered with White Paper

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  The Scottish Government’s White Paper published today will provide the public with hundreds of pages of answers to key questions on independence.

Scotland’s Future – Your Guide to an Independent Scotland, which is the most detailed blueprint for an independent country ever published, contains a comprehensive question and answer section, running to more than 200 pages, providing answers to 650 questions on independence.

The answers – along with downloadable copies will be available at www.scotreferendum.com as a fully searchable resource so that members of the public can easily find the answers they are looking for ahead of the referendum.

The www.scotreferendum.com site will also provide live coverage of the launch event which will take place at the Glasgow Science Centre.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Scotland’s Future – Your Guide to an Independent Scotland is the most comprehensive blueprint for an independent country that has ever been produced.

“This is a document for the people of Scotland; it is their guide to independence, and it will provide both a vision for Scotland’s future and the answers on independence that people have been seeking.

“As part of the guide we will be providing the answers to people’s questions on how we become an independent country, what the opportunities are of independence, how our institutions of government will work and what the benefits can be of a vote for independence.

“All of the answers will be available online so people can search for any answer they want, including those to questions submitted by members of the public themselves.

“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.

“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.”

The publication of the long awaited document signals a shift in the independence debate and is sure to ignite what, to date, has been a lackluster campaign dominated by claim and counter claim from both sides.

Those on the pro-independence side of the argument are hopefull they can now persuade those yet to decide that their future is better served by voting Yes.  The No campaign are reportedly waiting to pore over the document looking for flaws.

However the independence document will also put presure on Unionist parties to clarify exactly what voting No will mean.  Thus far neither Labour, the Conservatives or the Lib Dems have indicated what awaits Scots should they decide to reject independence.

[Newsnet Comment – Today’s White Paper launch marks not only the start of the Yes campaign proper but, we believe, the point at which people must themselves begin to ask ‘what can I do?’.  From canvassers, writers to researchers, we all have a role to play.

There are also decisions to be made with regard to funding campaigns.  It should be noted that Scots already indirectly fund the No campaign when we purchase pro-Union newspapers like the Scotsman, Herald and the Record, in the same way that a donation to Newsnet Scotland which has a pro-independence editorial policy will indirectly help the Yes campaign.

People must now decide cerefully how they spend their own money and whether a change in purchasing habits may be necessary.  It must also be appreciated that many believe the BBC has itself adopted a pro-Union line in the way it reports the referendum.  It will be a decision for those Scots who currently pay the licence fee whether they believe they should continue to do so, or whether they switch their payments to organisations that more reflect their needs and views.

Newsnet Scotland currently has an appeal and, as would be expected, we would encourage readers to donate to this appeal.  This week we will have reaction to the White Paper launch from Lesley Riddoch, George Kerevan and David Torrance – all paid for through donations from you, the reader.

We also have, coming next week, a very timely animation from Duggy Dug, who will be looking at currency and whether Scotland can keep the pound.  Look out for this latest episode, it really is a cracker.

We have more exciting plans that we hope to implement in the coming year, all geared towards engaging with those Scots for whom the referendum has been someone elses debate.  We will only be able to do this with your continued support.]