Independence clear says SNP but Unionists need to clarify alternative

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By a Newsnet reporter 
 
The Scottish government has described as “wrong” claims by Scottish Conservative MSP John Lamont that it has failed to explain what life would be like in an independent Scotland.
 
Alex Salmond’s party countered new claims of uncertainty over what shape an independent Scotland might take and instead insisted that the alternative being pushed by the No campaign lacked detail.

The Scottish government were responding on the day the Tory chief whip accused the SNP of ignoring requests for clarification.  In a statement released today, Mr Lamont accused the SNP of “making it up as they go along” and referred to a list of questions he claimed remained unanswered.

He added:

“It is cases like this where the SNP’s incapacity to see through its vision becomes horribly clear.

“Within these questions lie some of the most important issues a country could face, and people need answers.

“Time is rolling on, and still the First Minister cannot provide any real detail for the people of Scotland in critical areas such as defence and the economy.”

However, a spokesperson for the First Minister responded by challenging the Tory MSP’s claim that there were no answers to his questions.

“These claims are wrong – there is a wealth of information already in the public domain, and the questions will be answered in due course in the normal way.” he said.

“More particularly, we will also publish a detailed White Paper next year which will set out the structure of an independent Scotland, and will enable people to make a fully informed choice in the referendum in autumn 2014.”

The Scottish Conservatives had asked nineteen questions on matters including oil investment, National Insurance and military personnel in an independent Scotland.  Ruth Davidson’s party also claimed there was uncertainty over Scottish people’s citizenship, and the National Grid.

However the Scottish government has itself accused the Unionist parties of failing to clarify what kind of Union they were offering to the Scottish electorate as an alternative to independence.

Mr Salmond’s spokesman added:

“By contrast, what is entirely lacking from the Tory-led anti-independence campaign is any answers or detail about what the alternative to independence is, which is just one reason why we are confident of a successful Yes vote in autumn 2014.”