Not the job of Better Together to define a No vote says Alistair Darling


darling  By G.A.Ponsonby
The head of Better Together, Alistair Darling, has said that the No campaign has no intention of spelling out what awaits Scots should they vote against independence in 2014.
Responding to a question on BBC Radio Scotland, the Labour MP insisted that the alliance of Labour, Conservatives and the Lib Dems was formed only to persuade Scots to stay in the UK and that the campaign group was not set up to define what awaited a No vote.

Asked whether the No campaign would spell out what voting No meant, Mr Darling said: “It is for the political parties Labour, Liberal the Conservatives to spell out what they are going to put in their manifestos, what further powers they would like to devolve.

“Better Together is formed simply for the purpose of trying to persuade people we’re better and stronger as part of the UK.”

The admission by the Better Together chief came on the same day that the Scottish Government published a document spelling out the route map to independence should Scots vote Yes in the 2014 referendum.

Speaking yesterday, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called on the UK Government to adhere to the Electoral Commission’s recommendations by agreeing to early discussions about how Scotland will move forward following the referendum.  The commission has asked that both sides provide clarity on the referendum outcome, whichever side wins.

However, with the anti-independence campaign chief refusing to accept that it is his groups responsibility to define what No means, there will be fears that Scots could go to the polls with no clear guarantees of what lies in store should they vote against independence.

Commenting on yesterday’s publication by the Scottish government, SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing said that the detail being provided by the Scottish Government stood in stark contrast to the complete lack of detail from the ‘No’ campaign, which she said was a key factor in the fall in support for a No vote since the New year:

Ms Ewing said: “This is the Scottish Government coming out with more detail about the ‘why’ of independence – spelling out that an independent Scotland will have a written constitution that could ban nuclear weapons, and be a modern, progressive country. 

“With independence we will always get the governments that the people of Scotland vote for, and have economic and welfare policies based on Scotland’s circumstances and values.

She added: “The No campaign so far has done nothing except say No to every positive thing that is proposed for Scotland – that is why its support has slipped since the New Year, and why we now require a swing of just over 7.5 per cent for Yes to move ahead in the polls.”