By Martin Kelly
The No campaign has suffered en embarrassing blow after it emerged the UK Treasury has been forced to re-write an anti-independence paper following the downgrading of the UK’s credit rating.
According to the Scotsman newspaper, the Treasury document contains claims that an independent Scotland would be at risk of losing a triple-A credit rating, despite the fact that this has already been lost by the UK’s Westminster Government.
However, following the downgrading last weekend by Moody’s of the UK’s triple-A rating to AA1, the document is now having to be hastily re-written, minus the triple-A claims.
Commenting, SNP MSP John Mason who sits on the Finance Committee said:
“The UK’s triple-A status was a key anti-independence argument of the Tory-led Westminster Government and No campaign, and it has backfired badly – this Treasury document is going to have to be re-written before it sees the light of day.
“What this episode demonstrates is that the case against independence is based on assertion rather than fact.
“The Treasury has had to ‘pulp the fiction’ about the UK’s triple-A status, which is a significant blow to the credibility of the No campaign.
“These anti-independence papers were promised by the UK Government at the beginning of the year, and they have clearly been delayed – now we know why, because the No campaign’s assertions are crumbling one by one. Their phoney AAA argument has come back to bite them – in the same way as when the UK Government’s own academic expert, Professor James Crawford, agreed that the Scottish Government’s timescale for achieving independence is ‘realistic’.”
The revelation is a significant blow to the Better Together campaign who have also been caught out in a leaflet blunder. The pro-Union campaigners have been distributing leaflets warning Scots that independence will threaten the triple-A rating and cost them billions.
According to the Better Together campaign: “Scots save billions on the cost of mortgages due to the UK’s AAA credit rating”
However, despite the UK’s credit downgrade, people across Scotland have continued to receive the misleading leaflets which continue to falsely claim that the UK holds a triple-A rating.
It has emerged that as recently as yesterday, fully five days after the downgrade, the Better Together campaign were continuing to hand the leaflets out.
Today the SNP repeated its calls for the “misleading” leaflets to be pulped, at First Minister’s Questions, Alex Salmond said: “A No campaign leaflet says ‘the reason we are Better Together is the UK’s triple A’,”
He added: “I’m sure the unified ranks of the Liberal, Conservative and Labour parties will immediately want to withdraw this misrepresentation from circulation.”
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