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SNP should bring forward publication of white paper

November 3, 2012 10:04 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has called on the SNP government to bring forward the date of the publication of its white paper on independence.

The SNP government is due to publish the white paper in November 2013 but with so many questions being asked by Scots on the implications of independence, including Scotland's EU status, Mr Rennie believes the SNP should publish its details plans as soon as possible.

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

"Many contrasting opinions have been bandied around on an independent Scotland's membership of the EU. It is clear that it is not straight forward.

"The devil is in the detail but so far we have seen precious little detail from the SNP. With the collapse of their legal case for EU membership their credibility on this issue has taken a severe blow.

"The SNP should consider bringing forward the publication date for its white paper so that the fine print of their plan for independence can be scrutinised.

"Alex Salmond should be seeking agreements with the twenty-seven countries that will have the final say on Scotland's EU status should Scots vote for independence.

"To do this, EU leaders must be clear what the SNP thinks independence means for Scotland and for the wider European Union.

"It is not just in Scotland's interests that this work is done, it is in the SNP's interests too. As they haven't got any agreements yet they obviously need to time to engage with the EU 27.

"If they are confident of their case they should embrace this.

"It is a complex issue and it will require detailed negotiation. Scotland cannot wait another year before we know the basis for those discussions."