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Public must be fully informed on independence referendum – Lords

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has criticised both the UK and Scottish Governments for failing to clearly outline the possible consequences of the independence vote.

The committee has published a report calling for both to be more open and publish “red lines” on issues such as currency, defence, division of assets and debts, and membership of the EU.

The Lords state that the public need proper understanding of the possible economic impact of the referendum, which is due to be held on 18 September 2014.

Chairman of the committee, Lord MacGregor, said it was “crucial that all the major implications are fully debated and understood by the voters well before the actual vote takes place”.

Scottish finance secretary John Swinney said: “We are firmly committed to ensuring the people of Scotland have all the information they need on the opportunities of independence to take the positive step forward with a Yes vote in 2014, which amongst other things would bring an end to unelected Lords talking Scotland down.

“In the coming months, the Scottish government will publish a series of papers, including defence and security, covering the main arguments for independence, leading to a white paper in the autumn that will set out the government's proposals for an independent Scotland.”

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “We agree that key issues such as the currency arrangements for an independent Scotland and the danger of basing an economic vision on a volatile and declining resource like oil should be explored in detail.

“That's why we are publishing a series of Scotland analysis papers examining the key issues ahead of the referendum.”

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