Latest Public Sector News


Independence bid must not ‘disregard inconvenient truths’

The Scottish government must set out what conditions it would accept to keep sterling as its currency if it was to vote for independence in next year’s referendum, the Scottish Affairs Committee has urged.

In its new report, the committee highlights concerns that negotiations around currency and EU membership could be refused by the UK government and warns that the SNP must outline alternatives that could emerge from these negotiations and their consequences for the country.

The SNP has said it would see retain sterling if it achieved a ‘Yes’ vote.

MPs also called for the upcoming white paper on independence to clearly set out the risks and costs involved with the Scottish government’s plans. They warned against “misleading voters” on the outcome of some of the negotiations that will be needed for the final separation agreement.

Committee chair Ian Davidson MP said: “The Scottish government has already shown great willingness to misrepresent or disregard the many inconvenient truths that do not support the case for separation.

“A government white paper must be, and be clearly seen to be, totally above reproach. It must lay out the facts, the truths, about all the possible scenarios the day after a ‘yes’ vote, and it cannot ignore or gloss over the risks and uncertainties that exist, the biggest of which is what the UK government and others can reasonably be expected to agree to in the negotiations.

“Similarly, on all the big important issues such as pensions, benefits, public services, and tax collection, the white paper must be properly costed and show what a separate Scotland would realistically be able to afford, and the choices it would have to make, rather than  simply claiming that oil pays for everything. If it fails to deliver this the paper’s credibility will be open to serious challenge. We intend to subject any statistics provided to vigorous, impartial analysis, calling on external bodies where necessary.”

Angus Robertson, SNP leader at Westminster, said: “It is simply bizarre and undemocratic to suggest that the elected government of the day in Scotland is acting illegally by promoting our constitutional policy.

“The SNP gained the strongest possible mandate from the people of Scotland at the Scottish Parliament election. And if committee members want to make this point, it is frankly laughable for them to make no similar comment or criticism about how the entire Whitehall operation is working to support a No vote.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >