The pro-Union Better Together campaign will not be “intimidated into silence”, the shadow foreign secretary has said.
Douglas Alexander insisted he would not be deterred from asking hard questions about the SNP’s plans for independence, despite criticism that the campaign has been too negative.
But he declined to say if he was ready to join Alex Salmond’s plans for a cross-party “Team Scotland” outfit to negotiate Scottish independence in the event of a Yes vote. He also accused Mr Salmond of being “in denial” about the prospect of losing.
Mr Alexander heard concerns in Edinburgh yesterday that Better Together is not doing enough to tackle SNP claims on retaining the pound and joining the EU after independence.
He said: “We need to ensure that there is critique, scrutiny, and ultimately judgment by people in Scotland.
“That means we should not be intimidated into silence in the face of claims from the other side of the argument.
“I make no apology for saying that we need to scrutinise claims that have been made, not just in relation to currency or the European Union, but a whole range of other issues. That’s what we’ve endeavoured to do in the face of the suggestion that any kind of legitimate scrutiny is somehow illegitimate scaremongering.”
Better Together has been branded “Project Fear” by Nationalists, who accuse the UK government of “bullying” over threats to stop Scotland using the pound and even claiming shows like Doctor Who would be lost to Scots.
The First Minister yesterday called for pro-Union leaders to help negotiate Scotland’s independence in the event of a Yes vote.
But Mr Alexander said: “Alex Salmond’s question today reflects his denial of where we stand, which is that the polls have consistently indicated that while he secured a handsome victory in 2011, on this issue he doesn’t speak for Scotland. If we see a Yes vote, contrary to all the poll evidence, then judgments would need to made by Johann Lamont as Scottish Labour’s leader as to how our party would respond.”