THERE is more evidence for the Loch Ness monster than for key parts of the Scottish Government’s case for independence, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has claimed.
The comment was part of an attempt to debunk “myths” put forward by the SNP administration on oil revenues, currency union and wider finances, Danny Alexander told an invited audience of business people in Edinburgh.
“There is actually one Scottish myth I absolutely cannot and would not be able to disprove,” the Highland MP said.
“She’s about 40-foot long, publicity-shy and she lives in my constituency, and if anyone here today or any of your families wants to come up to Loch Ness and spend a weekend looking out for her they will be very welcome indeed.
“In short, there is more evidence for the Loch Ness monster than there is for many of the calculations and the claims that have been put forward by the nationalists to support their case for separation.”
His remark rounded off a speech in which he said people need a sense of humour to deal with pro-independence claims.
The referendum on September 18 will be a day for the “most serious decision” any Scot will take.
“But increasingly, as the campaign continues, when it comes to some of the statements and assertions made by nationalists you really do need a sense of humour,” he said at the Scotland Office.
“Because apparently the same risks that apply to other countries wouldn’t apply to an independent Scotland.”
Outlining what he calls ludicrous myths, he questioned whether Scotland would be able to bail out banks, given the size of the financial sector north of the border.
And he said First Minister Alex Salmond is being “belligerent” by insisting Scotland would be able to strike a deal to continue using sterling in union with the rest of the UK.
He continued: “There is also the fantastical claim, made in the White Paper, that an independent Scotland would share a third of the UK’s institutions and services despite the fact that this is completely unprecedented anywhere in the world.
“This is a claim we have to listen to whenever an institution crops up that the nationalists haven’t had time to think about.”
He highlighted oil and gas, and the national deficit, as “the more dangerous economic myths” being put forward.