Ministers to appeal ruling in row over legal advice
The Scottish Government’s appeal against being ordered to reveal if it holds legal advice on the status of an independent Scotland within the EU is to go ahead, it emerged yesterday.
Labour MEP Catherine Stihler made a Freedom of Information request last May, asking the Holyrood administration for any legal advice it had received. Scotland’s FoI Commissioner, Rosemary Agnew, ruled its release was in the public interest.
But Scottish ministers said governments – including Westminster – do not release legal advice and the deadline had, in any case, passed yesterday.
“We know that the SNP are hopping mad about the fact that they have been forced into divulging this information,” Ms Stihler said.
“If the SNP have nothing to hide, then they should have nothing to fear.”
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw branded the government’s refusal an “outrageous” waste of taxpayers’ money.
“How is anyone supposed to make an informed choice at the referendum when such important details are being held back?” he said
“Of course, the reason is either because the SNP has sought legal advice on EU entry and not liked the answer, or because it hasn’t even asked the question.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said it would neither confirm nor deny the existence of legal advice.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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