Scottish independence: Alex Salmond pledges to make EU legal advice public
FIRST Minister Alex Salmond today pledged that secret legal advice about the prospect of an independent Scotland automatically remaining within the European Union will be made public.
The Scottish Government is currently fighting a demand from Scotlands Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew to reveal whether it has received any advice on the issue.
The SNP insists that Scotland would remain in the EU after independence because has been a member for the last 40 years, but this was thrown into doubt yesterday when EU president Juan Manuel Barroso indicated that new states would have to reapply for membership.
Opposition leaders today stepped up calls for Mr Salmond to publish his legal advice at First Ministers Questions in Parliament.
Mr Salmond told Labour leader Johann Lamont he had a solution which protected the confidential advice which civil servants provide to ministers, while meeting the democratic imperative of information being made available to the public on this issue.
Weve set out intention to publish the white paper on independence this time next year, he told MSPs.
I give her (Ms Lamont) my guarantee that that white paper which sets out the full context of the independence proposition will contain detailed assessment on the particular question of membership continuing of the European Union.
I give her the guarantee that everything in that document will be fully consistent with the legal advice that we received. That seems to me a reasonable solution of how we can reconcile the requirement of the ministerial code with, I believe, the imperative to let the people of Scotland see the full advantages of being an independent country.
But Ms Lamont said the Government was already spending 100,000 to keep this information out of the public domain.
One has to ask the question, whats the First Minister got to hide? she added
If Scotland was forced to re-apply for entry to the EU, it would likely to be forced to adopt the troubled Euro currency, instead of the pound which the SNP want to keep.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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