UK Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has said there will be “no let up” from the No campaign, as there are now less than 500 days until voters decide if Scotland will become independent.
The independence debate deserves “serious argument and hard headed analysis”, he said as the countdown to the referendum passed a significant landmark.
voters go to the ballot box on September 18, 2014, and Mr Moore issued a rallying cry for the pro-union campaign.
Two UK Government papers have been published recently on currency and the legal framework of the UK and more are to follow, he said.
Mr Moore said: “We need a strong debate leading up to this most important political decision of our lives. It is essential that the Scottish Government provides better evidence for this great debate in the next 500 days.
“Scotland is facing a huge decision about its future which would change every aspect of life in our country. But each attempt by the Scottish Government to explain the irreversible change they want has hit a wall of hard facts - the case for independence based on wishful thinking and assertion is simply not working.
“Leaving the UK would mean a major, irreversible change for Scotland. There is no point in glossing over that fact.
“The extended debate over the future of our currency in the past fortnight has shown the importance of serious argument and hard headed analysis. That is no less than the people of Scotland are entitled to expect.
“For our part, there will be no let up in the case for independence being tested by the positive evidence for staying in the UK.”
While the SNP administration at Holyrood wants Scotland to leave the UK, opinion polls have so far failed to show a majority in favour of this.
An opinion poll published less than a month ago put support for independence at 30%, with 51% in favour of Scotland remaining part of the UK and the remaining 19% undecided.
However a poll published at the weekend showed two-thirds of voters want both governments to negotiate a pre-referendum settlement, something the Westminster has so far rejected.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “A vote for independence means we take Scotland’s future into our own hands. Being independent means we always get the governments we vote for and that’s very important.
“There is no doubt, no doubt at all that Scotland can afford to be an independent country. No one is seriously arguing that we could not pay our way. In every year over the last 30 years people in Scotland have contributed more tax per head of population than the UK as a whole.
“We have a wonderfully diverse economy. As well as our renewable energy sector, Scotland is world leading in life sciences, food and drink, we have some of the best universities in the world. And of course we have billions of barrels of oil still to be exploited in the North Sea.”