Sturgeon poses 50 ‘crunch’ questions if vote is No

DEPUTY First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has issued 50 questions to the No campaign as she challenged unionists about their plans for Scotland if independence is rejected.
Nicola Sturgeon has demanded answers on a range of issues. Picture:  Neil HannaNicola Sturgeon has demanded answers on a range of issues. Picture:  Neil Hanna
Nicola Sturgeon has demanded answers on a range of issues. Picture: Neil Hanna

Ms Sturgeon called on the Better Together campaign to set out its plans for more devolution for Holyrood in the event of a No vote in the referendum on 18 September.

Anti-independence campaigners and the UK government should answer the question of “what new powers is Holyrood guaranteed?” if the SNP is defeated in the referendum, Ms Sturgeon said, while anti-independence campaigners should also unveil a plan for the future of public services if Scots opt to remain part of the UK.

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She called for a detailed plan of the funding arrangements for Holyrood through the annual block grant from Westminster.

Ms Sturgeon’s attack on the No campaign yesterday came after a speech last week in which she said the Yes campaign is looking to convince “traditional Labour” supporters to back independence.

Her 50 questions included a call for a guarantee about the UK’s ongoing membership of the European Union, on future debt levels and military strength.

Anti-Independence campaigners were also challenged to say whether the UK would be one of the “most unequal countries in the developed world” and how they would ensure Westminster does not “ignore” the views of Scottish MPs.

Ms Sturgeon said the No campaign should also set out its own version of the SNP government’s white paper that presented the Nationalists’ blueprint for leaving the UK. She said: “The Scottish Government has published a detailed, 670-page guide to an independent Scotland, including answers to 650 questions. In the interests of a fair, balanced and fully informed debate, it is essential that there is an equivalent amount of detail from those arguing for a No vote.

“Therefore, those leading the anti-independence campaign have a responsibility to answer the crunch questions such as by how much will Scotland’s budget be cut if there is a No vote, will the UK remain in the European Union, and how much more of Scotland’s money would be wasted on Trident nuclear weapons that we neither want not need?”

However, Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said: “Nicola Sturgeon has something of a cheek demanding answers from the No campaign when her own side has failed so miserably to answer the very many questions put to them about vital matters including the currency, EU membership and business regulation.”