Scotland lays out plans for independence in White Paper
Alex Salmond has been ridiculed after his blueprints for Scotland’s independence were released in a 670-page White Paper.
The proposals, which include the continued use of the pound and access to the BBC for Scots, promise to create a “revolution” in Scottish society.
The White Paper was first received in Dundee, where it was hailed as “a tremendous document and a historic document” by the Scottish National Party (SNP) leader of the city’s council, Ken Guild.
As details of the paper emerged during Tuesday, Salmond’s proposals have been attacked. Salmond plans for an independent Scotland to seek to join the European Union on similar terms to the UK, with opt-out clauses concerning the euro.
The SNP have also revealed that they would be looking to continue their nuclear-free reputation with the forced ejection of Britain’s Trident fleet from their Faslane base by 2020, although Salmond has indicated that he would be willing to allow Nato countries to use its ports with nuclear-armed ships on a case-by-case basis.
The White Paper was hailed as a “wish list of political promises” by former UK Chancellor Alistair Darling. It contains no details about the cost of the establishment of a new country, which has caused some to express concern given that the Institute for Fiscal Studies released statistics last week, showing that £6bn would need to be found in order for the country to become independent.
In addition to laying out the country’s plans for independence, the paper details policies that the government will seek to introduce to enact social reforms. These include the provision of 30 hours of weekly childcare for 3-4 year olds, the abolishing of “bedroom taxes” and a raise in the minimum wage.
Mr Salmond said: “Our vision is of an independent Scotland regaining its place as an equal member of the family of nations. However, we do not seek independence as an end in itself, but rather as a means to changing Scotland for the better.”
A referendum asking the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” is set to be held in September.