Alex Salmond reveals date for Scottish independence blueprint

Alex Salmond delivers his address to the Scottish National Party conference in Perth
Alex Salmond delivers his address to the Scottish National Party conference in Perth Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond challenged the Prime Minister to a debate today as he revealed that his blueprint for independence would be published next month.

Speaking at his SNP's annual conference in Perth, he said:

Here's the deal, Prime Minister. We'll publish the white paper, then you and I must debate. Prime Minister to First Minister. The choice is yours. Step up to the plate - or step out of this debate.

The white paper, which will make the case for Scotland to leave the UK, will be made public on Tuesday November 26.

Voters in Scotland will decide if the country remains part of the UK in a referendum in 11 months' time.

ITV News correspondent Martin Geissler reports:

Mr Salmond told party activists with that crunch vote now less than a year away they were the "independence generation".

He said: "As we move into this crucial year for Scotland we accept, indeed relish, the challenge to furnish the people of Scotland with the information necessary to assess the opportunities of independence."

Mr Salmond said the paper would "spell out" what would happen between the referendum and Scotland becoming independent in spring 2016, if there was a 'Yes' vote.

It will also "set out the why of independence" and reveal the SNP's "vision of Scotland", he said.

Deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon watches as party leader Alex Salmond delivers his address
Deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon watches as party leader Alex Salmond delivers his address Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Mr Cameron has already refused to take part in a televised debate with Mr Salmond, pointing out that he will not be able to vote in the referendum.

Salmond branded the Prime Ministers refusal to debate with him "untenable", claiming Mr Cameron had "promised a respectful debate" but had then turned the "full guns of the Whitehall machine on Scotland".

He also pledged that an SNP government would axe the Coalition government's so-called Bedroom Tax, and "bring the Royal Mail back into public hands".

He also said that an SNP government would ensure that the minimum wage rises by the rate of inflation "at the very least".

"Never again will wages of the lowest paid in Scotland fail to keep up with the cost of living," he added.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar said Mr Salmond "didn't have a single thing to say about people's lives today" claiming his speech was "just empty promises about an imagined world after independence".

"Scotland remains on pause while the nationalists dream up goodies for the referendum campaign that they know they won't have to deliver on," he added.

Read: A year from the Scotland referendum is a long time in politics