1. ITV Report

Blueprint for independence: What should you look out for?

The saltire flag Photo: ITV News Border

As the Scottish Government prepares this morning to unveil its blueprint for independence ‘Scotland’s Future: your guide to independence’, what should you look out for?

There is going to be a lot of detail on the 670-page, 170,000 word document, so a lot to wade through.

Key points:

  • Border. What effect would there be on people north and south of the Border if Scotland were independent? The SNP say there will not be border posts, their opponents have questioned that.
  • Currency. How will the SNP’s policy of being part of a Sterling zone work? The Nationalists say the pound is as much Scotland’s as the UK’s. UK ministers say it would be “unlikely” Scotland would be part of Sterling.
  • Benefits. The SNP says an independent Scotland can maintain a modern welfare state. Can it?
  • Defence. The SNP wants a non-nuclear policy while and independent Scotland is part of NATO. Is that realistic?
  • Debt. What share of the UK’s debt would an independent Scotland take up?
  • Assets. What share of UK assets would an independent make a claim to?
  • Taxes. The UK Treasury says today every Scot would face a £1,000 tax increase. The SNP dismisses this as similar to scare stories Scotland would not get Dr Who. But who – sorry for the pun – is right?
  • Taxes II. The SNP says it would cut corporation tax but how would it make up for any income to the state lost, even in the short term?
  • Timetable. The SNP says that 26 March 2016 will be the day Scotland can become independent. Their opponents say this is completely unrealistic. Who is right?
  • EU. Would Scotland automatically be a member of the EU? Senior figures in the EU have cast doubt on that. The SNP says Scotland is already a member and it would be able to join, even if there were negotiations.

So, we should look to these questions, and many others to be answered today.

There will be full coverage on ITV Border including here online in the course of today.

I will blog as much as I can and you can find me on Twitter: @petermacmahon

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