Scotland politics

Scottish independence: UK ministers pledge to 'expose' pro-Yes claims

Saltire and union flag
Image caption The people of Scotland will vote in a referendum on independence next year

UK government ministers have pledged to "step up the pressure" and "expose" a lack of authenticity in the pro-independence campaign's arguments.

They have also said that in the coming weeks they will make the positive case for Scotland staying part of the UK.

But Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said people would not be fooled.

She added that everything about the no campaign was negative and designed to "talk down Scotland".

Ms Sturgeon said: "It was a UK minister who came to a Scottish city in 2011 and said that the independence debate would harm investment in Scotland.

"Now that this has been proved comprehensively wrong by the latest Ernst & Young report - showing the number of inward investment projects in Scotland is the highest for 15 years - and that Scotland is ranked number one for inward investment projects outside London, up from number two in last year's report, we have UK ministers now scrambling to claim credit instead."

The people of Scotland will vote in a referendum on independence when they go to the polls on Thursday, 18 September, next year.

They will be asked the straight yes/no question: "Should Scotland become an independent country?"

In a speech on Wednesday in Glasgow, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore will question whether the architects of the independence campaign are "being straight with the Scottish people".

A UK government spokesman said: "Scotland is performing well in both UK and international terms and we will produce more analysis shortly showing that the UK gives the Scottish economy a solid platform to work from.

"Meanwhile, there is a growing sense that the independence camp will now say anything and do anything to try and lure people towards a 'yes' vote. They want people to believe that independence is a lot like the UK when in fact it is about leaving the UK.

"UK ministers are going to step up the pressure in this area over the coming weeks. There is a real determination to expose this deliberate attempt to dress up independence as something else."

The UK government has produced a series of papers, putting its case for why voters in Scotland should not support independence.

It has focused on issues including currency, banking and financial services.

The Scottish government is due to publish a white paper on Scottish independence in the autumn. It has said the document will make clear its vision for a Scotland outside the UK.

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