Scottish Independence: Salmond hails Scots prospects ahead of White Paper

Alex Salmond in front of a Saltire flag Mr Salmond said the paper will show that Scotland's public finances are healthier than the UK's

First Minister Alex Salmond has said that no country has ever been better equipped than Scotland to become independent.

Mr Salmond was speaking ahead of Tuesday's launch of the White Paper which will set out detailed plans for independence.

He said the document would put beyond dispute Scotland's capacity to be a successful, independent country.

However, opponents said the report had to be frank about the challenges ahead.

A formal meeting of the Scottish cabinet will take place at Glasgow's Science Centre on Tuesday, before the White Paper's launch, before politicians return to Edinburgh for a statement in Parliament.

Speaking ahead of the launch Mr Salmond said: "The Scottish Government is setting out plans for the future, and from Tuesday we will seek to engage the whole Scottish population in a debate about how to build a better Scotland.

"We will set out a series of reasonable proposals and ask people to judge for themselves this common-sense approach.

"The white paper will detail how Scotland's public finances are healthier than the UK's and will show that we have raised more in tax per head than the UK as a whole for every one of the last 30 years.

"As well as demonstrating these firm foundations, the white paper will put the focus of the referendum campaign firmly on Scotland's future and the issues that matters most to people - jobs, economic growth and security."

'Plan B'

But his critics say the White Paper will be judged on whether it tackles concerns over issues like the currency and longer term financial challenges.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: "In 48 hours there will be no way for Alex Salmond to escape the difficult questions," while Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign, also said a currency union was looking like a "non-starter" and called on the SNP to explain their "Plan B".

More than 200 members of the media - from across the UK, the US, Europe, China, the Middle East, Japan, Australia and Russia - have so far registered to attend the White Paper launch event, which will also be streamed online.

The guide to independence will be available online at scotreferendum.com

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