In quotes: Scottish independence white paper reaction


The Scottish government has launched its 670-page blueprint for independence, entitled Scotland's Future: Your guide to an independent Scotland, ahead of next September's referendum.

Here is a flavour of reaction to the publication of the white paper:

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland

"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."

"This is the only detailed plan for Scotland's future, and today's publication marks a decisive shift in the debate on what that future should be."

"The white paper is a work of fiction. It is thick with false promises and meaningless assertions. Instead of a credible and costed plan, we have a wish-list of political promises without any answers on how Alex Salmond would pay for them."

"The people of Scotland, who have waited a long time to hear Alex Salmond's detailed answers on what independence would look like, will be sorely disappointed today. This is not a White Paper, it's an SNP manifesto - one full of gaping holes where the costs should be."

"Still the Deputy First Minister cannot guarantee Scots what currency they would have for their wages, their mortgages, their pensions and their savings. She says that if Scotland isn't allowed to keep the pound we will default on our debts. The SNP are asking for a divorce but want to keep the joint bank account - and Plan B is to do a runner."

"People will draw their own conclusions that the Scottish Government have deliberately sought to ignore the uncertainties and difficulties of independence. We are simply expected to believe that everything will be perfect after we leave the UK. We are asked to accept that ending a 300 year United Kingdom will be straightforward. We are told it will all be alright on the night."

"Scotland's Future is an exciting, informative and insightful vision of what an independent Scotland will be, without the controls, mistakes and unwanted, one-size-fits-all policies of Westminster governments."

"The white paper is a hefty document that deserves serious consideration. It's simply not credible for Better Together campaigners to dismiss it out of hand within seconds of the launch."

"The SNP have the power to deliver better childcare now but their message to our children is: you will not get what you need until we get what we want."

"Our members have been pressing for responses to many key questions on independence that we have put to the Scottish government and we will study this white paper closely to decide how far it answers businesses' questions."

"We are interested to note that the Scottish government doesn't propose increasing the size or altering the structure of the Scottish Parliament. It is imperative that any new constitution ensures sufficient checks and balances exist in the legislative process."

"The Family and Childcare Trust welcomes the commitment to increasing the number of hours of free nursery education to 1,140 hours per year (30 hours per week in term time) up from 600 hours per year promised in the 2013 legislation."

"Some business owners will, no doubt, feel that today's document does not address their concerns. Others might now ask of the parties advocating further devolution, stopping short of independence, for similar detail."

"I am confident that, as more and more people become engaged in the debate and learn about the unique opportunities that a Yes vote promises, the more they will see that independence makes sense for them, their families and our country."

"The most striking thing about the SNP's White Paper is the length. At 670 pages the devil will be in the detail. A more cynical view is that it was written in the knowledge that the average voter won't get further than the key points of the introduction."

"The first obvious concern to the engineering manufacturing sector is the apparent haste with which the first independent parliament would ditch Trident with the consequent loss of employment. Add to that the large number of secondary jobs within the supporting supply chain and you will create a massive group of highly skilled jobseekers."

"We need a comprehensive road map that shows where the country is going and an economic stability that gives business leaders the confidence to plan 10 years ahead, not just lurch from year to year as many companies have done recently."

"As part of the UK we are optimally placed to maximise the potential of the North Sea for years to come. Economies of scale mean that tax breaks and decommissioning relief worth billions are attracting new investment into the province. I don't believe such a level of influence would be possible if Scotland was independent."

"Although most of the ideas and positions set out in the paper are already quite familiar, the commitment to establishing a National Convention on Employment and Labour Relations is interesting and of particular relevance to the STUC."

"Given that the White Paper does not set-out a Plan B for currency should both sides fail to negotiate currency union, it raises the question of whether there would be a moral obligation to hold another referendum prior to independence, should plans for a currency union fall through."

"The Scots people are not daft and we will question Alex Salmond's vision, but we're not going to have wool pulled over our eyes by a No fear campaign. Both sides need to set out their vision for what Scotland looks like in ten, twenty years and provide the evidence base to justify those claims."