Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore has done a special half hour webcast to make the case for Scotland staying in the UK. He was asked, among other things, about why the UK Government weren’t pre-negotiating the terms of independence:
I don’t want to see independence so I’m not in the best frame of mind for sitting down and working out what independence would look like. I understand that people want to have a flavour of the issues that are at stake and that is being answered by our papers in the Scotland Analysis programme. As Secretary of State for Scotland I’m not in a position to negotiate with the rest of the UK against Scotland. We have responsibilities for the whole country not just a part of it.
We can say what the questions would be and be clear that they would get resolved after independence but people can weigh up their significance in the meantime.
He added that there is so much confusion even within the Yes camp on issues like the currency that that would add an even more difficult dimension to any negotiations. If Scotland were to vote for independence, he said that all of Scotland’s parties would have to contribute their views to the negotiating process.
He said that as a Liberal Democrat he was confident that further devolution would happen in the event of a no vote, with politicians and civil society working on a consensus as they did prior to the establishment of the Scottish Parliament.
And on the SNP’s constant assertions that everything will be fine, he said:
Being confident that everything will be alright on the night is not a strategy or insurance policy that most people would buy into.
You can watch the whole interview here.