SNP refuse to say whether law officers said indyref bill is within Parliament powers

Responding to a freedom of information request published by The Scotsman in which the Scottish Government state that it is not in the public interest to tell the public whether law officers have said if a bill to enable a second independence referendum is within the competence of the Scottish Parliament and their refusal to release any briefing papers on the issue, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

"The public interest defence is usually used for highly sensitive material. Whether a proposed law is competent or not, does not fall into that category.

"I think this is far more about saving the minister's blushes and it’s possible the Freedom of Information request may have revealed some uncomfortable truths about the legality of their plans. The SNP are risking putting the Lord Advocate and others in a difficult spot by proceeding with something so ill-advised.

"It is very disappointing to see that during a global pandemic and a war on the European continent the SNP continues to use public money and time to further their separatist agenda and in addition be so underhand and secretive about the legality of what they are doing.

"We’ve got record waits for ambulances, operations and A&E. Bills are through the roof. People are struggling with the soaring cost of living.  All our energies and focus now must be on delivering hope for patients, for our young people and our businesses, and preparing to offer safe harbour to Ukrainian refugees.”

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