SNP Must “Open the Books”, Says Brown
A clear majority of Scots do not believe the SNP has given them enough facts about independence in order to make a fully informed choice on whether to leave the Union, a new poll by Our Scottish Future reveals today.
Nearly 60% said they did not have enough information at their disposal on independence, the poll shows.
And when asked about the key issues that will be affected by Scotland’s departure from the United Kingdom such as the English border, Scotland’s security arrangements, tax, currency, EU membership, and UK negotiations, fewer than a third of Scots say they feel confident about knowing what would likely happen.
Today, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown declares that the SNP must “open the books” and warns that the SNP Government cannot be both judge and jury when setting out the case for an independent nation.
Instead, he argues that the SNP should be prepared to open its case up to public scrutiny through parliamentary hearings.
Today’s poll – taken over the same weekend that people voted on May 6th – also assessed people’s priorities in the wake of the election.
Delivering a second referendum on independence was ranked 5th for SNP voters – below NHS catch up, reducing COVID, protecting and generating jobs and eliminating poverty.
Among “middle Scotland” – the 40% of voters identified by Our Scottish Future who are open minded on the question of independence and the Union – preparing for a second referendum was bottom on the list of priorities.
On the facts of independence, the poll asked people: “Do you believe that campaigners for independence have given enough information about what Scotland would be like if it became independent (eg: on currency, taxation, legal rights, EU membership, the border) for you to make a fully informed choice at a future referendum?
A total of 58% said No. Only 30% said Yes. The remaining 12% said they did not know. Among those strongly in favour of independence, 66% said they had enough facts, but 24% said they did not. But of “middle Scotland” voters, 60% said they did not feel they had enough information.
Mr Brown says today that the SNP should commit to public hearings in both the Westminster and Holyrood parliaments, so that MSPs and MPs are able to call experts on currency, finance, borders, and the EU, to get the facts on the table.
“Middle Scotland’s support for the SNP and for independence is conditional – and they are now asking the SNP for honesty, for openness and for getting the facts on the table. It is time for the SNP to open the books.”
“When even a quarter of committed independence supporters agree we don’t know enough to make an informed choice on independence, surely the onus is on the SNP to come clean?”
“I believe that it is time for the SNP to agree to hold public hearings on what independence means for everything from the pound to the pension.”
“Whether they are Yes, No, or undecided, people deserve to know the truth – from maintaining the Union, to reforming and renewing it, to leaving it altogether.”
The poll also asked voters to set out their top three priorities going forward. “NHS catch up” was the most popular, followed by “reduce COVID/vaccines”, “protect and generate jobs”, “education catch up” and “reopen economy”.
“Prepare for a second independence referendum” was 8th on the list. Among middle Scotland, it was bottom, and even among SNP voters, it came in fifth.
1,000 Scots were polled by Stack Data Strategy between the 7th and 8th of May 2021. Responses were weighted to census figures on age, gender, education level, and recorded 2021 vote in the Scottish Parliamentary elections .