Sturgeon challenge to No campaign

THE No to independence campaign has to provide its vision of the future to allow voters a genuine choice, according to Nicola Sturgeon.

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The Deputy First Minister made the first big campaign speech of the referendum year, calling on the Better Together campaign to produce an equivalent document to the SNP's white paper, Scotland's Future.

She said the choice was about two futures, and people needed detailed information to be able to compare and contrast, then decide.

The Glasgow Southside MSP, speaking at St Andrew's University, said there was a choice between growing the workforce and economy through the SNP's post-independence plan for expanding childcare, and UK austerity measures, which are projected to leave more children in poverty.

Ms Sturgeon said: "I am challenging the No campaign today to publish its equivalent of the White Paper.

"Doing so will involve them admitting to some grim possibilities, which no doubt explains their reluctance.

"It is estimated, for example, that up to 100,000 more children in Scotland will be living in poverty by 2020 if we follow the policy path Westminster is on."

She said the people need to know what additional powers, if any, the Scottish Parliament would get if Scotland votes to continue in the union.

She said: "The inconvenient truths facing the No campaign simply can't be allowed to stand in the way of the people of Scotland making a genuinely informed choice.

"The independence White Paper is now out there for people to read, scrutinise and judge.

"We need the same clarity and depth of detail from the other side, so that this debate can be taken out of the hands of politicians and put firmly where it belongs, into the hands of the Scottish people."

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