Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Independence" moves onto backburner?

Oh dear, reality bites:
In remarks likely to dismay SNP members, Ben Thomson said Mr Salmond had told him the focus should be on making the Scottish Parliament "fiscally responsible".

Despite the SNP’s long-awaited Referendum Bill being unveiled shortly, Mr Thomson said the First Minister was "dropping the ideas of independence for a time".

The First Minister refused to contradict Mr Thomson, instead confirming winning more financial powers is a priority.

Earlier this week he said he intends to enter lengthy negotiations with the new Government over what tax-raising powers should be transferred to Scotland, with legislation being published in the autumn.

Mr Thomson holds regular discussions with Mr Salmond and has repeatedly supported Scotland being handed full tax-raising powers or independence.
Ben Thomson is a chairman of investment bank Noble Group and head of think tank Reform Scotland:
"He (Salmond) cannot say (publicly) he is going to leave independence."

"But he agrees the focus should be on fiscal responsibility. Let’s focus on what’s deliverable and what you can do for economics."
He no longer believes "independence" is "deliverable" then? Also, are we to assume, given the tone of his spokesman's replies, that the "leaking" of this news is not unwelcome to Alex Salmond?

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