CHAOS threatened to engulf the ‘No Campaign’ on Thursday as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office became the latest arm of the Westminster Government to admit its own anti-independence case was based on false assertions.
Anti-independence politicians have frequently claimed that an independent Scotland would need to renegotiate 14,000 treaties that the UK is signatory to, with the figure featuring prominently in the recently published opinion paper on Scottish independence commissioned by the Westminster Government.
However in a new response to a parliamentary question, the Westminster Government admitted that it has no idea how many treaties the UK is a party to, but many of the 14,000 treaties that they had previously highlighted have terminated or were concluded on behalf of former colonies.
The FCO’s admission undermining the Westminster Government’s position comes hot on the heels of revelations that the Treasury has been left scrambling to alter a much-delayed publication which had been set to base its case against an independent Scotland on the UK’s triple-A credit rating which has now been lost.
Commenting, Angus SNP MP Mike Weir said: “The Westminster Government has been caught out - this is farcical scaremongering.
“Westminster’s own paper on independence claimed Scotland would need to renegotiate these 14,000 treaties despite vast numbers of them being irrelevant - many were concluded by the UK on behalf of a former colonial territory, or indeed refer to countries that no longer exist.
“Now they have had to come clean and admit that their claims are baseless.
“People in Scotland will no doubt be glad to learn that Westminster is no longer trying to claim that an independent Scotland needs to sign new treaties on the Costa Rica Packet or to draw up Canada’s borders.
“Things are going from bad to worse for the anti-independence campaign this week, as claim after claim is revealed to be based on false assertion.
“The dangers of basing a campaign on nothing but scaremongering are clearly coming home to roost for the anti-independence camp.”