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27/11/13 17:43

Media Briefing – Wednesday 27 November 2013

Media Briefing by the First Minister's Official Spokesperson (FMOS) & the First Minister's Special Adviser (FMSA).

FMOS welcomed journalists to the briefing and highlighted that the First Minister would be visiting a nursery school in Edinburgh to set the scene for the debate in the Scottish Parliament later today.

The FMOS advised that further information would be provided to journalists in the name of the Finance Secretary John Swinney following the debate on Scottish independence.

Asked if a Europe policy paper would be published today, the FMSA advised there would be a Europe policy paper and would check when it was being published.

FMSA was asked if there would be a follow up paper to Scotland’s Future that would highlight the cost of independence. FMSA advised that Scotland already paid its fair share of services and resources – both devolved and reserved – and an independent Scotland also stands to inherit its fair share of shared UK assets.

FMSA was asked if the policy of charging university fees to English students would continue in an independent Scotland. FMSA responded the current policy, which is aimed at protecting free university education for students living in Scotland, would continue and to contact Communications Smarter for further information.

FMSA was asked if the Honours system would continue in an independent Scotland. FMSA advised they would as a wide range of people received Honours and Scotland would remain part of the Commonwealth.

FMSA was asked about the policy of an independent Scotland not asking whether nuclear weapons are stored on board the naval vessels of allied nations docking in Scotland. FMSA advised that the Scottish Government would work to remove the permanent residence of Trident and that the policy with regard to temporary docking of other vessels was similar to that in other NATO countries.