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Honesty is key from SNP

No matter the torturous route that took us here, Scotland is now in a more honest and clear place with regard to its relationship to Europe should the country vote for independence in the 2014 referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon is to be applauded for the manner in which she bowed to the inevitable and admitted that an independent Scotland would need to negotiate its position within Europe, and that those negotiations will probably be more complicated than the rather bland assurances the SNP has given until now.

But, as the Deputy First Minister argues elsewhere in these pages, no-one is seriously suggesting that Scotland would not be welcome to remain as part of the EU. In that regard, this is a non-issue.

That is not to say, however, that there are no lessons to be learned from the trouble which has engulfed the SNP because of its vagueness over both the legal advice it did not receive on European membership and the negotiations which it expected to follow after a 2014 Yes vote.

There are, in fact, an almost endless list of questions the pro-union camp can raise, like the European one, regarding the detail of an unprecedented situation. There will be few definitive answers.

The SNP needs to be absolutely honest when it is impossible to foresee how certain issues will play out. A vote for independence will always be to some extent a leap of faith. Scots must be trusted to weigh up the benefits of that leap for themselves.

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