THE Scottish Government White Paper on independence talked of a bigger, better, fairer economy within the EU.

On farming and fishing, it said an independent Scotland would be better placed to negotiate advantageous changes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Common Fisheries Policy, and take a “leadership role” in reforming the latter.

It also said:

l “Independence will provide an opportunity to grow the economy more quickly, provide more opportunities for our young people to stay and build careers in Scotland and to attract skilled workers.”

l “The Scottish Government plans to use the powers of independence to achieve higher levels of growth and job opportunities.”

l “We propose early co-ordinated action to grow the economy and employment, and increase wages, for example through the promotion of a Scottish living wage and a commitment to increase the minimum wage in line with inflation.”

l “A package of employment measures designed to improve company performance and develop a greater sense of cohesion and opportunity in the workplace, including employee representation and greater female participation on company boards.”

l “Scotland will not be an accession state. We will negotiate the transition from being an EU member as part of the UK to becoming an independent member of the EU from within the EU.”

l “We propose that the pound Sterling will continue to be the currency of an independent Scotland.”

l “The economic gains of the EU need to be shared among all Europe’s citizens and the EU social agenda should protect the rights and interests of workers and families, without stifling labour markets or undermining economic competitiveness.”

l “Independence will give Scotland’s fishermen their own distinct voice in Europe, with Scotland participating at every level in the EU policy process.”

l “As an independent member state of the EU, Scotland will be negotiating as one of the foremost and most respected fishing nations in Europe. This status will give Scotland the opportunity to take a leadership role in reforming the Common Fisheries Policy to deliver fisheries management at regional and member state level.” This will involve negotiating management of fishing opportunities and securing funding for diversification of economic opportunities in our coastal communities.

l “With independence, farmers and crofters will continue to receive CAP payments. But, crucially, with independence we will also have a direct voice in the negotiations on the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy.”

l Q: Will the transition to independence disrupt CAP payments to farmers?

A: No. The administration of payments for the CAP is already conducted by the Scottish Government. As the European Commission pays CAP payments in arrears, the Scottish Government plans that an independent Scotland will underwrite payments to farmers, as Westminster does today, ensuring a smooth transition for Scottish farmers.