NICOLA Sturgeon’s office has repeatedly refused to say if voters will get the same amount of time to study the new prospectus for independence as they did for the last one. 

The First Minister, who wants Indyref2 held on October 19 next year if it is legally possible, has insisted she wants the electorate’s choice to be a “fully informed one”.

However her official spokesman was today unable to say when all the papers in the Building a New Scotland prospectus would emerge or even how many there are.

Crucially, he was unable to say if all parts would be out by Christmas, allowing 10 months for voters to consider them before Ms Sturgeon’s preferred date for Indyref2.

The 650-page White Paper on independence came out 10 months before the 2014 vote.

He said: “We’ll be publishing more of the prospectus series of papers... in due course. 

“I don’t have a timescale for that because I don’t.”

Asked how many papers were planned, he said: “I don’t have an actual number I can give you. There’s still quite a number to come. Sorry, I don’t have a total to give you.”

Pressed on why there was no schedule for the prospectus when Ms Sturgeon had set October 2023 as her preferred date, he said: “We’ll publish them as soon as they’re ready.

“There’s work going on within government to make sure that they are ready.

“Obviously in 2013, 2014... the referendum was held in September 2014 and the White Paper that preceded that was published in November 2013.

"So that was 10 months before, and that was everything in the one document published 10 months before.

“So on that timeline we’re already ahead of things because we’ve published a substantial amount of information already.”

When this was queried and he was asked if the Government intended to publish all the papers by Christmas in order to leave the same 10-month period before a vote, the spokesman replied: “This is getting a bit silly.” 

Pressed again on whether the papers would be out by Christmas, the spokesman said: “That wasn’t my point. My point was that 10 months before the vote in 2014 zero wards had been published in terms of the White Paper. Zero.

"Fully a year ahead of the proposal October date, we have published thousands of words, zero versus thousands.

"That's my point.”

Ms Sturgeon has said she wants Indyref2 held next October if the UK Supreme Court rules Holyrood can stage it under its existing powers, without Westminster’s consent.

If the court rules Holyrood cannot proceed, Ms Sturgeon has said she will fight the next general election as a ‘de facto’ referendum on the single question of independence.

Scottish Labour said this week that the election would be a referendum on the Tory government not independence, and the SNP would be irrelevant.