Opposition MSPs push minister to publish Indyref2 legal advice
Opposition MSPs have been pushing for the Scottish Government to issue legal advice regarding a second independence referendum.
Ministers said they were “carefully” reviewing a decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner issued last week.
This follows a freedom of information request from The Scotsman newspaper, which asked for any legal advice provided to ministers about a second independence referendum in 2020.
Information Commissioner Daren Fitzhenry said some information could be made public by June 10, although Scottish ministers can still appeal the decision.
Mr Kerr said: ‘This Government is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds, possibly millions, on its referendum obsession and refusing to allow any of this to be open to public scrutiny.
‘Does the Minister agree that all of this is an insult to Scottish taxpayers, who are being made to pay for secret preparations for a referendum next year which they do not want?’
Mr Robertson said the government would respond within the deadlines set by the Information Commissioner. Such legal advice is subject to professional secrecy, he said.
The Constitutional Secretary added: “This is an important decision by the Commissioner. And, given that, we want to think about it carefully.
She said: ‘Does the Secretary to the Cabinet not agree that the people of Scotland, whatever their views, have a right to see this legal opinion to improve public debate in line with the Commissioner’s decision to information?
“And will he not arrange for the immediate publication of this legal advice, given its importance to all people in Scotland?”
She accused the government of having a “pattern of behavior” of hiding important advice and documents.
Mr Robertson reiterated that the decision was “meaningful” and that the government continued to review it.
He continued: “What I find quite interesting about the tone so far, both from the Labor Party and the Scottish Conservative Party, is that there seems to be a willingness to deviate from established customs and practices in legal advice.”