Alexander: Salmond has questions to answer over EU
Alex Salmond has "questions to answer" over legal advice he sought on an independent Scotland's membership of the European Union, Danny Alexander has said.
The First Minister has referred himself for investigation into whether he breached the ministerial code, after allegations he misled the country by wrongly indicating the SNP had received advice backing up its case that Scotland would remain in the EU.
The SNP has been widely criticised for spending thousands of pounds fighting a court battle with the Information Commissioner to conceal its position on the EU legal advice – which it then transpired did not exist.
"He has to answer the question, why it was that he allowed thousands of pounds in taxpayers’ money to be invested in paying lawyers to prepare a court case to prevent him releasing legal advice that it turned out didn’t exist, on Scotland’s EU membership?" Mr Alexander told Sunday Politics.
"I think his accounting officer has questions to answer too. After all there are rules about public finances in this country, which means you shouldn’t just waste taxpayers’ money on politicians’ vanity projects. This is one of the most extraordinary episodes we’ve seen so far."
Today's Independent on Sunday claims Mr Salmond was told consistently by the Lord Advocate and the Solicitor General – Scotland’s top legal advisors - that an independent Scotland would not automatically retain European Union membership.