Carmichael Details 'Benefits' Of UK

Being part of the UK offers Scotland the "best of both worlds'', Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said as he launched a booklet about its benefits.

He said the UK brings "striking'' benefits which have served Scotland well and will continue to do so in the years ahead.

He made the comments as the 24-page booklet was published which sets out what it describes as a wide range of benefits the union brings, such as the pound, the single UK domestic market, a "vibrant and secure'' financial sector and institutions like the BBC and the National Lottery.

It also highlights the positives of devolution, with a Scottish Parliament that makes decisions on issues affecting everyday life like schools, childcare, healthcare, justice and policing.

The booklet is the latest information pack designed to provide voters with information to help them make an informed decision ahead of the Scottish independence referendum on September 18.

Mr Carmichael said: "As this booklet emphasises, being part of the UK - the greatest political and economic union the world has ever known - gives Scotland the best of both worlds.

"We have stability and certainty, jobs and opportunities. The benefits of the UK are striking, it has served us well and will continue to serve us well in the years ahead.

"The booklet outlines the positives, and the case for remaining in the UK is going from strength to strength.

"Meanwhile the Scottish Government are spending more and more time attacking and denouncing the UK whilst glossing over their lack of answers to questions that individuals, businesses and communities are asking on currency, on jobs, on the economy.''

Mr Carmichael described the Scottish Government's economic and fiscal plans as "totally threadbare'', and said their oil numbers have no credibility, while their proposed currency union has "no friends''.

He said: "Whilst we continue to work to provide the detail and the positives for why being part of the UK is best for our country, the Scottish Government must stop treating the people of Scotland like fools and get cracking with publishing a credible currency plan and credible oil and gas forecasts.''

A spokesman for Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "People in Scotland are becoming sick of this Tory-led Westminster Government talking Scotland down.

"Alistair Carmichael is merely giving a fresh lick of paint to the same old scare stories with this flimsy pamphlet.

"In contrast, the Scottish Government's 670-page plan for Scotland's future, over 100,000 of which have been distributed or downloaded, sets out an economic policy that will always put job creation in Scotland first.''

The new booklet will be shared with people and organisations across Scotland.