£20m independence fund: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

  1. What is the Scottish Government now doing with its £20m independence fund due to the Supreme Court ruling?
  2. If they are using it for independence how are you justifying it considering the Supreme Court ruled the government cannot legally legislate for a referendum?
  3. Any correspondence (including emails, WhatsApps) between Nicola Sturgeon, her office, civil servants, other Scottish government ministers and special advisers regarding the Supreme Court independence decision from Monday 21 November to the date of this FOI.
  4. Will civil servants be continuing to work on independence-related issues despite the ruling?


1. and 2. Some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government website. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. However, in the interests of being helpful, we have provided links to the relevant material below: Scottish Budget: 2023-24 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

The Scottish Government’s 2023-4 Budget document, published on 15 December 2022, sets out the Government’s spending plans for 2023-4.

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance, exemptions under section 30(b)(i), section 36(1) (confidentiality in legal proceedings) and section 38(1)(b) (personal data of a third party) of FOISA applies to some of the information requested. The reasons why these exemptions apply is explained in Annex B of this letter. Some of the information you have requested is enclosed within Annex A of this letter. This includes redactions as explained above.

4. It is the role of the Civil Service to support the elected government of the day in developing and implementing its policies. A small number of civil servants have been involved in to the wider work on referendum legislation and other preparations for the proposed referendum. Details of individual tasks carried out by civil servants are not routinely recorded because there is no business need to do this. This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI - 202200331939 - Annex A
FOI - 202200331939 - Annex B


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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