SCOTLAND in Union have called for a “Truth Commission” to be considered during a second independence referendum campaign.

The anti-independence lobby group said such an initiative could help test the accuracy of claims made by rival sides in the lead up to the vote. It put forward the proposal in its submission to MSPs considering the Scottish Government Referendum Bill.

Writing to members of the constitution committee, Scotland in Union made reference to the 2014 plebiscite, stating: “In 2014, in key areas such as the currency, the future of the NHS, North Sea oil projections and basic economics, the public were let down by some politicians and campaign groups who indulged in ‘post-truth politics.’ Many of these are still disputed.”

It continued: “One solution might be for both campaigns to agree to an independent and qualified ‘Truth Commission’ to act as an unimpeachable factchecker to review and arbitrate on areas of dispute. This independent panel of experts could be agreed by both sides to adjudicate on behalf of the Scottish people.”

Tommy Sheppard, the SNP MP, hit out at the group’s suggestion, pointing out a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up after apartheid in South Africa.

He criticised the use of a similar term in the Scottish constitutional debate. “To try and pretend the civic debate in Scotland about how we should be governed is akin to racist apartheid South Africa is shocking really,” he said.

“The point about independence is that people have got political control over their own affairs and over what happens.”

On the promises made by the anti-independence side in 2014 – which included vote No to stay in the EU – he continued: “Pretty much every major promise the Pro-Union side made in 2014 has been betrayed, staying in the European Union being the main one.”

In its submission the Electoral Commission said it must be allowed to assess the question put to voters in any future independence referendum and has urged amendments the bill.

The First Minister has said she wants another independence vote by 2021, but this could be set back by the watchdog wanting to assess the wording “regardless of whether the commission has previously published views on the question proposed”.

The Bill argues if a question has already been analysed by the Electoral Commission then it would not have to be assessed again.

Under the current plans, the commission would be excluded from assessing the question used in 2014: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

But the watchdog’s submission said: “The commission firmly recommends that it must be required to provide views and advice to the Scottish Parliament on the wording of any referendum question included in legislation under this proposed framework, regardless of whether we have previously published our views on the proposed wording.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The 2014 referendum question was proposed by the Electoral Commission and provides a clear precedent for a simple, straightforward and understandable question.”