Scotland's Independence - The Scottish Government's Vote For Independence

The Road To Independence

The Scottish Government's Proposal

The Edinburgh Agreement which was signed on 15 October 2012 between the Westminster Government and the Ministers responsible for Scotland, lays out the arrangements for a referendum on separation of Westminster from the Scottish Parliament.

Clarity of Purpose

What exactly does 'independence' mean? The SNP has not defined its meaning with complete clarity. The present SNP leader Alex Salmond, echo's John Swinney's statement in 2001 that he wants Scotland to be 'a normal independent country' ¹. But what is the reality of independence?

Many questions need to be answered and it is the intention of this website to put forward the views, facts and legal implications prior to the vote on Scotland's independence due to take place on September 18th 2014.

What are the key functions of a state? What difference would independence make? How much greater would Scotland's autonomy be? William Wallace, Professor in International Relations at the London School of Economics, sums up the core functions of the state as the following:
The preservation of internal order, the maintenance of national boundaries and the defence of national territory against foreign attack; the provision of 'legitimate' government, through an established and well-ordered state apparatus, equipped with the symbols and institutions needed to 'represent' the nation and to give its citizens a sense of welfare, to reinforce this sense of national community; and the promotion of national prosperity - which in the Keynesian era became the purist of balanced and sustained economic growth (Wallace 1997: 33).
Scottish Patriots RememberenceThe question then becomes how much autonomy states have in the modern globalised and independent economy. The idea of the national state in Western Europe as the scene of social and political identity was central to the French revolution, and developed in the nineteenth century. The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed the gradual demise of the state, instigated and assisted by the European Community (McCormick 1999: 125)

Does the SNP want to create an independent Scotland based on a nineteenth century model of the nation-state? Does it want to establish its own network of embassies, its own foreign policy, its own armed forces, and its own currency? Or is it more of a European federalist party? There are conflicting tendencies within the SNP. Some would like an independent Scotland to be a completely different country - even outside the European Union. Others do not want it to change much at all and would like to keep pensions, the National Health Service, and the Queen. At the very least, an independent Scotland would distinguish itself from its current form in three ways.

  1. The Scottish state would have exclusive or overriding legislative and judicial power, that is the power to make the laws for and interpret the laws of the land.
  2. The Scottish state would have exclusive power over levying taxes and public spending
  3. The Scottish state could enter into, renegotiation, and revoke international treaties.
The problem is that in an increasingly inter-dependent world [] the idea of national sovereignty has been diminished. Even a much larger player like the United Kingdom cannot, for example, unilaterally negotiate an external trade agreement with a third country that bypasses the European Union. An independent Scotland would be even more constrained by the economic realities. Scotland would not obtain exclusive control of its fisheries industry or farming policy if it achieved sovereign statehood within the European Union. Building on more than 30 years of European integration, the reinforced and recognised the gradual erosion of all traditional core functions of the West European states. No longer would Member States have sole control over national territory and borders, police, citizenship and immigration, currency, taxation, financial transfers, management of the economy, promotion of industry, representation and accountability, foreign policy and defence.

The purpose of this website is not to offer an opinion on the approach of the withdrawal or a grant of independence for Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom. Rather, it assumes that such an event might come about and then proceeds to examine what would be entailed by such an event. Many of these questions are frequently raised in British political debate. A high degree of uncertainty surrounds all predictions as to the future consequences - political, economic, and social. How much of the national debt would be assigned to Scotland upon independence? Would Scotland inherit membership of the ? Would Scots still be free to live and work in England, and visa versa? These and many other questions will be addressed on this site. It is not a comprehensive account but it's goal is to be very detailed. Helping the general public understand more about the long term implications of being an independent country. The publication of this website is neutral on the desirability of independence and its author has no political affiliation, nor opinion on whether independence is a good or not so good event. It is not a party political site and is produced as a technical and expert contribution to the independence debate. Some posts and articles may appear to be biased and they are published in order to provide the larger view of its contributors as it evolves. Where the site author can see a technical or legal issue with a 3rd party post; that post would be commented upon or referenced for the reader to formulate their own opinion.