Transition To An Independent Scotland Outlined

Scotland's process of transition to an independent country following a 'Yes' vote in next year’s historic referendum has been outlined in a paper published today by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The publication, which sets out the steps required to establish the solid constitutional platform that would give the Scottish Government elected in May 2016 the powers to build a newly independent Scotland, comes just days after the Electoral Commission called on both sides of the campaign to set out the process following the referendum.

The paper outlines a transition timetable, with independence day scheduled for March 2016, immediately ahead of the May 2016 Scottish parliament election. This is in line with international precedent – of the 30 countries around the world that have become independent since 1945 following a referendum, the average length of time between the referendum and independence day has been approximately 15 months.

The Deputy First Minister said the publication, which is the first in a series of information papers to be released ahead of the independence white paper in the autumn, was an important contribution to the debate on what will happen after the historic 2014 vote.

Today’s publication – "Scotland’s Future: from the referendum to independence and a written constitution' – sets out plans for:

•An orderly and co-operative transition process between 2014 and 2016;

•The constitutional platform for an independent Scotland, with independence day itself in March 2016, immediately prior to the Scottish Parliament election campaign;

•Representatives of other parties and wider civic Scotland to be invited to join the Scottish Government in negotiating and agreeing the independence settlement;

• A written constitution, drafted by a new constitutional convention for Scotland, involving the people of Scotland and a wide range of interests from across Scotland’s institutions and civic society.

Ms Sturgeon called on the UK Government to adhere to the Electoral Commission’s recommendations by agreeing to early discussions about how Scotland will move forward following the referendum, with this publication providing a solid basis for those discussions

The Deputy First Minister said: "An independent Scotland is not an end in itself, rather it offers us an opportunity to build the kind of country we all want to see – an outward looking, prosperous and successful nation that reflects the values of fairness, enterprise and opportunity.

"Next year's referendum will allow the people of Scotland to seize that opportunity – and a 'Yes' vote will give civic Scotland and our national Parliament an unprecedented opportunity to build a solid constitutional platform for our country ahead of independence day in March 2016.

"Our proposals, set out today, would see this platform put in place immediately prior to the Scottish Parliament elections, to provide the newly elected Scottish Government with the full range of powers it needs to develop the country.

"Today’s paper provides the people of Scotland with a clear road map as to how Scotland would make the journey from a devolved system of government with the levers of power retained at Westminster, to a nation in which the powers of our national Parliament are complete and in which the people are sovereign."


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