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- DescriptionThe UK Government is undertaking a major cross-government programme of analysis prior to the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. The aim is to provide a comprehensive and detailed analysis of Scotland's place in the UK. This paper, the first of a series to be published in 2013 and 2014, examines the UK's constitutional set-up and the legal implications of independence. The UK Government is convinced that the current devolution offers the best for Scotland: the Scottish Parliament and Government are empowered to take decisions on a range of domestic policy areas - such as health, education, policing - while Scotland continues to benefit from decisions made for the UK as a whole - defence and security, foreign representation, ecomic affairs. Independence is very different to devolution. Based on independent expert opinion (published as Annex A), the paper concludes that if there were to be a vote in favour of leaving the UK, Scotland would become an entirely new state whilst the remainder of the UK would continue as before, retaining the rights and obligations of the UK as it currently stands. Any separation would have to be negotiated between both governments. Legal and practical implications of independence, both at home and abroad, are addressed. An independent Scotland would have to apply to and/or negotiate to become a member of whichever international organisations it wished to join, including the EU and NATO. Scotland would also have to work through its positions on thousands of international treaties to which the UK is currently party.
- Author(s)Great Britain: Scotland Office
- Date of Publication11/02/2013
- SubjectPolitics: General & Reference
- Series TitleCm.
- Series Part/Volume Number8554
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- Height300 mm
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