Independent Scotland to have Constitution, EU and NATO membership, pound sterling as currency

REPORT. The Scottish Government has today unveiled 'Scotland's Future', a 670 page document in which the executive argues why Scotland should be independent, how will the transition to full sovereignty be, and which features will the new state have. A summary of the document's key points.

Scotland's economic strength

Scotland 's Futureargues that Scotland is absolutely ready to become an independent state from the point of view of the economy. Significantly, the document stresses : "Most countries in the world generate less wealth per head than Scotland - including the UK as a whole. If Scotland cannot afford to be independent, neither can the UK.". The government believes that economic figures show that pensions and the welfare state are guaranteed. The document stresses that Scotland's energy supply is guaranteed, both because of its oil and gas reserves and its "extraordinary potential" in renewable energy.

The transition to independence

If "yes" wins the referendum, independence will be declared on 24th March 2016. During the transition period, the Scottish Government will negotiate with the United Kingdom, the European Union and "other international partners and organisations". During this period, an agreeement between Scotland and the rest of the UK should be reached on the "the approach to the assets and liabilities of the UK, the delivery of services and the position of individuals working within public services".

Membership in the EU and international organizations

The Scottish Government says that during the transition period there will be "negotiations" about "Scotland's membership" in international organizations "to which Scotland currently belongs as a component nation of the UK". The executive says that the Scottish and British governments and EU institutions "will have a shared interest" in "working together " to "transfer Scotland's EU membership from membership as part of the UK to membership as an independent member state". Scotland also plans to continue as a member of the Commonwealth, the World Trade Organization, OSCE and the OECD.

Scotland to keep the pound sterling as currency

The document states that the Fiscal Commission has been examining options for the monetary future of the country. The Fiscal Commission has concluded that "retaining sterling as part of a formal monetary union with rest of the UK will be the best option" for an independent Scotland. As there exists a "euro area", the Scottish Government believes that it is possible to create a "sterling area" with a common monetary policy led by the Bank of England.

Defence: continued NATO membership, no nuclear weapons

The document says that Scotland will remain within NATO, but without nuclear weapons in its territory. Scotland, therefore, will have an army with land, sea and air forces. The size of the armed forces will be of 15,000 people, plus 5,000 more reservists. These figures should be reached ten years after independence. The country will also keep its "defence industries", which are "an important source of employment".

Closing the "democratic deficit" and drafting a Constitution

Scotland's Futuretalks about plans to draft a Constitution, a "statement of intent of the nation", which will mean a major difference with the current state of affairs -the UK does not have a Constitution. The constitutional system -the Scottish Government argues- fits better within the Scottish political tradition than the English idea according to which Westminster has "absolute sovereignty". Independence will close the "democratic deficit" that Scotland is currently suffering because of the fact that some decisions on Scotland are still taken in Westminster, even if the UK Parliament usually has a different majority party than that of Scotland.

Language: "a secure future for Gaelic"

While no one doubts that English will remain the main language of Scotland, the document claims that the Scottish state will ensure "a secure future for Gaelic", the country's own Celtic language. The Scottish Government wants to see an increase in knowledge and use of Gaelic through its promotion within the education system.