Holyrood Parliament

 

A resumé of remarks and comments and pointers to articles about the Scottish Independence Referendum.

People living in Scotland are invited to vote in the referendum on independence from the United Kingdom on 18 September 2014. The referendum question is “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Whether you intend voting Yes or No to that question, your views, and those of others, have a place here. We invite comments and we also invite you to write about what you think by using our Submit your Story feature here.

Edinburgh is clearly at the epicentre of what will happen either way so we think it is an important matter for our city as well as our country.

Today the chat is about the plans for currency union and the date for independence which is now known. In the event of a Yes vote independent Scotland will be born  on 24 March 2016. There is some significance as this date is the anniversary of both the Union of the Crowns in 1603 and of the signing of the Acts of Union in 1707.

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Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that the SNP’s plan for a currency union has all the problems of the Eurozone and that a separate Scotland “could not force the UK into a currency union against its will.”
Mr Brown said that he has entered the debate on currency as he “cannot now be silent when the future of our country is at stake”.

The important intervention comes after the First Minister of Wales says he would be against the rest of the UK entering into a currency union with a separate Scotland as it would not be in the best interests of the people of Wales. The Chancellor and Shadow Chancellor have also said that a currency union would be unlikely.
A Better Together spokesperson said:-“Gordon Brown demolishes the SNP’s argument that an independent Scotland could somehow force a foreign government into a currency union. It is a ludicrous argument and the former Prime Minister has exposed it as such.
“This is a significant intervention from the man who ruled out the UK adopting the Euro because a currency union wouldn’t work in the interests of the UK.
“We have independent economists, the Chancellor, the Shadow Chancellor, the First Minister of Wales, the former Chancellor and now the former Prime Minister saying that a currency union after independence is unlikely and would not work. The nationalists can’t keep telling us that everything will work out in the end just because they say so. If the White Paper doesn’t provide a credible position on what currency we would use if we separated from the rest of the UK then it won’t be worth the expensive paper it’s written on.”
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Scotland will become an independent country on Thursday 24th March 2016 in the event of a vote for independence in next year’s referendum.
The proposed date of independence is included in the Scottish Government’s white paper which will be published on Tuesday next week.The document, the most detailed and comprehensive blueprint for an independent country ever published, runs to 670 pages and more than 170,000 words.

It sets out, in five parts and over the course of 10 chapters, the independence prospectus on which people will vote in the referendum on September 18th next year.

The guide – with an initial print-run of 20,000 copies, but which will be made available to everyone who requests a copy – has been designed to be as accessible and reader-friendly as possible. It has been produced in tablet size, to make it as easy to read in hard copy as on a kindle, iPad or tablet. It will also be available to download as an e-book. A summary document will also be available in print and online.

Previewing the launch of the paper, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“This guide to an independent Scotland will be the most comprehensive and detailed blueprint of its kind ever published, not just for Scotland but for any prospective independent country.

“It is a landmark document which sets out the economic, social and democratic case for independence. It demonstrates Scotland’s financial strengths and details how we will become independent – the negotiations, preparations and agreements that will be required in the transition period from a vote for independence in September next year to our proposed Independence Day of 24th March 2016 and in time for the first elections to an independent Scottish Parliament in May of that year.

“The guide describes what a newly independent Scotland will look like. It illustrates how the powers of independence can be used to benefit individuals, families, communities and the nation as a whole – and it answers a range of detailed questions that we have been asked.

“The document contains two categories of policy choice. Firstly, the choices that we will negotiate in the transition period – as the government leading negotiations – and which will therefore provide the starting point for an independent Scotland. And secondly, the policy choices that we will make if this administration forms the Government of an independent Scotland from May 2016. That section recognises, indeed embraces, the point that the choice of government and therefore of future policy is for the people of Scotland to make.”

The Deputy First Minister added:-“The white paper has economic growth, jobs and fairness at its heart. The route to a successful Scotland is greater economic growth that benefits all and which supports greater participation – particularly amongst women – in the workplace and the economy as a whole.

“Ensuring that work pays, for example through a decent minimum wage, is central to our economic and social approach. We won’t succeed and reach our full potential as long as we are locked into an unbalanced Westminster-controlled economy that disproportionately benefits one region and one section of society.

“The white paper will set out the strong economic position that an independent Scottish Government will inherit, but it will also be very clear that the key to long-term prosperity is sustainable economic growth.

“It is a document designed, above all, for the public.

“Our message to the people of Scotland is simple: read it, compare it with any alternative future for Scotland and make up your own mind.

“The document is very deliberately designed to be accessible and readable and it will be widely available to the public, with further details being made public in due course. It will be available in e-book format as well as hard copy. We want as many households in Scotland as possible to have a copy.

“The white paper will now be the document that drives the independence debate. It sets out the vision and the only detailed plan on offer to the people of Scotland. With this guide providing the positive case for a vote in favour of independence, the dynamic of the debate will decisively shift with its publication.”

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The Edinburgh Reporter will round up the variety of views we find across all media as often as we can.

This may be a daily article if there is a lot of chat about the independence referendum, or less frequently if we have too much else to do. If you would like to write about your views on independence then please feel free to submit your article using the Submit your Story feature here.  The Edinburgh Reporter does not have a stance on the independence question, but hopes to help you make your mind up about the vote on 18 September 2014 by providing as much unbiased coverage as possible.

There are two main websites where you can obtain further information:-

Yes Scotland can be found here http://www.yesscotland.net

Better Together has a website here http://bettertogether.net