Scottish independence: would Scotland have its own constitution?

The Scottish Parliament. Picture: Kenny Smith/TSPL
The Scottish Parliament. Picture: Kenny Smith/TSPL
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THE SNP Government has pledged that a written constitution would lie at the heart of an independent Scotland’s state framework.

This would provide a “clear distinction” between the state and the government of the day and enhance trust with the people.

But SNP ministers have come under fire over the ever growing list of “day to day” policy pledges which it has claimed would be included in the constitution like free education and healthcare and protecting local government.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes such a document could help prevent Scotland getting involved in controversial military conflicts like the Iraq War.

A new constitutional convention would be set up after the first elections of an independent Scotland in 2016 to draft the document, but it would include contributions from politicians, civic society, organisations, business interests, trade unions and others.

Ms Sturgeon has said that it would be up to this convention to decide what goes in, but the Scottish Government has said it could include a commitment to free education and healthcare, as well as an end to child poverty and homelessness. A ban on nuclear weapons would also be included as well as controls on the use of military power.

The list of commitments have been branded an “uncosted wish-list of all good things” by constitutional expert Professor Adam Tomkins of Glasgow University.

“Child poverty will not be ended in Scotland or anywhere else by writing down that families have a right not to be poor,” he stated.


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• Scottish Governement document (pdf) ‘Scotland’s Future: from the Referendum to Independence and a Written Constitution