Scotland independence plan shows ‘position of strength,’

An independent Scotland would retain Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, keep the pound sterling currency, and remain within the European Union, according to a policy document presented by Scotland’s devolved government Tuesday.
The release of the draft plan — known as a white paper — comes ahead of next year’s referendum on independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The September 18 2014 referendum will allow Scots a straight yes-or-no vote on staying in the union.
If they vote yes, the country’s first independent election would be held on May 5, 2016, according to the white paper.
Releasing the “Scotland’s Future” document in Glasgow, Scotland’s First Minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond said “Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands.”
“This white paper is the most detailed blueprint that any people have ever been offered anywhere in the world as a basis for becoming an independent country,” he said.
“It puts beyond doubt that an independent Scotland would start from a position of strength — in fact become independent in more promising circumstances than virtually any other nation in history.”
But Better Together campaign leader and former British finance minister Alistair Darling said it was “a fantasy” to say Scotland could leave the UK but keep all the benefits of UK membership.
“The white paper is a work of fiction. It is thick with false promises and meaningless assertions. Instead of a credible and costed plan, we have a wish-list of political promises without any answers on how Alex Salmond would pay for them,” the Scottish lamaker said.
In his presentation, Salmond highlighted what he said was Scotland’s “underlying economic strength.”
“An independent Scotland could have the eighth-highest economic output and the tenth-highest national income per head of population in the whole of the developed world,” he said.
The plan says over the past 32 years, Scotland has contributed more tax per head of population than the UK as a whole and on independence would continue to have healthier public finances than the UK.
But the country would retain the pound sterling as its currency as part of a “formal Sterling Area,” it says.
Monarch
Other key points outlined in the paper including maintaining Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as Scotland’s official head of state.
It says an independent Scotland would have a points-based immigration system, targeted at Scotland’s particular needs and would ensure that British citizens “habitually resident” in Scotland would automatically be considered Scottish citizens.
Existing Scottish citizens would have the right but not the obligation to hold a Scottish passport.
Foreign policy
The paper says an independent Scotland would establish its own network of overseas embassies and consulates but would have a “close and constructive” relationship with the rest of the UK on many foreign policy issues.
Die Politik der Regierung ist, innerhalb der Europäischen Union zu bleiben, sagt das Papier.
“Nach einer Abstimmung für die Unabhängigkeit wird die schottische Regierung sofort versuchen Gespräche mit der Regierung von Westminster und mit den Mitgliedstaaten und Institutionen der Europäischen Union um den Prozess zu vereinbaren, wobei ein reibungsloser Übergang zur EU-Vollmitgliedschaft am Tag stattfinden kann wird Schottland ein unabhängiges Land.”
Verteidigung
Ein unabhängiges Schottland “eine baldige Einigung über die schnellsten sicheren Beseitigung der Atomwaffen eine Priorität” machen würde, sagt das Papier.
“Dies würde werden im Hinblick auf die Beseitigung von (Großbritanniens abschreckende Atomprogramm) Trident in der ersten Amtszeit des schottischen Parlaments nach der Unabhängigkeit,” sagt das Papier.
Schottland würde mit der NATO eine unabhängige und nicht-nuklearen Mitglied der Abwehr-Allianz zu verhandeln, es gesagt und würde verpflichten, eine £2.5 Milliarden ($3 .38B) Verteidigungsetat, aufbauend auf insgesamt 15.000 regelmäßigen Verteidigung Personal.
“Wir sind bereit, Vorkehrungen für die weitere Verwendung der Verteidigungsinfrastruktur in Schottland UK Kräfte und umgekehrt, zumindest für eine Übergangszeit zu verhandeln”, fügte es hinzu.
Der Act of Union trat Schottland und England 1707 und Schottland unterliegt derzeit unter dem Dach der britischen Regierung in Westminster in London, neben Wales und Nordirland.
Westminster kehrte gewisse Autonomie bei den drei Nationen und gab ihnen das Recht auf ihren eigenen Parlamenten, in den späten 1990er Jahren.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and Salmond, signed a deal in October 2012 paving the way for Scots to vote on independence from the United Kingdom.

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