Now that Scotland is an independent country, we present you 10 facts you probably haven’t thought about:
1.) The Scottish national flag after independence would be the cross of St Andrew. The Scottish government says it will then be up to remaining parts of the United Kingdom to decide whether to retain the Union Jack. (source)
2.) The Scottish government’s plan for independence says the Queen will be the head of state in an independent Scotland, succeeded by her heirs and successors. (source)
3.) The Scottish Government proposes that an independent Scotland will continue to use the pound and enter into a formal currency agreement with the government of the United Kingdom – as explained in this article.
The European Union
4.) Scotland will remain part of the European Union after independence. The Scottish Government proposes to agree the terms of Scotland’s continued membership of the European Union between the referendum in September and the proposed date of independence in March 2016. Even the UK government’s expert international legal adviser has accepted that this timetable is “realistic”. And Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott of Oxford University, has concluded that the transition would be “relatively smooth and straightforward”. So Scotland’s EU membership will be secure by the time we are independent. (source)
Nuclear Weapons Gone
5.) The current Scottish Government’s view (as set out in “Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland”) is that agreement would be required for the ‘speediest safe’ removal of the weapons – at some point within the first term of an independent Scottish Government. It would then be for the UK government to decide whether to rehouse the weapons elsewhere. (source)
6.) Scottish citizens will be able to apply for a Scottish passport from day one of independence, with a Scottish passport costing the same as a UK passport. On the other hand, people will be able to continue using their existing UK passport until it expires. They can then choose to get a Scottish passport when their existing passport is due for renewal, or a replacement British passport (if the individual still qualifies for one).
New Prime Minister
7.) As the Scottish first minister, and leader of the Scottish National Party, Alex Salmond, will be the leader of a new and independent Scotland. Even if a “No” vote prevails, Salmond has said that he will not step down as leader of the SNP. (source)
Bye, Bye BBC
8.) Alex Salmond wants a Scottish Broadcasting Service after a yes vote in September’s referendum; no campaigners say an independent Scotland could lose BBC programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing. (source)
A Passport to Go Between Borders of England and Scotland?
9.)The answer from the Scottish government – led by the Scottish National party, the lead campaigners for a vote for independence in September – is simple: no.
It says that, as is the case for UK citizens who travel to the Republic of Ireland now, no passport would be needed. It intends for Scotland to remain part of the Common Travel Area (CTA), which allows all citizens of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands to travel freely across those borders. (source)
Global Relationships Challenged
10.) Scotland would be a new country. We wouldn’t inherit all the international deals the UK has struck over many years, decades, and even centuries (everything from extradition and trade treaties to the International Declaration Prohibiting the Discharge of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons). So we’d have to start from scratch, negotiating to join everything from the UN to Nato. (source)
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