Everyone in Scotland will be asked to have their say on a draft Bill which will set out how an independent Scotland will be governed, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today.
The draft Scottish Independence Bill is now open for public consultation and includes details on how an independent Scotland could prepare a permanent written constitution in a fully participative process led by the people.
The Bill also sets out immediate arrangements for independence – such as the role of government, human rights and the rule of law - and would form the interim written constitution.
The fundamental principle underpinning the Bill is that the people are sovereign – rather than Parliament, as is the case in the UK. The United Kingdom is the only country in the European Union, and the only country in the Commonwealth, which does not currently have a written constitution or Constitution Act.
The interim constitution proposes an obligation to advance towards nuclear disarmament, the strengthening of human rights protection, the safeguarding of the wellbeing of children and protection for the particular needs of local government and island communities.
SNP MSP, Colin Beattie said:
“The UK is one of very few countries in the world without a written constitution to protect the rights of its citizens.
“The whole point of independence is to create a fairer, more prosperous country built by the people who care most about Scotland – the people who live here.
“A written constitution, written by the people to protect the people, will lay the foundations for that transition.
“I urge all on both sides of this campaign to make their views known so that we can ensure that the constitution for an independent Scotland is fully representative of Scotland and its citizens.”