The White Paper Project is an attempt by Common Weal to explore the methodology, content and structure of a revised White Paper for Scottish independence.
This project is iterative – it has no single author or group of authors but is an attempt to engage the widest possible range of expertise in Scotland in exploring how to establish a new independent nation state.
This is its first iteration and it is most certainly not a complete White Paper. There are inevitably areas which will need to be expanded and built upon and estimates of costs which will be updated as time goes on and new information becomes available. The aim is to begin discussion, to create a framework for thinking about what should be in a revised White Paper and to encourage people with individual experience to get in contact and contribute (please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
There will then be many iterations of this work, each one moving closer to a final position. Please bear with us as we gradually fill in the gaps, improve the numbers and answer more of the questions – or get involved yourself.
― This project is aimed at identifying the work that Scotland needs to do between an independence referendum and independence day to ensure that it has the infrastructure it needs to run a viable democratic country.
― It therefore does not cover aspects that are already operating and substantially devolved such as health and education.
― A National Commission should be established tasked with the creation of a Scottish State. The Commission shall be governed by a Council drawn from a cross section of civic society with no single political party, interest group or sector able to secure a majority role on the Council.
― Interim Borrowing Powers should be granted to the Commission to enable it to fund its operations and build the institutions that Scotland requires.
― The Commission shall be overseen by a Transition Commission comprised of UK and Scottish Government Ministers
― Key institutions required by an independent Scotland include: A reformed Scottish Parliament, a fully independent Scottish civil services, mechanisms for holding data on residents in Scotland, a Central Bank, a Tax Agency, A Pensions Agency, a Defence Strategy, Borders and Customs infrastructure, a Consular network and others.
― Negotiations will have to be initiated with rUK and with international bodies on issues such as debt and asset splits and membership of institutions such as the UN, NATO, the EU and others (as well as discussions with the Scottish people on whether or not to join these institutions).
― A provisional budget for the setting up of Scotland’s institutions is estimated at around £18.8 billion.