Scotland's independence plan outlined
(AFP) Scotland's regional government on Tuesday unveiled details of how it would operate as an independent country if its voters choose to split from the United Kingdom in next September's referendum.
Here are the main points in the document, known as a white paper:
- Scotland would continue using the pound as its currency, but London has said this would not necessarily be possible.
- It would claim a large share of the revenues from North Sea oil and gas reserves, with 90 percent lying in Scottish waters.
- The Bank of England would remain as Scotland's central bank and lender of last resort. Scotland would take on a share of British debt.
- Corporation tax would be cut by three percent and air passenger duty by 50 percent. There would be no rise in the basic rate of tax. Minimum wage would rise in line with inflation.
DEFENCE AND FOREIGN POLICY
- An independent Scotland would no longer host Britain's Trident submarine-based nuclear weapons, the white paper says -- a highly contentious issue. The weapons would be removed in the first parliament.
- Scotland would have its own defence force as well as new intelligence and security agencies.
- It would remain a member of the European Union and NATO, and open up to 90 embassies and consulates worldwide.
- Scotland would keep Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch as part of a new, written constitution.
- There would be 30 hours of free childcare a week for every three- and four-year-old.
- Scotland would scrap Britain's controversial "bedroom tax" -- a cut in welfare payments to public housing tenants who are deemed to have a spare bedroom -- which was introduced in April.
- A new Scottish Broadcasting Service would replace the BBC as national broadcaster.