The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: Unanswered Questions - Scottish Affairs Committee Contents

1  Introduction

The inquiry

1.  On 12 October 2011, we launched two separate inquiries simultaneously on the proposed Referendum on Separation for Scotland. The first of these inquiries focuses primarily on the process and mechanics by which such a referendum would be organised and conducted. The second inquiry focuses on the many unanswered questions which will need to be addressed if the voters of Scotland are to make an informed choice when they are invited to vote in a referendum- potentially in the Autumn of 2014.[1]

2.  This short report will focus on the second of the two inquiries- namely the substantive policy questions and issues which need to be addressed prior to the referendum. The terms of reference for the inquiry are attached below:
The inquiry will seek to identify those issues which will need to be resolved before a referendum is held in order to allow voters to make an informed choice. Rt Hon Michael Moore MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, has identified six areas where clarification is required: 

1.  Bank regulation

2.  Pension payments

3.  The national currency

4.  Membership of international organisations

5.  Scotland's defences

6.  Costs of Separation

At this stage the Committee would welcome suggestions as to: What matters require to be clarified amongst these broad themes? What additional issues need to be resolved or clarified in advance of a referendum?

3.  Initial submissions were invited to be received by 11 November 2011. We thank all who submitted evidence to this inquiry, a full list of which is appended to this report. In addition, on 14 November, the Daily Record launched a campaign in support of our inquiry, inviting the people of Scotland to submit their views and concerns to the Committee.[2] We thank the Daily Record for its support for our inquiry, and to those who took the time to submit their views.[3] What follows is a broad summary of the issues and un-answered questions which were raised with us.

1   The terms of reference for both inquiries can be found at: Back

2   We want your views on independence referendum, say Scottish MPs, Daily Record, 14 November 2011 . Subsequently, comments on the responses were published on 28 November 2011, Record poll on independence reveals readers' biggest worries are over finance and defence. Back

3   Those submissions have been printed with this report.  Back

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Prepared 15 February 2012