APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE |
The House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution,
chaired by Baroness Jay of Paddington, is beginning an inquiry
into the constitutional implications for the remainder of the
United Kingdom of the transition to independence for Scotland
in the event of a "yes" vote in the referendum on 18
September 2014. The committee invites interested organisations
and individuals to submit written evidence as part of the inquiry.
In November 2013 the Scottish Government published
their white paper Scotland's Future: Your Guide to an Independent
Scotland. This sets out a timetable, if there is a "yes"
vote on 18 September 2014, for full independence for Scotland
from 24 March 2016, ahead of the scheduled Scottish Parliament
election in May 2016.
Independence for Scotland would have a significant
constitutional impact on the remainder of the UK. The committee
will be seeking to inform debate on these matters through its
inquiry and report.
The committee is seeking written submissions on the
following questions, which are predicated on there being a "yes"
Is the timetable of independence by 24 March 2016
Who would negotiate for the remainder of the UK?
To whom would they be accountable?
What impact would the timing of the UK general election
in May 2015 have on negotiations?
What happens if the two negotiating teams cannot
reach agreement on an issue?
Assets and liabilities, and shared services
What legal principles should apply to negotiations
on the apportionment of assets and liabilities that are currently
What are the constitutional implications of maintaining
services shared between Scotland and the rest of the UK (for example,
the Bank of England and those services listed on page 364 of the
Scottish Government's white paper)?
What would the position of MPs for Scottish constituencies
be from May 2015 to March 2016?
What impact would independence have on the House
of Commons if the MPs for Scottish constituencies left it in March
What impact would independence have on the membership
of the House of Lords?
What legislation (or other measures) would the Westminster
Parliament have to pass in order for Scotland to become independent?
The committee's inquiry is focused. It will not cover
the issue of an independent Scotland's membership of the European
Union nor other aspects of its international relations. Nor will
the committee examine the internal constitutional arrangements
of an independent Scotland or the constitutional implications
of a "no" vote (for example on devolution). The committee
may turn to these or other related matters in due course.
The committee understands that under public international
law institutions of the United Kingdom would, in the event of
Scottish independence, become institutions of the remainder of
the UK. The UK's assets and liabilities would fall to be apportioned
equitably between Scotland and the remainder of the UK, subject
to negotiations. An exception to the latter point is that Government
assets fixed in Scotland would become assets of the new Scottish
state. The committee invites those giving written evidence to
comment on the above.
Written evidence is sought by 28 February 2014. Public
hearings are expected to be held in March 2014. The committee
aims to report to the House, with recommendations, around Easter
2014. The report will receive a response from the Government and
is expected to be debated in the House of Lords.
You need not address all the questions. The committee
would welcome other relevant views which you think the committee
should be aware of.
You may follow the progress of the inquiry at: