The Scottish Government believes that an independent, sovereign Scotland is the best option for the country's future and that the people should be invited to support that option through a referendum.
The Government also recognises that there are a range of views on Scotland's constitutional future other than independence and that these are represented in the Scottish Parliament.
- Read the full document - Choosing Scotland's Future. A National Conversation. Independence and Responsibility in the Modern World.
However, the elections of May 2007 showed clear support across Scotland to move the country's constitution forward.
For this reason, the Government is initiating a wide-ranging National Conversation that will allow the people of Scotland to make an informed decision on their future.
The devolution settlement of 1999, which transferred some areas of responsibilities from Westminster and reserved others, explicitly recognised that the powers of the Scottish Parliament and Government could change and evolve.
The nature of the United Kingdom constitution is changing with historic developments in Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK Government has published proposals to develop further the governance of the UK.
This can be all part of the National Conversation which is intended to provide a platform for debate on Scotland's future based on the understanding that sovereignty lies with the people, and it is the people of Scotland alone who have the right to decide how they are governed.
The Government suggests that there are three principal choices to be considered in the National Conversation:
- Continuing with the current constitutional settlement with no or minimal change
- Extending devolved power in Scotland in areas identified during the National Conversation
- Taking the steps to allow Scotland to become a fully independent country
The National Conversation White Paper Your Scotland Your Voice was launched on November 30, 2009.