Building a New Scotland: An independent Scotland's Place in the World

This paper sets out the Scottish Government's proposals for an independent Scotland's place in the world.

Foreword by the Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture

Independence for Scotland will allow our country to join the global community of nations. That will mean that, for the first time in the modern era, Scotland will represent itself on the international stage.

In this paper, the eleventh publication in the ‘Building a New Scotland’ series, the Scottish Government outlines what independence will mean for our place in the world; for the way we conduct ourselves internationally; for how we will play a full part in a range of international organisations; and for how we will contribute positively to peace and security as a responsible global citizen.

Scotland has a long history of being an outward-looking nation, and we are clear about the country we want to be – providing development assistance to the most vulnerable overseas, safeguarding human rights, upholding the international rules-based order and supporting and promoting Scots and Scotland around the world.

For an independent Scotland, the UK will always be our closest friend and ally.

On many issues we will agree, such as our condemnation of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. And this Government would ensure that Scotland plays its full role in European and North Atlantic security through membership of NATO.

But there will also be times when independence will mean Scotland’s distinctive voice will be heard. It seems inconceivable that an independent Scotland would have agreed with the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Scottish Government has consistently called for a ceasefire to stop the killing of innocent civilians following Hamas’s barbaric attacks in October last year.

The Scottish Government also believes the best future for Scotland is to be a member of the EU, whereas there is no realistic prospect of any UK Government in the foreseeable future reversing the damage of Brexit.

Europe, indeed the world as a whole, is facing huge challenges, from the existential threat of climate change to the major economic, energy and security challenges of our time.

The Scottish Government believes those challenges are best faced through more, not less, co- operation with our fellow Europeans and the wider international community. That co-operative approach and a willingness to play our part in international institutions and organisations is both in our own national interest and offers the opportunity to contribute to a better world.

I hope the proposals in this paper, covering issues such as core internationalist values, international relations and defence policy will help stimulate debate over the kind of country we aspire to be, and I look forward to engaging with as many people as possible as we discuss Scotland’s future.

Angus Robertson MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture



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