The Constitution Unit


Scottish Independence

September 2000 - September 2002

Sponsor: Esmee Fairbain Charitable Trust

Principal Investigators: Jo Murkens, Peter Jones

About the project

This project started with the assumption that Scotland may one day seek independence. The first part of explores the constitutional path to independence. The second part assesses what an independent Scotland may look like, in terms of its relationship with the remainder of the United Kingdom; whether Scotland will automatically accede to the European Union; and whether Scotland will automatically succeed to membership of international organisations (such as the United Nations). Among other issues, the study has looked at referendums - within the UK, as well as overseas (Quebec) - and at how and when the referendum on Scottish independence might best be held. In September 2001, Jo Murkens completed the work begun by David Sinclair. The findings were published as a book in Autumn 2002, including additional chapters by Peter Jones of The Economist.

"The SNP welcomes any debate on Scottish Independence and the paper by the Constitution Unit ensures that independence remains top of the political agenda."

(SNP press release, 21 Jan 2002)