Here are answers to frequently asked questions about an independent Scotland. If you do not see the information you are looking for, you can submit a question using the form on the bottom of the page.

Of course! Even No politicians agree: “Supporters of independence will always be able to cite examples of small, independent and thriving economies across Europe such as Finland, Switzerland and Norway. It would be wrong to suggest that Scotland could not be another such successful, independent country” ~ David Cameron
Scotland is a country rich in resources, and undoubtedly has what it takes to be a more prosperous and fairer nation. The Financial Times says that an independent Scotland could expect to start life with healthier finances than the rest of the UK. Scotland has generated more tax per head than the rest of the UK for each and every one of the past 33 years, and our public finances are stronger. Over the past five years, Scotland has generated 9.5% of UK taxes but received just 9.3% of UK spending.
The reason being independent will be better for you and for Scotland is simple. Being independent will mean the people who care most about Scotland – the people who live in Scotland – will be taking the decisions about our future. The people of Scotland have the greatest stake in making our nation a success. That means we are more likely to make the right choices for our society and our economy - and to make decisions that mean our huge wealth delivers far greater benefits for the people living here.
Being independent means a lot of different things to each and every one of us. For some, becoming independent is when we get our first car, or our first home. Or perhaps when we start our own family. It is the point we take responsibility for our own future and our own success. Yes, there are ups and downs, but we plan, we prepare, we take out insurance and we get through even the most difficult times. Being an independent country is much the same...
Scotland is blessed with massive renewable energy resources, with no less 25% of the EU’s potential for offshore wind and tidal energy, and 10% of wave power – extraordinary assets for the future. If we use these resources wisely, we can meet our own ambitious climate change targets, export power to assist other countries to meet their own targets, and deliver cheaper energy for consumers.

Scotland will continue to produce oil and gas into the second half of this century. As the UK Government’s own Oil and Gas Industrial Strategy (published in March 2013) confirms - “According to Oil & Gas UK’s Activity Survey, the reality is that the UK will continue to supply oil and gas well beyond 2055” (p24).

There will be opportunities beyond this in terms of supply of our skills internationally, and in taking forward a programme for decommissioning.  At the same time, new opportunities will be opening up, particularly in industries such as renewable energy.  

After independence, Scotland will continue to use the pound and enter into a formal currency agreement with the government of the United Kingdom.
The Scottish Government will negotiate to pay a share of the UK's debt, at the same time as negotiating a fair share of the assets. Under any realistic scenario, Scotland's projected share of debt as a percentage of its national wealth (or GDP) will be smaller than the UK's share expressed in the same terms. This means debt would be more manageable for an independent Scotland, than for the UK.
Scotland will remain part of the European Union after independence. The Scottish Government proposes to agree the terms of Scotland’s continued membership of the European Union between the referendum in September and the proposed date of independence in March 2016. Even the UK government’s expert international legal adviser has accepted that this timetable is “realistic”. And Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott of Oxford University, has concluded that the transition would be "relatively smooth and straightforward". So Scotland’s EU membership will be secure by the time we are independent.
The referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country is a completely different matter from which political party, if any, you usually support. On 18th Septebmer 2014 we vote Yes or No. If it's a Yes, then in May 2016, just six weeks after Independence Day, we'll choose our first independent Scottish government - which could be Labour or SNP, Greens or Lib Dem, SSP or Tory, or a completely new party. Voting Yes means we have Scotland's future in Scotland's hands - and always get the governments we vote for.
With independence we can deliver a stronger and fairer state pension, ensure private pensions are well protected and a much more positive and inclusive approach to public sector pensions.
State pensions and credits will continue to be paid as now, on time and in full. The UK Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, has acknowledged that our older people would be entitled to current levels of state pension in an independent Scotland. Similarly, the UK Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed in writing that independence will have "no effect on your State Pension" and "you will continue to receive it just as you do at present". In addition, a Yes vote creates the possibility of important improvements including protection of pensions and guarantee credit with a triple lock.
In recent years, changes to public sector pensions have been imposed on Scotland by the Westminster government, without appropriate engagement and consultation. A Yes vote offers the opportunity to ensure future negotiations will be positive and inclusive. On independence, the Scottish Government will have responsibility for the pensions of all public servants working in Scotland, including civil servants and military staff. All rights and entitlements to public service pensions will continue to be protected on independence, and there will be no difference to individual contribution rates or benefit levels as a result of independence.
In terms of rights and accrued entitlements to private pensions, there will be no changes on independence. This is because private pensions are a private matter between individuals and their pension providers. The Scottish Government will ensure that individuals will have the same level of protection for their pensions as they do now.
Public services which are currently the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament or local councils - such as the police, our schools, the NHS and care homes - will not change as a result of independence, as these services are already run independently in Scotland. With a Yes vote, we'll have the powers we need to end George Osborne's agenda of austerity cuts - and instead we can invest in our public services.
A Yes vote will not affect the day-to-day running of our NHS, but will provide us with new opportunities to tackle health inequalities and other social problems which put strain on our health service resources. And crucially, a Yes vote means we can protect the NHS from the effects of the NHS privatisation happening in England, and George Osborne's budget cuts.
Yes - without any doubt. According to Financial Times analysis, Scotland is one of the top twenty wealthiest nations on the planet - wealthier per head than Italy, France and the UK. And over the last five years our national finances have been in a healthier condition than the rest of the UK. This means we are better able to afford spending on our priorities - such as protecting and improving the NHS. And with a Yes vote, we'll have the powers we need to end George Osborne's agenda of austerity cuts - and instead we can invest in public services such as our NHS.
A Yes vote will not affect current cross-border arrangements with health services in the rest of the UK. These arrangements exist despite the fact the NHS in Scotland already operates independently - so independence for Scotland will not change that. If a Scottish resident falls ill in England, Wales or Northern Ireland they will be treated by local services in accordance with clinical need, as happens just now. Similarly, residents from other parts of the UK falling ill in an independent Scotland will also be treated in the same way as happens now.

At the moment, health services are delivered by Health Boards across Scotland and social care by local councils. There is, of course, now greater integration and co-operation between health and social care services. These arrangements will not be changed by Scotland becoming independent.

Because policy for universities, including tuition fees, is already under the control of the Scottish Government and Parliament, independence will not have any immediate impact on this issue. So University education will continue to be free for students living in Scotland on Independence Day in March 2016. The current Scottish Government is committed to maintaining free tuition and independence makes it easier to do this, as the Scottish Government would have full control over spending - unlike the present situation which sees annual cuts being imposed by the Westminster Government.

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