An independent Scotland will look pretty much as it does today. Being independent is just the starting point.
As an independent country it will be the people who live in Scotland who will be in charge. That’s why being independent will mean a fairer and more successful Scotland. We’ll be able to take the right decisions for our future, based on our shared values and priorities and using our wealth of resources and talent.
The referendum in 2014 will be on the basis of the Scottish Government's proposals for an independent Scotland. That means, on day one as an independent country we will have a parliament and government just as we do now. But it will take all the decisions for Scotland. It will be elected in the same way, and so the people of Scotland will be able to choose the government they want whether SNP or Labour, Green, Tory or Lib Dem.
All the Scottish politicians who are currently in the House of Commons will be able to stand for the Scottish Parliament, so, for example, some of the more experienced Labour politicians currently at Westminster may well be challenging to become the Scottish government. The Scottish parties will all be able to field their strongest teams.
The Queen will be our Head of State and the pound our currency. There will continue to be close links with the rest of the UK and we will remain part of the same family of nations.
There will be new government departments based in Scotland. We will have our own Treasury and Department of Foreign Affairs. But instead of paying for these services to be based in London, we will have them in Scotland, creating jobs here and boosting the Scottish economy.
There will be some costs to setting up these new departments in Scotland, but this will be more than offset by the money we save. For example, we will have a £250 million annual saving from no longer contributing to the cost of the UK’s existing nuclear weapons. And, there will be a £50 million annual saving from no longer paying for the Westminster Parliament.
And where we already run things independently – the NHS, education, local government and our legal system – things will continue to operate in the same way as they do now.