Scottish independence: UK government sets out legal implications

By Laura Moulden

The British government has released a factual analysis of the legal implications surrounding the issue of Scottish Independence today (February 11th).

According to the report, an independent Scotland would be regarded as a “completely separate” state in regard to international law and the UK would be viewed as a ‘continuing state’.

Commenting on the release, Scottish secretary Michael Moore warned of “serious repercussions” for the nation if it were to leave the union.

“This is a debate that cannot be left to lawyers and experts alone, everyone must participate in it. I want you to read this paper – and the papers that will follow. I want you to ask us questions. And I want you to encourage others in your organisations to do the same,” he said.

The release comes shortly after David Cameron launched a defence of the union in parliament yesterday.

He lauded the benefits of remaining as a single nation – pointing to Team GB’s recent success in the Olympic Games as evidence.

“If you told many people watching those Olympics around the world that we were going to erect barriers between our people, they’d probably be baffled. Put simply: Britain works. Britain works well. Why break it?”

The Scottish National Party is set to hold a referendum on the subject of independence in 2014 and the 58-page report released today likened the situation to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, where states outside of Russia were regarded as separate and new under international law.

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