Lords to question academics on constitutional implications of Scottish independence

03 March 2014

The House of Lords Constitution Committee will this week take evidence from leading academics on the constitutional implications for the rest of the UK of a ‘yes’ vote in the September referendum on Scottish independence.

Giving evidence to Committee will be:

  • Professor Alan Boyle, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Edinburgh. Co-author of the legal advice to the UK Government on the status of an independent Scotland
  • Professor Michael Keating, Professor of Politics and Chair in Scottish Politics at the University of Aberdeen
  • Professor Stephen Tierney, Professor of Constitutional Theory at the University of Edinburgh.

Areas the Committee is likely to cover with the witnesses include:

  • What legal principles should govern negotiations for Scottish independence in the event of a ‘yes’ vote?
  • Is the timetable of independence by March 2016 realistic and what impact would the timing of the 2015 general election have on independence negotiations?
  • What role if any should Scottish MPs have in holding the negotiators to account?
  • Should the negotiating teams be held directly accountable to the public?
  • What legislation would be required at Westminster to achieve independence for Scotland?
  • What impact would independence have on the monarchy and would Scotland need a governor-general?
  • What legal principles should apply to negotiations on the divisions of assets and debts that are currently UK-wide.

The evidence session will start at 10:30am on Wednesday 5 February in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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