A National Conversation begins
A National Conversation on Scotland's constitutional future was launched today alongside the publication of a paper outlining different options for public debate and proposals for a referendum.
First Minister Alex Salmond said the Conversation was based on the premise that the people of Scotland are sovereign and should decide on the way they are governed.
Choosing Scotland's Future examines the principal options for constitutional change and addresses the arguments for and against each.
The Scottish Government believes the principal choices are:
- Small extension of devolved powers
- Radical redesign of devolution and greatly enhanced powers
Read the full text of the First Minister's speech
Mr Salmond said:
"As First Minister I will contribute by putting the case for independence, its benefits and opportunities. I invite others to join the Conversation to share their opinions and argue their case.
"The paper, Choosing Scotland's Future, sets out the ground from the National Conversation by exploring the concept of independence and other constitutional possibilities. It is the starting point of the Conversation and the people of Scotland can now carry it forward to reach an informed decision on their future."
The public are invited to join the National Conversation by logging onto a dedicated website at www.anationalconversation.com where they can add comments to a Blog which begins today.
There are also to be a series of public events seeking active engagement with voters.