The first inquiry will focus on the processes and mechanics by which such a referendum would be organised and conducted. The Committee would particularly welcome submissions on the following questions:
1. Which jurisdiction should conduct such a referendum and what is the legal and/or moral basis for such a determination?
2. How should such a referendum be initiated e.g. should it be via provision in the Scotland Bill?
3. What should be the process for determining the timing of a referendum?
4. How should the eligibility criteria for voting in such a referendum be determined?
5. What is the role of the UK Government, the Scottish Government/Executive and the Electoral Commission in the process?
6. What lessons can be learned for the process of conducting a referendum from the experience of other referenda in the UK, including the March 2011 referendum for the devolution of further law making powers to the Welsh Assembly Government?
The Committee welcomes initial written evidence from interested parties on any, or all, aspects of this inquiry by 18 November 2011. Should you wish to submit written evidence after this date, please contact Committee staff.
The second inquiry will seek to identify those issues which will need to be resolved before a referendum is held in order to allow voters to make an informed choice.
Rt Hon Michael Moore MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, has identified six areas where clarification is required:
1. Bank regulation
2. Pension payments
3. The national currency
4. Membership of international organisations
5. Scotland’s defences
6. Costs of Separation
At this stage the Committee would welcome suggestions as to:
a) What matters require to be clarified amongst these broad themes?
b) What additional issues need to be resolved or clarified in advance of a referendum?
The Committee takes the view that Separation would be a major step for Scotland, with an impact upon all our lives, and needs to be considered rationally as well as emotionally.
The Committee welcomes initial written evidence from interested parties on any, or all, aspects of the inquiry by 11 November 2011. Should you wish to submit written evidence after this date, please contact Committee staff.
Submissions should be in Word or rich text format and sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions must address the terms of the inquiry and should not, as a rule, exceed 2,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should include an executive summary.
Information on the Committee’s future meetings is available on the What’s On section of the Scottish Affairs Committee homepage