Radical change will be required if the Union is to survive

The Union may have been fit for its original purposes. For England this was subduing the Scots and taking political control of the mainland British Isle; for Scotland it was mainly gaining access to English trade and achieving financial stability. However, since 1707 the inequitability of the Union has become abundantly clear. The Union has failed to provide the majority of Scots with any long term value. It has failed to establish a British identity of any substance, it has resulted in the steady economic decline of Scotland, it has provided the Scots with a lower standard of living than much of the UK, and it has resulted in Scots being treated as second class citizens. The only conclusion that can be reached from this sorry state of affairs is that the Union today is quite simply not fit for purpose.

With UK government policies appearing to be failing Scotland so dramatically, it is imperative that Scotland is able to take full control of its own development. Scotland needs a level playing field on which to compete and it is essential that the shackles that constrain Scotland’s competitive ability are removed. Scotland needs to be able to emulate not only the thriving areas of the UK, but also the most successful global economies To attack all of the issues that have been discussed, Scottish economic development must be devised and shaped in Scotland. The policies that are implemented must be focused on Scottish needs and enhancing the prosperity of the Scottish people. For the Scottish government to take control of Scottish economic development it must be provided with the powers to control all aspects of the economy. This will require a transfer of powers from Westminster to Edinburgh related to fiscal and monetary policy, international trade and currency, competition law, consumer protection, employment law, and industry regulation. None of this can realistically happen within the structures of government that exist within the UK today; radical change will be required. This blueprint provides the basis for such a radical change, it proposes a new and equitable union between England and Scotland that will endure, a Union for the future; it proposes a Union of Equals.