Independence as an Immediate Priority
An Independence Convention
Scottish independence is an overwhelming and immediate priority for the people of Scotland. The failure of the Scottish Government to implement successive electoral mandates from the Scottish people to progress this aim has been deeply damaging to both the independence cause and the welfare of the people of Scotland.
- We believe that the Scottish Government should commence independence negotiations with Westminster immediately. If the British Government refuses to engage or accept a referendum process, then we propose a cross party campaign of parliamentary action, peaceful popular mobilisation, legal moves in the domestic and international courts and diplomatic initiatives to enforce the sovereign will of the Scottish people.
- The Scottish Government need to call an Independence Convention comprised of all elected representatives of the Scottish people to co-ordinate and give legitimacy and democratic authority to the ongoing independence campaign.
Establishment of an Independence and Democracy Committee
The Scottish Government needs to establish a committee charged with exploring in detail the precise pathways that can convert the sovereignty of the Scottish people into a living democratic system of which we can be confident and proud, one which embodies the hopes and aspirations of the Scottish people and breaks with the top down governance of remote and self-regarding elites.
- The social, economic and political problems created by the modern world, the critical lack of national independence and the associated paralysis occasioned by an uncaring and corrupt Westminster government are so considerable that Scotland must explore and apply innovative ways of involving the huge talents of its ordinary people, its cultural activists, artists and innovators, its workers, inventors and investors, business people and public servants, educators and professional groups.
The aim here is to prepare, ahead of independence, the thorough consideration and mapping out of enhanced and new shapes and forms of transparency and accountability, ones that complement the Scottish Parliament, councils and draws on all key components of civil society.
In this way the new Scotland being born will become a home of realised rights and economic and social freedom for all.
Scotland in Europe
Despite the SNP being elected on a mandate in 2016 to hold an independence referendum if Scotland is being taken out of the European Union against the wishes of the Scottish people, no referendum or preparations for a referendum were forthcoming. Scotland has now been taken out of the EU.
It is ALBA's position that Scotland shall join EFTA immediately after the Scottish Parliament acquires the competence to sign international treaties and the powers to abide by them. This will allow Scotland to gain access to the European Economic Area and effective free trade with the EU, thus mitigating the negative effects of Brexit.
- Scotland lost single market membership which includes the four freedoms; to live or work in any EU country; to sell goods anywhere in the EU; to provide services anywhere in the EU; and the free movement of capital.
- EFTA membership could be negotiated in weeks rather than years and could be negotiated in parallel with independence negotiations with the UK, and would be welcomed by existing EFTA member countries, provided independence is achieved democratically and peacefully. On becoming an EFTA member, Scotland could rejoin the EEA within a few months.
- EFTA membership would enable Scotland to negotiate to become a full EU member in due course if the people of Scotland so choose while enjoying the benefits of free trade in the meantime, thus being in a much stronger negotiating position with the EU for potential membership.
Elected Head of State and Written Constitution
When sovereignty is secured with an independent Scottish state, a most important post independent action will be the engagement of the people in framing the fundamental law, the supreme law, in a written constitution, by which Scotland will govern itself.
ALBA acknowledges the work already done by a variety of groups on a proposed constitution for an Independent Scotland protecting the rights of all our people. ALBA considers that a series of citizens’ assemblies followed by a referendum will be the appropriate mechanism for consultation, participation and approval.
ALBA recognises that when the people are free and independent, they must fashion the instruments with which we are to govern ourselves - the division of powers, the extent of those powers between the parliament and the executive, the franchise, the electoral system, freedom of speech, a free media, independence of the judiciary, how judges are appointed, the relationship between government, police and people, and the principles and values that self-describe us as the nation we want the international community to see and for Scottish citizens to experience.
- The written constitution starts from the principle that the people are sovereign, in keeping with the Scottish constitutional tradition and as such ALBA will propose to the consultation that, once the term of the much respected present monarch is over, Scotland should move to an elected head of state with similar powers to the Uachtarán na hÉireann..