Volt Scotland believes that we are stronger when we come together1. We want the United Kingdom to ensure full representation of its citizens and to respect regional cultural identities. In order to make Scotland’s voice heard, we believe that the UK has to change from a centralised government with devolved administrations to a federal form of government,2 following the concept of subsidiarity and decentralisation. The people of Scotland should be represented proportionally in the lower house of the UK’s Parliament and Scotland, as a federal entity, should be represented in the upper house of the UK’s Parliament following degressive proportionality3. Any constitutional change of the UK should require a supermajority in both houses, to ensure that the opinions of the people in the UK as well as the interests of its constituent countries and regions are taken into account.
At the same time, Volt Scotland recognises the right of self-determination. This right needs to be respected especially in times of major constitutional changes. Therefore, the people of Scotland should be given the chance to express this will through a qualified majority in a referendum4 with a turnout threshold and a clear assessment of the legal outcome of independence.
Should the Scottish people express their wish for independence, Volt Scotland supports a transparent negotiated process of secession from the UK. We believe that an independent Scotland requires a modern, written, democratic, and European constitution. This constitution should enshrine the European Convention of Human Rights. It should be based on the principles of subsidiarity and increase the power of local government as well as recognise the special status of Shetland, Orkney, and the Western Isles. The constitution should be written by a directly elected constitutional convention before independence. An independent Scotland should commit to join the European Union.
We believe that Scotland’s future is a European future and that Scotland’s home is inside the European Union. The route through independence may be the fastest route back to its home, but we believe the route through rejoining the EU in a reformed United Kingdom is the best way for Scotland’s future as it protects the welfare of the people of Scotland along the way.
1. See mapping of policies, 7th version, Volt Europa, pp185–186.2.
2. Examples for federal monarchies are Australia and Canada.
3. Example for the usage of degressive proportionality is the allocation of seats in the European Parliament to each member state.
4. A referendum can also have three options (remain, reform to a federation, or independence) in a preferential voting system as the first round of the 2015 – 2016 New Zealand flag referendum.