New "Guide to the Issues" launched

It is clear talking to voters around Scotland that they have real difficulties in putting the claims of both sides in the referendum debate into perspective. Those claims are often very different and generally contradictory. To mark the countdown as we hit 100 days before the referendum, we launch the first part of our response to this in the form of our Guide to the Issues.

Over the next few weeks we will be publishing brief, 250 word summaries of what the Yes and No positions are on the most important issues. We then put these summaries 'In Perspective', not by trying to say which side is right and which wrong, but rather pointing to the things people need to think about in judging the rival claims.

Our aim is help equip people better to judge the debate and come to an informed decision in September. For those who want to dig deeper, each of the issues we look at has its own set of Resources that you can link to: the papers produced by the UK and Scottish Government, reports by the UK and Scottish Parliaments, papers by political parties, think tanks, professional bodies and - of course - the briefing papers and blogposts of our colleagues in the Future of the UK and Scotland programme.

We start today with Guides to the 'Big Picture' (the basic positions of the two sides about Scotland's constitutional options), currency union and EU membership. Others will follow next week and after. Once our Guides are all published we plan to add an online tool with which readers can map their own views onto to the positions on either side, allowing them to build a picture of where they stand.

As we develop the Guide to the Issues your feedback would be welcome. We expect the Guide to evolve as the debate moves on. We may add further issues. Any input you have will be valuable.

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post by Charlie Jeffery
University of Edinburgh
9th June 2014
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