Scotland's New Choice

New book shines light on independence after Brexit and the pandemic


Independence looks set to dominate the Scottish elections in May. But what would independence mean for Scotland after Brexit and Covid-19?

In their new book, ‘Scotland’s new choice: Independence after Brexit’, published 18 March 2021, 25 leading academics address this question, to inform the debate.

The book, edited by Dr Eve Hepburn, Professor Michael Keating and Professor Nicola McEwen, from the Centre on Constitutional Change, focuses on five main themes:

  • the process of independence;
  • the economics of independence;
  • the implications of independence on Scotland’s politics and society
  • the international aspects of independence; and
  • the view of Scottish independence from elsewhere

Commenting on the book, Dr Eve Hepburn:

This collection builds on the success of a previous e-book produced in advance of the 2014 independence referendum. Then, as now, we do not take a stand on Scottish independence. Instead, we invited academics to examine and explore the issues at stake. We hope their impartial analysis can support citizens to participate in the debate and help them make up their mind about Scotland’s future.”

Prof Nicola McEwen said:

Brexit and the Brexit process has reinforced the case for revisiting the question of independence. But it has also created new challenges. Many of the questions asked during the independence referendum in 2014 remain, including on currency, public services, and defence and security. We also shine a light on the new challenges, including on the legal basis of a referendum, the status of the border, Scotland’s place in Europe and the wider world, and the challenges to public finances from both Brexit and Covid-19.”

Prof Michael Keating said:

“The argument between supporters of independence and union in Scotland remains open but Brexit and Covid have raised new questions for both sides. Scotland is caught between two unions. Should it remain a devolved nation within the UK or strike out as an independent member of the European union? There are no easy answers and this book teases out the issues to help citizens make their own choices.”

The book includes contributions from Chris McCorkindale, Aileen McHarg, Oliver Escobar, Coree Brown Swan, Daniel Cetra, Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, David Bell, Graeme Roy, DAvid Eiser, Filippo Fontanelli, Jeremy Peat, Paul Cairney, Michael Rosie, Nasar Meer, Kirstein Rummery, Sarah Kyambi, Antje Brown, Kirsty Hughes, Colin Fleming, Daniel Kenealy and Michael Kenny.