Scotland’s referendum on 18 September 2014 poses a fundamental question about the future of the UK and Scotland: whether a new Scottish state is created, or whether the UK continues to exist as now.
Unsurprisingly the debate around that question is already – more than a year out from polling day – intense. The two campaigns, Yes Scotland and Better Together have been up and running for months. And the pro-independence SNP Government at Holyrood and the pro-union Coalition Government at Westminster have each published several lengthy papers arguing their cause, with many more set to follow.
The Future of the UK and Scotland Programme is focused on Scotland’s referendum and the debate it has launched. The Programme is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and based at the Academy of Government at the University of Edinburgh. Its aim is to connect the best academic expertise to the debate about the future of the UK and Scotland, and to provide a neutral and authoritative resource that can help voters come to as well-informed a judgement as possible come next September.
We will work hard to connect our research with those who have a stake in the referendum debate and are looking for the expertise to help them negotiate the debate and form their judgements about the future of the UK and Scotland: business organisations, the voluntary sector, the media, trade unions, more broadly our civil society and ultimately the Scottish voter. We will also work with the two governments, Scottish and UK, putting their views under a critical spotlight so that whatever the outcome next year the policies that follow will have been challenged and tested.
The Future of the UK and Scotland Programme consists of a number of research fellowship and projects, large and small, and through them will be developing a series of events and publications that will be highlighted on the events calendar and blogposts on this website. We will also use the website to connect to other work on the future of the UK and Scotland. We aim to be a one-stop-shop for those wanting to keep up with the referendum debate.
Finally, we hope that this website will be a platform for readers to give their views. Registered users of the site can provide their own comments and insights in response to our blogposts. We look forward to hearing from you!