Charles to be King of independent Scotland 'as long as people desired'

The monarch would remain as the Scottish head of state in the aftermath of a pro-independence vote - but only if wanted under a new, written constitution.

King Charles will remain the head of state in an independent Scotland “as long as the people desired it” according to a new document released by the SNP.

The country would have a new, written constitution, but only if passed by a separate referendum should a vote in favour of leaving the United Kingdom succeed under the terms of the latest Building a New Scotland prospectus.

The paper, which details the democratic and statutory makeup of Scotland in the event of a pro-independence ballot, reaffirms it would join 15 other Commonwealth countries in recognising Charles as head of state.

But it includes a clause stating that would only remain the case “so long as the people of Scotland desired it”.

Opponents criticised the document as “full of holes,” branding the plans “misguided”.

First Minister Humza Yousaf launched the document, the fourth in the series, at a press conference on Monday.

According to the “Creating a modern constitution for an independent Scotland” paper, an “interim constitution providing stability and clarity” would take effect in the immediate aftermath of an independence vote.

Key Points
What would an independent Scotland look like?
  • Charles to remain head of state in independent Scotland ‘while desired’.
  • European Convention on Human Rights embedded into interim constitution.
  • Written constitution created and then voted on in referendum.
  • New Scottish Government would have ‘duty’ to pursue nuclear disarmament.
  • English, Scots, Gaelic and BSL to be official languages.

English, Scots, Gaelic and British Sign Language would be adopted as official while all laws in force prior to the ballot would remain in place – except those modified or repealed by the Scottish Parliament.

In addition, a new civil service would be created to carry out the duties currently under the remit of UK-wide public bodies, while a “duty” would be placed on the newly-formed government to pursue nuclear disarmament.

“The interim constitution would describe the type of state Scotland would be; an independent country retaining a constitutional monarchy at the point of independence and a parliamentary democracy,” it states.

“The interim constitution would embed human rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights and the core international human rights treaties relating to economic, social and cultural rights and the rights of children, women, minority ethnic communities, disabled people and refugees, and the right to a healthy environment. It would also embed equality safeguards and include a duty to advance equality of opportunity for all.

“The interim constitution would also set out provisions securing the independence of local government and on citizenship and place a duty on post-independent Scotland to pursue nuclear disarmament.

“It would also place a duty on the Scottish Parliament to establish a Constitutional Convention post-independence, to draft a permanent written constitution for Scotland.”

However, the Tories’ shadow constitution secretary, Donald Cameron, described the prospectus as “self-indulgent,” accusing Yousaf of taking his eye off the ball amid the cost of living crisis.

“The SNP are so obsessed with their push for independence that they are now pressing for not just one divisive referendum but two to take place if they ever get their way,” he said.

“He [Yousaf] knows that the obsession with breaking up the United Kingdom is the only issue that can keep the warring factions in his party together.

“The paper itself is full of holes and talks up completely misguided plans to ban nuclear weapons in an independent Scotland.

“Using public money to campaign for independence is completely the wrong priority for Scotland. People want the SNP-Green government to be focused on their real priorities right now such as rising bills, fixing our NHS and strengthening our economy.

“It is only the Scottish Conservatives who are focused on those real priorities and standing up to this independence-obsessed SNP-Green government.”

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