d. Releasing Scotland’s Potential

RELEASING SCOTLAND’S POTENTIAL

Scotland is a diverse and culturally rich country. At present though we aren’t fulfilling our true potential. In order to fully prosper, we need the full powers and opportunities afforded by independence.

Over the past 12 years, devolution has shown we can flourish when we are given the opportunity to make decisions for ourselves. Our Scottish Parliament has matured and our politicians at Holyrood have showed vision, imagination and commitment.

Devolution has allowed us to make choices in Scotland, for Scotland. But it as also served as as reminder of how much we could do if we had the full power to determine our own future.

At present, we remain dependent on Westminster. We can’t choose how much tax we raise, or what happens to our oil revenues, or to get rid of Trident, or deliver better childcare or pensions or whether or not to send our servicemen and women to fight in foreign wars.

But it’s in our gift to change all this. Independence would enable us to build a new Scotland – a Scotland that is fairer, better, wealthier, more confident and more outward looking than ever before.

It would allow us to reshape our country in our own best interests. We could decide on the partnerships we want to form with other nations and the best way of protecting our environment and tackling poverty.

How we tax and how we invest; how we encourage business and address the blight of inequality, crime and homelessness; how we advance our culture and protect our heritage – all these powers and many more would be ours.

Independence means running our own affairs in our own way. What it doesn’t mean is losing our cherished links with the other nations of the United Kingdom.

We’ve forged strong ties and built trust with our neighbours on these island in the 300-plus years since the Act of Union . That’s an important and valued legacy, a social union, and it will continue.

Families, friendships and institutions are increasingly global and many common resources are shared. That’s the case now and now it will be the case after independence.

A yes vote in a referendum would build on the process started by devolution. It’s the natural next stage of our nation’s journey.

Independence would be a confident, exciting step offering vision and promise. In many ways, an independent Scotland would be similar to the one we see today. We already have an independent health, education and justice systems and pensions and benefits would be paid as now.

In many ways, the union has been good for Scotland and we’ve already made many popular changes through devolution. However, it no longer serves our needs or aspirations.

Devolution is our present. But our future lies with independence.

Let’s make sure we seize it.

 

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