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In-person event

What would the constitution of an independent Scotland look like?

The IfG was at the SNP Conference to discuss some of the fundamental questions about the operation of an independent Scotland's political system.

Humza Yousaf at the SNP leadership contest result announcement.

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If Scotland became independent, the nation would face some fundamental questions about the operation of its political system. It would need a new constitution; which the Scottish government proposes should be a written one, enshrining key rights and principles. And it would need to decide whether to re-join the EU, in line with the SNP’s position, with implications for the operation of the government, the role of the courts and parliamentary scrutiny.  

The event sought to answer some of the following key questions: 

  • What would the process for agreeing a codified constitution look like? 
  • How would popular sovereignty work in practice? 
  • How could a new constitution command cross-party and public consensus?
  • How should the constitution be changed? 
  • Should Scotland re-join the EU? Should Scotland hold a referendum? 
  • What would re-joining the EU mean for Scotland and its political system? 
  • What can we learn from other countries? 


  • Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Independence 
  • Professor Anand Menon, Director of UK in a Changing Europe
  • Lesley Riddoch, Broadcaster, journalist and author
  • Jill Rutter, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government and UK in a Changing Europe
  • Jess Sargeant, Associate Director at the Institute for Government 

This event was held in partnership with UK in a Changing Europe.

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