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16.01.13

Salmond calls for Scottish constitution

An independent Scotland could have free education written into its constitution, First Minister Alex Salmond has proposed.

In a speech in London later today, Salmond will detail constitutional rights for an independent Scotland. These could include free education, rights to housing and a ban on nuclear weapons, although Salmond has stated that the constitution would be subject to wide consultation.

The SNP wants to hold a vote in autumn 2014, where the Scottish people will be asked the yes/no question: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” It will be a binding referendum.

In an interview with the BBC, Salmond said: “Modern states have written constitutions, the UK is the exception. There are 27 countries in Europe, every single one has a written constitution protecting its citizens, apart from the UK.

“An independent Scotland will be a modern democracy and a modern democracy should have a written constitution.

“The set of ideas the SNP would contribute to a process which will engage all of Scotland, as well as all of Scotland's political parties, are things like a protection in terms of free education. Scotland pioneered free education hundreds of years ago.

“We have a policy that has restored free education, but it should be a constitutional protection.

“The right for every Scottish family to have a home, again we have statute on that, but shouldn't that be a constitutional protection?”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

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