Independent Scotland ‘could ditch Queen for president’

An independent Scotland could ditch the Queen and adopt an elected president as head of state, according to a proposed written constitution that has been submitted to ministers.

Sunday, 24th March 2019, 05:00 am
Updated Sunday, 24th March 2019, 08:03 am

Such a document would set out the rights of citizens and limits of government after a Yes vote. The UK is among a handful of states that don’t have one.

Mark McNaught, associate professor of law and political science at the University of Rennes, has developed the document, which has now been delivered to Constitution Secretary Mike Russell. He says Brexit underlines the problem with the UK’s current set-up.

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An independent Scotland could ditch the Queen and adopt an elected president as head of state, according to a proposed written constitution that has been submitted to ministers.

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“It’s based on precedent, there’s nothing written down, there’s nothing codified. It has demonstrated the lack of a government structure.”

The academic says a written constitution in an independent Scotland would guarantee “fundamental rights”, such as freedom of speech and religion, which could not be changed by governments.

McNaught’s plan also includes rights to a basic income.

He says his “preferred option” for head of state would be an elected president, although he retains the option of keeping the monarchy.

Ahead of the 2014 referendum, the Scottish Government proposed its own written constitution, which would have banned nuclear weapons.

Ministers confirmed they were aware of McNaught’s proposals.