THE Scottish Government has launched the latest paper in its Building a New Scotland series focusing on defence and international development.

The fresh policy paper, entitled “An independent Scotland’s place in the world”, sets out the Government’s proposals for joining the international community as a sovereign state, defence and security as a full Nato member, and international development work to champion the voices of Global South countries.

The paper covers how an independent Scotland would apply to become a member of the EU as part of representing itself on the international stage in its own right for the first time. 

It also discusses proposals for Scotland to have its own armed forces in the event of independence and removing nuclear weapons from the country.

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It adds nuclear weapons should be removed from Scotland "in the safest and most expeditious manner possible following independence".

The paper states an independent Scotland would have a strong defence relationship with the UK and Ireland.

The Scottish Government is proposing that an independent Scotland would apply to join Nato and seek discussions with Nato leaders at the earliest opportunity following a vote for independence.

The paper adds it would commit to defence spending of 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), recognising Nato’s enduring commitment to invest in defence capabilities.

"Independence will mean that Scotland takes its place in the international community; alongside 193 other United Nations member states, able to join the European Union, with the powers necessary to protect its citizens and prosper in the global economy," the Scottish Government has said.

"Independence would also mean that Scotland gets to determine the type of state it wants to be on that world stage – one that acts based on its values and principles, promotes human rights and development, and builds partnerships with other countries and international organisations to address global challenges.

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"An independent Scotland would be a good global citizen, working towards peace and security in the interests of Scotland’s people."

Previous papers in the series have covered the economy, the EU, creating a modern constitution and migration after independence

This 11th paper in the series states the Scottish Government would make it a "cornerstone" of defence policy that an independent Scotland would only participate in overseas military operations that are lawful,  approved by Scottish Ministers and authorised by the Scottish Parliament. 

There is a distinct section on Scotland being a good global citizen where it states that with the full powers of independence, the Scottish Government would commit to meet the UN target of 0.7% of Gross National Income on official development assistance and establish a new ministerial portfolio dedicated to international development.

The paper says: "An independent Scotland would also be able to enshrine the 0.7% commitment in law. This would give Scotland a sizeable aid budget with which to make an impact in the world’s poorest countries."

It concludes: "Independence would enable Scotland to renew and strengthen its existing relationships on these islands and around the world and to develop cooperation with new partners in order to protect and promote the security and prosperity of the people of Scotland.

"Independence would give us the chance to contribute more on issues like international development, climate change and the environment.

"Scotland already makes a contribution on the world stage, where we can. With the powers of independence, we could build on our strengths and take our place as a state among equals in the global community."

To read the full paper click here.