4 alternative solutions to the way Scotland is governed.

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4 alternative solutions to the way Scotland is governed.

4 alternative solutions to the way Scotland is governed. Following the 2016 EU Brexit referendum, there has been much debate about the way that Scotland has been governed. In 1999, the Scottish Parliament was creating and it had some powers to change things within Scotland. 

The powers that they have are called Devolved powers and include Health and Education. 

However, there are some areas that the Scottish Government don’t have power over. These are called Reserved powers and include defence, benefits and border control/immigration. In recent years, there has been many viewpoints raised about what future Scotland should take.



Some think it should be fully independent, others would like to see the Scottish parliament abolished whilst others want more powers for Scotland but stop short of full independence. Others, see Scotland’s future as one similar to the Federalism that occurs in the United States.

Independence- alternative 1

One alternative for Scottish independence is it would solve the democratic deficit. At the moment, the Scottish Government only has control over devolved matters, and all other decisions are taken by the UK government. Sometimes this isn’t very democratic, because the Conservative UK government has made decisions unpopular in Scotland such as taking the UK out of The EU. 

Independence would give the Scottish Government full control of all matters, including foreign affairs. This implies independence would be more democratic, because all decisions affecting Scotland would be taken by a government elected by the Scottish people.

However, independence could mean Scotland giving up some of its global influence. Scotland would lose membership of a lot of international organisations and alliances that the UK belongs to. For example, Scotland would no longer have a voice in the G7 or the UN Security council This implies an independent Scotland would become more isolated, and no longer part of big inter-government decisions.

The SNP argues that independence will allow Scotland to become wealthier. This is because the government of an independent Scotland would have full control over economic policy, immigration, and foreign affairs. For example, Scotland could apply to rejoin the EU, and reap the benefits of belonging to the largest single market in the world. This implies independence could unleash Scotland’s economic potential.

However, independence comes with economic risk. We do not yet know what currency independent Scotland would use, Scotland would be left without any trade deals (in the short term) and Scotland would also lose the funding from block grant. For example, at the moment Scotland receives nearly 20% more per head from the Barnett Formula than England does. Therefore independence could be an expensive mistake. The government of an independent Scotland would have to find ways to fill the funding gap (potentially by raising taxes or reducing spending).

Devo max- alternative 2

Another possible alternative to how Scotland is governed is Devo Max.

Devo Max is often described as the best of both worlds as it ensures that Scotland stays part of the

UK but with considerably more powers. Devo Max would see Scotland stay part of the UK but with considerably more powers.

Devo Max would see Scotland getting all powers apart from defence and Max seems to be the most popular Independence from growing lou smaller than it was after the 2 Independence referendum please the most amount foreign relations. 

Scotland would have full financial control to increase tax levels, raise more money and decide where it is spent without needing the permission of Westminster. This idea is popular with voters who do not want Scotland to leave the United Kingdom and the UK not to split up.

However, supporters of Independence do not support Devo Max. They see it as being a continuation of Westminster Rule or UK rule. Many SNP members see Devo max as a poor consolation prize or second prize. For them, it would be unacceptable that the UK would still be in control.

In evaluation, Devo Max could be seen as being a continuation of Scotland still being part of the United Kingdom but with more powers than they currently have. This would please those that want the UK to stay together but many pro-independence voters would be against the idea of Devo Max.

For them, Independence would be the only viable alternative to the way that Scotland is currently governed.

Federalism- alternative 3

Another alternative to the governance of Scotland is Federalism. This would involve regions being created. Each would have powers within that region but would also have a National government.

This is similar to the American model of government where they have 50 states but also a National government to deal with matters of National or country wide interest such as defence and national security.

 One argument for federalism is that it puts more power in the hands of ordinary citizens to decide what happens in their own areas and allows greater decision making power. Areas such as Merseyside, Yorkshire and Cornwall have all been looking for more local power and Federalism would help them achieve this.

However, those against Federalism argue that now is not the time to be changing the constitution of the UK as the political situation in the UK is very volatile and unpredictable and likely to change. Also it could lead to arguments among regions in England about borders and boundaries.

Therefore, Federalism can be seen to be democratically positive as it tries to spread power across the UK but many Scots voters may see Federalism as diminishing Scotland as a nation and puts it on the same level as English cities such as Manchester, Leeds or Liverpool. Some Scots see Scotland as being much bigger than simply a comparison to English cities and towns. Also, politics in the UK is unpredictable after Brexit and federalism may be too big a step to take just now.

End devolution- alternative 4!

Another possible, but very unlikely, alternative to devolution in Scotland is to remove the Scottish Parliament and return all powers to Westminster. This option has been raised by some Conservative MPS such as Penny Mordaunt who say that it is unfair on English voters that they don’t have the same benefits such as Free Tuition or Free Prescriptions that Scottish citizens have. This idea would be very unpopular in scotland and actually could lead to an increase in support for Independence.

 It is clear that the Scottish Parliament has made a significant difference in the life of most Scots and a consequence of abolition of it is that it would lead to uproar in scotland and a lot of anger if it was to be removed.

There are many alternatives to how Scotland should be governed. Independence gained a lot of support after the Brexit vote that took Scotland out of the EU against its wishes. Sixty four percent of Scottish voters rejected Brexit but we still left Europe. The increase in powers through Devo max seems to be the most popular among Scottish voters and this may stop the demands for independence from growling louder and louder.

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4 alternative solutions to the way Scotland is governed.

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