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There are a number of key legal issues that would underpin the formation of any independent Scottish state. The most important of these is the principle of continuity: that is, that the remainder of the UK would be the continuing state and an independent Scotland would be a new state. The first paper in the Government’s ‘Scotland Analysis’ programme deals with this issue in detail.
The question of the allocation of national debt would be informed by the principle of equity and international practice. On that basis, a new state would be expected to take its ‘equitable share’ of any national debt as accepted by the Scottish Government Finance Secretary in his evidence to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee.