The Church of Scotland has responded to the UK Government's reply to the Calman Commission and the fact that there will be a parliamentary White Paper on Scottish independence next week, setting out its principles for discussion.
The Rev Ian Galloway, convener of the Kirk's Church and Society Council, said that “all debates [about] how we are governed should be underpinned by three principles. Debates about the future of Scotland should include as many people as possible and constitutional discussions should not exclude the most marginal in society. [ Discussion] should be rooted in the values we want from our society."
Galloway continued: "Any constitutional changes proposed should be primarily about how we better tackle poverty, especially child poverty, and promote social justice”.
The Kirk spokesperson continued by saying that the Church of Scotland "is committed to engaging with all sides in the national debates that will take place over the coming months and years and calls on politicans to make a commitment to open engagement with the communities they represent”.
The issue of independence and of the union with Britain has been a long standing issue in Scotland, but has grown in importance with the devolutionary and constitutional changes promoted in recent years by the British government, and the rise of the Scottish National Party (SNP) as a governing force within the country.