We have identified over 650 questions and answers concerning many of the topics featured on this site. The information is categorised and can be reached by navigating via the entries below.

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How will services such as energy, post, telecommunications, rail and water be regulated in an independent Scotland?

We propose that, in an independent Scotland, these industries will be regulated by a combined economic regulator.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will be the benefit of a combined economic regulator?

A single economic regulator will reduce the number of regulatory bodies business has to deal with in Scotland, while increasing the consistency of decision-making. It will also be a more powerful regulator, with a stronger voice to act on behalf of consumers and ensure that Scottish markets work efficiently.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Does Scotland have the necessary experience to deliver economic regulation?

Yes. Scotland already has responsibility for economic regulation in the water and sewerage sector, and we have an extremely good track record. For example:

  • the average household bill for water services in Scotland for 2013/14 is £54 cheaper than in England or Wales and standards of service are amongst the highest in the UK.

  • the Scottish Parliament, in what was a world first, introduced retail competition for non-domestic customers. Two thirds of business customers now have lower bills as a result.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will the combined economic regulator have a role to play in protecting consumers?

Yes. We plan to task the Scottish regulator with ensuring open and competitive markets to protect the interests of Scottish consumers while ensuring a fair return on investment for business.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will independence impose burdens on businesses by making them deal with another regulator in an independent country?

No. There are 27 independent EU countries with their own regulators, and multinational companies operate in several of them already. Industry also frequently deals with a wide range of regulatory bodies even in the same country, such as environmental, planning, and health and safety regulators.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will independence mean for the regulation of professionals – such as architects and auditors?

The professional regulation systems in place immediately before independence will remain in place on independence. After that, decisions will be made by the government of an independent Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will independence mean for the production of official and national statistics?

Scotland is already part of a UK-wide statistical service that meets professional requirements nationally and for the EU, so we can build on the expertise already in the Scottish statistical service. Following a vote for independence, Scotland will require a designated National Statistics Institute. We propose that the National Records of Scotland should take on that role.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will freedom of information and data protection be regulated in an independent Scotland?

Yes. The functions of the Scottish Information Commissioner will be extended into the areas currently dealt with by the UK Information Commissioner, including data protection, from independence.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.