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Scottish independence referendum: Our place in the world

Scottish Secretary says being part of the UK gives us a bigger role on the world stage.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Scotland can do more, reach further and aim higher on the international stage as part of the UK, Alistair Carmichael, the Secretary of State for Scotland, has said.

The Minister was speaking as the UK Government released its latest “In The Know” factsheets detailing the strong and clear global influence enjoys as part of the UK.

Speaking on a ministerial visit to Canada to discuss trade opportunities, he said:

There are many reasons why both the UK and Scotland are stronger together on the global stage.

As part of the UK, Scotland has greater international influence and greater security.

The UK voice is always heard when global decisions are being made. That voice often has a Scottish accent and it always represents Scotland’s interests.

We can do so much more when we work together than we ever could as separate countries. I want to see Scotland continue enjoying the advantages which come as part of the UK and playing a key role in the good changes we can make in the world when we work as one.


The Our Place in the World pack highlights reasons why a United Kingdom benefits us all, these include:

  • Our influence matters – We are a member of the most influential international organisations the G7, G20, NATO, the UN Security Council and the EU. We have the power to defend our interests on the global stage and get a good deal for everyone in the UK.

  • Trade matters – last year alone UKTI helped nearly 2,000 Scottish businesses trade with other countries.

  • Protection matters - Our UK armed forces are world-class and employ many thousands of people in Scotland, defence personnel in Scotland is set to rise from 11,000 personnel today to 12,500 by 2020.

  • Tackling global poverty matters – We can all take pride in the UK’s role as the second largest overseas development donor in the world after the USA, investing £11.4 billion in 2013 alone, with the UK meeting the internationally agreed target of spending 0.7% of national income on international aid.

The Rt Hon David Lidington, Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, said:

The UK’s influence in the world and its ability to do good is not something we can ever take for granted. If Scotland votes for independence, we will all be diminished; less able to stand up in defence of the values that we hold dear. We should continue working together to make the world a better, safer and more prosperous place.

Lord Livingston of Parkhead, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said:

Scotland remaining part of the UK is vital to our success as a trading nation and the strength of our economic recovery. The UK is the number one location of choice for European-bound foreign investment, benefitting Scottish businesses, supply chains, and entrepreneurs. UKTI has a presence in over 100 markets and helped nearly 2,000 Scottish businesses trade with other countries last year alone.

The Our Place in the World pack is the third in a series of packs highlighting the benefits of Scotland remaining in the UK. The aim is to provide voters with clear and accurate information to help them make an informed decision ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014.

Published 28 April 2014