On the subject of Scotland’s global PR, Mr Malone suggestedthat Scotland’s global reputaon is suﬀering as a result of theUK intenon to hold a referendum on EU membership.Mr Malone suggested that the Scosh Government is morepro-European than the UK Government, and pointed out thatthe UK Independence Party (UKIP) has so far made noprogress in Scotland. He made the point that internaonalpercepons of Scotland are coloured by UK foreign policy.Turning ﬁnally to the queson of how Scotland is promotedabroad, Mr Malone observed that, at the UK level, thispromoon is undertaken by the Foreign and CommonwealthOﬃce (FCO). He referred to a document entled
Plan for Growth
produced by the UK Government, purporng topromote UK legal services internaonally, but observed thatthe original document referred to the ‘supremacy of Englishcontract law’, which is diﬀerent from Scosh contract law.He argued that this demonstrates a tendency to conﬂate UKlaw with English law, and in parcular with the London legalscene. The document was subsequently revised, but MrMalone suggested that it is sll heavily focused on Londonand the English legal system, and promotes English lawyersover Scosh lawyers.Summing up, Mr Malone concluded that brand confusion,negave PR and confusion in promong Scotland could allbe eliminated by Scosh independence. He added thatIndependencepresentsanopportunityforScotlandtomanageits own PR internaonally, to showcase Scosh businesswithout caveat, and to create a world capital in Edinburgh.
Mr Stephen Boyd, Assistant Secretary, Policy and CampaignsDepartment, Scosh Trades Union Congress
Mr Boyd addressed the issue of the labour market, andsuggested that this is an area which has so far not beendiscussed as part of the debate on Scotland’s constuonalfuture. Mr Boyd observed that the economy is aﬀected byhow the labour market funcons. He added that the labourmarket is also highly relevant to some of the issues that havebeen at the forefront of the constuonal debate; forexample, opons for a currency union, which is heavilyinﬂuenced by labour force mobility, as well as policy aroundtaxaon. Mr Boyd suggested that tackling inequality has beena key theme of the constuonal debate. He pointed out thatinequality at the Scosh level cannot be tackled unless andunl inequalies in the labour market are tackled. Mr Boydobserved that in spite of its relevance, the only aspect of thelabour market which has been addressed by either side of the constuonal debate is pensions, but that even this areahas not been addressed in a very enlightened way.Mr Boyd observed that the labour market is a complex enty.Recent stascs on the Scosh labour market have beenreasonably posive relave to the rest of the UK, and theScosh labour market is highly integrated with the rest of the UK. The Scosh labour market is lightly regulated, andhas labour market instuons which are UK-wide and/or UK-aﬃliated. He added that trade union density in Scotland ishigherthanfortheUKasawhole.Inrelaontotheperformanceof the Scosh labour market, Mr Boyd observed that it hasperformed well since devoluon, relave to the UK and byinternaonal standards. Scotland has maintained relavelyhigh employment levels, but does suﬀer from long-standingregional unemployment, as well as high levels of low-paidwork and high levels of under-employment. Mr Boydsuggested that some of these, and other, negave labourmarket trends were apparent before the recession began in2008, and asked what might happen with regard to thesetrends as Scotland and the UK move towards recovery. Hesuggested that these negave labour market trends will havetobeaddressed,especiallyiftheaspiraonsofthe‘Yes’campaignin Scotland for the Scosh economy are to be achieved.Mr Boyd turned to the queson of what Scoshindependence might entail with regard to the labour market.He suggested that it is diﬃcult to discern a raonale fordevolving labour markets under enhanced devoluon, butobserved that independence is an enrely diﬀerent maer.He suggested that a newly independent Scosh Governmentmight want to do as lile as possible to upset the levels of integraon between Scosh and UK labour markets. On theother hand, it may wish to shi towards a model morealigned with that of small European naons, for example theNordic naons to which Scotland oen compares itself.Mr Boyd addressed the queson of what this might look like.He observed that, contrary to popular belief, Nordic labourmarkets are not heavily regulated, only slightly more so thanthe UK. Instead these labour markets are characterised byhigh trade union density and wide collecve bargainingcoverage. Nordic naons invest massively in European labourmarket programmes, as compared with the UK, which investsvery lile as a proporon of GDP. Unemployment insurancein the Nordic states is amongst the most generous in theworld, and signiﬁcantly more generous than that in the UK.Given this very diﬀerent environment, Mr Boyd posed thequeson:
How might an independent Scotland begin to movetowards this model?
Responding to this queson, he observed that the ScoshGovernment has recently published its economic case forindependence, which introduced into the debate some issuesaround the labour market. Mr Boyd observed that, within thisdocument, there are demonstraons of a shi towards asystem of centralised bargaining mechanisms like those of theNordicstates.Thisproposalincludedintroducingmechanismsto formalise the relaonship between Government, employerorganisaons and employee associaons.Mr Boyd indicated surprise at how lile response this proposalhas generated, given that it could have a profound impact onthe Scosh economy and the labour market. He suggestedthat the challenges involved in bringing about a shi towardscentralised bargaining mechanisms are significant. Hepointed out that bargaining structures are part of thecultural and historic fabric of sociees, and are therefore not