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Civil religion in the UK, Canada, Australia and the Commonwealth

By Norman Bonney,
Manchester University Press, October 2013

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Monday, 14 May 2012

Scottish independence and the protestant monarchy

Scottish independence: An opportunity to end religious discrimination in succession to the throne.

Negotiations to achieve Scottish independence require amendments to the Act of Union of 1707 and thus will provide an opportunity to remove the religiously discriminatory nature of the current UK monarchy which was built into the three centuries old legislation by negotiators from north and south of the border. Such a step would be in accordance with the resolution of the Scottish Parliament, agreed in 1999, to remove religious discrimination from succession to the throne.

The Act of Union currently restricts succession to the throne to Protestants and excludes Roman Catholics and members of other religions from qualifying.

In a paper published in the latest issue of the Political Quarterly, Norman Bonney, emeritus professor of Edinburgh Napier University, also states that the negotiations over independence, could also require an end to the practice whereby a new monarch is required to declare his or her protestant faith at the UK parliament or at the coronation.

‘Scottish independence, state religion and the monarchy’ by Norman Bonney is published in the latest issue of the Political Quarterly, 83, 2, April- June 2012, 360 -367.