The people of Scotland were on Tuesday given a glimpse of what the future would look like if they decide to vote for independence in a referendum next year as the Scottish government unveiled a “transition” plan which would see the country become formally independent in March 2016 — severing its 300-year-old union with the United Kingdom (U.K.).

The “declaration of independence” would be followed by elections to Parliament in May, and the new independent Parliament would draw up a written constitution reflecting “the values of the people of Scotland”, according to a 16-page document published by the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP).

Alex Salmond, leader of the SNP and Scotland’s First Minister, said the time-line for transition was in line with the experience of other countries which gained independence. Critics, however, accused him of putting the cart before the horse pointing out a new poll showing that only 32 per cent were in favour of independence.