Arguments for ‘incorporating’ union

As soon as Scottish and English MPs began negotiations for union in 1706 there was a debate about the two options - an ‘incorporating’ or ‘federal’ union. The following arguments were made for an incorporating union.


Incorporating meant there would be a shared Parliament, removing the danger of disputes between separate governments in Edinburgh and London.

There would also be less chance of reversal of the union, since both nations would have to agree before any division.

Power and security

The permanence of an incorporating union would strengthen Great Britain. Political co-operation would mean greater military security, with a reduced threat of foreign invasion.

The combined histories of the two countries would mean prestige and power for the new country. With improved safety from foreign threats there would be better protection of trade by the Royal Navy.

English desires

Scottish negotiators for union knew that England would only accept incorporating union, which meant that this would be the only option worth negotiating about. Also, an English military threat, should incorporating union not be agreed, remained at the front of the minds of Scots.