What is referendum on Scotland's independence?
- It is a political aim of some political parties, advocacy groups, and individuals in Scotland for the country to become an independent sovereign State.
- A national referendum in this regard is scheduled to be held in country on 18 September 2014.
- The referrendum could end Scotland's 307-year union England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- If referendum is passed, Scotland with some 5.3 million people will become a free nation.
- Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland described the referendum as a once-in-a-generation event.
What will happen on September 18?
- Everyone above the age of 16 who lives in Scotland will take part in the voting. English or Welsh citizens who reside in Scotland can also take part.
- One simple question will be asked with a yes or no answer: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
- If it is a "Yes" vote, the Scottish Government will celebrate its independence before getting down to the process of negotiating with the rest of the UK.
- But, if it "No" vote, the UK Government will have a grand party and try to more powers to the devolved Scottish Parliament.
What British PM Cameron says?
- British Prime Minister David Cameron wants Scotland to remain with Britain's "family of nations".
- He says that if Scotland votes for 'NO', United Kingdom will give them security and strength.
- Cameron said that Britain is one of the world's most successful social and political. He begged the Scots not to rip the 307-year-old union.
Benefits of being independent for Scotland
- It is considered that the 300-year-old Union is no longer fit for purpose and that an independent Scotland would be one of the world's richest countries.
- The supporters think that it's time for Scotland to take charge of its own destiny rather than being the shackles of a London-based UK Parliament.
- It is argued that Scotland would be better off after independence and will get revenues from North Sea oil and gas found in Scottish waters.
- The energy industry will get better and boost in production will create a wealth fund.
What will happen if it is 'Yes'?
- The Scottish Government will have to set in motion a process to produce a written constitution. Queen Elizabeth II would remain head of state.
- UK's defence capability will be affected as the Scottish Government made it clear that it wants to remove nuclear weapons from the country.
- Scotland would have to renegotiate its entry to both NATO and the European Union.
- The split of Scotland from Britain could influence others.
- The British Prime Minister will likely come under pressure to resign.
- If Cameron does not resign, he would have to move quickly to avoid financial instability.
When did Scotland become part of the UK?
- The Acts of union between Scotland and England were passed in 1706, taking effect on 1 May, 1707.
- On that day, the Parliament of Great Britain was formed.
Why did the two sides strike the deal?
- The English didn't want Scotland to choose a different monarch from the one sitting on the English throne.
- While, Scots were seriously cash-strapped and need support.