Scotland's independence referendum: All you need to know

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British Prime Minister David Cameron wants Scotland to remain with Britain's
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday was close to tears as he made a passionate plea to Scotland against voting for independence. Cameron is on visit to the country to make his last attempt ahead of the September 18 referendum on Independence.

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.
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