After a 300 year union, Scotland hold a vote in 2012 on independence that could spark the break up of the United Kingdom.
A British official announced that the Scottish Government intends to hold a referendum (a straight forward yes or no vote) on the issue of independence from the British government.
A white paper for the bill was published back in November 2009, followed by a draft bill for public consultation for a yes/no referendum in February 2010. The Scottish National Party or SNP failed to obtain support for the referendum from other parties and withdrew the plan just before the 2011 election. Now, after winning the majority the SNP restarted plans to hold the referendum in the Autumn 2014.
Since then the party has been trapped in a stalemate with Westminster government of London.
Scotland Office Minister David Mundell reported, “What will happen is that Westminster will devolve the power to the Scottish Parliament to hold a single-question referendum on whether Scotland should be in or out of the United Kingdom.” The comment suggests that both sides seemed to have reached a compromise over the timing and format of the referendum.
Under the devolved system of government, the Scottish parliament has control over health, education and prisons. It also the power to pass laws on a range of subjects and to raise or lower the basic rate of income tax by up to 3 pence in the pound.
Alex Salmond, Leader of Scotland’s nationalist government had sought a third option to be included in the vote that would allow for additional power to be passed to the Scottish parliament. Also, Salmond had also pushed for a delay until 2014, the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn (a famous Scottish victory over the English) giving his independence campaign more time to persuade voters to support the split.
British Prime Minister David Cameron had backed holding a vote as soon as possible on whether or not England and Scotland would remain unified, despite wanting to keep Britain intact. He argues that Scots, and Britain as a whole, would be worse off if they voted for independence seeing as the bulk of Scotland’s funding comes from a 30 billion pound grant from the UK government.
Salmond has argued back saying that an independent Scotland would be entitled to the lion’s share of North Sea oil revenues.
The Prime Minister announced earlier today that he would fight Scottish independence and “Save the United Kingdom.”
Do you think Scotland should be independent from the UK?