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D-day for Scotland – Yes or No!

By Tai Chishakwe - Sep 18, 2014
D-day for Scotland – Yes or No!

Scottish voters today (Thursday) will choose whether to continue their 307-year-old union with England or become a separate nation — the 31st formed since World War II. The polls leading up this vote had shown that both the Yes and No camps were head-to-head and nobody can predict the result for today’s vote.

Here are the facts about this important vote

If Scotland votes for secede, the United Kingdom (which is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) will lose a third of its territory and 8% of its citizens.

Why would Scotland want to break-away now? In 1999, the UK parliament began transferring some powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ten years later, in 2009, the Scottish parliament then decided to go all the way and push for an independence vote. In 2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to the referendum believing a case for independence was weak at the time.

The Yes camp wants Scotland to have more direct control over its affairs.

However, the No campaigners believe by being part of the United Kingdom, Scotland will enjoy a bigger say in world affairs through alliances such as the European Union and NATO – in which the UK enjoys great influence. They also claim that the Scotts will get more jobs, stronger financial services, continued use of the British pound and a tradition of partnership that goes back three centuries if they choose to stay.

Which side will win today?

Polls have shown that the vote is too close to call. A poll in early September showed support for independence slightly ahead.

Since then, most polls have shown the "No" campaign to be ahead by a few percentage points.

From 1 August to 8 September, Facebook had more than 10 million referendum-related posts from across the U.K. Interactions around the phrase "Vote Yes" outpaced "Vote No" by 2-to-1.

Leaders form the U.K.'s three main political parties have been furiously campaigning for a "No" vote and attended rally’s in Scotland to sway the Scottish voters.

"Let no one in Scotland be in any doubt: we desperately want you to stay; we do not want this family of nations to be ripped apart," Cameron wrote in an opinion piece last week in the Daily Mail.

He, however, said he would not resign if Scotland votes to leave the U.K – however observers, say his party (the Conservatives) could re-evaluate his leadership if he becomes the man who lost Scotland.

On the other hand, Cameron’s party could gain a lot from Scottish independence since it’s the Labor and Liberal Democrat parties who have always enjoyed large support from Scotland where some suggest is a disdain for the Conservatives.

Travel between Scotland and England

If Scotland chooses independence, travel between the two could become more difficult and involve border checks, passports and even visas. However, that could be avoided if Scotland immediately joins the EU which permits free movement across member countries.

What about currency?

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) desire to keep the U.K.'s central bank and the pound will not compatible with sovereignty. However, the SNP says the pound belongs as much to Scotland as it does to England.

The issues of the Queen

Ultimately Queen Elizabeth II, who is the formal head of state for the U.K., Canada, Australian and New Zealand, would become Queen of Scots. The SNP, however, said that she will remain head of state for as long as the people of Scotland want to remain a monarchy.

Scotland's proposed independence day to be on March 24, 2016. 

Photo Caption: YES... One person who would Scotland to remain within the UK is British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Some suggest his future in politics could be uncertain if Scotland manages to break away under his watch. Image: dailyslave.com