Will Scotland End Its 307-Year-Old Union With Britain?

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On September 18th, the residents of Scotland (16 and older) will head to the polls to say Yes or No to the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?". The answer to this simple question will decide whether Scotland will become the world's newest independent nation or, continue its 307-year-old alliance with Britain.

Though they have remained together for over three centuries, the relationship between the two has been somewhat testy ever since the 1707 Act of Union joined the Kingdom of Scotland with England and Wales. However, the seeds of regaining independence were not planted until May 1999, when Tony Blair, the leader of the UK's Labour party won a landslide victory by promising Scotland a devolution or the right to make their own laws about certain issues like education, transport and tourism. Upon being elected Mr. Blair made good on his promise and the Scottish Parliament reconvened for the first time, in 292 years!

Everyone appeared happy with the arrangement until the 2007 elections, when the Scottish National Party won 47 seats, one more than the ruling Labour party. This led to a coalition government with Alex Salmond, the SNP leader at the helm. Not satisfied with Britain still making all the major decisions for Scotland, Salmond began to push the British Parliament for more autonomy. By 2010, he had convinced the coalition government to draft a bill on an Independence referendum. The document proposed that the UK should extend the Scottish Parliament extra powers or better still, grant them complete independence.

Things began to escalate after the 2011 elections, which the SNP party won with a landslide victory. With Salmond still leading the charge, the new government launched a massive campaign to try convince Scottish residents and the British government to allow Scotland become an independent nation. By January 2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron, had no choice but to agree to the one-question referendum to see if the majority of Scotland's residents felt the same way. He even agreed Salmond's request to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 and that the referendum be presented to the public in 2014.

This gave Salmond ample time to begin a 'Yes Scotland' campaign and write up a detailed, 677- page White Paper. Entitled 'Scotland's Future: Your guide to an independent Scotland', it outlined all the benefits the Scottish residents would have, if they voted for independence.

While Britain did launch a counter campaign entitled 'Better Together' to defend the Union, the officials were not too concerned. They believed that come September 18th, Scottish residents would do the 'right' thing and stick with their 307-year-old partner.

However, with less than a week to go, things are not looking as promising. A poll taken on September 7th, indicated that 51% are ready to take charge of their own future and intend to vote for independence. This new information seems to have finally woken up the British officials, which is why on Tuesday, September 9th, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition Labor leader Ed Miliband, scrambled over to Scotland to convince the residents not to vote for this drastic measure. They even promised the residents further fiscal autonomy if they chose to stay with the Union.Is it enough to convince this nation of 5.3 million people not to secede?

Turns out that the British officials are not the only ones eager to find out. Everyone, from the nationalists who have been leading the charge on separating Quebec and Catalonia from their respective countries to corporations like British Petroleum and even the International Monetary Fund, is waiting with abated breath to find out what the Scottish people decide on September 18th - So stay tuned!

Resources: telegraph.co.uk, cnn.com, newstateman.com, BBC.co.uk

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194 Comments
  • lunest
    lunestMonday, August 8, 2016 at 6:08 pm
    this is really depressing
    • lunest
      lunestMonday, August 8, 2016 at 6:05 pm
      i really hope britain will rejoin the eu. it was 48% to 52%.too close!!none of this would of happened otherwise!!!
      • kittenSaturday, July 2, 2016 at 9:14 am
        Exactly! Thank you, greece_eu!
        • greece_eu
          greece_euWednesday, June 29, 2016 at 4:46 pm
          Of course! Scotland should leave the UK and join the EU as an independent country. This'll give Scotland desirable independence, along with a huge advantage of making important decisions on their own. The people of Scotland are Scottish, not British!
          • captianspab
            captianspabWednesday, May 25, 2016 at 6:22 pm
            cool :/
            • robustWednesday, May 25, 2016 at 12:57 pm
              @bigmelo I was going to say that but ok
              • Awesome DudeWednesday, December 2, 2015 at 10:43 am
                i really like the article
                • Awesome DudeWednesday, December 2, 2015 at 10:36 am
                  cool
                  • bigmelo
                    bigmeloThursday, March 5, 2015 at 7:19 am
                    I can just think about William Wallace saying, "Freedom!" as his last words. Wow, he was sure one of the most iconic leaders of all time. :D
                    • nikukyu
                      nikukyuTuesday, February 17, 2015 at 1:51 am
                      OMG THIS WAS WRITTEN ON MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!
                      • bigmelo
                        bigmeloThursday, March 5, 2015 at 7:18 am
                        Your birthday's on September 11? Happy birthday! Did you know that on September 11, 2001, terrorist airstrikes attacked the United States? People say that I have the handwriting of a computer, & I find it ironic that I have the same birthday as the guy who invented the printing press! :D
                        • crystalmori
                          crystalmoriThursday, March 5, 2015 at 3:18 pm
                          OMG, the irony! I can't think of anything special that's happened on my birthday.... Besides, of course, my birthday. :D
                          • nikukyu
                            nikukyuThursday, March 5, 2015 at 11:49 pm
                            9/12 is international space day... Pretty cool, isn't it?
                          • fungirl34
                            fungirl34Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 9:07 am
                            george washington died on my birthday dec 14
                            • bigmelo
                              bigmeloThursday, March 5, 2015 at 4:05 pm
                              Whoa! I wonder if that brings any good luck or bad - you know, superstition-wise. :D
                          • andreww3210
                            andreww3210Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 10:03 am
                            Das ist eine maricle . 👍👍👍👍
                            • robokid
                              robokidWednesday, March 4, 2015 at 4:00 am
                              funny
                              • nikukyu
                                nikukyuWednesday, March 4, 2015 at 2:38 am
                                Thank you? Sorry I can not read that.
                                • crystalmori
                                  crystalmoriWednesday, March 4, 2015 at 7:50 pm
                                  I think he's saying it's a miracle? Idk, though.
                                  • lunest
                                    lunestMonday, August 8, 2016 at 6:06 pm
                                    yes he is, i speak german
                                    • bigmelo
                                      bigmeloThursday, March 5, 2015 at 7:14 am
                                      Yup! It's typed in German. He said, "This is a miracle." :D Hope it helped!
                                      • frankiebaby
                                        frankiebabyThursday, March 5, 2015 at 7:37 am
                                        you are so smart bigmelo. how many languages do you know fluently??
                                        • bigmelo
                                          bigmeloThursday, March 5, 2015 at 8:56 am
                                          Aw, shucks. :) I know three languages fluently, & two languages adequately. :D The three languages are English, Spanish, & Chinese. The other two are French & German. Thanks so much! I bet you're pretty smart, too.
                                          • frankiebaby
                                            frankiebabyFriday, March 6, 2015 at 5:15 am
                                            I am the second smartest in my class, but you are probably much smarter, and we are around the same age