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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scotland will make historic vote on independence


The hit Scotland on Monday the terms for a historic referendum on independence, after their leader signed an agreement with Britain finalizing arrangements for voting, which can lead to the end of a union of three centuries with England. The initiative by the Scottish sovereignty, led by nationalist leader Alex Salmond, echoing separatist movements in other regions of Europe, such as Catalonia and Flanders at the time that the European Union shaken by the crisis is undergoing profound changes in its identity. Signed in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, the agreement will allow Scotland to decide in a referendum in 2014 whether to become an independent country or remain in the UK. Nationalists stipulated time of the election to coincide with the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, when Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce defeated English invaders. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, opposes the pressure of Scotland, arguing that Britain is stronger united. But the British government agrees that it is for Scotland to decide their future in a vote. "There are many things I want (the government) to achieve, but what could be more important than saving our UK?," Cameron said in a speech last week. "Let's assume: we are better together and we will grow together." According to Salmond, the agreement will see Scotland taking an important step towards independence. "And the means to create a more just and prosperous Scotland," Salmond said before the meeting. "I look forward to working positively for a vote in 2014." Scotland already has many of the trappings for a nation to become independent, as its own flag, the legal system, sports teams, as well as a specific national identity after centuries of rivalry with its southern neighbor. The British government argues that an independent Scotland - home to about 5 million people-would have trouble dealing with finances, since most of the current funding comes from a grant of 30 billion pounds (48 billion dollars) the UK government. But one of the most controversial issues at stake is the ownership of some 20 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas below the British part of the North Sea. Britain is also concerned with the future of its fleet of nuclear submarines based in Scotland, as Salmond said there would be no place for nuclear weapons in the soil of Scotland after independence. Move the fleet to another location would be costly and time consuming. Many are not convinced about Scottish independence. Opinion polls show that between 30 and 40 percent of them are in favor, a variation that has changed little as negotiations intensified. Scotland and England have shared a monarch since 1603 and has been ruled by a parliament in London since 1707.

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