Scotland’s independence vote: What’s at stake

2014-09-18 08:55

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London – Breaking up is hard to do, especially after 307 years. The United Kingdom will find out just how hard if Scotland chooses independence in today’s vote.

What’s at stake

A Yes vote will trigger 18 months of negotiations between Scottish leaders and London-based politicians on how the two countries will separate their institutions ahead of Scotland’s planned Independence Day of March 24 2016.

The issues range from whether Scotland will use the pound as its currency to how much UK debt it should take on to how the military will be split up – and the results will affect all of the UK’s 64 million people, not just the 5.3 million in Scotland.

A Yes vote will also ripple across the 28-nation European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and boost independence movements around the world, including in Spain’s Catalonia region or Flanders in Belgium.

After 307 years of union, voters are being asked the following question: Should Scotland be an independent country?

Only Scottish residents are eligible to vote but people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will find that the outcome changes their lives as well.

It could alter the balance of power in British politics, weaken the nation’s economy and ultimately trigger a separate vote on whether the UK should leave the European Union.

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