Scottish to vote on independence in 2014

2012-10-10 12:04

London - Scotland will hold a vote in 2014 on independence in what could result in the eventual breakup of Britain, a British government minister said on Tuesday.

The announcement ended months of stalemate between the Westminster government in London and the Scottish devolved administration in Edinburgh.

"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," Scotland Office minister David Mundell told Sky News.

"We anticipate that happening in autumn 2014."

Mundell's comments suggested both sides had compromised over the timing and format of the referendum.

"There's a meeting on Monday," a government source said when asked about the reported agreement, adding there was no guarantee a deal would be reached.

Up to 40% in support

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who wants to keep Britain intact, had backed holding a vote as soon as possible on whether to end Scotland's 300-year-old union with England, with a simple "yes" or "no" single question.

Alex Salmond, leader of Scotland's nationalist government, had sought a third option to be included in the vote, allowing additional powers to be passed to the Scottish parliament.

However, he 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.

Polls suggest between 30 and 40% of Scots currently support independence.

The Scottish government said "substantial progress" towards an agreement had been made and a final deal was almost ready.

"We are however on track for the full agreement to be presented to the First Minister [Salmond] and the Prime Minister over the next few days," a spokesperson said.

Worse off

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, while Scotland also has its own legal system.

Cameron argues that Scots, and Britain as a whole, would be worse off if they voted for independence, as the bulk of Scotland's funding comes from a £30bn grant from the UK government.

However, Salmond has said an independent Scotland would be entitled to the lion's share of North Sea oil revenues.

A Scottish vote for independence would undermine the foundations of modern Britain which comprises England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland and Britain make up the United Kingdom.

  • cyanideandhappiness - 2012-10-10 12:23

    Do it, smaller government is much more healthier for the world.

  • eva.walle.75 - 2012-10-10 12:40

    What would happen to those born in Scotland who now British citizenship? Would they automatically become Scottish citizens and would they still be citizens of Britain?

      freddie.jones.58367 - 2012-10-10 13:27

      If the same principles are applied as were used when Ireland left the United Kingdom, people will have the choice of which nationality they have.

      DSBennie - 2012-10-10 16:43

      It matters not of which country you are a citizen, EU law gives European citizens the rights of national citizens in the countries of Europe

  • stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-10 12:49


      customdesign - 2012-10-10 13:29


  • suash - 2012-10-10 12:50

    Do it Scots, make sure that William Wallace wasn't killed for nothing :)

      DSBennie - 2012-10-10 16:46

      Well it was a Scottish King (King James VI of Scotland) who gained the throne of England (From Elizabeth I) and it was Queen Anne, his great grand daughter who made the union between the two crowns in 1707

  • customdesign - 2012-10-10 13:05

    I think it will be a stupid move on Scotland behalf to become independent. They have a lot going for them being part of the UK and already have much control.

  • - 2012-10-10 13:08

    @eva.walle.75 Children born today in Scotland are automatically British citizens as Britain is made up of Scotland, England and Wales. If they break the union then all people of Scotland will only be Scottish and no longer British.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-10 13:40

      They will still be "British" because Scotland forms part of the British Isles, but they will not form part of the United Kingdom. A Scot doesn't mind being called British, but under no circumstances call him English :-)

  • delish7564 - 2012-10-10 13:29

    I don't think it's such a good idea to have complete independance. Also, some dimwit didn't do their research properly and signed away Oil rights without checking the map, so Mr Salmond may find he isn't entitled to any revenue, then where will he be?!!!!

      DSBennie - 2012-10-10 16:49

      All of the UK's North Sea Oil fields lie in the Economic Exclusion Zone of Scotland, the taxes of the revenue would go to them, not the UK, that is not in dispute

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