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18 April 2014, Friday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Scots’ push for Britain breakup begins in earnest

ALEX SALMOND (PHOTO: REUTERS)
25 May 2012, Friday /REUTERS
Supporters of independence for Scotland on Friday were launching what they said was the biggest grassroots campaign in Scottish history, a move that could result in the demise of a 305-year-old union with England and the breakup of Britain.

Seeking to tap into a cocktail of historical rivalry, opposing political tastes, and a perception that the British parliament in London does not nurture Scotland’s national interests, the “Yes Scotland” campaign says it wants to win a referendum on independence in 2014 and for the country to become fully independent by 2016.

“For the first time the issue is real because people are going to have a vote,” a spokesman for the campaign, who said he could not be named in line with protocol, told Reuters.

“People are more open to this than they have ever been before. It is fundamentally better for our future if decisions about Scotland are taken by the people who care about it the most.” If successful, such a move could create serious problems for Britain - which comprises England, Scotland and Wales (Britain is in turn part of the United Kingdom which also includes Northern Ireland).

Britain’s Trident nuclear submarine fleet is based in Scotland, revenues from Scottish North Sea oil remain important to its coffers, and analysts say Britain would find it harder to maintain its voice at international bodies such as the U.N. Security Council as well as in European Union decision-making.

“The biggest issue for the UK is defence,” Professor John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde said in a phone interview. “The question would be whether an independent Scotland would allow the UK to maintain its nuclear facilities there.”

Despite its relatively small population of just over five million -- compared to England’s population of just over 52 million -- a vote for Scottish independence inevitably would diminish Britain’s voice on the world stage, he added.

“The rest of the world would be surprised and shocked that the UK was unable to hold together. It would not be perceived to be as big a player as it is now. Its weight in the world would be diminished.”

Opinion polls show that around 40 percent of Scottish people are sympathetic to independence, with around 10 percent undecided and the remaining 50 percent opposed. South of the border in England, polls show people are largely apathetic.

The independence drive is being led by Alex Salmond, the feisty leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP). His party won a majority in Scottish elections last year and under the country’s devolved system of government, it has control over health, education and prisons.

The British government in London controls foreign policy and defense. Yet Scotland has many of the trappings of an independent nation -- its own flag, sports teams, culture and a history of achievements in science and literature.

 
 
COMMENTS
I for one having lived and educated in Scotland, think that it would be much better if Scotland could separate to make its own destined course.. The English are not the same people as Scots with a very ancient history. The Act of Union of early 1700 should be revoked and all British Assets split fo...
Al Khan
This vote sounds like a good idea. People should have the right to be governed by leaders that represent thier interests. Is British stature is the consequence of a vote to form an independant country, thats to bad for England. Might also be a good idea for the Kurds in Turkey.
rich
after this welsh is gonna be next in line and in 20 years UK is gonna be the size of state of rhode island not sure about all these small counties poping up all over the world thats sign of a trouble ahead
wildTurkey
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