The most important day in recent Scottish history has arrived today, with millions of voters deciding whether they want their independence from Britain.
So we ask ourselves the inevitable question, what are the outlining points of independence and how will this effect Scotland?
The argument for YES
- Scotland would have its own government and not rely on the powers of Westminster to determine their fate.
- With the majority of Scots being socialists, they feel that there will never be a fair decision in government who they would vote for.
- Nuclear weapons will no longer be built in Scotland, under the ‘Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons’ treaty. The UK excluded itself and therefore is still building nuclear weapons in Scotland.
- Scotland’s oil reserves would make it one of the wealthiest nations in Europe if the revenue and tax did not go to Westminster.
- The Scottish people will be better off financially as Scotland has its own resources.
- Creation of jobs in new localised department offices, as well as the capability of becoming a lead supplier in energy and electricity.
- Pensioners and the healthcare system will be better off, scrapping the bedroom tax and maintaining minimum wages.
- A more equal wage compared to the vast difference between London wages and wages in Scotland. The Scottish believe this will result in less jealousy and greed.
- The belief that Scotland and England will become better friends if there is no political compromise.
- The UK could withdraw powers from Scotland if they vote not to go independent, reflecting a lack of confidence.
The argument for NO
- Both countries have been united since 1707 and although there are cultural differences, the countries will be more stable as one.
- The Yes campaign cannot guarantee a better way of life, and there is no guarantee that things will improve in day to day life.
- People are dubious that the healthcare system and pensions will be better off if Scotland is independent.
- You believe the EU doesn’t seem to be beneficial for the UK.
- Although Scandinavian countries are thriving as independents, Scotland is only inhabited by just over 5 million people and owns a vast amount of unusable land mass. Owning over 790 islands, only 130 are inhabited. There is concern whether it can survive on its own.
- You are happy with the Tory government and believe the choices made in Westminster are the right ones.
- There is a belief, although not proven, that Scotland costs the UK more to keep and it actually generates, if this is true, Scotland will not be better off with independence.
- The vast income and revenue from oil in the Scottish part of the North Sea is too much to spend for a small country like Scotland. You find it fair to share these vast resources with the rest of the United Kingdom and benefit both from the wealth and revenue.
- It is proven that owning nuclear weapons is a deterrent against enemies, especially with the oil being such a high stake.
- An independent Scotland would lose the protection of the armed forces but would set up a much smaller Scottish army.
There are still hundreds of uncertainties if Scotland win independence, here are a few to get you thinking: Will the monarchy still reign over Scotland? What will happen with British passports? Will England, Wales and Northern Ireland still be known as the United Kingdom? Will Scotland be allowed into the EU? What currency will Scotland use? Will Scotland be a different time zone? Will the Union Flag change? Will British students have to pay tuition fees at Scottish universities? And most importantly for the expats, what will happen to Scottish pensioners living abroad?
The votes are now being counted and the decision will soon be made, let us hope that whichever way the referendum sways, Scotland will still remain the country we all love and respect.