Alex Salmond became famous for winning a landslide election in 2007 and being the first nationalist to be elected as First Minister of Scotland. Since this time he has been promoting Scottish Independence. This highly debated subject which would have serious political, economic and social repercussions for Scots is slowly coming to the forefront of our attention. Salmond has finally announced the date for the referendum when Scots will have just one simple question to answer, “Should Scotland become an independent country?” The date that will decide the outcome will be Thursday September 18th 2014.
This date will be a keystone political event for both Scotland and the UK. Salmond’s speech 3 days ago was full of rhetoric about “honour” and it being a “historic day”; he is clearly feeling very positive about the pending results even though it’s a long 18 months away. There is a risk that his vigour and optimism may still not turn into the result he wants for the country. At the moment, the citizen support for independence stands at about 32% which is clearly insufficient for SNP’s satisfaction.
The main flaw of the argument for the “Yes Scotland” campaign is that there does not seem to be a real argument. In fighting for a referendum so heavily it has meant that the SNP and the Scottish Green Party who are both at the head of the independence campaign, can gloss over the gritty details. Now the date has been released, this may not be the case for much longer. The “pro-UK Better Together” group, argues convincingly that many of the ramifications of independence would be legal ones. If successful, Scotland would become a ‘new’ state which could not inherit the same legal personality as the ‘old’ state (the rest of the UK), meaning huge upheavals to legal and economic policy for the country. Furthermore, the finalising of the separation of the states may not be complete for as many as 3 years after a result is announced.
In our Opinions on…Scottish Independence article in February, the pros and cons of independence were looked at. For Scotland’s economic stability it makes more sense for the country to remain part of the UK. As Scotland is such a small country with dependence on the sterling as well as a wobbly increase in reliance on oil and gas, it could just be too risky to set off on an independent foot. However, considering so many policies that determine the way Scots live their lives are finalised down in Westminster, there is reasoning for a more democratic system to be in place.
One thing’s for sure, even if we cannot be certain that Scotland will remain as part of the UK in the future, Alex Salmond is not going anywhere and will be self-promoting for the next 18 months.
Images: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/its-make-your-mind-up-1130, Telegraph.co.uk