Will Scotland leave the United Kingdom?

LUIZ BRASIL

A poll released last week shows the highest ever level of support for Scottish independence. With only a week left until Scots vote whether or not to secede, the fate of the United Kingdom is left hanging.

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On Sept. 18, Scottish voters will go to the polls where they will be asked to answer Yes or No to the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” A poll conducted by YouGov shows that support for independence has jumped to 47 percent, while those against have dropped to 53 percent, the lowest since polling began. “A ‘Yes’ victory is now a real possibility,” said YouGov President Peter Kellner, one of Britain’s most respected pollsters. “A close finish looks likely.” This poll shows that a fractured United Kingdom is a serious possibility that would mean drastic changes for the country.

Negotiations would start with London on what to do about Scottish national debt, offshore oil, and the fate of Britain’s nuclear submarine base in Scotland; all to meet the independence target of Mar. 24, 2016.

In a recent visit to the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke in favour of holding the UK together.

Harper asked what breaking up the United Kingdom would do to resolve any of the major problems common to western industrialized countries, such as job losses to less developed countries or strained social programs.

“We think from a Canadian perspective that a strong and United Kingdom is an overwhelmingly positive force in the world and that there’s nothing in dividing those countries that would serve either greater global interests or frankly the interests of people in those countries.” said Harper.

Secession would likely mean the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron before the 2015 national election, but his Conservative Party is not the only one in trouble. The Labour Party, current official opposition and rulers from 1997 to 2010, would suffer a huge loss of supporters, as most Scott’s who support the Labour Party are also in favour of independence.

Kellner said that the poll data was so shocking that he had double checked for a sampling error upon seeing it, “When I first saw our data, I wanted to make sure the movement was real.” But after checking it said he was “certain it is”. “The ‘Yes’ campaign has both gained converts, and secured a two-to-one lead among people who were undecided and have now taken sides,” Kellner said. Much of the polls success is attributed to pro-independence leader Alex Salmond’s victory in a televised debate.

“More and more people are beginning to realize that a ‘Yes’ vote is Scotland’s one opportunity to make that enormous wealth work better for everybody who lives and works here,” said Blair Jenkins, head of the independence campaign team. British online betting and games company Ladbrokes said that Scotland independence odds skyrocketed overnight to 11:4, whereas they were 5:1 in August. “Since the second debate we’ve been taking upwards of 5,000 pounds worth of bets a day for ‘Yes” from all over Scotland” said a Ladbrokes spokesman. “It’s basically one way traffic at the moment.”

Great Britain came into being through the Acts of Union, 1707 that united England and Scotland. If Scotland votes yes to leave the United Kingdom it will end a 300 year-old political union.

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