The Scots are preparing to possibly end their 307 year relationship with the United Kingdom and become the world’s newest independent country. Looking on are many Canadians, who are left scratching their heads wondering what this is really about. Well, scratch no more because we’re here to give you the quick lowdown about this sometimes tumultuous affair.
UPDATE: It looks like Scotland has decided to give it another go with the U.K. Fifty five per cent of Scots thought it was best to stay in the union while only 45 per cent of them wanted to succeed. Over 3.6 million votes were cast to decide Scotland’s fate. Now the question is, how will Scotland’s demands (for sticking with U.K.) be met? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
England wouldn’t quit
The Kingdom of Scotland (KoS) was an independent nation during the early Middle Ages. The Kingdom of England tried to take over the Scots by invading them twice during the 13th and 14th century, but KoS thwarted their advance. Then, in 1707, KoS finally entered into a union with England and Wales to become Great Britain and they’ve been together ever since.
Who really has the power?
The ball for an independent Scotland got rolling back in 1999 when London’s parliament decided to once again allow the Scottish Parliament to reconvene almost 300 years after it dismantled because of their union.
Then, in 2012, the Edinburgh Agreement was signed. It was an agreement by both the Scottish and U.K. government to have a referendum on the independence for Scotland.
Yes means they break away, no means they stay
Remember when Quebec held two referendums, one in 1980 and one in 1995, to determine whether they’d break up with Canada? That’s kind of what the Scottish independence referendum is about. We’ll find out whether they’ve opted to leave or stay on Friday morning at the earliest.
Can I vote? Pretty please?
Are you a Scot living in Canada? Sorry, but you’re out of luck. Only citizens residing in Scotland can go to the polls. Fun facts: The voting age was lowered to 16 and 97 per cent of Scots registered to vote. Pretty amazing stuff.
U.K., let it go
The Yes side believes that an independent Scotland can follow its own destiny (and personal interests) instead of lying in the shadows of the U.K. According to some, Scotland has all the ingredients to become one of the world’s most prosperous nations (per capita) due to its small size and its offshore oil fields.
Don’t leave me tonight
Just like that Bon Jovi song, the U.K. doesn’t want Scotland to leave it behind. The No side argues that it’s too risky for Scotland to go it alone. “What if Scotland fails, what happens then?” That’s what they’re asking. They’re also worried that Scotland and the U.K. would appear weaker on the world stage as separate entities.
Um, whose side are the celebs on?
Hey, we know you’re wondering what the rich and famous think about all of this, so here’s a rundown:
The “Let’s Stay Together” camp is comprised of David Bowie, Susan Boyle, Emma Thompson, Harry Potter author JK Rowling and many more, while Sean Connery, Gerard Butler and tennis champion Andy Murray have joined the ranks of the “Less U.K., More Scotland” group.