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Independence For Scotland Yes Or No?

Updated on August 9, 2014

Independence For Scotland?

The Lion Rampant, The Royal insignia of Scotland.
The Lion Rampant, The Royal insignia of Scotland. | Source

The Scottish Independence Debate

On Thursday September 18th 2014, The people of Scotland will vote to decide if they want to stay as a part of the United Kingdom or if they would like to leave the United Kingdom and become an Independent Country.

The question on the ballot paper will simply read "Should Scotland Be An Independent Country?"

The voters will either tick a box marked "YES," or a box marked "NO,".

It took politicians almost three months to come up with how to word the question so that it wasn't biased toward either side of the debate.

Alex Salmond First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party is leading the campaign for the Yes vote.

Alisdair Darling a former Chancellor Of the Exchequer and a Prominent Member of the UK Parliament from the Labour Party Is leading the Better Together campaign.

In the article below I will try to give an unbiased overview of the elections in plain and easy to understand English.

Scotland, UK

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What Is Scottish Independence?

So what does Independence for Scotland actually mean?

The United Kingdom is made up of four countries Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales;.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales each have their own parliament and can make most of their own political decisions although there are some limitations on the powers that they have control over.

Each of these Parliaments have members who are elected by the general population of their respected countries and they can pass or veto new laws pertaining to their own country within Limits.

London England is home to The British Parliament which not only makes all laws for England but it has tax raising powers for the whole of The UK and decides most of the laws for the entire UK.

The British Parliament has elected members from all around the United Kingdom.

An Independent Scotland would see a break away from the Parliament in London and Scotland would be in charge of it's own laws and affairs.

The Scottish Parliament

The Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament.
The Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament. | Source

What Would Happen If Scotland Gets Independence?

If the people of Scotland vote yes to Independence on September the 18th, nothing would change over night, there would be a 2 year transition period with Independence day planned for March the 24th 2016.

Elections would be held in Scotland in May 2016, to choose the first official Government of Scotland as an Independent country.

From March 16th 2016, Scotland would no longer be Governed by the parliament at Westminster.


What Would Happen If Scotland Does Not Get Independence?

If the people of Scotland vote no to independence on September 18th, again nothing would change overnight and the Scottish Parliament would still be accountable to the Parliament in London.

Scotland would remain in the UK with the promise of more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

The people of Scotland would still vote in the British Parliamentary elections as well as voting for a Scottish Government.


Should Scotland Pull Out Of The UK?

Independence for Scotland?
Independence for Scotland? | Source

Scottish Independence Frequently Asked Questions

The people of Scotland Have a massive decision to make, a decision that will affect the outcome of the rest of their lives and the lives of their children.

Should Scotland break away from the UK and become Independent? or should Scotland Stay in the UK and remain in partnership with the other three nations?

As ever Politicians give long winded responses to the questions being asked, by the Scottish people, without actually answering the actual questions.

  • Will Scotland keep the Pound?
  • Will Scotland still be a part of the European Union?
  • What will Happen to the Health service?
  • What about Education?
  • Will the Queen Still be Head of State?
  • What about the Armed Forces?
  • What will happen to Social Security Benefits and Pensions?

Will Scotland keep the Pound?

The Westminster Government states firmly that it would not be feasible for an Independent Scotland to keep the pound.

The Yes campaigners claim that Scotland could keep the pound but if not they have a plan B,C,D,E and F although they have never laid out any of these other options.

Will Scotland still be a part of the European Union?

The European Parliament has stated that Scotland would need to re-apply to the EU for membership and as with any application could be turned down.

The yes campaigners believe that being accepted into the EU would almost be a formality.

What will Happen to the Health service?

An Independent Scotland would no longer be entitled to the free health service that already exists in the UK.

The Yes campaigners believe that Scotland has enough money that the people of Scotland wouldn't even notice a change and Scotland would have it's own NHS system.

What about Education?

Education policies for Scotland are already in the power of the Scottish Government.

The yes vote campaigners believe that An Independent Scotland would allow more money to be spent on education that the current Westminster Parliament allows.

Will the Queen Still be Head of State?

An Independent Scotland would still be a part of the British Commonwealth and as such the Queen would still be Head of State.

What about the Armed Forces?

An independent Scotland would be responsible for it's own border defence on air land and sea.

Yes campaigners "Scotland would have its own defence forces, designed to ensure that Scotland is able to secure its borders, land, air space and sea, deter attacks and protect its citizens and assets, and make a contribution to peace keeping under the auspices of the United Nations"

What will happen to Social Security Benefits and Pensions?

Benefits and pension payments are controlled from Westminster.

The Yes Campaigners believe that after independence the payments will continue as normal and the new Scottish Government would make improvements to the current system.

The YES/NO Debate Scotland

International Poll on Scotland's Independence

Should Scotland Be An Independent Country?

See results

Scotland Decides

Thursday September 18th 2014 is a day that will go down in History, will Scotland become an Independent country or will it remain in the UK?

The people of Scotland have a momentous decision to make that will affect their future no matter if they put an X in the box marked Yes or in the box marked No.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Emotionally I am glad the Union has survived; it feels, as the slogan goes, 'better together'. Yet, and yet, I am disturbed how, at the last stages of the campaign, big business - banks, supermarkets, other financial institutions - stepped forward with dire warnings of economic collapse. It smacked of old boys rallying together with their chums in government to see off the rabble who threatened their cosy commercial cartels. I feel quite sorry now for the passionate Yes campaigners and hope the UK government moves quickly to honour their commitment for greater self-governing powers to Scotland via the Scottish Parliament.

    • Adventuretravels profile image


      4 years ago from UK

      Oh well now we know -I'm not sure how I feel out the result. I hope we don't just sink back into our old ways! I was so proud of the way everything was done with dignity and with no violence - I love you Scotland!!

    • pkmcruk profile image


      4 years ago from Cheshire UK

      The voices on both sides of the debate in Scotland have given us a lesson rich in learning as they have approached this debate which has enriched democracy. I hope and pray that we can all learn from it and create a Fairer Britain with constituent parts which value the contribution of each other to what makes us whole.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Scotland doesn't even have a currency set up. It has no military and cannot confront the security risks posed by ISIS/ISIL without help from the UK. Can you imagine little Scotland trying to create an air force over night, capable of defending itself in the modern arena? Scotland might as well just hand the keys to its kingdom to ISIS/ISIL because it is incapable of defending itself against this entity which is hungry for vulnerable lands to conquer.

      No matter what the vote is, Scotland will never be independent of the UK. This whole initiative is arrogance beyond the pale and Scotland will suffer if it is passed.

    • BristolBoy profile image


      4 years ago from Bristol

      The polls really are getting tight. It would appear that Scotland being independent holds massive risks for their economy and wider (today the OECD called Scottish independence one of the largest economic risks globally), however, I can see why Scottish people would want to be "in charge of their own destiny".

      It looks like we are in for an interesting week whatever!

    • Lauryallan profile image


      4 years ago

      Thx JamaGenee. Yeah if they sent in the army might be a bit hard to explain that when it's supposed to be a vote and part of the democratic process that has been put in place. I am glad that things are being done fairly peacefully. Will have to wait and see what happens after as there will be a large part of the population unhappy whatever the outcome, as the decision seems to be fairly balanced at the moment.

      Other places around the world that want their own independence are looking keenly at Scotland to see if they will seize this opportunity and whether these kinds of decisions can be made without bloodshed.

      If we are able to set a precedence then it could make a difference not only to the lives of those in the UK but also to other nations around the world.

      If Scotland decides to stay with the status quo there's nothing to say that we can't have another vote in the future. By that time, if Westminister follows through with the promises of Devo Max, people might see it as a natural progression rather than a massive step into the supposed unknown.

    • Adventuretravels profile image


      4 years ago from UK

      My husband is Scottish and he would vote Yes. I have listened to all his arguments and I agree with them -100% - Scotland, like Norway and many other 'small' countries - can and will stand on it's own 2 feet. But personally I am not sure that the rest of us will benefit The UK has so much to lose if they lose Scotland -they are all panicking now -they should have been more respectful to the Scots in the first place!

      So I am thankful that I won't have to vote. Really interesting that you're going to vote No Jimmy - I do understand that you're thinking of the future of your kids though. Bye for now - sadly we live in London and not Skye!!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Lauryallan, the feetdragging by Cameron & Co pretty much mirrors the attitude of their predecessors 235 years ago when the first rumblings of American independence began. Ignore 'em and they'll forget about it morphed into "Oh, drats, they REALLY want to leave the fold?". The difference is, in the 21st century, Mother England isn't sending in armies to massacre the rabble rousers.

      I just finished reading two books about the birth of the United States and was amazed at how difficult it was to start a country from scratch. But Scotland has already been a separate, self-governing nation and has that experience to draw on, and the problems of becoming a separate nation again are minor compared to what the American Colonists went through to become independent of British rule.

      And you're right about how the Better Together campaign could've been handled MUCH better than it was.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Very well explained. Sounds like there are definite changes on the horizon for Scotland.

    • Lauryallan profile image


      4 years ago

      As a Scot living in Scotland, I find the viewpoints of other nations interesting on the upcoming vote for Scotland to have independence.

      I find myself scratching my head a little at why people think it would be wrong for Scotland to have it's independence, especially the comments and opinions made by other countries that have fought for their own independence from the British Empire and won, such as America.

      Could you imagine America being told what to do by Canada or the other way around? It would never happen, yet people believe it is perfectly reasonable for Scotland.

      Scotland has a strong sense of it's own identity as a nation and it's own separate culture from England and the rest of the UK.

      And 300 years ago we were separate countries, so it's not like it's never been done.

      And who is more likely to do better by the Scottish people? A country run by Scots, who actually live here and see the issues faced by different communities every day? Or another country that outnumbers the inhabitants of Scotland by over 10 times? (Scotland's population is roughly 5 million and England's population is approx 53 million).

      On the other hand,

      the way that the Better Together Campaign has conducted itself has been disappointing. They have run a campaign of fear and have made out that Scotland needs to stay in the UK for it's own good, using various excuses such as we are too small, too thick to go it alone, and so on. Not once have the Better Together Campaign said that they need Scotland to stay or that they value the contribution we make. That was until recently when the opinion polls swung in favour of a potential yes vote to the question posed! And so now the Big Guns are involved and actually give a damn! Will their last minute antics work? We'll have to wait and see.

      I fully understand it is hard for the Yes campaign to fully answer the questions being posed. People want to know what the future will look like and with certainty. However, that's very difficult as that will mostly be down to what we negotiate with Westminister....

      The real irony is that The Better Together Campaign could have walked this referendum and won easily. If they had simply taken it seriously from the beginning. If they'd made actual real concrete promises about Devo Max, rather than squabling amongst themselves and not wanting to give any ground then I believe most Scots would have voted for that.

      Many people are only contemplating Independence as they are unhappy with the current situation. And they are willing to take the risk to have a chance at a better future, while little to nothing will change if we remain with the status quo.

      The most interesting thing for me is that this is the most exciting debate and decision that will have been made in my voting lifetime. I am over 30 and this is the first time I feel like my vote will actually count for something. Instead of voting for red or blue (which are almost interchangable these days) I am actually part of a decision that could truly change the face and future of Scotland!

      Will we get a Yes or a No Thanks vote? What will be will be. But for me, the outcome of this debate has been that the issues Scotland currently faces are being discussed openly and are no longer being brushed under the rug or hidden. Whatever outcome, I hope it results in a better tomorrow.

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      I haven't been following this terribly closely but it seems to me that such massive changes would cost a heck of a lot of money and use up so many resources. I would think that England and Scotland have more pressing financial needs?

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I tend to think that independence is not always such a good thing. There is truth in the old saying, "United we Stand, Divided We Fall." I hope Scotland stays with England.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      4 years ago from So Cal

      I wasn't aware that this was happening and I find it interesting. Well done presenting both sides. What is also interesting are the comments and I can see that everyone has a real stake in what happens. Good luck to Scotland whatever happens. I am of Scottish decent and want what's best for the land and its people.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Jimmy, since reading this hub I've been paying attention to any mention of the upcoming vote on independence for Scotland. As another commenter mentioned, such information is mostly found online and not in mainstream media, at least not on this side of the Pond.

      From what I've read, it's turning into a real nail-biter, so much so that Cameron and Parliament are working overtime to offer enticements to Scots to vote "no". I can see their side, i.e. not wanting an independent Scotland sharing the northern border, but at the same time sympathizing with the Scots who no longer want to be a subsidiary of England.

      I hope a solution can be found so that the two can co-exist peacefully, together OR apart.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I read another story that was done by someone else on HubPages, and this pieced it together really nicely. Good luck to the people of Scotland in whatever they decide. I am with you no matter what, especially those breeding colony cormorants!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 

      4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Jimmy, I'm normally an easy going bloke, who believes there is right and wrong in every "two choice" argument. I always thought there was room for debate and negotiation. I have been proven wrong. I can honestly place my hand on my heart and swear before God that I do not think there is one single solitary benefit to Scotland in voting for independence. If it happens (and I think it will), I'm off back to England faster than you can say Third World Communist Backwater...

    • IzzyM profile image


      4 years ago from UK

      I believe the safest option for my children and grandchildren is with a Yes vote. There is something wrong when a nation with rich natural resources has a fifth of its population living in poverty with many dependant on foodbanks to survive while the number of billionaires rise sharply.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I hope whatever is best happens...

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      4 years ago from Scotland

      I am voting no in the election IzzyM simply because i feel it is the safest option for the future of my children.

    • IzzyM profile image


      4 years ago from UK

      Scotland is voting Yes (by a landslide) and if we get a No vote, the result has been rigged.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I can't say one way or the other (I'm from Canada, so I'll let you sort it out) But I have a lot of Scottish Ancestry and recently did a piece on my family history (a page to eventually come over from Squidoo) and I've discovered that my lineage goes back to the Boyds (my namesake comes from a Boyd ancestor too) - a prominent Boyd ancestor apparently lead the Battle of Bannockburn for Scottish Independence back in the 1200's! Although I have yet to secure 1 more document to absolutely prove, in writing, that connection. That ancestry is on Dad's side, my mom's side has some Scottish lineage too, and some english..but I'm mostly French! Can you see my dilemma now, hahaha - Be interesting to see the results of this; I'll be following it.

    • CMHypno profile image


      4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      I think you've done a great job of presenting both sides of the argument impartially Jimmy, especially concerning such an emotive issue. For me, the thing I can't understand is why the whole of the UK is not getting a vote or at least some say in the matter, not even the ex-pat Scots living elsewhere. If Scotland does become an independent country, it is going to have a huge impact on all of us, but this has scarcely been acknowledged. I haven't heard any talk about the changes that will have to take place in the rest of the UK, even though we have no choice in them, or how they will be brought about.

      Personally, I would rather England gained its own parliament, more powers devolved to the other nations and we remain together as a family of nations bound together by our mutual interests.

      One of the things I have hated most throughout this campaign is the racism that it has brought out on both sides. If Scotland does vote for independence it will have to then stand or fall on its own merit and will not be able to blame the English for every ill real or imagined which befalls the country. And the English will have to stop blaming Scottish politicians for their problems and take more responsibility in who they vote for

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      As a descendant of Scots who immigrated to America shortly after the U.S. gained its own independence, I lean to the side of independence.

      As long as Scotland has been talking about breaking away from England, I would hope the answers to the questions about pensions, health care, defense, etc, would have been worked out long ago. But then the Crown doesn't have a great track record for making it easy for its dependants to go it on their own.

      On the other hand, there are always birthing pains when a new country is born, and if Scots vote "yes" to independence, I'm sure they're resourceful enough to work through them sucessfully.

      I'll be watching anxiously for the outcome, too. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. ;D

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I had no idea this was a voting issue. Thank you for bringing this awareness out on your post. You wrote it well and I was engaged from othe beginning to the end. I will have to keep an eye out for the results in September.

    • profile image

      Susan Sproull 

      4 years ago

      If being independent is better for Scotland then I would say yes.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      4 years ago from Canada

      Great article Jimmy. You have laid out all of the areas that need to be considered like healthcare, defence etc. It will be interesting to see what the people of Scotland decide.

    • gardener den profile image

      Dennis Hoyman 

      4 years ago from Southwestern, Pennsylvania

      Jimmy the Jock you did a great job on writing this article on voting for scotland independence. I hope it happens for the people of scotland. Everyone needs to be free. Great job again as always. Gardener Den

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 

      4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      I have been following this issue somewhat on the web (I haven't seen much of anything about it in our print and TV news media).

      The Wall Street Journal had a web event a few months ago at which some official from Scotland was supposed to speak and then take questions. I registered to participate but the official never showed up. It was supposed to take place early morning Tucson time and I don't know if there was a mix up in time (I believe the official was going to speak from Scotland) or something else came up for him. I, like many others, ended up just signing off.

      Your Hub is the most comprehensive article on the subject I have seen to date and very even handed as well as informative.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      4 years ago from Norfolk


      I have been following this debate with interest and wonder like everyone else what the outcome of the vote will be.

      Thanks for making a few points much clearer too.

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 

      4 years ago from Lagos

      The referendum on whether Scotland should be independent is a serious issue. If a wrong decision is made, generations to come will never forgive them.

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      4 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks Susan, I await with baited breath lol.....jimmy

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Nice article, I had no idea.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Should be interesting to see what the outcome of the election is.

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      4 years ago from Scotland

      Hi SimeyC, I know where my vote is going, but hopefully I have managed to not favor either side of the debate.

      For or against it will be interesting to watch.....JIMMY

    • SimeyC profile image

      Simon Cook 

      4 years ago from NJ, USA

      As an ex-pat in the US it's interesting to watch the debate objectively! I'm not sure what the right result for Scotland is - and I think that is what is important - What is right for Scotland?


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