Scotland decides

Kamil Augustyniak



This week the citizens of Scotland are going to decide about sovereignty in regard to the United Kingdom. Over 300-year union history among England, Wales and Northern Ireland can be stopped after Scottish independence referendum that is to be held 18th September 2014.

The request about such vote Scottish Parliament passed 14th November 2013. The total amount of eligible for voting is 4.28 million Scottish citizens. Every person who is over 16 year old has right to vote according to conscience and believes. The question will be following: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”. In order to pass referendum the simple majority of positive answers is needed.

Why “yes”?

The most important change, visible for everyone, will be state autonomy. Queen Elizabeth II will continue to be a head of the state but politically and lawfully Scottish Parliament will have a wider area of possibilities and responsibilities. Separate country will emphasize the identity of its citizens and, according to Scottish National Party, allow to thrive economically, politically and socially. In the past, all these three areas were suppressed by the union with neighboring countries, especially by England. Now politicians from supporting parties, including Scottish Prime Minister – Alex Salmond, say that economic development is possible due to several reasons. Among them are: the gasoline resources, fishing, worldwide production of whisky as well as investment and development of production of green energy, such as wind farms. But still political aspect seems to be the most important. An independence would create new, own and separate in decision making process Scottish government. From social point of view, Scotland would gain an opportunity to express its history and culture that previously were mixed with British identity.

If the result of the referendum will be positive, and Scotland will become fully independent country, it may cause a significant turn in other regions of the European Union. “Small” change on the map of Europe can lead to serious changes in behaviors of other nations which for many years have fought for independence and own territory. One of them are Catalans who still are dependent on Spain.

Why “no”?

Although, the independence movement has some followers, there are some people who think that such change would destroy Scotland. Being a part of the United Kingdom ensures safety on a world scene. The power of Great Britain is enough to influence crucial decision in organisations like NATO or United Nations. If Scotland will detach form the United Kingdom, it would lose fundamental status of GB in United Nations Security Council. Separately Scotland would have no chance to attain such high position.

What is more, another question can be asked. Whether Scotland will become a new EU Member automatically? How the structure of the EU will change when the new order on British Isles is established? For these and many more very complicated questions the European Commission will have to find proper answers.


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