Independence of Scotland: Bane or Boon?

The Independence of Scotland is an issue over which the Scottish Parliament is extremely divided. There are very many facets to the issue and there are pros and cons in both independence and non – independence. The fact remains that the general population of Scotland is very amenable to the idea of an independent country. Ever since the inception of the Act of Union in 1707, which unified Scotland and England to make them a single country, a large number of theories opposing the Act of Union have come out. There is rife speculation on the reasons behind the Scottish parliament signing the Act of Union, and thereby, ceasing its own existence. A majority of people believe that the primary reasons for signing the Act of Union were the Darien Disaster. Due to the utter failure of the Caledonian trading colony set up by Scottish nobles and landowners, they were nearly bankrupt. The signing of the Act of Union provided them with great financial incentive. Many people have lamented the treaty’s terms, calling them unfair and, in essence, paid for by British Gold.

Now more than three hundred years after the original Act of Union was signed, Scotland has planned a public referendum on the 18th of September, 2014 to decide whether Scotland should continue to stay with the United Kingdom or should declare itself an independent country. The fateful Thursday will be a turning point in European history and, without a doubt, a defining moment in modern history. After the Crimea crisis and public referendum, it is bound to be the most important political even for many years to come. Unlike the Crimean referendum which was brought about by extreme military intervention and political interference, the Scottish public referendum will be a peaceful well planned event, essentially a celebration of universal suffrage.

Considering that the largest political party in the country is the Scottish National Party, whose primary goal ever since its creation has been to declare Scottish independence, and that the public opinion largely sways towards a free Scotland, the most likely outcome of the referendum is a free Scotland. This move towards independence, though serving to appease staunch nationalists who believe their alliance with England is a slight to their own freedom, will also have some severe and difficult repercussions for Scotland. The primary being that Scotland will essentially lose its voice as a country in global matters. They also believe that dismemberment of the United Kingdom would not really help Scotland by separating it from the tarnishing claims of illegal wars and weapons of mass destruction. They worry that separation of the United Kingdom this way would lead to problems and many difficulties are bound to arise. They also feel that the separation would raise questions over the United Kingdom’s membership on various United Nations committees, including the Security Council. The projection of an unstable country would also hinder free trade. However, the one reason they do want to separate is on account of Britain’s unreasonable immigration laws which are promoting a ‘nasty Britain feeling’.