Scotland may eventually become an independent state. The referendum about the country's separation from Great Britain is to take place in two years. Scotland deserves the right for independent existence like no other "separatist" region of Europe.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has recently stated that one should not shelve the voting. The referendum should be held not later than in the autumn of 2013. If the process takes too long, it will affect the economic condition of Scotland, because business needs to know the political future of the region.
Other political figures of Great Britain support Cameron's opinion regarding the subject of the referendum. British analysts say that the process is good for London. Reportedly, only 29 percent of residents of Scotland are ready to support the separation of their country from Britain. However, many others may join the separatist group during the next couple of years.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said that he would like to wait for another year. According to him, the voting should take place in the autumn of 2014, because it is the most important decision that Scotland will have to make in 300 years.
In addition, Salmond accused the British administration of manipulating the opinions of those who live in the region. Britain wants to hold such an important referendum in a hurry, he claimed.
British officials believe that the results of the referendum would only be a recommendation. Their Scottish counterparts insist on the opposite. Edinburgh wants to give the voting right to 16 and 17-year-old citizens, whereas London is against it. British officials say that the results of the referendum will be null and void without their agreement.
The Britons lost their enormous colonial empire only several decades ago. It does not look like they want to lose another piece of the pie. The Scottish people have never felt too much suppressed either. Their elite is a full-fledged part of the British elite. Common Scottish residents enjoy equal rights with common residents of Britain. However, it is not that simple as it may seem to be.
If we take a look at this issue from the point of view of history, Scotland deserves independence like no other "separatist" region of Europe. The kingdom with the same name appeared on the map of the world in 843. For many centuries, the kingdom was at swords' points with England. The latter attempted to seize its northern neighbor for many times, albeit to no avail. However, England's influence in Scotland was growing stronger. The English language, for example, gradually ousted the Celtic language.
The Scottish dynasty of the Stuarts ascended to the English throne in 1603. England's influence only became stronger because of that, especially from the economic point of view. In 1707, Scotland stopped its existence as an independent state. The country only preserved its legal system and its church. The Scottish people became the British nationals.
Ship-building, machine-building and oil extraction in the shelf of the North Sea appeared owing to the efforts taken by the British people. The Scottish did not have any obstacles for their careers in politics. They repeatedly served as British prime ministers - Tony Blair was one of them. However, the nation lost its own language and had to dance to London's tune.
As a result, the Scottish National Party appeared in Britain in the middle of the 1930s. The party received the support of a third of Scottish citizens in 40 years. In 1979, they tried to recreate the Scottish parliament, but the attempt failed because of the low turnout. The parliament started working 20 years later. The parliament was in charge of the issues of education, healthcare, agriculture, environmental protection, justice, culture and tourism. The Labor Party was predominant at the parliament.
The National Party received the majority of seats in the parliament of Scotland in 2007. The leader of the party, Alex Salmond, became the country's prime minister. Soon after taking office, Salmond said that Scotland would conduct the referendum about independence in 2010. The referendum failed to take place as the idea did not find much support. The National Party strengthened its positions in 2011. Now the party forms the cabinet of ministers single-handedly.
Nowadays, Scotland already has certain attributes of an independent state. It has its own Scottish pound sterling, whose value is identical to the British pound. The country has its own national football and rugby teams. The economic basis for independent Scotland can be found in the shelf of the North Sea. The country is well known for its whiskey, lakes, castles and the electronic industry of Glasgow. However, England is more developed than Scotland, and the country's economy can receive a serious blow once Edinburgh loses the financial support from London.
Opinion polls do not give a clear picture about the current situation in Scotland. Some say that 25 percent of the Scottish people support independence, others give a much larger amount - 70 percent. The BBC says that the number of adversaries and followers of independence is approximately the same. This looks like truth, just like the fact that many Scottish citizens find it very hard to choose between London's money and the national pride. The intrigue will be solved after the referendum.
It is not ruled out that the new independent Scotland will emerge on the political map of the world soon. If it happens, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will look like an anachronism.
On Wednesday, April 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his Address to the Federal Assembly. In the speech, Putin annually expresses his assessment of the state of affairs in the country and his vision of the main tasks for the future