Scotland’s vote for independence from the United Kingdom is in five days, taking place on Thursday, Sept. 18. Currently the polls are showing a close race, generally with leads to stay with the union slightly ahead. On the Internet, the pro-Independence supporters were at 54 percent compared to the Scots who want to stay with the United Kingdom.
Leaders for both sides of the vote were hard at work to convince the undecided voters to come to their side. The British Prime Minister David Cameron cancelled his Wednesday schedule in order to go to Scotland to campaign against independence, “alarmed” by the poll numbers. In Edinburgh, the capital, the people marched in the streets for their cause. Time is short for all, as the vote for independence in Scotland draws near with only five days left for campaigning.
Alistair Darling, leader of the Better Together party in favor of staying with the UK, wrote an open letter in the Telegraph on Sunday in which he laid out why he believed in continued unity. He wrote that until the voting had ended, he would “continue, passionately, to make the case for Scotland staying within the UK.” Darling described Scottish Independence as a “leap into the unknown” that would carry with it many risks and uncertainties financially. He reminded the people of Scotland that if they chose independence they would lose everything they received from the UK, including the guarantee of welfare, security and stability.
“I am proud to be Scottish,” he said, then added that he was also proud of being a part of something larger than just that. He claimed that he resented choosing between Scotland and the UK. Darling listed the past the Scots shared with the rest of the United Kingdom, from fighting in WWII to building the National Health Service, which he argued was “the most progressive and socially transformative institution” worldwide.
On the other side of the aisle, however, First Minister Alex Salmond, leader of the party vying for Scottish Independence, said that gaining sovereignty would not be the harsh reality detractors described. According to Salmond, the financial risks outlined were London-based scare tactics.
Five banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, have made plans to move in the event of Scottish Independence. The Deutsche Bank in Germany predicted a financial crisis if Scotland successfully votes to leave the United Kingdom. No matter the outcome of the vote, the head of the Church of Scotland calls for Scots to be reconciled after the vote is decided. The Queen of England wanted Scots to think with care about their future, though a Buckingham source said she was not in the political debate.
The Scottish vote for Independence is in just five days, and both sides in the UK are hard at work to win the vote. The polls are too close for anyone to state with certainty what the outcome will be, but each side is debating and pleading its case until the end result.
By Jillian Moyet