When David Cameron was here last week to call on Scots to reject independence from theUnited Kingdom, he did it by promising more powers for the devolved Scottish parliament. Scots could have the “best of both worlds,” the prime minister argued. 

What kind of relationship would Scotland have with the rest of the UK if independence were to happen? UK Chancellor George Osborne says Scotland and the rest of the UK would become foreign countries. However, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond says that to Scots England, Wales and Northern Ireland would never be foreign.

With support growing for independence just months before Scots decide whether to break up with Britain, outsiders are weighing in with impassioned calls to keep the three-century-old union together.

Almost half of Scotland's small business owners believe independence would harm their company, a survey has found. Research revealed that 48 per cent believed a Yes vote would be bad for business, compared to 37 per cent who said it would have a positive impact.

In remarks he gave in Washington, DC, on March 4, US President Barack Obama said something quite revealing about the role of international law in the Crimea crisis: "There is a strong belief that Russia's action is violating international law. I know President Putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations, but I don't think that's fooling anybody."

Wales doesn’t get more Welsh than this northern market town. Business and conversations between friends here are conducted not in English but in Welsh, the language spoken by some 80 percent of the local population. For the past 40 years, the town has been a stronghold of Plaid Cymru, the nationalist party whose stated goal is eventual independence.

A year from today, a computer in a office cubicle somewhere will have just finished tallying the votes for and against Scottish independence. One possibility is that England's northern neighbor will remain a part of the UK, keeping the Queen, the pound, and its key to the NATO clubhouse. Another is that it will wave goodbye to its companion and ruler of 300 years and leap off into independence—possibly with the same Queen, the same pound, and the same set of keys to the NATO clubhouse.

September 19, 2013

This time next year, the question of Scottish independence will be decided. New research published by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, presented in Edinburgh this week (and not yet online), talks about Scottish currency. Not terribly glamorous, but rather important. And there is bad news for Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP).