Senior British ministers, possibly including David Cameron, are to visit Scotland in the coming weeks to push for a referendum on independence to be held sooner rather than later, according to Downing Street.
London wants the issue settled now, but Scotland’s ruling nationalist party has set late 2014 as the date.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said: “This is a huge decision, the most important for 300 years. And after a careful analysis we recognise that the first date that allows to conduct it properly, with all preparations properly made, with all the questions answered for the people of Scotland is the autumn of 2014.”
Speaking in the House of Commons Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Frankly I look forward to having the debate because I think that there have been too many in the SNP (Scottish National Party) who are happy to talk about the process. They are happy to talk about the process, they don’t want to talk about the substance.”
Whenever it happens it will be the people of Scotland who decide their country’s fate, and at the moment polls suggest they are not ready to break the 300-year old union with England, even though they voted a pro-independence party into power in Edinburgh’s devolved parliament. The SNP believes given enough time they can convince them.