In one months time voters in Scotland will go to the polls to say yes or no to independence from the United Kingdom.
On Thursday September 18 the electorate will be asked one simple question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
Polls suggest those in the ‘Yes’ camp have increased to a high of around 45 percent. The opposition ‘No’ vote has held steady in the region 55 percent.
The debate has sharpened recently on the economy and a future currency for an independent Scotland.
It was highlighted by Ailistair Darling – leading the No campaign- when questioning Alex Salmond in a live debate on TV
“Any eight-year-old can tell you the flag of the country the capital of a country and its currency. I presume the flag is the Saltire, I assume our capital will still be Edinburgh but you can’t tell us what currency we will have,” he said.
Salmond the Scottish First Minister and the man heading the Yes campaign struggled with no plan B for a currency. The two will face each other in another TV debate later this month perhaps then Salmond will have more answers.
The future of the welfare state and in particular of the health service is another key battleground.
Supporters of independence offered to enshrine a free National Health Service in a written constitution and claimed that a ‘Yes’ vote is crucial to prevent increasing privatisation. “The biggest lie of the independence campaign,” was the response of the opposition.
If the Union Jack is to remain on flagpoles across Scotland the decision could come down to the youth of the country. For the first time 16 and 17 year olds will go to the polls. One survey suggested 52 percent of them are against breaking away. Are the voters aware of the weight of history on their shoulders?
“Somehow we don’t realise that this is the biggest, single biggest political decision since the Second World War, maybe the single biggest political decision in our country for 300 years, it’s a third of our country leaving. This is the United Kingdom about to be torn in pieces,” stressed MP Rory Stewart.
If the ‘No’ campaign is victorious as polls seem to indicate then the Kingdom will remain United as it has done since 1707.