The Debate for Scottish Independence heats up

The debate surrounding the Scottish Independence has heated up with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond asking U.K Prime Minister David Cameron to offer more details about the increase in powers that he has offered in exchange for a ‘no’ vote for the Scottish Independence referendum that is likely to be held in 2014.

During a speech at St Andrews, Fife where he was addressing the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities conference on Friday the Mr. Salmond asked for a clarification of what the devolution of powers would entail and felt that the U.K. government should start by changing the Scotland Bill as it stands. He felt that Prime Minister David Cameron’s offer was genuine and that this time around it may be possible to figure out a workable option.  None the less, Mr. Salmond felt that there were three major unanswered questions that need to be considered; Firstly, Will the final version of the Scotland bill contain provisions for further economic powers that the Scottish Parliament has been asking for over the last nine months? Secondly, Why does the Bill contain proposals to transfer some powers back to Westminster? And Thirdly, Will the Prime Minister set out the full proposal by the end of the Scottish government’s referendum consultation in May, to allow the Scottish people and Parliament to develop an informed view about the offer?

England and Scotland have been ruled by the same monarch since James the 1st (of England and Ireland succeeding Queen Elizabeth I in 1603,) and James the VI (of Scotland which he inherited from his Mother Mary Queen of Scots when she abdicated in his favor in 1567). In 1707 the parliaments of the two states were also merged. The Scottish have been fighting for their right to govern themselves since the 1600’s with a number of uprisings which were quashed. Since the mid 1900’s there has been a growing movement for Scottish home rule and devolution which gained strength with the discovery of Oil in the North Sea off Scotland. In May 1999 Scotland held its first devolved Scottish parliament, which held its first Session since 1707 in July 1999. There is now a furious debate about taking this a step further to Scottish independence with a referendum to be placed before the Scottish people in 2014.

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