MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) – On September 18 Scotland will vote on whether it wants to split away from the United Kingdom and end its 307-year dependence on London, with a “yes” vote threatening to strip the UK of some of its key defense facilities and significantly shrink its population and landmass, thus further decreasing its international influence.
But the fact is that the still United Kingdom is actually facing two referendums: one that would mean a lot for the country’s physical geography, while the second could potentially sever its ties with the world’s largest market, which is the European Union.
Fears are that once Scotland, which has been very pro-EU, has left the United Kingdom the balance may tip in favor of euroskeptics and give momentum to Britain’s drive outwards.
“No” campaigners have also been arguing that Scotland already enjoys a considerable autonomy within the Union and has its own legal and educational systems. What is even more paradoxical, “yes” vote advocates have been using the same continuity trump card to promote their agenda, saying that the Queen will remain at the helm of the free Scottish state and the pound will still be its currency. It also has plans to stay in the European Union and the NATO military alliance.
However Alex Salmond, who leads the Scottish National Party (SNP), says that conservative Westminster has been long out of sync with the left-leaning Edinburgh, while only complete independence will turn Scotland into a country it deserved to be, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
One of the benefits that full independence will bring Scotland in the eyes of Alex Salmond is control over its rich North Sea oil reserves, thus making it a wealthy and prosperous nation.
Opinion polls have been continuity showing “no” voters to be in the lead, but the gap is now closing with as many as 48 percent of Scots willing to risk their comfy union with the UK for the sake of a free Scotland.
Apparently sensing this gradual shift that may tear her Kingdom asunder, the Queen on Sunday decided to break the silence in an unprecedented comment, which has been deemed by the Guardian as a “rare intervention on the political stage” from the otherwise reserved monarch.
Speaking at a prayer service near her Balmoral estate in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth, whose mother was in fact Scottish, urged the voters to “think very carefully about the future” ahead of the Thursday referendum.
Although not explicitly an anti-“yes” warning, the Queen’s surprise remark was largely hailed in the British mainstream media as a sign that the monarch was one the side of “Better Together” campaigners. This came after nationalist UKIP party leader Nigel Farage said last week it “might be handy” if the Queen backed anti-separatists.