The Scottish National Party has swept to power in a landslide victory in Scotland during the Scottish General Election of 2011. For the first time a single party has an outright
majority at the devolved Scottish Parliament in Holyrood in Edinburgh. Full independence for Scotland is now one step closer, as that has always been the main aim of the SNP, to separate Scotland from England and the rest of the UK.
Scotland and England have always had an unhappy alliance, possibly because Scotland never wanted to join with England in the first place. In 1707, when the Act of Union came into being, Scotland was a very different place to what it is now.
Their MP’s, for example, were not elected by the populace, but were members of the landed gentry, the powerful overlords and titled lairds who had very little in common with the majority of Scottish people.
It was their self-interests that were put first when they signed away Scotland’s independence. England had threatened to blockade Scottish exports of cattle and linen, and this would have hurt their pockets deeply.
And so it was that in 1707, the Scottish Parliament closed and full control of Scotland moved to Westminster, 400 miles away in London.
Decades passed before the Scottish people saw any benefit at all from the Union, while England continued to thrive.
Now, a little over 300 years later, the SNP has won enough seats to look at a change to full independence once again, but it will not be without the consent of the Scottish people.
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has promised to hold a referendum to give the Scottish electorate their say before the end of his term in office, which will be in 2015.
To the man in the street, there will not be much change under an independent Scotland. When the Act of Union was passed in 1707, Scotland kept and has continued to keep her own legal and education systems, her own Church, courthouses and Royal Burghs, as well as currency. All three major Scottish Banks produce Scottish banknotes – the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Clydesdale bank and the Bank of Scotland.
Inc ome tax in an independent Scotland will be paid to Holyrood and not London, and a new Department of Defence will need to be set up.
Best of all, an independent Scotland would bring back national pride.