After more than 300 years, Scottish Nationalists are looking for a divorce from England.
The Scottish National Party — or SNP — the country's ruling political party, released a 670-page document that lays out their argument for independence. The document details how and why the government plans to secede from the U.K. (Via STV)
"The Scottish government wants Scotland to become an independent country because we believe the decisions about Scotland should be taken by the people who care most about Scotland — those of us who live and work here." (Via BBC)
CBC reports the Scottish government is selling the country's independence as a wealthier and fairer Scotland with better childcare, higher pensions and taxes that won't rise. The British pound would stay and there would be no nuclear weapons.
The document says Scotland will remain a member of the European Union but will develop its own postal system, broadcasting service and military. So how exactly did all of this begin? The same way most potential breakups begin — with a conversation.
The government held a national conversation between 2007 and 2009 inviting public comment on a range of issues, including the country's independence. This culminated in the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill being introduced to Scottish Parliament in March of this year and the publishing of the mammoth document this Tuesday. (Via Scotreferendum.com, Scotland.gov.uk)
But such a huge move has drawn critics from all over who say the blueprint for independence is more like a wish list.
Opponents of SNP leader Alex Salmond and members of a non-partisan think tank say the country could face massive spending cuts and higher taxes to bring down a newly inherited portion of the U.K.'s £1.2 trillion deficit. (Via NBC)
London officials say promises like keeping the British pound can't be guaranteed. The Los Angeles Times reports the Bank of England would control the money supply and interest rates. As one opposition lawmaker put it, "The SNP are asking for a divorce, but they want to keep the joint bank account."
The independence conversation is far from over, but there is an end in sight. Scots will get a chance to vote on the issue September 18 of next year.