Scotland Schedules Independence Vote

Vote in 2014 could break apart United Kingdom
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2012 11:43 AM CST
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sits with Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond during the riding procession of the ceremonial opening of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, June 20, 2007.   (AP Photo/Andrew Milligan, Pool)
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(Newser) – Scottish voters will finally get their chance to throw off the, er, iron hand of Queen Elizabeth in 2014, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has announced. Salmond's Scottish National Party has long argued that Scotland should seek independence from the UK, and Salmond wants a referendum on it held just after the 700th anniversary of a renowned Scottish victory over the English at Bannockburn, the Wall Street Journal reports. But that date is more distant than London lawmakers would like.

David Cameron wants the vote held ASAP, and recently blasted the SNP for stalling. "It's not a referendum they want, it's a 'neverendum,'" he quipped. The UK maintains that Scotland doesn't have the right to unilaterally vote for independence, but has agreed to help organize a binding vote—as long as it's held soon, among eligible voters and under UK election monitors. They also only want a simple yes-or-no vote, whereas Salmond wants to add a middle option transferring some power to Edinburgh.

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