Scotland to Exit UK on March 24, 2016?

That's the selected 'Independence Date'

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 24, 2013 11:32 AM CST

(Newser) – Scotland has no decision yet, but it does have a date. If citizens vote in favor of exiting the UK, the country could become an independent nation on March 24, 2016. The BBC reports that the date is presented in a government White Paper to be published on Tuesday; the 670-page document is being described as an extremely "detailed blueprint" for an independent Scotland. (The Guardian reports on the secrecy surrounding the printing: Even the White Paper's typeface has been kept under wraps.) The chain of events: The independence referendum is scheduled for Sept. 18, 2014; if the "yeas" win, Scottish Parliament will be dissolved at midnight on March 23, 2016, with Independence Day coming the day after.

A rep for the Scotland Office (a UK government department helmed by the country's secretary of state) encouraged people to read the White Paper, but expressed displeasure at the inclusion of an independence date in it, saying it will make it more difficult to negotiate in the event of a yes vote: "The 28 members of the EU, NATO, and the rest of the UK ... all know that for the Scottish government the date is more important than the deal." The Scotsman reports that a poll taken this week shows the No vote has the lead, 47% to 38%, with 15% undecided. Click for more on the vote.

A Scotland fan wearing glasses with the Scottish flag poses for the photographer as he and others gather in central London's Trafalgar Square, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.
A Scotland fan wearing glasses with the Scottish flag poses for the photographer as he and others gather in central London's Trafalgar Square, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A display of t-shirts are seen for sale in a Scottish memorabilia shop in Edinburgh, Scotland Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.
A display of t-shirts are seen for sale in a Scottish memorabilia shop in Edinburgh, Scotland Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.   (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
A Scottish Saltire flag blows in the wind near the Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland. Thursday, Jan. 12 2012.
A Scottish Saltire flag blows in the wind near the Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland. Thursday, Jan. 12 2012.   (AP Photo/Chris Clark)
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