Leaders set for Scotland vote deal
LONDON - Agence France-PresseBritish Prime Minister David Cameron and Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond are set to approve today for a referendum on Scottish independence, triggering two years of campaigning over the future of the 300-year-old union.
Cameron, who strongly opposes the breakup of Britain, is to meet Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Salmond in Edinburgh after ministers said they had reached agreement on terms for the vote. London is expected to give Scotland’s administration the power to conduct the historic referendum in the autumn of 2014, offering Scots a straight yes-no question on leaving the U.K.
Green light for vote
The British minister responsible for Scotland, Michael Moore, said yesterday the agreement would be “the green light for the most important decision people in Scotland will ever have to make.” He hammered out the terms with deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who along with the rest of Salmond’s Scottish National Party, which governs in the devolved Edinburgh parliament, will be campaigning for a “yes” vote.
The referendum date coinciding with the anniversary of the 1314 Battle of Bannockburn, a famous victory over the English.
Meanwhile, only a minority of Scots appears to want independence, with a survey released on Oct. 8 by pollsters TNS-BMRB showing 28 percent in favor.