Referendum splits views on Scotland

Will Scotland vote to become an independent country?
Will Scotland vote to become an independent country?

A Corby councillor is urging Scots and their descendants living in the north of the county to join the campaign to safeguard the United Kingdom.

Corby Conservative councillor Rob McKellar is calling for people in the Corby area and further afield to back the Better Together campaign to keep Scotland in the Union.

The referendum takes place on Thursday, September 18, when everyone aged 16 and over living in Scotland will be asked to vote on the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Cllr McKellar, a second generation Scot, said: “Corby owes its success over the past few decades to the Scots who travelled down here for work all those years ago.

“They were Corby’s pioneers and their journey was made possible by the union of our nations. Without that union Corby would still be a small village and not the thriving town that it is today.”

In 2012 Cllr McKellar made a call for expatriate Scots to be given a vote in the referendum.

However, only those who live in Scotland will be able to cast their vote, meaning the 800,000 Scots who live in other parts of the UK won’t be taking part.

Cllr McKellar wants Scots and their descendents living outside Scotland to help influence the outcome by visiting the Better Together website to register their support for the campaign.

He said: “Corby shares much of its history, culture and its heritage with Scotland.

“In this referendum year we should send a friendly message to people living in Scotland which says ‘Corby wants you to stay’.”

Yes campaign

Those in favour of an independent Scotland say the issue goes above and beyond party politics.

Supporters of independence, most prominently the Scottish National Party, say the issue is about self-determination – the right of the people who live in Scotland to make decisions about the country’s future themselves.

Control over its defence and foreign policy would mean Scotland could choose to no longer have nuclear weapons in its seas.

North Sea oil and offshore renewable energy revenue would mean more money for the Scottish Government.

One of the main reasons for independence, say supporters, is to give Scotland the powers to make a fairer society.

It would allow Scotland to make specific changes such as improving childcare, making the tax system fairer, cutting energy bills and getting rid of the bedroom tax.

Independence would mean improving the quality of life for everyone in Scotland.

No campaign

The Better Together campaign believes a strong Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom give Scotland the best of both worlds.

Staying in the Union means Scotland continues to have decision-making powers and reaps the benefits of being part of the UK.

In hard financial times, Scotland’s prosperity is safeguarded by remaining part of the United Kingdom.

Independence would bring uncertainty and instability.

Better Together supporters argue that Scotland’s security is strengthened by being part of the Union.

As part of the United Kingdom, Scotland has influence in the UN Security Council, NATO and the EU.

A Scottish government would have to choose between higher taxes and cuts in public services due to the gap between public spending and revenue raised.

Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom, will be stronger economically and politically.