Unique Facts Shaping Scottish Politics

The United Kingdom has exercised jurisdiction over Scotland since the agreement in 1707. The recent wave of devolution has seen some of the services and sectors being put under local administration. North Ireland and Wales have formed part of UK alongside Scotland. There is an impending referendum on the independence of Scotland that is bound to reorient Scottish politics.

59 members of parliament represent Scotland in London. There is a local parliament in Edinburgh with 129 members. The issues directed from London include pension, defense, social security, fiscal economy, monetary policy, medical ethics and foreign affairs. The government in Edinburgh presides over local government, environment, justice, health, agriculture and education. Edinburgh is under the First Minister who is the leader of any party with majority in parliament.

The referendum debate is to give full mandate to Edinburgh. It has split the nation in the middle with nationalists supporting separation. The vote takes place on September 18. Prominent issues to define the direction of this vote include debt sharing, natural resources, health care system and the currency to be used. BBC has also been included considering that it is both an employer and source of entertainment and news.

A common currency is considered a stopgap measure since Scotland will not have control. Groups advocating for independence want a separate currency and fiscal policy. Adopting the pound would only be for the short term until Scotland settles as an independent state.

Reducing natural gas reserves are a subject of debate during the referendum. It is estimated that with independence, Scotland will have to import oil and natural gas from UK. This will make it more expensive and is likely to pull independent voters into supporting the push to remain part of UK. Imports are likely to wreck the economy of Scotland. It is estimated that the reserves can only last 15 more years.

UK has a huge debt that was the subject of debate during the economic crisis. When the time for separation comes, it is expected that even the debt will be shared. This has a huge financial implication which is likely to cripple the Scottish economy. The amount of debt that will be transferred to independent Scotland will affect her ability to be on her feet.

There are measures being implemented in the UK to transform the health care system. These measures are likely to include privatization. The contention between pro-independent and anti-separation campaigners is on how the new system affects pricing and availability of certain health services. Despite health being a devolved function, over one billion pounds is spent on Scotland every year.

BBC remains a national symbol of the United Kingdom. A split is poised to make it expensive to watch some prime programs. Separation takes the privilege of equal opportunities enjoyed by all citizens of the UK. Some channels will only be available on pay TV packages.

London administration is yet to release full details on the impact of an independence vote. It means that voters can only rely on politicians for information and interpretation. This has resulted in widespread allegations and propaganda. The issue will be decided on 18th September when Scots cast their vote.

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