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|Background and context | |Following the election of the New Labour government into power in the UK in 1997, referendum on the devolution of power in both| |Scotland and Wales were held, resulting in victories for the ‘Yes’ camps. This resulted in the formation of the Scottish | |Parliament and the Welsh Assembly for the first time in centuries. There are those who argue that devolution will eventually | |strengthen the UK as a whole, whilst there are others who are convinced that it will trigger off a series of developments that | |will eventually lead to Scotland and possibly Wales as well declaring independence from England. |
|Independent identity? Do the Scottish have an independent identity? | | | |Yes | |There are many things that Scotland retains, which are distinct from England, and which can be argued as important factors | |that favor an independent Scotland: | |A unique, distinguished history, which included independence from England: Historically, it previously existed as an | |independent and sovereign nation until the signing of the Treaty of Union in 1707. | |Geographic distinctions: | |Distinct culture: | |Separate state functions:... | |Separate legal:... | |Separate banking system:... | |Separate education system:... | |A dialect that is unique from England's: | |These all contribute to a general Scottish identity that is distinct from England: The vast majority of Scottish describe | |themselves as Scottish, rather than British. | |No | |Argument that many countries in the world have strong regional differences that have not justified separatism: Many of the | |differences between Scotland and England are typical of any nation in the world, with the exception of the smallest, i.e. it| |is not unusual for parts of countries to have strong regional identities. This is true even for the different regions in | |England itself (e.g. London, Newcastle, etc.). These differences on the whole are unlikely to lead to the fragmentation of | |the UK, and will instead serve to strengthen the fabric of British society, which is becoming increasingly multi-racial | |anyway. | | | |Representation: Is Scotland insufficiently represented in...