SCOTTISH first minister Alex Salmond claimed he could be leading a sovereign nation by 2016 after setting out details of a proposed independence referendum.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) leader chose Burns Night to defy David Cameron and announce his party’s plans for a vote in late 2014 on the matter of dissolving the 304-year union with England.
He also said that the referendum would ask a simple question: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?”
Independence would involve disentangling the complex financial systems that connect the two countries and allocating an appropriate share of the UK’s national debt.
The SNP say Scotland would continue to use sterling and rely on the Bank of England as lender of last resort. This would give it little control over interest rates.
Recent polls indicate around 30–40 per cent of the Scottish electorate support independence.