What powers does Scotland already have?

Scotland's Parliament Holyrood.

Thanks to acts of devolution in 1998 and 2012, the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood controls:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry and fisheries
  • Education and training
  • Environment
  • Health and social services
  • Housing
  • Law and order
  • Local government
  • Sports and the arts
  • Tourism
  • Economic development
  • Roads

Salmond's vision for an independent Scotland

In 2013 the Scottish government published "Scotland's Future: Your Guide To An Independent Scotland" on what an independent Scotland would like and its relationship with the rest of the UK and EU.

The plans include:

  • An independent Scotland want to get rid of the UK's nuclear weapons, Trident, and send them south "within the lifetime of the first [independent] Parliament".
  • Alex Salmond wants to have a sterling union, which would allow Scotland to keep the pound but would need to be agreed on by the whole of the UK.
  • BBC Scotland would be replaced with the Scottish Broadcasting Service, but Strictly Come Dancing and Eastenders would still be available via a programme swap.
  • The Bedroom Tax would be scrapped and a more generous benefits system would be introduced.
  • An independent Scotland wants to continue as an EU member.
  • The SNP want to establish a network of Scottish embassies abroad.
  • Research councils at Scottish universities would continue to be funded via the common research area.

YouGov chief: '99% certain of a No victory'

The head of polling company YouGov said he was "99% certain" a victory for the pro-union No camp.

In an interview with Sky News, Peter Kellner said: "Now, at the obvious risk of looking like a complete prat in about eight hours time, I would say it's a 99% certainty it's a No victory."

He said his judgement was based in a survey of 1,828 people after they had voted, in addition to postal votes showing a 54% majority for No.

How did Scotland and England unite?

The Act of Union created a common currency between the two nations, as shown in this £50 note from 1732.

  • The two countries began to unofficially unite after the death of Elizabeth 1. The Virgin Queen left no heir, so her crown passed to Mary Queen of Scots son, James.
  • There were three separate attempts to unite the Scotland and England in 1606, 1667, and 1689 but it was not until 1707 that enough support was whipped up for the Union.
  • Queen Anne (House of Stuart) had made greater political unity between nations a main policy of her reign - a large number of the Whigs (Liberal party) supported the Union but the Tories were against the idea.
  • The Act of Union was meant to prevent Scotland from having a different monarch to England, as they feared a new King or Queen would align themselves with foreign enemies.
  • Scotland was blighted by extreme poverty due to a disastrous attempt at establishing a foreign colony, and saw the Union as a way of getting their hands on the cash they desperately needed.
  • The Act of Union created a greater trade link, common currency, a ban on Roman Catholic monarchs on the Scottish throne, protected the Church of Scotland, allowed Scottish peers to sit in the Lords and allowed Scotland to keep its own legal system.