Scotland’s first minister has unveiled the long awaited blueprint that spells out plans for independence from the United Kingdom. The referendum for independence is set for September.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond unveiled on Tuesday a 670-page legal argument for Scotland's independence from the United Kingdom ahead of a referendum on September 18, 2014.
"Scotland's future is now in Scotland's hands," Salmond, the head of the Scottish National Party, said at the launch of the ‘white paper' in Glasgow.
The blueprint stated that an independent Scotland would keep the British pound, the Queen and remain in the European Union. However, it would have its own defense force and collect its own taxes.
Salmond said Scotland's rich oil and gas reserves would help support the economy for the next 50 years but after that, investments into renewable energy would have to be made.
He also said Scottish taxes would not be spent on nuclear programs and all of the UK's nuclear missiles would be removed from Scotland.
"We know we have the people, the skills, and resources to make Scotland a more successful country," said Salmond.
"Independence will put the people of Scotland in charge of our own destiny" he said.
Cameron campaigning against split
British Prime Minister David Cameron's government is campaigning to keep the 306-year union between Scotland and England. Britain's three main UK-wide political parties have argued against independence and have warned Scotland would be worse off economically and unable to defend itself on its own.
Scotland, which occupies the northern third of Great Britain, has about 5 million residents, many of whom are still undecided 10 months ahead of the referendum.
The latest poll by the Sunday Times published this week suggested the gap had narrowed with 47 percent opposed to quitting the UK, 38 percent in favor and 15 percent undecided.
hc/dr (Reuters, AFP)