Today, Scotland will vote on whether to secede from rule of the UK and become an independent nation or to remain under its hold.
According to polls tracked by BBC, as of yesterday approximately 50% of voters are not in favor of the secession while 45% are in support.
Scottish rule hasn’t committed to exactly when the results will be released but voting ends officially 10 p.m. local time and a verdict is expected Friday morning.
The most frequently shared opinions on the matter have come from those most affected: residents of Scotland and residents of the rest of the UK. I’ve asked 10 people from 10 other countries which choice they would make themselves.
1. Yingxin C. from China
Well, if I were the Chinese government, I’d be really upset about what I’m seeing occur right now.
China has been having these kind of problems for a long time: the western region of China has been attempting to separate from the mainland. On top of that, Hong Kong’s been boycotting Chinese governing because China is taking over [Hong Kong’s] governing little by little.
Plus, China’s been telling its people that Taiwan is part of China, which is not true because Taiwan and China have been ruled by different governments for over 70 years. So as the Chinese government, I’d hate to see Scotland leaving the UK because I wouldn’t want my people to get ideas from it; for sure the Chinese government has that kinda concern. That’s why they try their best to block outside information.
2. Kostas S. from Greece
[My opinion] is mixed. Scotland leaving [the UK] would be tough at first; both the UK and Scotland would be weaker for it. But if that is what they want to do, it’s their call. I have a feeling polls are overstating the “yes” vote, but we will see.
Also, Scotland would have to build their military almost from scratch. I doubt nuclear weapons would remain in Scotland unless some agreement after the vote keeps them partially united militarily.
This also hurts the U.S. a bit — their trusty sidekick is gonna have less military manpower and may be less likely to commit to foreign wars with them.
3. Kevin O. from Ireland
I think it’s a bad idea, from an EU standpoint, I don’t know how it would work; they may not even be able to join the EU and on top of that, do they plan on going to the euro because the euro is pretty weak right now but I’m not sure they will even be able to use the Sterling. At the end of the day, the UK is a sweet deal and I think it would be kind of foolish to leave it.
I’ve been following it a bit and the EU is a nightmare, man, you should look up about the EU and the loopholes they have for the UK and I seriously doubt they would do the same for an independent Scotland.
Honestly I don’t [understand why they want independence]; none of the positives seem that appealing to me, Scotland has it good as it is.
4. Sofia G. from Sweden
The rise of nationalism is something that has been going on for quite some time in Europe. Sweden, for example, just had a nationalist/rightist party become the third-largest party in the last election a few days ago. So clearly these ideas are not unique to Scotland.
I can see why the Scots would want to be independent. They think too much is decided from London, and consider their history and culture quite different than that of the British. Scotland has quite a few natural resources such as coal and oil as well.
I don’t think it will happen. I think the majority of the Scottish people would love to be independent but I think it’s too big of a move. Big banks and corporations have already said they will move to England if Scotland becomes independent. I guess the biggest problems in terms of investments and the economy is that so many things remain unsure if they become independent: Will they use the Pound Sterling or have their own currency? Will they join the EU?
5. Mary Anne M. from the United States
The Scottish referendum and the desire for independence are understandable given how important sovereignty is on the international stage and how there has been a strengthening of anti-EU parties gaining ground in different parts of Europe. However, all of the economic variables point to a lot of unknowns that might make independence a thornier issue than anticipated. The Better Together and the Yes Campaign each have their own ideas of how much the Scottish people can expect to save if they vote against or for independence, respectively. This uncertainty is further heightened by decisions on which currency Scotland can expect to use, what portion of the debt becomes theirs, and their status with the EU should they become independent.
It’s also very difficult to anticipate if Scotland can be as financially stable as Alex Salmond claims given that remaining North Sea oil will be harder to get to and will require greater investments in technology that Scotland may not have the initial capital for if it becomes independent.
Should Scotland vote yes tomorrow, the most important goal must be to settle the economic terms of independence as soon as possible so as to alleviate market uncertainty and embolden creditors to invest in Scotland and help the country thrive. Should they vote no, it is still equally important that the UK recognize their needs as Scotland and ensure that they are not forgotten simply because the status quo was maintained.
6. Aadi A. from Pakistan
I’m in favor, for a very simple reason. The Scottish have a great history rich heritage, so considering or calling Scotland a part of the UK is not fair because there’s a huge difference. It’s pretty much calling a Jewish person a Buddhist.
Scotland deserve to have their own sovereign country as well as the freedom of rights, identity and culture that come with that.
7. Jaimie M. from the Philippines
I’m up for it just as long as they’re able to gradually support themselves and keep social welfare as their priority.
8. Celso E. from Brazil
For social and cultural reasons, I see where the Scots [who want sovereignty] are coming from but I just don’t think they could make it work economically.
Many countries have some region that would like to be their own leaders; doesn’t mean it’s going to work. I’m afraid that separating themselves from the UK would have unseen ramifications.
9. Cesar A. from Mexico
I think it’s risky, but any independence is. If they’re able to unite their people and obtain their independence, then they deserve it.
10. Ama P. from Sri Lanka
Each side’s campaigns have brought to light a range of compelling arguments from both sides.
I personally find that whatever the results may be it is important to note that the movement has already changed the social and political landscape in Scotland, and, as political researcher Thomas Swann asserts, “the emergence of the pro-independent social movement is indicative of the fact that this change involves a rejection of the top down approach that continues to define much of mainstream politics.”
I find his observation extremely poignant as its implications are extremely far reaching. Many have already commented on parallels between the Scottish desire for devolution and that of similar situations around the globe, and it is clear that whatever the outcome of this referendum (and whatever the Scots decide is best for their country and future) does not only affect them and the rest of the UK and the EU — it is a historical landmark which will serve as an important political study from which the world will draw in the future.