Scottish independence needs to be delayed if it is not in the interest of the rest of the UK, House of Lords report says
LONDON - Scottish independence has to be delayed if it is not in the interests of the rest of the UK, says a report by House of Lords.
The report, prepared by the Lords Constitution Committee and titled "Scottish independence: constitutional implications of the referendum", advises the British government to put UK's interests first, should Scotland become independent in September.
"Should Scotland be an independent country?" is the question Scots will be asked when they go to the ballot box on September 18th 2014. But Scotland is not expected to entirely leave the UK until 2016 if voting yields a "yes" outcome. The Scottish government has proposed the March 26th 2016 date for its independence day.
In addition, the House of Lords report recommends that the 59 Scottish MPs currently in the House of Commons should not be allowed to negotiate for the rest of the UK on issues pertaining to Scotland's independence.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is currently in Scotland campaigning for Scotland to remain part of the UK.
Speaking on Friday in the midst of his two-day visit to Scotland, the British PM said that Scottish independence would cause an "irreversible" separation from the UK.
"It is important that people in Scotland know what the result of this vote is, he said. It is either a vote that separates Scotland from the United Kingdom in an irreversible way, or a vote that reaffirms Scotland's place within the United Kingdom."
"We want Scotland to stay, he added. We are all enriched by being together. Scotland puts the 'great' into Great Britain. Together, we are a United Kingdom with a united future."
London and Edinburgh signed the "Edinburgh Agreement" more than a year ago establishing the holding of a referendum on Scottish independence.
A "yes" victory in the September referendum will result in a series of negotiations between London and Edinburgh, over such topics as defense, Scotland's EU and other international organization memberships, or whether the country will keep the pound as its national currency.
Recent polls show that the "no" vote for independence is ahead by about 15 points. However, latest surveys indicate a rise of the "yes" vote.
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