A not-so-United Kingdom

Scotland has a big decision to make soon. In just about 100 days voters will decide whether to remain part of the United Kingdom. The debate is passionate and opinion polls on the outcome are narrowing.

Seven centuries have passed since Scottish forces defeated England's army after a series of bloody battles, including the one at Bannockburn depicted in Mel Gibson's Braveheart.

In Bannockburn Monday, some are fighting to get that independence back. Scotland ceded power to London when it joined the United Kingdom in 1707, but 15 years ago some of that power was clawed back with the creation of a new Scottish parliament in Edinburgh. Now many Scots want to go all the way with full independence in a movement spearheaded by Alex Salmond's Scottish National Party.

Photos of Scotland:

On September 18, people in Scotland over the age of 16 will have their say once and for all in a referendum that asks simply: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

It's a debate of the heart, what it means to be Scottish, but it's also about money. Bob Conway is a locksmith in Stirling, just a stone's throw from Bannockburn.

"I think we can succeed. We've got our very own oil industry which we've been told for years is going to run out in ten years, twenty years and it's still going strong. We've also got our own silicon valley in the highlands and we supply maybe 30 or 40% of the circuit boards across Europe. We've got a fantastic whisky industry... As a business there is some fear and trepidation. I am not saying that Scotland would get it right all the time, but we would be allowed to make our own decisions. I feel that if you make your own decisions you have to learn from your own mistakes and we're not getting that chance right now," said Conway.

Chloe Campbell also works nearby and will soon be studying for a degree in politics.

"I am against independence because I feel there are so many answers we don't have and there is so much information that we are not provided by Alex Salmond and it is very difficult to make a decision based on your future and your country when you don't have the answers. I think it is silly to make that big a decision and it is a risk to take without knowing the full information," said Campbell.

If the "yes" campaign for independence wins out, there may be months if not years of negotiation over big issues like dividing up the UK's oil wealth and national debt, whether it remains part of the European Union, whether it keeps the British pound or brings back its own currency and central bank.

Even if they wanted to, are Scotland's leaders able to steer the country through these epic challenges?

The polls have so far favored the no, to independence, but the balance of power is with a large swathe of the population who are still undecided.


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