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5 things to remember about the UK and Scottish independence


On 18 September, voters in Scotland will be asked the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?".
The UK Government is making a positive case for Scotland to stay in the UK - Scotland is stronger in the UK, and the UK is stronger with Scotland in it.
Get more information on GOV.UK.


With less than a month to go until the independence referendum, here are 5 things to remember about the UK, Scotland and independence.

  1. Independence would mean Scotland leaving the UK permanently and starting again
    The services and institutions we now share will stay part of the continuing UK, while the new Scotland will have to create much of its own infrastructure and negotiate its own terms and conditions with other countries.
  2. The UK has a diverse and successful economy
    The UK has a population of around 63 million people; Scotlandís population is around 5 million. This means far more people are paying tax across the UK, which is what funds public spending and ensures we provide for one another Ė whether thatís through the NHS or the State pension. Scotland benefits, as public spending is 10% higher per person in Scotland than across the UK as a whole. Being part of the UK means Scotlandís economy is better protected against the ups and downs of the global economy.
  3. Being part of the UK is an important factor in that economic success
    70% of Scottish exports, including 40% of all Scottish goods and services, go to the rest of the UK. Separation could see trade move less freely, affecting jobs and income.
  4. UK has major international influence
    As a major player in the UN Security Council, NATO and the EU, the UK carries influence through its international alliances and world class armed forces that protect us and generate jobs. The UK spends over £34 billion on defence each year, and 12,500 regular armed forces (8.8% of the UK total) will be based in Scotland by 2020.
  5. Centuries of shared culture, media, sport and arts
    The diversity of the UK enriches everything we do Ė from our academic research and technological innovation to our performing arts Ė and it means we can invest more in doing it. Scottish communities received one fifth of UK Government money spent improving broadband in rural areas. And the BBC, which receives just over £300 million in licence fees from Scotland each year, spends just under £4 billion on broadcasting in Scotland.

What you need to know

Four million people can vote in this referendum, but the result affects all 63 million people in the UK.

  • The referendum takes place on Thursday 18 September
  • The vote is open to Scottish voters over the age of 16