Now pro-independence voices say that Scotland is better off outside Britain. “Scotland, under Westminster control, is not realizing its potential and that is why becoming independent is so important,” says Stephen Noon, chief strategist of Yes Scotland, the nationalist party-backed independence campaign.
Nationalists say that Scotland has the resources to fend for itself economically – something that many opponents of independence do not dispute.
“We are the EU's largest oil and gas producer and have growing and successful industries including food and drink, tourism, and life sciences and a worldwide reputation for excellence in engineering and innovation,” says Mr. Noon.
It remains to be seen whether or not enough Scots believe that economic security warrants a break with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Only 32 percent of Scots would vote to leave Britain if the vote were held tomorrow, according to the results of a recent British Social Attitudes survey. Though the nationalists hold 67 of the 129 parliamentary seats and say they have a mandate to push for independence because it was a core campaign plank in the election that brought them to power, Scotland's other main parties are against breaking away.