Parliament backs independence
After a historic debate on the future of Scotland, the Scottish Parliament has today voted in favour of Scotland becoming an independent country.
Welcoming the Parliament’s backing for independence First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“I want Scotland to be independent not because I think that we are better than any other country but because I know we are just as good as any other country.
“Today, for the first time since the beginning of the political union, the elected representatives of the people of Scotland have agreed that this nation should be an independent country.
“The Scottish Parliament has achieved much in its short life span – the smoking ban, our world leading climate change act and new legislation to help tackle Scotland’s relationship with alcohol – to name but a few.
“As a Parliament and as a people we have shown we can make a success of running our own health service, schools, local government, police and courts and much else besides.
“If we are capable of doing all these things successfully why shouldn’t we have responsibility for running our economy, our pensions and representing ourselves on the world stage.
“But our Parliament is not yet able to make many of the key decisions affecting the lives of every man, woman and child in Scotland – and I believe that must change.
“It is the responsibility of this generation to hand over a better country to the next generation than the one inherited – and only independence will allow Scotland to fulfil its potential and ambitions.
“Independence is now the settled will of the Scottish Parliament. In Scotland sovereignty rests with the people and in the autumn of 2014 the people will have their say in Scotland’s independence referendum.”