In what's being called a "historic agreement," Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond have hammered out a deal will allow Scotland to decide if it wants to secede from the United Kingdom. The question will be settled in a 2014 referendum.
"Officials from London and Edinburgh have been meeting for weeks to hammer out details of a vote on Scottish independence. Sticking points included the date and the wording of the question. ...
"The prime minister is expected later to praise Scotland's two governments for coming together to deliver a "legal, fair and decisive" referendum that now puts the decision on a separate Scotland or a United Kingdom in the people's hands.
"'This marks the beginning of an important chapter in Scotland's story and allows the real debate to begin,' Cameron will say in a speech later Monday, according to prepared remarks released by his office."
The BBC reports that the deal allows the Scottish Parliament to hold a one-question referendum. The issue of independence came to forefront, the BBC reports, when the Scottish gave a major victory to a party that included independence in its platform.
The Telegraph reports that Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, predicted that Scotland would choose to remain a part of the U.K. The paper reports:
"Mr Moore said that the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland, which were bailed out by the Westminster government, showed that it was safer for Scotland to remain within the Union.
"He also raised the ease of trade within the UK, and the lack of certainty about an independent Scotland's future relationship with the European Union, saying that issues such as these would form the "big debate" about Scottish independence.
"'When people weigh all of that up, they will think it is way better to be part of the United Kingdom,' he added."