I have tried to avoid any more referendum related posts up until now because I think that anyone outside Scotland might be getting a bit of referendum apathy by now. But avoid no longer, as the UK enters it’s most important day for 300 years as Scotland goes to the polls to decide if it is to break the Union and go it alone. With the vote literally on a knife edge, we could be waking up on Friday morning to the news that the maps are to be redrawn and to plan any future trips to Scotland would actually be classed as “going abroad”.

Questions will be raised

We’ve had numerous televised debates, endless public speeches, hours and hours of rhetoric and quite frankly some nasty tactics. Yet can we say hand on heart that both England and Scotland have the answers to most of their questions? Probably not. No one knows what currency is to be used. No one really knows what is to be done about things like the Army, health services, public services, police, transport etc. Should Scotland decide to go it alone, these are all major national issues that absolutely have to solved, and quick.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has set a date of March 16th 2016 as the day Scotland becomes an independent nation. Now if you ask me, that’s a lot of major issues to solve in the short space of just 18 months. Personally I think that date will have to be put back as I just cannot see how everything will be resolved by then.

Away from that, there are even bigger issues at hand, for both sides of the border. I am thinking here of things like the European Union and the United Nations. At the moment the UK is a member of both, one more willingly than the other I might add but that’s a different story. What is to happen should there be a split? The EU has already said Scotland would have to reapply. Alex Salmond has said otherwise in previous televised debates. But just because he says one thing, doesn’t mean the EU is going to listen. Scotland will have to join again. So will the rest of the UK have to do the same? Do we really know? No we don’t. It has been suggested that as the UK government will still be intact at Westminster then perhaps not. But I have a sneaky suspicion it may not be that easy.

Then there is the United Nations. An organisation that the UK helped to set up decades ago. What about it’s membership of that? I would assume that Scotland will need to apply again for that. But what about the rules surrounding a new UK? Will the rest of us need to start from the back of the queue again?

If you’re English, Welsh or Northern Irish and haven’t taken an interest in this so far, then it might be time you did, because if Scotland says “Yes” today, this is going to affect all of us!

Will business be affected?

Yes I think it will, but I don’t think consumer confidence will be hit. Not unless something very unforeseen springs up out of nowhere. There will be logistical problems to get around. For example imports and exports. We’re going to have a proper border should Scotland become an independent nation. That means for those English, Welsh or Northern Irish window and door fabricators that sell in Scotland, you would then be classed as an exporter, and have all the duties and paperwork that comes with such a thing. Although there are other scenarios to that which Colin Torley of VEKA points out in his guest post on DGB.

Some more technical problems will have to be overcome. Such as debt. Any Scottish debt held by English banks, what will come of that? They can’t just leave us with it as they start to close the door in 2016. They of course won’t be allowed to default either.

Then you have the banks and other major businesses threatening to move south of the border should the Yes campaign win. Will that affect Scottish jobs and the newly formed independent Scottish economy?

You see what I’m getting at here.

Could it actually happen?

In all honesty, I have a feeling that they might just say yes to independence. Am I bothered? Hand on heart, no. It would of course be a shame to end such a long and historic Union that has brought everyone involved genuine success. But I’m not the sort of person to deny another the chance to do things for themselves. What I would hope is that the break up of the Union goes smoothly, efficiently and with as little negative affect on anyone else.

Of course there is as much chance of them saying no and we all get back to normal, with Scotland getting extra powers promised by the three major UK political parties.

A success in patriotism and politics

One thing I think we can all agree on on however is that this referendum has managed to ignite a passion and energy for politics that the UK probably hasn’t seen for at least 100 years. It’s taken the risk of breaking up a country mind!

The way the Scots have gone about engaging with this decision has been admirable. The rallies from both sides, the debates on the streets, pubs, schools and on TV. The posters, the papers and the trains. Everything has been touched by the passion for deciding the future of their own country, and for that they should be applauded. Could England have achieved something like this, probably not. Scotland to me has always been a more passionate country.

Yes things have got a little bit heated at times, angry, nasty even by a small number of idiots. But by and large, the nation of Scotland has been energised by politics and economics. Something perhaps many doubted would happen.

Flags may change. New borders formed. Maps redrawn. New national identities forged. Which ever this goes, Scotland won’t be the same again, and neither will we.