TODAY millions of Scots will cast their vote on whether they should go it alone for the first time in hundreds of years.

And while Oxfordshire residents can do nothing but look on, the decision will not be without its impacts on the rest of the UK.

Kirsty Thorburn, from Headington but originally from Paisley, is a member of the Oxfordshire branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

She said: “If I lived in Scotland I would be voting no.

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“I think it will be really sad to see the UK break up. I have lived in England for quite a long time now but I still feel Scottish and that’s where I come from.

“I cannot imagine that Scotland wouldn’t be part of the UK.

“I think it would have a huge impact on the rest of the UK and people have not taken that on board.”

South East Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds, who was brought up in Aberdeenshire but now lives in Rose Hill, admitted it was a little strange that the nation of her birth could soon be a seperate country.

Oxford Mail:

  • Anneliese Dodds

She said: “I think it is right that the people who live in Scotland decide and it has been nationalists who have tried to suggest that there is some sort of Scottish race, which is a fiction and I find it very bizarre. We have co-existed for hundreds of years without these barriers.

“I think very strongly that we should stay together. It would be a huge amount of upheaval to change things now. Some of the driving forces of this have been nationalism and whenever that crops up it tends to be a destructive force.

“A lot of people are thinking of voting for independence because they are so disappointed in this government which is quite a depressing state of affairs. Hopefully this government won’t be around for much longer.”

Fellow Scot David Nimmo Smith is the cabinet member for transport on Oxfordshire County Council and county councillor for Henley.

Oxford Mail:

  • David Nimmo Smith

He said: “I would like to stay part of the union. I don’t think Scotland has got the critical mass to go it alone successfully, but the union has been successful for the past 300 years.

“The Scots have probably punched above their weight in the UK, we have had a lot of Prime Ministers and major business leaders.

“It would mean a loss of tax revenue and a loss of jobs. Alex Salmond thinks oil revenue would keep them afloat but that would require huge investment.”

But while Ms Dodds and Mr Nimmo Smith won’t have much of a say in her nation’s future, one town in Oxfordshire is going someway to fixing that.

Stuart McDonald is the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate standing against David Cameron in Witney and he is originally from Glasgow.

Oxford Mail:

  • Stuart McDonald

He said: “I would very much like it to be a yes vote but I have got a nagging feeling it will be a no. I think there is more and more scope for a smaller economy to represent what its people really want. You can see this in the Scandinavian economies.

“I don’t think the union has worked all that well for 300 years. The yes campaign is frequently accused of being romantic but Scotland has been plagued by poverty and still is – there are places in Glasgow where the life expectancy is 10 years less than in the South East of England.”

Actor Steve Hay, who lives in Donnington but grew up in Aberdeenshire, is also backing the Yes campaign.

Oxford Mail:

  • Steve Hay

He said: “I hope the people of Scotland go on and make it the success that it undoubtedly should be and I hope that the repercussions down here lead to a fairer and more just society that we desperately need.”

Burford Town Council has decided to hold its own “referendum” today when townsfolk will have a change to express an opinion on whether Scotland should stay or go. Town councillor David Cohen said the results would then be sent to their MP – Prime Minister David Cameron.

He said: “People in England are going to be affected by it but are not entitled to vote on it so we thought we would have our own referendum, partly for a bit of fun but also for serious reasons.

No messy divorce, insist all our MP

  • “I passionately believe that not only is Scotland better off in the UK, but that we are all better off if we stay together as a United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is an intricate tapestry, millions of relationships woven tight over more than three centuries. Our human connections – our friendships, relationships, business partnerships – they are underpinned because we are all in the same United Kingdom We matter more as a United Kingdom – politically, militarily, diplomatically and culturally too.” David Cameron, Witney 
  • “The UK is clearly stronger if Scotland stays in, and that’s the opinion of most constituents who have mentioned it to me, though I can understand the view of Scots who want more autonomy. However Scotland votes, there is going to have to be constitutional reform, and action taken to make sure every part of the UK, including our part of England, gets a fair deal.” Andrew Smith, Oxford East 
  • “I believe we are stronger and more prosperous as a united country. Even the speculation about Scotland’s future in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote is causing uncertainty and risks damaging our economy and it is clear from the ongoing arguments over whether Scotland can keep the pound, oil revenues and business uncertainty that Scotland is unprepared for independence. The UK is one of the most successful monetary, fiscal and political unions in history and there is no going back from a vote for independence.” Nicola Blackwood, Oxford West and Abingdon 
  • “I have always been a strong supporter of the United Kingdom as a single country which punches well above its weight in so many ways, while having such distinctive regional and national characters in each part of the Union and a number of my constituents have contacted me to say that they feel the same way. I very much hope that the people of Scotland will decide that we are, indeed, better together.” Ed Vaizey, Wantage 
  • “My mother was a Scot. My grandfather fought with the Highland Light Infantry throughout almost all of the Great War. My great grandfather was a Pipe Major in the Gordon Highlanders and fought with the Gordons at engagements such as Tel-el-Kebir. I have many family, cousins and relations living in Scotland. So for me, like hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United Kingdom, what happens on Thursday is not just political, it is also very personal. As a democrat, I believe in trusting the people and I hope and trust that on Thursday, the people of Scotland will decide that we are better together.” Sir Tony Baldry, Banbury 
  • “I am supporting Scotland staying in the Union. To do otherwise would cut across logic and wreck a successful relationship.” John Howell, Henley 

How Scotland arrived at today’s referendum

Scotland and England were joined together by the Acts of Union 1707 – though the two nations had shared the same monarch since 1603 when James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth I to become James I of England. 

The Scottish home rule movement began to grow in the early 20th century and the Liberal government of Herbert Asquith was in favour of home rule for Ireland and Scotland. A bill bringing this about, however, was hampered by the start of the First World War. 
The Scottish National Party was formed in 1934 and won its first seat in Parliament in 30 years later by which time the gradual dissolution of the British Empire was bringing the question to the fore again. 

A first referendum was held in 1979 and a narrow majority of 52 per cent voted in favour. 
But a condition had been placed on the ballot that 40 per cent of the total electorate had to vote “yes” and since the turnout had only been 63 per cent the result was eight per cent shy of this threshold. 

Both Margaret Thatcher and John Major opposed devolution and it wasn’t until 1997, when Labour was returned to power, that a referendum was held again. This time 74 per cent voted in favour of devolution (44 per cent of the electorate) and the Scottish Parliament was reconvened for the first time since 1707. 

In the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections the SNP pledged to hold a referendum but it only won enough seats to form a minority government. 
After winning a majority in the 2011 elections the First Minister Alex Salmond, pictured, reached an agreement with the UK Government to hold a referendum in 2014.

Scottish ID

Numbers of people who describe themselves as having some sort of Scottish identity by district (this can include being only Scottish, Scottish and British or another Scottish combined background):

  • Oxford: 2,199 (1.44 per cent) 
  • Cherwell: 2,055 (1.44 per cent) 
  • South Oxfordshire: 2,090 (1.55 per cent) 
  • Vale of White Horse: 1,979 (1.63 per cent) 
  • West Oxfordshire: 1,730 (1.65 per cent) 

    The arguments


  • Scottish people would have greater control over their own economy
  • An independent Scotland would be in the top 20 richest countries globally
  • The NHS would be protected from privatisation 
  • Scotland has made an important contribution to European culture and the EU would support its claim to membership
  • Access to university would remain free of charge


  • Leaving the UK would mean leaving the pound, one of the strongest currencies in the world
  • Around 600,000 jobs in Scotland are with companies based elsewhere in the UK or depend on exports there and would be at risk
  • Scotland currently makes all the decisions about its NHS but it is funded by taxpayers across the whole UK
  • As part of the UK, Scotland is on the UN Security Council and is part of one of the most influential countries in the EU 
  • Scottish universities benefit from a disproportionately large amount of funding from the UK Research Council and UK charities

  • Only a third of more than 500 voters in an Oxford Mail poll yesterday backed Scottish independence. You can still vote online today


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