Scotland Independence Vote Sparks Debate in Wales

Scotland Independence Vote Sparks Debate in WalesScotland Independence Vote Sparks Debate in Wales

As the independence debate rages in Scotland hundreds of people in the Welsh capital Cardiff came together to urge Scots to vote to leave the union.

The referendum in Scotland has sparked discussion in Wales, the euronews reported.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood believes a ‘Yes’ vote in Scotland will have an impact in Wales: “This is a great opportunity to disperse that power, to decentralize that power away from London and the South East and to make sure that when the debate happens, after they vote ‘Yes’ in Scotland next week, that Wales is there making sure that we get the kind of settlement and the kind of deal that we desperately need and deserve.”

Welsh nationalists want a constitution to be penned in Cardiff by the people of Wales and believe independence is a right, not an aspiration.

> Unclear Fate

The fate of the United Kingdom remained unclear five days before a historic referendum on Scottish independence as three new polls on Saturday showed a slight lead for supporters of the union, but one saying the separatist campaign was pulling ahead.

On the final weekend of campaigning, tens of thousands of supporters of both sides took to the streets of the capital Edinburgh and Scotland's largest city, Glasgow. Rival leaders worked across the country to convince undecided voters.

At stake is not just the future of Scotland, but that of the United Kingdom, forged by the union with England 307 years ago.

The battle also took a bitter turn on Saturday when a senior nationalist warned businesses such as oil major BP Plc (BP.L) that they could face punishment for voicing concern over the impact of a secession.

The economic future of Scotland has become one the most fiercely debated issues in the final weeks of impassioned debate.

> Cameron's 'Scare Campaign'

Nationalists accuse British Prime Minister David Cameron of coordinating a scare campaign by business leaders aimed at spooking voters, while unionists say separation is fraught with financial and economic uncertainty.

But former Scottish Nationalist Party deputy leader Jim Sillars went much further than separatist leader Alex Salmond, warning that BP's operations in Scotland might face nationalization if Scots voted for secession on Thursday.

"This referendum is about power, and when we get a 'Yes' majority we will use that power for a day of reckoning with BP and the banks," Sillars, a nationalist rival of Salmond's, was quoted by Scottish media as saying.

"BP, in an independent Scotland, will need to learn the meaning of nationalization, in part or in whole, as it has in other countries who have not been as soft as we have been forced to be," Sillars said.

Banks such as Standard Life (SL.L) would face tougher employment laws after a vote for independence, he added.

From the windswept islands of the Atlantic to the inner city estates of Glasgow, Scots are debating whether to vote 'Yes' or 'No' to the ballot paper question they will be asked on Thursday: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Independence supporters say it is time for Scotland to rule itself, free of politicians in London. "No" campaigners say that Scotland is more secure and prosperous as part of the United Kingdom, and the end of the union would destroy three centuries of bonds and shared history, as well as be an economic disaster.