You might have seen the headlines about a big election happening overseas. Today, people in Scotland will vote on whether or not they want to split from the United Kingdom and become an independent country. If Scotland votes for independence, the UK -- which is currently England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, will lose a third of its territory. That's eight percent of the UK's citizens and, population-wise, that's the equivalent of Texas seceding from the U.S.
A vote for independence would end a 307-year old partnership. Scotland's "Yes" campaign points to oil reserves and Scottish patriotism as reasons they can stand on their own. But the other side says Scotland's economy is at risk without the security of being part of the UK.
U.S. citizens might be thinking, 'Why do I care?' 2 Wants to Know dug a little deeper to find out.
One area of major concern is Faslane Naval Base. It's in Scotland, and is home base for Britain's nuclear submarine force. That includes U.S. submarines being leased to London. The Scottish National Party has said if Scotland is independent it will be anti-nuclear. So Britain would have to find a new home for the submarines. Those four submarines are capable of carrying a total of 512 nuclear warheads.
Another industry that'd be impacted is the whiskey industry! Vox says if Scotland were already an independent country, whiskey would be its third-biggest business, after oil and banking. The Scotch Whisky Association is reportedly concerned about whether independence would affect trade policy. And the U.S. is Scotch Whisky's biggest individual market. Americans consumed $1.3 billion of imported scotch in 2013.
And of course there's Queen Elizabeth. If Scotland wanted to remain a monarchy, she would stay queen. She'd become Queen of Scots.
We'll see what happens when election results come out Friday morning. But Scotland does become independent, Scotland's political leaders proposed independence day be March 24, 2016, to allow plenty of time for the transition.