In one of the most historically inaccurate movies ever made, Mel Gibson as Scottish warrior William Wallace shouts, “they may take our lives, but they will never take ... our FREEDOM!” Spoiler alert: The English won.
Hundreds of years later, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to terms allowing for a referendum on Scottish independence by 2014.
Cameron, quoted by the BBC, explained that he had to respond to the political will of the Scots, who elected a pro-referendum party, but he plans to campaign vigorously to keep the Kingdom united:
“I always wanted to show respect to the people of Scotland - they voted for a party that wanted to have a referendum, I’ve made that referendum possible and made sure that it is decisive, it is legal and it is fair.”
Mr Cameron added: “Now we’ve dealt with the process, we should get on with the real arguments, and I passionately believe Scotland will be better off in the United Kingdom but also, crucially, the United Kingdom will be better off with Scotland.”
Letting Scotland get away would go down as a pretty big blunder for Cameron, who would lose about a third of the U.K.’s total landmass in the bargain.
But that eventuality, should it ever happen, is a long ways off from agreeing to the outline of a referendum.
—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer. Follow him on Twitter: @peesch.
Photo by Steve Hodgson (CC-BY-SA)