March 22 - Scotland's nationalist leader sets a date for an independence referendum in the year of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, a historic victory over English forces. Sunita Rappai reports.
September 18, 2014 - the date set for an historic referendum in Scotland on whether this country of five million people should leave the United Kingdom. First Minister Alex Salmond of the pro-independence Scottish National Party announced the date on Thursday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTLAND'S FIRST MINISTER, ALEX SALMOND, SAYING: "It will be a date with destiny for Scotland, it's our date in history, our opportunity to vote ourselves into independence, to have a prosperous country, but also a fair society." But others are less optimistic, with opinion polls putting support for independence at just 30 percent. Denise Playfair from the Kelso Chamber of Trade says the move would be bad for Scotland's ailing economy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DENISE PLAYFAIR, KELSO CHAMBER OF TRADE, SAYING: "I would have concerns about rocking the boat too much just now, when times are quite hard for many businesses." The Scottish Labour Party is amongst those campaigning against full independence. LABOUR PARTY MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (MP) AND FORMER BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER ALISTAIR DARLING SAYING: "Because of the opportunities that come with being part of the UK, with the fact that we've got influence in the European Union, and also the fact that we have the best of both worlds, if you like, with devolution of power, as well as being able to share the benefits of being part of the UK." The vote is due to take place on the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, a celebrated victory over the English.