These are quotes from some of the top Scots on the Union
Alun Woodward [Musician]
�I was talking to my girlfriend recently, about the act of Union and what it would be like in Scotland if it wasn't around. One of the key problems for me is the paucity of political talent. You look at the Scottish Parliament and, with so many of them, I am left feeling a wee bit shortchanged. Independence would be broadly speaking, preferable.... and this is not an anti- English sentiment, which I despair of. "
Vanessa Collingridge [TV Presenter]
�I don't think Scotland had that much of a choice, economically it was in a pretty dire straits. I think the Union has been very good for stability. I don't like nationalism of any kind. I think you have to be very careful to separate having a strong identity from the place you come from to taking that forward politically. "
Professor Christopher Smout [Historiographer Royal]
�The Scots MP's made the right decision in1707, Had Scotland been conquered by England , Scotland could have ended up like Ireland . It would have been an imposed settlement. As it was, [the act of union] was regarded as a bargained settlement.
I've have not completely made up my mind about independence and could envisage supporting it, but I would want to hear the debate, what the pro's and cons are."
Al Kennedy, [Writer]
"The Act of Union was pushed through against the wishes of the majority of the Scottish people with English troops on the Border. [ Independence ] would undo a great wrong, an injustice. In theory, it would be great, but we are not in an age of enlightenment. We are famous for spawning politicians who want to get on better with people who will give them brown envelope. I think it could get very ugly, very quickly. "
Irvine Welsh, [author]
" Scotland has obviously benefited economically from being a huge partner in the British imperial adventure, but this history has now become an albatross around both Scotland and England 's neck. I think the Union now is probably bad for both countries. It is difficult to see people in Scotland or England supporting the Union indefinitely. It has served its purpose with the empire and seems increasingly moribund. We should mind our own business."
�All across the globe, I have seen small countries prosper with independence. I have seen Scotland miss so many opportunities because we don't have our own voice and place in the world. That is what has to change. And what better year to start the process than the 300th anniversary of this unequal Union ? That is the issue. Scotland needs to have an equal status with England- nothing more, nothing less. The Union was a fix, achieved through bribery and threats in an age long before people had the vote. The people rioted, but the establishment ignored them.
Three centuries on, we need to put the people fully in charge. That is what democracy is all about. That is why it is right to put the question of independence to the people fair and square in a referendum.
For the life of me, I can't understand why any democrat would have a problem with that.
Scotland is a rich country. We have resources in abundance - oil, gas, land, water, fish and talented people. The ingredients of success are all there. We have held back for far too long. After three centuries, it's time to go forward as an independent nation."