Scotland to unveil blueprint for independence

Scotland to unveil blueprint for independence
A pro-independence supporter holds a Saltire flag with "Yes" written on it in Edinburgh on September 21, 2013 during a march and rally in support of a yes vote in the Scottish Referendum to be held in September 2014.

EDINBURGH - Scotland's government on Tuesday publishes its legal blueprint making the case for independence from the United Kingdom, with the economy at the heart of its bid to break up the 300-year union.

The "white paper" on Scottish independence is being unveiled by the regional government in Edinburgh ahead of a historic referendum on the issue next September.

Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the "comprehensive and detailed" document was a blueprint not just for Scotland, but for any prospective independent country.

"It is a landmark document which sets out the economic, social and democratic case for independence," she said on Sunday.

"It demonstrates Scotland's financial strengths and details how we will become independent."

Only one third of the 5.3 million Scots are currently in favour of breaking away, according to opinion polls.

But Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) who is heading the pro-independence campaign, insists he has time to convince voters of the economic and political benefits.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative-led government, meanwhile, are pushing hard for a "no" vote, claiming independence would be fraught with risks and problems.

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