10 DAYS FROM NOW SCOTLAND will vote on whether to end its 300-year Union with England. On the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn where Scotland’s army routed the English, this nation will decide the fate of the Union. A Union which has endured world wars, built and lost an empire and shared national tragedy and joy in equal measure. Scottish secession would be an emotional trauma for many in the United Kingdom but so far many in England have yet to wake up to this. The English complacency was yesterday rudely awakened when a poll showed that the majority of Scots actually favor independence for the first time. This has prompted widespread anxiety across the UK political parties as they face the real reality of Scottish secession. It was only a month ago that the pro-union campaign was 22 points ahead and many felt that the UK had been saved. How different the picture is now. There are so many unanswered questions to Scottish independence and it is almost absurd that answers to the position of the monarchy, Scotland’s membership of the European Union, its currency, security and the economic cost or gain of independence have not been been truly laid out in detail. The political implications of the secession are disastrous for all the main UK political parties. For David Cameron, the current UK Premier, he would be marked in history as the Prime Minister who lost Scotland. Many have predicted that a “Yes” vote would precipitate his resignation and throw the run-up to the May 2015 general election into turmoil. For Ed Miliband, the leader of the UK’s opposition Labour party, the loss of Scotland would deprive the Labour Party of the roughly 40 UK parliamentary seats in Scotland and thus make it a more difficult task to win a parliamentary majority in the more conservative-leaning England. What of the rest of the UK? Key military relationships with the EU and US would be harmed as the UK’s Trident nuclear submarines are housed in Scotland and the Scottish Government has pledged to remove nuclear weapons from Scottish soil thus putting UK’s position as a nuclear power in jeopardy. The UK’s position in NATO, the UN Security Council and the EU would be weakened further reinforcing a much repeated narrative of the global decline of England on the world stage. Alex Salmond, Scotland’s formidable First Minister, has batted away questions on these issues with bluster and nationalist rhetoric but the reality is that the future of an independent Scotland is an unknown unknown. It will be a journey that England and Scotland take together which will be painful and fraught with difficulty on both sides. If Scotland votes “No” to independence then the UK will still have changed forever. The royal, political, economic and social union between the two countries will have been fundamentally altered as further powers are devolved to the Scottish Government. This UK as an island nation with no written constitution will have to face fundamental questions over the role of the London parliament and English, Welsh and Northern Irish identities within it. Yesterday England finally woke up to the fact that after September 18th 2014, irrespective of the outcome, it will have to reshape its role both within the UK and around the world. Why should you care about a referendum of a country with a population the size of Minnesota? The outcome will touch millions around the world as one of the G-7 powers is fundamentally altered. The US-UK ‘special’ relationship would of course be threatened. As the most famous of Scottish poets, Robert Burns, wrote “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.” The outcome of the referendum which was such a sure thing is now deeply uncertain. How right he proved to be.By Fred Spring I argue that the UK’s status as a global power could be significantly affected by Scottish independence with major implications for the US, the EU and Commonwealth nations.