Referendum: If the Scots vote to stay, will the English get to vote for independence too ?

Alex Salmond speaks at Princeton

Things are hotting up in the referendum over the future of Scotland. The momentum appears to now be with the 'Yes' vote to go it alone.

Personally, I don't give a fig if Scotland votes for independence later this month - that's their right, and we must respect the will of the people of Scotland. The rest of the United Kingdom will survive, of course, and hopefully thrive too. This is not a zero-sum game.

What does exercise my mind, though, is if the Scots decide to stay - will the English (and the rest of the United Kingdom) get the chance to vote for their own independence ? Or is it just in Scotland that the people have the right to take charge of their own destiny ? 

The decision for the people of Scotland is clearly a difficult one - hence why the polls are currently so close. As the day of reckoning approaches (on Thursday, 18th September) people are now going to focus on the issue in more detail - trying to work out whether they, and the whole of Scotland, will be better off alone or lumped in with the rest of us.

It's a tough decision, and emotion comes into it as well. The Scots are a proud people, and the pull to run their own country totally themselves is a strong one. But what happens if they vote to stay in ? Shouldn't the rest of the UK then get the opportunity to decide if they want to go it alone too ?

Many Englanders are fed up with the continuing devolution of powers from Westminster - especially to the EU - which results in 'our' money being used for purposes outside our control, and on policies with which we do not necessarily agree. That's why UKIP is such a potent force south of the border, of course. And some partisan English also feel that it would be wrong to continue to pump money into Scotland, a country where clearly many of its people would rather make their own way in the world.

Many in England resent what they now see as an ungrateful part of the Scottish establishment essentially giving them the finger - let the Scots keep their oil (and their bankrupt banks), they say - and take back the (recent) Scottish-born Prime Ministers who did so much to damage the future of the United Kingdom in the first place.

Personally, I don't think it pays too much to look back in anger, but I do have some sympathy with the view that there will be but one vote on the future of the United Kingdom, and that it will be only the people of Scotland that gets to make it.