Poles join Scots in independence vote

30,000 Poles in Scotland are registered to vote during Thursday’s independence referendum, with opinion polls showing ‚Yes’ and ‚No’ camps almost neck-and-neck in the final days of campaigning.

A bakery employee places a 'question mark' cupcake between a Scottish Saltire cake (L) and a Union cupcake (R) at a bakery in Edinburgh, Scotland, 16 September 2014. Polls are showing that the Yes and No camps are neck and neck in the Scottish Independence referendum. Scots will vote wether Scotland should become an independent country on 18 September.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

A bakery employee places a ‚question mark’ cupcake between a Scottish Saltire cake (L) and a Union cupcake (R) at a bakery in Edinburgh, Scotland, 16 September 2014. Polls are showing that the Yes and No camps are neck and neck in the Scottish Independence referendum. Scots will vote wether Scotland should become an independent country on 18 September. EPA/ANDY RAIN

Two surveys released on Tuesday showed the ‚Yes’ to independence group on 48 percent and the ‚No’ camp on 52 percent, with analysts declaring the final result, to be known early Friday morning, “too close to call”.

If 50 percent tick ‚Yes’ on the ballot paper plus one vote then over 300 years of union between Scotland, England and Wales would be cast aside.

But it will not just be a potentially sleepless night for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Scots, waiting for the final result of the historic referendum: many Europeans, particularly in Spain – where Basques and Catalans are also pushing for independence – will also be waiting eagerly for the ballot papers to be counted.

No/Nie

“[D]ismembering the UK would further destabilise an already extremely dangerous situation in Europe. It would be bad for the UK, bad for Poland, bad for freedom and democracy in Europe, and bad for Scotland,” former Polish finance minister Jacek Rostowski, who has a son at a Scottish university who is eligible to vote, writes in a letter sent to the Financial Times.

Yes/Tak

Some Poles have been joining in the campaigning for a ‚Yes’ vote, however.

The Polish Scots for Yes web site says ‚Vote Tak’ on Thursday.

“Polish For Yes and Yes Scotland strongly support our common future with an independent Scotland,” says Tomek Borkowy, a Polish actor and director living in Edinburgh.

Though it is not known which way the estimated 30,000 of the 56,000 Poles living in Scotland will vote, the ESRC Centre for Population Change published a survey (pdf) of 250 Poles living in the country in August, which suggests that uncertainty over Scot’s status within the EU and an uncertain future if independence is voted for could way heavily on the minds of Poles casting votes.

“The uncertainty of Scotland and the UK’s future membership of the EU and Polish migrants’ residence rights in a potentially independent Scotland were significant issues for all participants,” the report says.

Just under 85 percent of the Poles interviewed said they intended to vote in the referendum. (pg)

 

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