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Should Scotland become independent?

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As Scotland prepares to celebrate 10 years of devolution on July 1, the question of whether the nation should gain full independence from the Union refuses to go away.

An opinion poll has found that 58 percent of Scots support the Scottish government’s wish to hold a referendum on independence in 2010.

This does not mean that the people of Scotland actually want to break free, however. The poll, carried out by ICM for the BBC, also showed that only 38 percent of the 1,010 respondents said they were in favour of Scotland becoming an independent country, while 54 percent said they would vote against the idea.

Respondents were also asked if they believed it was likely or unlikely Scotland would become a completely independent nation within 20 years, with 10 percent saying they thought it was likely and 28 percent quite likely. A larger proportion were not as convinced — 34 percent said it was quite unlikely and 24 percent said it was very unlikely.

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