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Queen's expert comments on Scottish vote

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Queen’s University principal and historian of Britain Daniel Woolf is available for comment on this week’s Scottish referendum.

Principal Woolf can discuss the Scottish-English relationship, the history of the original union and the issue of independence for Scotland.

“The relationship between England and Scotland has been an up and down one for two millennia, but I wouldn’t say that independence has been a continuous goal for Scotland. The campaign for independence was actually relatively subdued from the late 18th century and through most of the 19th century. In the 20th century, and especially since the First World War, the independence movement has grown and been encouraged by nationalist movements elsewhere, notably in Ireland,” says Dr. Woolf, who is also a professor in the Department of History at Queen’s.

“It’s very hard to predict how life in the UK might change should Scotland receive independence. It will change more dramatically, I think, for the Scots than the English because, as has been made clear, they will need to develop their own currency and may not have access to the kinds of services that are provided in England with its larger tax base. For many people, the difference may not be noticeable at all, especially if an independent Scotland joins the European community and can thus share common passports with its members, including England.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Rosie Hales at 613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or rosie.hales@queensu.ca and Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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