UK to grant Scotland binding independence vote
London: Britain's government says it will give Scotland the power to hold a binding vote that would give it independence from Britain, turning back centuries of history.
Scotland's ruling Scottish National Party, which has long advocated independence, had pledged to hold a referendum before 2016.
Under law, only Britain's Parliament can order a binding vote, meaning it must temporarily offer the power to Scotland's semi-autonomous administration.
Britain's deputy treasury chief, Danny Alexander, said today that the UK government would offer the power, hoping Scotland will move quickly to hold a vote.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will campaign against attempts to sever Scotland from England for the first time since the 18th century.