The English are in favour of Scottish independence
The English are in favour of Scottish independence

The question of Scottish independence continues to generate controversy.

According to a NatCen Social Research British Social Attitudes Survey, 26 percent of English residents favoured ending the union between England and Scotland. The study also suggests 31 percent of people in England "strongly agreed" Scottish MPs should not be allowed to vote on English laws; the number is up from 18 percent 10 years ago.

The study also notes that the percentage of English supporting Scottish claims of independence has risen from 19 percent in 2000 to 26 percent in 2011.

This particular bone of contention - "The constitutional anomaly whereby Members representing Scottish constituencies (and on occasion from Welsh and Northern Irish seats) may vote on legislation which extends to England but neither they nor Members representing English seats can vote on subjects which have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament has, since the 1970s, been termed the West Lothian Question. " - has generally been termed the West Lothian Question.

A second point of concern is the Barnett Formula, which decides quantum of public spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The formula was established by former Chief Secretary Lord Joel Barnett, with relation to Scotland, in 1978. British MPs feel Scotland is being given more funds than they require. The formula reportedly works according to population size, rather than what is claimed as actual needs.

"There is increasing resentment within England about this - there is a feeling that we are treated less favourably. The Barnett Formula is well out of date and needs to be scrapped entirely. If we are a United Kingdom - and I hope we remain so - then we should all receive the same level of support from the Government," Gordon Henderson, the MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey is quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

Concerns such as these have eventually led to an identity crisis. More than half the people believe that England should be governed by the UK parliament and not a constitution of local assemblies as well.

The study seems to indicate that a growing number of people in the UK are becoming aware of the Scottish independence debate.

"People from England and the rest of the UK are increasingly comfortable with the possibility of political and economic independence for Scotland. Independence for Scotland makes sense for all the people of Scotland and England. The momentum is with independence, so much so that support for independence for Scotland amongst the people of England is at an all-time high," SNP MSP Humza Yousaf is quoted as saying by the Scotsman.