If Scotland votes to break away from the UK on September 18 the Scottish National Party wants its 'independence day' to be March 24, 2016.
While those two factors are two big ifs, and an independent-again Scotland would have an uncertain status as a 'new ' country, who could follow Scotland as a new independent country?
Ironically, Scottish independence could lead to a further fragmentation of its own territory. With a history interwoven with half a millennia of Norse rule, the people of Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides might not consider themselves as Scottish as the people of Edinburgh. Alex Salmond has promised island communities they will keep all money generated from leasing the seabed in the event of independence, in order to keep them in Scotland.