Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond is at odds with UK Prime Minister David Cameron about a referendum over the independence of Scotland. Salmond wants to use his Scottish National Party's first ever majority in the Scottish Parliament to hold a vote on Scotland's future in 2014. Cameron has called for the vote to be held within the next 18 months.
Salmond recently declared his intention to hold a referendum in the fall of 2014. That's when Tory austerity cuts are expected to hit Scotland hard, while Scottish national pride gets a boost from the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, when the Scots under Robert Bruce scored a decisive victory over the English in the First War of Scottish Independence.
Cameron, whose Conservative Party has only one Scottish MP in Westminster, is supported in his desire to hold a referendum before 2014 by Liberal Party leader Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband. Westminster maintains that only the British Parliament has the legal power to hold a valid referendum on Scotland's future.