On September 18th 2014 the people of Scotland will choose whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or to become an independent country. If Scotland becomes an independent country this would bring to a close one of the longest serving and most successful economic and political unions in the modern era. The process of Scottish devolution began in 1997, with the creation of the Scottish Parliament and Executive, and has been followed by more devolution of powers up to the Scotland Act 2012. Independence would be a fundamental and historic change. On the one hand it offers an opportunity for the Scottish government to choose its own economic, social and political framework. On the other, Scotland would no longer automatically be an integral part of risk-sharing arrangements within the UK, including monetary arrangements, welfare and pension provisions and defence.