(Reuters) - In the battle over Scottish independence, a rising number of famous Scots have gone public with their views on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom to go it alone.
Following is a list of some of the most famous Scots or Scottish residents taking sides in the increasingly heated debate ahead of the referendum on Sept. 18 which will decide whether Scotland cuts its 307-year tie with England.
One notable Scot has stayed silent, tennis player Andy Murray, although he admitted in June that he did not like Scottish leader Alex Salmond holding up Scotland's blue and white flag, the Saltire, behind Prime Minister David Cameron when he won Wimbledon last year.
FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE * Actor Sean Connery - "As a Scot and as someone with a lifelong love for both Scotland and the arts, I believe the opportunity of independence is too good to miss." (New Statesman interview March 2014) * Author Irvine Welsh - "I'm totally for independence, totally. I think everyone is, even the unionists. It's the process which is being argued about, not the principle." (Daily Record April 2012) * Film Director Ken Loach - "If I had the chance to be independent from the Tory-Liberal-New Labour bunch, I'd jump at it .. I think: go for it. Other colonised countries have asserted their independence." (The Herald May 2012) * Actor Brian Cox - "This whole argument has nothing to do with the pound. It's not about any of these things they say are important; it's about ... trying to get back to egalitarian principles, which is so present in the Scottish character." (New York e-magazine Boo York City March 2014) * Actor Alan Cumming - "The evidence is clear - in the past 15 years we have become stronger economically, socially, culturally and globally. The world is waiting for us and I know Scotland is ready." (Yes Scotland launch May 2012) * Band the Proclaimers consisting of twins Charlie and Craig Reid - "For me and Charlie it's not about patriotism or nationalism. I'm not into flag-waving and it's not about identity. It's about where the power lies and who wields it, and we believe independence would give a more equitable society." (Scotsman July 2013)
AGAINST SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE * Writer JK Rowling - "The more I have read from a variety of independent and unbiased sources, the more I have come to the conclusion that while independence might give us opportunities - any change brings opportunities - it also carries serious risks." (Own website June 11) * Comedian Billy Connolly - "I don't believe in having more layers of government that ordinary people will have to pay for. I think it's time for people to get together, not split apart." (Radio Times April 2014) * Singer Rod Stewart - "I'd hate to see the Union broken after all these years - and I don't think it will happen." (Radio Times July 2013) * Cyclist Chris Hoy - "I've said numerous times how proud I am to be Scottish and how proud I have been to compete for Britain too. I don't think these two things necessarily have to be mutually exclusive." (BBC May 2013) * Actor Ewan McGregor - "I'm a Scotsman and I love Scotland with all my heart. But I also like the idea of Great Britain, and I don't know that it wouldn't be a terrible shame to break it all up." (Daily Mail March 2012) * Singer Susan Boyle - "I am a proud, patriotic Scot, passionate about my heritage and my country. But I am not a nationalist." (The Sun July 2013) * Actress Emma Thompson - "Why insist on building a new border between human beings in an ever-shrinking world where we are still struggling to live alongside each other?" (Spanish television August 2012) * Football manager Alex Ferguson - "If ever there was a time to be wary of Scotland pulling out of the UK, it is now. It would be a distraction from what really matters - the economy, jobs, schools and hospitals." (Daily Record May 2011) (Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith)
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