The political marriage of the Scots and English parliaments was consummated 300 years ago in 1707. In less than a week the Scots may begin filing for divorce. The date of the Scottish parliamentary elections on May 3 could herald the end of three centuries of union. U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair may be opposed to separation, but history may paint him as one of its leading architects.

The war in Iraq is widely resented among Scots; many blame the Labour leader for sending troops under false pretenses. With the Scottish National Party (SNP), the current opposition to Labour, opposed to Scottish troops being stationed in Iraq, support for the party is on the increase. While this is the nationalists’ stance, winning power in the elections would not signal a return of Scottish troops. Such decisions are the reserve of Westminster, which has led the electorate to question the status of its parliament.

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