LONDON (AP) — Britain's government says it will give Scotland the power to hold a binding vote that would give it independence from Britain, turning back centuries of history.
Scotland's ruling Scottish National Party, which has long advocated independence, had pledged to hold a referendum before 2016.
Under law, only Britain's Parliament can order a binding vote — meaning it must temporarily offer the power to Scotland's semiautonomous administration.
Britain's deputy treasury chief, Danny Alexander, said Tuesday that the U.K. government would offer the power, hoping Scotland will move quickly to hold a vote.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will campaign against attempts to sever Scotland from England for the first time since the 18th century.