Queen Elizabeth broke her silence on Scotland's upcoming independence vote while leaving church on Sunday.
"I hope people will think very carefully about the future," the Queen said in response to a citizen's question while standing outside of the church in Crathie near her Balmoral estate.
Many news outlets including The Associated Press were quick to point out
that the queen has a constitutional obligation to remain neutral, and that her comment should be seen as a suggestion to thoughtful deliberation, not a "yes" or "no" vote. Buckingham Palace reiterated neutrality on the heels of the queen's comments, with a source telling Reuters
, "This is totally impartial and reinforces the point that this is a matter for the people of Scotland."
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Weekend polls indicated that the unionists and secessionists are in a dead heat, and it remains impossible to predict the outcome of the upcoming Thursday referendum.
Prime Minister David Cameron has come out against Scottish independence, traveling to the region to persuade voters to reject it.
He has supported the "Better Together" campaign, which has played up the economic uncertainties an independent Scotland would face. Pro-independence campaigns have predicted that Scotland will reap the lion's share of oil reserves located there.
Clive Crook, a Bloomberg View columnist
, is among those who say the distribution of oil revenues is unclear at best should there be a "yes" vote.
"[K]nown reserves are currently a U.K. asset, just as the country's debts are a U.K. liability," he wrote Sunday.
"This suggests a division on the same basis — population, not geography — which would give Scotland less than 10 percent of known oil rather than 90 percent. In practice, some blend of the two approaches seems plausible. In any case, if the Scots vote yes, expect this issue to surface in the negotiations."
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