Scottish government sets out blueprint for independence ahead of 2014 referendum

Scotland's government has published its blueprint for independence, outlining the ways the nation can prosper should voters support a referendum to leave the United Kingdom.

The long-awaited document comes ahead of the referendum on Sept. 18, 2014, when Scots will be asked whether they want Scotland to become an independent country.

The "White Paper," published Tuesday, says independence will create a more democratic Scotland and a more prosperous and fairer country. It also sets out how independence could impact the nation's currency, taxation, education, defense and other aspects of life.

Scotland is part of the U.K. but it has had its own Parliament since 1999 and has its own set of laws. The governing Scottish National Party supports independence, while the opposition Labour and Conservative parties oppose it.