The question of independence from Britain will not be on the ballot when Scottish voters go to the polls on Thursday.

But as pressure for a second referendum on breaking away from the U.K. grows, Scotland is grappling with an uncertain future. 
The end of the 314-year-old union with England is no foregone conclusion.

Scotland is torn both over its future and the prospect of another polarizing vote that divides families and friends as much as it does politicians.
The thorny question was supposed to have been settled for a generation in 2014, when 55% of Scots who voted in a referendum chose to preserve their union with Britain.

But in 2016 the calculus was changed by a different divisive vote: Brexit.
The majority of Scottish voters opted to remain in the EU but were wrenched, unwillingly, away from the bloc.

This reinvigorated the independence movement, reminding many Scots that they’re just 8% of Britain’s population and easily outvoted.
Scotland's seafood industry has been hit hard by Brexit.

Many fishing communities voted to leave the EU, lured by promises of a “sea of opportunities.” But increased red tape has hampered exports, leaving catches spoiled and boats stuck in harbors.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's pro-independence first minister, argues that an independent Scotland could rejoin the EU.

Her critics say this would damage important trade with England and turn an often invisible frontier into a physical trade border.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls for a second independence referendum, but it’s hard to say no indefinitely if a majority in Scotland believes it’s time to rethink the centuries-old union.
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