Voting has begun in Scotland as the country decides on whether to stay with the UK or become independent. The last polls before ballots opened gave the no campaign a slight lead. But as Ivor Bennett reports, markets are bracing themselves whatever the outcome.
He's one of Scotland's most famous products. And until now, has kept his views quiet on independence. But just hours before voting began, tennis star Andy Murray pledged his allegiance - to the Yes campaign. He can't vote because he lives in England but his decision to speak out at such a crucial moment underlines the vote's importance. With the Saltire flying in Eastern Ukraine, it's no understatement to say that the world is indeed watching. Many wondering if Scotland does break away, who will follow next? Robert Halver is from Germany's Baader Bank. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "If a majority of Scots vote for separation from the United Kingdom we will have a problem for the euro zone. It would mean very clear support for all those who think they too should separate from their country: the Basques, the Catalans and the Belgians with Flanders and Wallonia who also seem to have problems with each other. Above all it would be very, very bad for the idea of European integration." The potential consequences of the vote have put markets on edge. With sterling set to tumble should Scotland say yes. Berenberg's Rob Wood. SOUNDBITE (English) ROB WOOD, CHIEF UK ECONOMIST, BERENBERG BANK, SAYING: "Sterling has fallen a little bit but not very much I think and would fall a lot further if Scotland voted yes. so no, I don't think people are prepared for a yes vote I think it would come as a significant shock if it happened tomorrow morning." Turnout is expected to hit a historic high. With 97 percent of the electorate registered to vote. The final opinion polls gave the No campaign a slight lead. But with as many as 600,000 still seemingly undecided, the UK's fate really is in the balance.