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Connery Says Scottish Independence Would Grab World’s Attention

March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Sean Connery, the Edinburgh-born actor who played James Bond, urged Scotland to embrace independence because it’s an opportunity too good to miss.

In an article for the New Statesman magazine this week ahead of the Sept. 18 referendum on leaving the U.K., the 83-year-old said “a yes vote will capture the world’s attention.” He said full autonomy would allow Scotland to develop and enrich its culture and market it more effectively.

“A new sense of opportunity and hope for the future is now in sight,” Connery wrote, according to a preview in the Scottish edition of the Sun on Sunday yesterday. “Simply put, there is no more creative an act than creating a new nation.”

While Connery has been a longtime supporter of Scottish nationalism, his intervention in the independence debate comes less than two weeks after rock star David Bowie urged Scots to “stay with us” and politicians in Edinburgh and London clashed over whether Scotland would be able to keep the pound.

A YouGov Plc poll for the Scottish Sun newspaper published in newspapers two days ago found 53 percent of respondents in favor of staying within the U.K. and 35 percent in favor of independence, with 12 percent undecided. That 18 percentage-point gap compares with a range of seven to 12 percentage points in surveys by other pollsters conducted since January.

Connery doesn’t live in Scotland and thus doesn’t get to vote on the constitutional future of his homeland.

“I fully respect the choice facing Scotland in September is a matter for the people who choose to work and live there -- that’s only right,” he wrote. “But as a Scot with a lifelong love of Scotland and the arts, I believe the opportunity of independence is too good to miss.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodney Jefferson in Edinburgh at r.jefferson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Harris at hharris5@bloomberg.net

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