Scotland rejected the referendum for independence

Sep 20, 2014 19:14 IST

People of Scotland on 19 September 2014 rejected the historic referendum for independence from United Kingdom. In the referendum asking simple question, Should Scotland be an independent country?, 55.3 percent of the Scots voted No whereas 44.7 percent of the Scots voted Yes. In effect the referendum was rejected by a huge margin of 10.6 percent.

Out of 32 council areas, the Scots backing Yes scored four big successes, winning 53 percent of the vote in Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, 54 percent in West Dunbartonshire, 57 percent in Dundee and 51 percent in North Lanarkshire.

However, the Scots backing No emerged victorious in 28 authorities. It won overwhelmingly in Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire and Borders, Falkirk, Inverclyde, Eilean Siar and Clackmannanshire.

With the announcement of the result, David Cameron, the Prime Minister of Britain, announced to devolve more powers to Scotland and other unions of the UK, whereas Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister and the leader of the Scottish National Party, announced his retirement.

The results were also welcomed by the US and Europe, particularly Spain which face their won secessionist movement in the form of Catalonians.

Fallout of the Scottish referendum

With the rejection of the referendum, Pound Sterling jumped, reaching a new two-year high against the euro in Asian trading hours and the FTSE 100 opened 44 points higher.

The results also came with host of announcements by David Cameron, Prime Minister of Britain. He announced that Lord Smith of Kelvin would oversee the process to take forward the scheme of devolution of maximum powers to Scotland which include new powers over tax, spending and welfare. The scheme has to be agreed by November 2014, and draft legislation to be published by January 2015.

He also acknowledged that the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland must have a bigger say over their affairs.

Comment

The referendum marked not only a new chapter for Scotland within the UK but also wider constitutional reform across the union because the vote against independence was clearly not a vote against change.

If the UK has to avoid a repeat of the 1980 referendum in Québec, then David Cameron led Britain government must deliver on time and in full the radical package of newly devolved powers to Scotland. The triumphalist behaviour of Ontario fuelled the separatist cause that nearly succeeded in a second referendum in 1995.

Background

Scotland joined the United Kingdom in 1707, but the demand for Independence from UK emerged first in 2009 and again in 2011. The demand for Independence was made by Scottish National Party. After Scottish National Party came in power in 2011, the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013 under an agreement between the Scottish and United Kingdom Governments.

 

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Read more Current Affairs on: Scotland , David Cameron , United Kingdom , referendum for independence

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