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Scotland rejects independence

Posted September. 20, 2014 04:50,   


Scotland has been frustrated in attempt to gain independence from the United Kingdom for the first time in 307 years. In a historic referendum on independence, Scots have chosen practical interest and stability by voting to remain in "Great Britain." The U.K. breathed a sigh of relief over the prevention of a rupture in the union and promised to grant greater autonomy to Scotland to embrace Scots.

After all votes were tallied in 32 regions in Scotland on Friday, 55 percent of the voters rejected independence, while 45 percent voted "yes." Twenty-eight regions, including Edinburgh, were against independence. "Yes" voters led in only four regions including Glasgow, the most populous city in Scotland.

In various opinion polls, the "no" camp led by 4 to 6 percentage points. When the votes were tallied, however, the lead was bigger. The Financial Times reported, "An army of “silent” No voters defeated an unprecedented challenge to the union."

It seems that Scots have rejected independence for fear of inability to use the pound, local businesses` plan to relocate to London and possible tax increases for the finances of Scotland at the early stages of independence.

The voter turnout totaled 84.59 percent, the highest since the U.K. adopted universal suffrage in 1918. The previous record was 83.9 percent in the 1950 parliamentary elections.

"It is time for our United Kingdom to come together and to move forward," U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said in a speech after the voting results were announced. "A vital part of that will be a balanced settlement fair to people in Scotland and importantly to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well."

As the vote tallies were broadcast live overnight, the entire Scotland remained sleepless. Supporters of and opponents to independence gathered at taverns that remained open at dawn, watching the tallying process on TV and cheering and clapping as results from each region were announced.

Despite the failed campaign for independence, the Scottish separatists` dramatic leap is expected to have enormous impacts on the U.K. and the European Union. Some express concern that a similar result could come out in the U.K.`s 2017 referendum on secession from the EU. The U.K. Conservative Party criticizes Cameron for having responded passively to the separatist movement over the last two years and ended up making too many concessions at the last minute, including far greater autonomy.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who led the pro-independence camp, has emerged as the biggest winner, as he carved the Scotland brand in the mind of the world and secured more power transfer from London. Salmond accepted defeat in a nationally televised speech, calling for changes in the interest of all of Scotland and the rest of the U.K.

Meanwhile, the British pound surged after the vote results were announced. In London`s foreign exchange market, the pound gained 0.4 percent to 1.65 U.S. dollars, the highest in two years, according to Bloomberg.