BBC World Service

Scotland says no to independence. Now what?

Kai Ryssdal Sep 19, 2014
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BBC World Service

Scotland says no to independence. Now what?

Kai Ryssdal Sep 19, 2014
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The “no’s” have it: the United Kingdom is still united as a kingdom.

Scotland’s vote struck down their independence movement, 55 percent to 45 percent. The referendum posted the highest voter turnoutnearly 85 percent of the electoratesince the 1951 UK general election.

“There’s a really strange atmosphere here in Glasgow, because the very vocal ‘yes’ campaign are now very quiet, very despondent,” says the BBC’s Lucy Burton. “The ‘no’ voters feel relief. They’re not gloating, they just feel relieved.”

Questions such as which currency an independent Scotland would use, or how much of the North Sea oil they would actually own, will now go unanswered, much to the ‘no’ campaign’s relief.

Not everyone’s votes, however, were economically driven, says Burton. 

“For the ‘no’ voters, it perhaps played an even bigger part,” she said. She had gone down to interview some shipbuilders for BAA Systems, who were concerned about their jobs. Certain businesses, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, had threatened to move their headquarters to London if the ‘yes’ vote had won out.

On the other side, though, the ‘yes’ voters believed the economic concerns outlined in the days leading up to the referendum were scare tactics by design. They were also concerned that Prime Minister David Cameron’s promised devolution of power to Scotland wasn’t enough to meet their demands of having more Scottish power.

“In the end, it came down to a case of, ‘who do you trust?’ And for a lot of people, it came down to, ‘what does your heart tell you?'”

 

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