- After hours of the will-they-wont-they type of conjecture, we now know the results of the Scottish Referendum; that the Scottish people have voted in favour of remaining a part of the United Kingdom. The 2014 Scottish Referendum has yielded the same results as similar exercises conducted in 1979 and then in 1997. 55% voted against independence while 45% of the Scottish people voted for independence in what was an unprecedentedly large turnout. The reasons for this are many:
- Unity is better. While there are cultural and political differences, it is in the interests of both England and Scotland that the two entities remain one. The future of Scotland, after their independence would have remained an uncertain one. People were unsure of the political and economic changes that independence would have brought about.
- Many experts including Scottish experts feel that there is no effective economic case for independence. Times are tough in the UK and internationally and ‘No’ sayers feel that Scotland’s prosperity, jobs and stability are better protected by remaining a part of the larger nation.
- Scotland’s security is also better protected by remaining with the UK. This way the Scottish people have some clout in the UN Security Council, the EU and NATO, their embassies already exist around the world.
- Many Scottish people live in England and many of the English people live in Scotland. The interdependence of identities, cultures, ideas and institutions is a plus, not a minus. (Source – Better Together)
- Scottish oil resources are one of the reasons why so many nationalists wanted to break away from the Union. The understanding is that an independent Scotland would have so much oil that that it could set up a sovereign wealth fund; that the British government in London has been running up deficits and squandering oil revenues. However international experts have warned that Scotland may not be as oil rich as many project.
- And what about the sense of pride in their Scottish heritage, that is caused so many to vote ‘Yes!’ for independence? In one survey, when respondents were asked to rank their Scottishness against their Britishness, only 26 per cent said they were “more Scottish than British”. This view perhaps owes itself to so much of a shared history and cultural identity between the two peoples. (Source – The Week)
- Those who advocate against Scotland seceding from the UK, point out advantages such as the benefits of a single market for the past 300 years, largely peaceful coexistence and a political system that is envied and copied around the world. Scotland has its legal system, church and the right of their football team to play in the World Cup too. (Source – The Guardian).
- The fact that the Tories rule from far away London, with little representation from largely labour Scotland is a bugbear for many. However it can be pointed out that the UK has had labour governments in the not too distant past as well.
Image Source – The Guardian