Friday, September 19, 2014

Independence: Scotland rejects independence to remain part of the U.K

 Independence: Scotland rejects independence to remain part of the U.K

 Independence: Scotland rejects independence to remain part of the U.K

Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. 
The result, announced early Friday, was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to try to get Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. Britain's leaders had argued successfully that Scots are better off staying part of the United Kingdom with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
 The decision to reject independence will ease the worries of some business leaders who had warned they would have to shift their headquarters away from Scotland to England if Scots voted to become independent. Voters went to the polls in unprecedented numbers to have their say on Scotland's 307-year union with England.
 The average turnout was 86 percent - a record high for any Scottish election. British Prime Minister David Cameron was to make a televised address about Britain's future Friday morning. 
With 31 out of the country's 32 council areas having declared after Thursday's vote, the 'No' side has an unassailable lead of 1,914,187 votes to 1,539,920. 
The winning total needed was 1,852,828. Nationally, the margin of victory is about 55% to 45%. The vote is the culmination of a two-year campaign. 
Talks will now begin on devolving more powers to Scotland. Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, has said he accepts his defeat.
 He said: "It is important to say that our referendum was an agreed and consented process and Scotland has by a majority decided not at this stage to become an independent country. 
"I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland." As results rolled in, the Yes camp appeared resigned to defeat. Saying she was "personally bitterly disappointed" with the results, Deputy Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon told BBC that Scottish nationalists "need to pick ourselves up and move on."
 After the polls closed late Thursday, a nationwide count began immediately. Many Scots stayed up overnight in homes and bars, awaiting the result. "Why not roll the dice for once?" Yes supporter Thomas Roberts said at one Edinburgh polling station. "I'm going to sit with a beer in my hand watching the results coming in." Eager voters had lined up outside some polling stations even before they opened Thursday.
 More than 4.2 million people had registered to vote - 97 percent of those eligible - including residents as young as 16. For some, it was a day they had dreamed of for decades. For others, the time had finally come to make up their minds about the future - both for themselves and for the United Kingdom.
 "Fifty years I fought for this," said 83-year-old Isabelle Smith, a Yes supporter in Edinburgh's maritime district of Newhaven, a former fishing port. "And we are going to win. I can feel it in my bones." But financial consultant Michael MacPhee, a No voter, said he would observe the returns "with anxiety." Scottish independence is "the daftest idea I've ever heard," he said. After polls closed, some No campaigners said they were confident they had swayed enough undecided voters to stave off independence.
 They may have been helped by a last-minute offer from Britain's main political parties to give Scotland more powers if voters reject secession and by fears about the future of Britain's pensions and the National Health Service in an independent Scotland. The question on the ballot could not be simpler:
 "Should Scotland be an independent country?" Yet it divided Scots during months of campaigning, generating an unprecedented volume and intensity of public debate and participation. The Yes side, in particular, energized young people and previously disillusioned working-class voters.
 Many questions - the currency an independent Scotland would use, its status within the 28-nation European Union and NATO, the fate of Britain's nuclear-armed submarines, based at a Scottish port - remained uncertain or disputed after months of campaigning.

One thing was known: A Yes vote would trigger 18 months of negotiations between Scottish leaders and London-based politicians on how the two countries would separate their institutions before Scotland's planned Independence Day on March 24, 2016. Mr Salmond called on the main unionist parties to make good on their promises of greater powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Glasgow, Scotland's largest council area and the third largest city in Britain, voted in favour of independence by 194,779 to 169,347, with Dundee, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire also voting "Yes".
 But Edinburgh, the nation's capital, rejected independence by 194,638 to 123,927, while Aberdeen City voted "No" by a margin of more than 20,000 votes. There have also been big wins for the pro-UK campaign in many other areas.

Mr Salmond's deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, said in an earlier concession statement that there was a "real sense of disappointment that we have fallen narrowly short of securing a 'Yes' vote". She told the BBC the projected result was "a deep personal and political disappointment" but said "the country has been changed forever".
 Ms Sturgeon said she would work with "anyone in any way" to secure more powers for Scotland "It looks as if it's not quite been enough and that's deeply disappointing," Sturgeon told the BBC.Independence: Scotland rejects independence to remain part of the U.K
 "Like thousands of others across the country I've put my heart and soul into this campaign and there is a real sense of disappointment that we've fallen narrowly short of securing a yes vote," Scottish Nationalist Party deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon said.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I've spoken to Alistair Darling (head of the pro-UK Better Together campaign) - and congratulated him on a well-fought campaign." Mr Cameron is expected to respond to Scotland's decision in a live televised address following the final result. 
Nationalists: We've fallen narrowly short of independence Unionists lead with 54 percent of vote - Reuters calculations Overall result expected at sunrise, turnout high PM Cameron and Elizabeth II expected to comment (Recasts, adds new results) By Alistair Smout and Angus MacSwan Sterling rose sharply while unionist campaigners clapped, cheered and poured drinks as results were announced.
 Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister David Cameron were expected to make statements later. Though the nationalists won Scotland's biggest city, Glasgow, they failed to meet expectations in a clutch of other constituencies. 
The campaign for independence had galvanized this country of 5.3 million but also divided friends and families from the remote Scottish islands of the Atlantic to the tough city estates of Glasgow. Breaking apart the United Kingdom has worried allies, investors and the entire British elite whose leaders rushed late in the campaign to check what opinion polls showed was a surge in support for independence.
 Seeking to tap into a cocktail of historical rivalry, opposing political tastes and a perception that London has mismanaged Scotland, nationalists say Scots, not London, should rule Scotland to build a wealthier and fairer country. Unionists had warned independence would usher in financial, economic and political uncertainty and diminish the UK's standing in the world.
 They have warned that Scotland would not keep the pound as part of a formal currency union. Beyond the money and power, the referendum has provoked deep passions in Scotland, drawn in many voters who ignore traditional political campaigns and underscored what London politicians admit is a need for wider constitutional change.

A UNITED KINGDOM Scots were asked to answer "Yes" or "No" to the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?". Voters lined up at polling stations across Scotland to vote with 4.28 million voters, or 97 percent of the electorate, registered to vote. Turnout hit a record high. "It seems to me that we are going to have a 'No' majority in this referendum," Danny Alexander, the Scottish-born Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told Reuters.
 "That's great news for Scotland and for the United Kingdom, but also just a start to the serious task to make sure that Scotland gets the additional power that it needs," said Alexander, a Liberal Democrat with a Scottish constituency. All but two opinion polls - in August 2013 and August 2014 - showed unionists in the lead but a dramatic surge in nationalist support from mid-August prompted Britain to promise more powers to Scotland.
 That has angered some English lawmakers in Westminster and British leaders have accepted that even if Scotland votes to keep the union, the United Kingdom's structure will have to change. Cameron, who acknowledged his unpopularity in Scotland during the campaign, has drawn criticism for both putting the fate of the United Kingdom on the line and then rushing to promise more powers before the vote. Independence: Scotland rejects independence to remain part of the U.K
Cameron was largely absent from the campaign, leaving former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to lead the unionist battle cry.
 The prospect of breaking up the world's sixth-largest economy and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has stoked concern in the United States and Europe. The United States has made clear it wants the United Kingdom, it main ally in Europe, to remain together.

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