Scotland will linger as a part of the United Kingdom – including England, Wales and Northern Ireland – following a historic referendum vote. By 55% to 45%, a majority of voters rejected the possibility of Scotland breaking away and becoming an independent nation.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed Scotland’s decision in a televised statement outside 10 Downing Street, saying it was a clear result. He added “Like millions of other people, I am too very delighted with this decision”. Cameron said he would have been heartbroken to see the United Kingdom broken up — but paid tribute to the efforts of both sides in the campaign.
“We hear you,” he said to those who voted for independence, adding this was an opportunity to change the way people in the United Kingdom are governed, and “change it for the better.” Our government has delivered on devolution in the past and will deliver on it again, Cameron said. A “new and fair settlement” will be created for Scotland and for the other countries of the United Kingdom too, he alleged.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond accepted defeat in an earlier televised statement — and urged the rest of the pro-independence camp to do the same. He thanked Scotland “for 1.6 million votes for Scottish independence” and said the turnout — which electoral officials said was 84.6% from an electorate of more than 4.2 million — was one of the highest in the democratic world for any such vote.