Scottish Referendum 2014

Katie Barnes

On September 18th, the people of Scotland decided to remain a part the United Kingdom, along with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. “No” won at 55.3%, surprising many who were involved in the campaign for independence.

This was a disappointment for many in the nation, with the Yes Scotland campaign being backed by the Scottish National Party. Alex Salmond, the head of this party, has said that No voters were misled, and his point is valid. England is considered too dominant in the UK, and media tended to be very no centered. Besides, there are plenty of reasons why the people could have voted yes. Scotland is a very liberal country that has to face a conservative England, and while they do have representatives in Parliament, issues of taxation, defense, and borders are still voted on by the other UK countries. If they had become independent, they could’ve taken matters into their own hands. Scotland also has its own oil supply that could have easily sustained an economy.

However, the side for no also had good points to make. If Scotland had become independent, they would have had to either adopt the very unstable Euro or spend their time and resources creating a new, more volatile currency. There was also another reason why England was in such a frenzy to convince the Scots to stay: their nuclear warheads are kept at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde 25 miles west of Glasgow. Moreover, the oil might not last as long as the SNP claims, with the Office for Budget Responsibilities estimating that it will decline steadily to only half a million barrels per day in 2040 as opposed to the 2 million per day produced in 2012.

Both sides had supporters, ranging from casual to intense. This proved unfortunately true on September 19th in Glasgow. What started off as a show of British pride turned into what witnesses are describing as a full-on riot. Cries of “We are the 45%” were heard as police tried to stop the demonstration. Naturally, social media blew up with witnesses recording the unrest. A short video on Vine shows a woman on the ground having her Scottish flag ripped out of her hands by No voters. A Twitter update shows flares being set off near the square. Many more citizens took to the Internet to share their frustration with these events and to express their opinion on the Referendum’s results.

Now that the results are in, everyone is wondering how Parliament, especially Prime Minister David Cameron, will make good on their promise to give Scotland more power. The list of issues to be discussed is to be out by Halloween, and the date for draft legislation is January 25th. Some hot-button issues to be deliberated are taxes, spending, and welfare.

In a September 19th speech outside Downing Street, Cameron spoke of a better and brighter future for the United Kingdom. Let’s hope that Parliament delivers on their promises.