Scotland Votes “No”
BBC News reports, “Scotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence.
With the results in from all 32 council areas, the “No” side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for “Yes”.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond called for unity and urged the unionist parties to deliver on more powers.
Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together and that commitments on extra powers would be honoured “in full”.
Mr Cameron said the three main unionist parties at Westminster would now follow through with their pledge of more powers for the Scottish Parliament.
He announced that Lord Smith of Kelvin, who led Glasgow’s staging of the Commonwealth Games, would oversee the process to take forward the commitments, with new powers over tax, spending and welfare to be agreed by November, and draft legislation published by January.
The prime minister also acknowledged that the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland must have a bigger say over their affairs.
And he promised a solution to the West Lothian question – the fact that Scottish MPs can vote on English issues at Westminster, and not the other way round.
In other developments:
- US President Barack Obama welcomed Scots’ decision to stay in the UK. “Through debate, discussion, and passionate yet peaceful deliberations, they reminded the world of Scotland’s enormous contributions to the UK and the world,” he said.
- Police Scotland said Thursday’s vote “passed off smoothly” with just six arrests across the country mainly for alleged breaches of the peace and assaults.
- Share prices rose as Scotland voted against independence.
- Polling officials said they were investigating 10 cases of suspected electoral fraud at polling stations in Glasgow.
- Royal Bank of Scotland said it would keep its headquarters in Scotland following the “No” vote.
- Wales’s First Minister Carwyn Jones has called for more funding for his country after Scotland voted to stay in the Union.
- Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said a vote on the future of Northern Ireland’s border was not necessary following Scotland’s ‘No’ vote.
- Scotland rejected independence by 55% to 45%. For latest results and full coverage, go to bbc.co.uk/scotland-decides.
The result became a mathematical certainty at 06:08, as the returning officer in Fife announced a comfortable No vote.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Salmond said he accepted the defeat and called for national unity.
He told supporters: “The unionist parties made vows late in the campaign to devolve more powers to Scotland.
“Scotland will expect these to be honoured in rapid course – as a reminder, we have been promised a second reading of a Scotland Bill by March 27 next year.”
Could a Québec independent vote be next?
Source: BBC News