Scotland’s recent vote on whether to stay with the UK or make a split and go it on their own is over and the nays have it. Scotland will remain in the union and the two countries will work from here on how to delegate governing powers. The vote had a record turnout and the result had leaders on both sides of the debate looking to the future.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said of the result,
“the people of Scotland have spoken… they have kept our country of four nations together,” and he also went on to make a promise that there would be “a new and fair settlement that applied to all parts of the UK.”
While this may be the end of the vote, the discussion is far from over. Scotland is expecting more governing powers in return for staying with the union and the debate about the structure of such a deal could become heated. This will likely mean not only a new deal for Scotland, but also a restructuring of powers in regard to Wales and Northern Ireland. This will force the Prime Minister to walk a bit of a tightrope between his own MPs and the aspirations of England’s fellow union members.
With proposals on how these new agreements are to work expected this year, Cameron stated that any deal must respect all of the countries involved and he hinted that it might not be that easy to come to a satisfactory settlement, saying, “The rights of these voters need to be respected, preserved and enhanced… The question of English votes for English laws, the so-called west Lothian question, requires a decisive answer.”
With the vote now being part of the past, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the UK and Scotland as a member. Points that will need to be worked out include tax rights and the question of individual parliaments. As Prime Minister Cameron pointed out, a sizable portion of the Scottish population did vote for independence and a deal needs to be made that can appeal to all parties involved.