Scots spurn independence in historic vote

  • Opponents of independence win 55 percent vote in record 85pc turnout
- Reuters, Edinburgh
Scots spurn independence in historic vote

Sep 19, 2014-

Scotland spurned independence in a historic referendum that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart, sow financial turmoil and diminish Britain’s remaining global clout.

A vote for the 307-year union is a relief for millions of Britons including Prime Minister David Cameron, whose job was on the line, as well as allies across the world who were horrified at the prospect of the United Kingdom’s separation.

Unionists cheered, kissed and drank wine and beer in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city where secessionists won, while nationalist leader Alex Salmond conceded defeat and hours later told reporters he would resign.

Opponents of independence won 55 percent of the vote while separatists won 45 percent with all 3.6 million votes—a record 85 percent turnout—counted. But leaders from across the United Kingdom said the union must change if it is to endure.

“For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream will never die,” Salmond told reporters in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital which supported the United Kingdom.

Cameron said the question of Scottish independence had been settled for a generation. “There can be no disputes, no re-runs, we have heard the settled will of the Scottish people,” he said outside his official London residence in Downing Street. Queen Elizabeth II, who is at her Scottish castle in Balmoral, is expected to make a rare comment on Friday.

The campaign for independence had electrified this country of 5.3 million but also divided the passions of friends and families from the remote Scottish islands of the Atlantic to the tough city estates of Glasgow.

Sterling strengthened sharply against the dollar and the euro on the result. British bonds and shares rose while major British companies with Scottish exposure welcomed the decision.

Published: 20-09-2014 09:20

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