The Kingdom stays United
The referendum of September 18th, result of the devolution launched by Tony Blair in the 90s, with which Scotland has got a parliament and an autonomous government, held not only the United Kingdom, but all Europe with bated breath! There was a concern that the vote of Scotland would offer legitimacy to separatists and secessionists of other nations, triggering a domino effect that would bring all of the major states to lose important parts of its territory.
The arguments of the separatists were multiple linked on one hand to sentimental reasons because Scottish have always felt as a distinguishing population, and on the other hand to economic reasons, claiming the will to make a better use of the resources of the region (starting from oil) to build a more prosperous and fairer society following a Scandinavian model. Finally, there was also a political aspect: Scotland has always expressed more European positions compared to the rest of the United Kingdom, and did not love being ruled by the Conservative Government of London.
A simple question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” and almost 5 million people called to answer “yes” or “no”. The minimum voting age lowered on purpose to 16 years old by the Scottish separatist Prime Minister Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party, confident that young people would take him to the victory of this battle. A turnout record of more than 85%. Even if the results have decreed the success of the “no” with a percentage of 55.3% this referendum sets a precedent of historical importance, as it offers the legitimacy to any group of people within a state structure to request the dissolution of the latter without resorting to violence. Already we saw the first results: November 9th could be the turn of Catalonia, but after the claim of the Spanish government, the Constitutional Court of Spain suspended the referendum for the independence approved by the Parliament of Barcelona.
Many people affirm that the success of the “no” shows the victory of the mind over the heart: most of the voters, although being essentially in favour of the independence, chose not to run the risk of the heavy economic effects that could come up with the detachment from the rest of Great Britain. Although at first sight the result of the referendum would seem to offer an opposite interpretation, it is real that, using the words of Salmond, “this places Scotland in a very strong position”, because David Cameron cannot totally ignore what happened and will keep the promises made giving to this territory (and maybe not only to it) a greater sovereignty in fiscal terms and regarding social security.