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After much deliberation, heart wringing, heart-felt plights from celebrities, world leaders and best-selling authors…Scotland said no.
She said no to the question of whether or not Scotland should separate from the United Kingdom and become an independent nation.
For some this came as welcome relief and for others this was a terrible travesty of justice. Leading the celebrations over Scotland voting “no” was best-selling author JK Rowling. Taking to Twitter, Rowling celebrated the result by tweeting:
#indyref Been up all night watching Scotland make history. A huge turnout, a peaceful democratic process: we should be proud.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 19, 2014
The Edinburgh-resident also retweeted some of the messages from her 3.73 million followers:
“Yes, most countries would be close to war but Scotland has showed how you should handle important mattersin a respectful manner.”
“Watching the #indyref unfold was a lesson in civility. A vote is more powerful then a gun. Peace will always prevail.”
“Scotland today gave to the rest of the world a very big lesson in democracy.”
Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party – and key advocate for an independent Scotland – had this to say in his statement following the result of the referendum:
“It is important to say that our referendum was an agreed and consented process and Scotland has by a majority decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland.
“So we now face the consequences of Scotland’s decision.”
Now that Scotland’s decision has been made clear, the question raised is over the effect of this “No” on Scottish businesses.
Following the vote, the FTSE 100 finished marginally higher than usual, climbing a mere 18 points to 6837. Scottish firms such as the Royal Bank of Scotland 2.5% with investors breathing a palpable sigh of relief that RBS would not have to relocate its head office to London.
Investors and businesses in Scotland were also hugely relieved that they would not have to contend with the months of back and forth arguments and debates between Westminster and Holyrood as part of the process of formalising Scotland’s independence.
And as a member of the European Union, Scotland’s decision to remain part of the UK was welcomed by EC president Jose Manuel Barroso who said:
“The European Commission welcomes the fact that during the debate over the past years, the Scottish Government and the Scottish people have repeatedly reaffirmed their European commitment.
“The European Commission will continue to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Scottish Government, in areas under its responsibility, that are important to Scotland’s future, including jobs and growth, energy, climate change and the environment, and smarter regulation.”
But even though the result of the referendum was a “No” vote, it’s important to note that 45% of Scottish voters…1.6million residents….voted “Yes”. That’s a substantial proportion of the population who united in support of the sovereignty and independence of their place of residence. And even though they won’t be able to express this in the political arena, hopefully their “Yes” vote will find expression through Scottish businesses rising up to thrive and benefit their nation.