Scotland Remains United to the Kingdom
On September 17, 2014, Scottish citizens had the opportunity to vote for their independence, and break the 307 years of union between Scotland and Great Britain. In the end Scotland decided to stay with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, meaning the four will continue to be known as the United Kingdom. Had Scotland decided to become independent, the Scottish government would have become more responsive and interactive with its citizens, more so than the British Parliament. It also would have created a prosperous economy and a better future for the Scots. If they had decided to become independent, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, would have been forced to resign for breaking up a 300 year-old union, or he would have needed to form a negotiating side and the Scottish government would have had to begin the process to produce a constitution, and most importantly, negotiate memberships with the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Now that they have voted no, not much is really expected to change. Great Britain and Northern Ireland will continue to work together, however it is likely that there will not be another vote on Scotland’s independence for several years, if not decades. Concerning the rest of the world, some worry that the break-up of the United Kingdom would have affected its financial standing. If Scotland had become its own country, the Scottish government would remove all nuclear weapons as soon as possible. According to the Scottish government, "It is [their] firm position that an independent Scotland should not host nuclear weapons and would only join NATO on that basis." The EU made it very clear that Scotland would have had to apply to join like any other independent nation. People around the world might wonder why Scotland turned down this “once in a lifetime opportunity." In reality the Scottish people were just more persuaded by the Better Together’s arguments. Shortly after the vote to stay together, Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister and leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party announced that he would be resigning from both positions in November. In response to the voting results, Cameron said “[the United Kingdom hears you]”, to all who voted for Scottish independence. He claims to be taking this as a chance to change the way people are governed in the United Kingdom. President Barack Obama praised Scotland’s people for their attempt at democratic process, and also stated that "[the United States has] no closer ally than the United Kingdom, and [the United States looks] forward to continuing the strong and special relationship with all the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as [they] address the challenges facing the world today."