The Scottish referendum saw a surge in support for independence, yet finally this was rejected by voters. How can we interpret this result? We talk to euronews’ correspondent in London, James Franey.
He told us: “I think it was very interesting during the campaign that the three leaders of the main political parties, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition, were conspicuous by their absence, and I think Mr Salmond was very good at connecting with the Scottish voters. He promised this kind of Scandinavian social democracy, pleasing those voters who felt left behind perhaps in 1997 when Tony Blair’s Labour party shifted to the centre. So, I think it’s part of an ongoing trend. Remember we saw in May, as well, in the European elections – UKIP finishing in first place – an ongoing trend of British voters rejecting the establishment.”
Alasdair Sandford, euronews: “Now the result means the UK is not about to break-up as many had feared. Where does it leave Britain’s position in the EU and on the global stage?”
James Franey: “ Well, on the global stage I think it was very interesting that the US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Francois Hollande made very public interventions into British domestic politics before this vote took place. They both insisted that they wanted a strong, United Kingdom, and they didn’t want Scotland to go its separate way. But I think the real danger, had Scotland voted yes, is that they would’ve been distracted by these constitutional reforms. Splitting up Scotland from the rest of the country would’ve been extremely complicated, you’d have all the arguments over currency; who has the bank debts and also basic things such as border controls.
“So, I think Britain is certainly stronger on the global stage. Scotland didn’t leave the rest of the UK, and the British Prime Minister David Cameron will be extremely relieved about that, but don’t forget there’s another referendum coming up, if indeed Mr Cameron is re-elected next year. In 2017, he’s promising that British voters will get a say in whether to stay inside the EU and I think the big problem for Britain will be, as we’ve seen with this referendum, investors don’t like uncertainty. So, I think the question is, whether that “European” question will be cleared up in 2017 and there’ll be no negative impact on the economy.”