Words by Marie Claire Selim
Scotland may be the country that pioneered the telephone, television and Sir Sean Connery but are they ready for independence? This was the question that almost evenly split the Scots on Thursday the 18th of September when they took to the polls for a “once in a lifetime” referendum.
And according to 55.3% of the Scottish voters, “no” was the answer.
Since the Middle Ages, the union between Scotland and England has been created, broken and reinforced on many occasions. The Union means that Scotland’s economy, international connections and military are under the overall control of the United Kingdom.
So was Thursday’s outcome in the best interests for Scotland?
With independence, Scotland would finally have had the self-determination and democracy it has long yearned for. An Independent Scotland will have the opportunity to become a member of the UN and the EU, and most importantly Scotland would finally be able to participate and make decisions with an autonomous voice. But Scotland’s ties with the UK run deeper than the monarchy (which it would maintain either way) and without the UK, Scotland would become both small and resource poor. It is difficult to predict how an independent Scotland would be received internationally and how it would sustain itself without the support of the Union.
Nonetheless, this result will likely bring about more change than anticipated. This referendum has started a conversation about where the power lies in the UK and the strength of the Scots in attempting to change this. Thus, if UK Prime Minister, David Cameron fails to bring about the much promised change, the desire for autonomous voice will reveal itself again and the outcome will, undoubtedly, be very different.