Current Page: World | Friday, September 19, 2014
Scotland Rejects Independence in a 55-45 Vote; PM Cameron 'Delighted' Scotland Will Remain Part of United Kingdom

Scotland Rejects Independence in a 55-45 Vote; PM Cameron 'Delighted' Scotland Will Remain Part of United Kingdom

Supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate as they hold up a Union flag, in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014. | (Photo: REUTERS/Paul Hackett)

Scotland has rejected independence and chosen to remain part of the U.K. after results of the historic poll were announced Friday morning, giving victory to the unionists by 55 to 45 percent.

The 84.6 percent voter turnout from an electorate of more than 4.2 million was reportedly one of the highest in the democratic world. 2,001,926 people voted "No" to independence, while 1,617,989 others voted for "Yes."

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said that like millions of others, he is "delighted" with the results, but accepted that there is work ahead to address the concerns of those wanting independence.

"We hear you," he said to those who voted for independence, CNN reported. He added that that it is time to change the way people in the U.K. are governed, and "change it for the better."

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, meanwhile, accepted defeat, and called for national unity.

Salmond called the high turnout a "triumph for the democratic process" and promised to respect the results of the referendum, BBC News noted.

"The unionist parties made vows late in the campaign to devolve more powers to Scotland," he told supporters.

"Scotland will expect these to be honored in rapid course - as a reminder, we have been promised a second reading of a Scotland Bill by March 27 next year," he continued.

"Whatever else we can say about this referendum campaign, we have touched sections of the community who have never before been touched by politics, these sections of the community have touched us and touched the political process."

Cameron added that all U.K. territories deserve to be listened to, and pledged that the union will work to their benefit.

"In Wales there are proposals to give the Welsh Government and Assembly more powers and I want Wales to be at the heart of the debate on how to make the United Kingdom work for all our nations," Cameron said.

"In Northern Ireland, we must work to ensure that the devolved institutions function effectively." He added that "millions of voices of England must also be heard."

The Church of Scotland, which had remained neutral on the question of independence, had called for reconciliation and unity regardless of the results.

"And all of those who will vote YES and all of those who will vote NO need to remember that we belong together in the same Scotland. We cannot be separated, even though on Thursday we may be on opposite sides, we belong together. We should not let ourselves be defined by which side we are on, on Sept. 18. When we wake up on the 19th of September, we need to be ready to work on the same side — to work for the future of Scotland and work with our near neighbors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland — whatever outcome," the Rt. Rev. John Chalmers, the moderator of the General Assembly, said last week ahead of the vote.

The Church also announced a "Service of Reconciliation" this coming Sunday, inviting leaders both from the "Yes" Campaign and the pro-union Better Together to speak.

Chalmers is expected to preach "on the need to promote healing where there has been hurt and unity where there has been division," according to a press release.


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