What's Next for Scotland—and the UK

'No' vote doesn't mean no changes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2014 7:58 AM CDT
What's Next for Scotland—and the UK
A damaged Scottish independence referendum advertising board is seen in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Sept. 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, but that doesn't mean there are no changes in store. The BBC, Telegraph, USA Today, and CNN run down what's next for the country and the UK:

  • Scottish Parliament will get more power. That's something the three biggest political parties in the UK agreed upon if Scotland rejected independence, and as soon as the results were announced, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the process would begin. He named Lord Smith of Kelvin to oversee the process of devolving powers related to tax, spending, and welfare to Scotland, with draft legislation ready by January. USA Today notes that the increased powers will amount to "a version of home rule in all matters of state save for certain key areas such as defense and monetary policy."
  • It's good news for David Cameron. As USA Today notes, he can expect greater job security since he avoided becoming "the prime minister who lost Scotland." But CNN points out that it was "the narrowest of political escapes." And as for the credit for keeping the UK together, many are giving that to former PM Gordon Brown.

  • Other parts of the UK could follow Scotland's lead. With Scotland being granted "much more constitutional freedom," an expert tells USA Today that Wales and Northern Ireland could seek the same additional legislative powers.
  • And there's the "West Lothian" question: The issue of whether it's fair that Scottish MPs can vote on England-only issues, but English MPs can't similarly vote on devolved issues in Scotland will likely heat up as more powers are devolved to Scotland, making for more areas that English MPs can't weigh in on.
  • And "Brexit" is still a possibility. USA Today predicts the UK's relationships with the European Union, NATO, and other international organizations will not see major upheaval. But the Telegraph paints a different picture, saying the chances of the UK exiting the European Union are "now higher than they were, though not as high as if Scotland had voted Yes."
  • "All eyes" will be on the SNP's annual conference. The Perth meeting will be held in November, and the BBC notes that there could be some contention among the ranks, with rival politicians likely to try and paint leader Alex Salmond as a "lame duck."
  • What about the emotional aftermath? The debate has been heated, so on Sunday, the Church of Scotland will hold a "reconciliation service" in Edinburgh as a first step toward bringing the nation back together.
(More Scottish National Party stories.)

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