Former prime minister Gordon Brown urged British leaders on Saturday to keep their promise to grant further powers to Scotland after it voted to remain in the United Kingdom, as a consensus between London's main parties evaporated. All the three biggest parties had promised to rapidly expand Scotland's autonomy in a last-minute push to shore up support for the union just days before Thursday's referendum, which came down 55-45 against independence. But within hours of the result, Britain's Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron had reshuffled the cards by promising not only to fulfill the pledge to Scotland but also to make it part of an overhaul of the balance of powers across the rest of the United Kingdom, within the same timeframe of a few months.
Scots woke up Friday united with the rest of Britain - but divided among themselves after an intense and often acrimonious independence campaign that sometimes pitted families and neighbors against each other. Almost 45 percent of voters chose independence in Thursday’s historic referendum – a stronger mandate than many elected governments – yet they will remain governed by a United Kingdom that now appears in need of urgent reform. The separatist campaign received more than 1.6 million votes, compared to 2 million for the unionists. “Scotland won’t be the same after this, and neither will the rest of Britain,” said Ewan Cameron, professor of history at Edinburgh University.
President Barack Obama on Friday praised the Scottish people for voting to remain part of the United Kingdom and for engaging in a deliberative and peaceful referendum process. “We welcome the result of yesterday’s referendum on Scottish independence and congratulate the people of Scotland for their full and energetic exercise of democracy,” the president said in a statement. “Through debate, discussion and passionate yet peaceful deliberations, they reminded the world of Scotland’s enormous contributions to the U.K. and the world, and have spoken in favor of keeping Scotland within the United Kingdom,” he added.
At final count, the "no" votes won by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent. The British prime minister said it had settled the question "for a generation."
307 more years? Prominent leaders, celebrities, stakeholders and newspapers react after Scotland votes to stick with the United Kingdom.
Scotland's voters are heading to the polls Thursday to cast their ballots in a landmark referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. There, they will face a straightforward yes/no question: Should Scotland be an independent country? More than 4.2 million people have registered to vote, the largest electorate ever in Scotland, and turnout in the referendum is expected to be high. A vote for independence would mean Scotland, with its population of about 5.3 million, splits from the rest of the United Kingdom, made up of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Voting can take place from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. local time (2 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It is an ancient nation with a proud history but Scotland’s future could be decided by its youngest generation in Thursday’s referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. More than 110,000 16 and 17-year-olds are among the 4.2 million Scottish voters taking part after the age of eligibility was lowered from 18. With opinion polls suggesting the result is on a knife-edge, every vote counts in the decision that could end Scotland’s 307-year-old union with England. That means high school students, some of whom went to the ballot boxes early Thursday in their school uniforms, could swing the balance for or against the breakup of America's oldest global ally.
Live results as they come in from across Scotland, reporting voters’ response to the referendum question: ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ Initial declarations are expected from 2am Edinburgh time, and a definitive result about five hours later
Videos on Scotland