The millions of votes cast across Scotland on Saturday could be among the biggest of recent times, and not because of their impact on things like health, education and fishing. The biggest problem the country faced, and the one that was really at stake, was nowhere on the ballots, and that is the future of its union with England 314 years ago.
While the last votes were still counted in the parliamentary elections on Saturday, it seemed virtually certain that the pro-independence Scottish National Party would not achieve the majority it hoped would create irresistible momentum for a new referendum on the break with the United Kingdom. But he will retain power in Edinburgh, likely with backing from the Scottish Greens, ensuring the issue will continue to dominate Scottish politics, as it has in recent years.
What’s at stake?
A lot. A second plebiscite on independence, after that of 2014, could lead to the divide of the United Kingdom. If Scotland were to become independent, Britain would lose eight percent of its population, one-third of its landmass, and significant amounts of international prestige.
Some say the loss of Scotland would be the biggest blow to a British Prime Minister since Lord North lost the American colonies in the 18th century. Of course, the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is not a fan of the idea.