Sep 19, 2014

By Jane Brown

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Scottish voters have said no to forming their own nation.  They have voted 55 per cent to 45 per cent against independence in a referendum that saw an unprecedented turnout.  “I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland,” conceded Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.  He had argued that Scotland could go it alone because of its extensive oil reserves and high levels of ingenuity and education.

The outcome is a big relief for British Prime Minister David Cameron.  Earlier today, he promised to live up to commitments to Scotland made ahead of the independence vote, including plans for new powers on tax, spending and welfare.  “I say to all those who voted for independence, we hear you,” Cameron explained, “We now have a chance, a great opportunity, to change the way the British people are governed, and change it for the better.”  Cameron says this requires that people in other parts of the United Kingdom to have more rights to govern their own affairs, particularly in England.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canada welcomes the results of Scotland’s referendum.  In a statement posted on the Department of Foreign Affairs website, Baird said the Scottish people ”voted to remain within a strong United Kingdom.”
He added that “Canada and the U.K. share deep historical bonds and the federal government looks forward to this friendship continuing well into the future.”


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