Scotland rejects independence referendum

Scotland spurned independence in a historic referendum that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart, sow financial turmoil and diminish Britain’s remaining global clout.

A vote for the 307-year union came as a relief for millions of Britons, including Prime Minister David Cameron, whose job was on the line, as well as allies across the world were horrified at the prospect of the United Kingdom’s separation.

Unionists won 55 percent of the vote while separatists won 45 percent with 31 of 32 constituencies declared.

The Edinburgh Agreement, signed on 15 October 2012, had paved the way for a referendum in 2014.

Though the break-up of the United Kingdom has been avoided, Britain’s rulers admit the Scottish vote will lead to a reshaping of the union which is the world’s sixth largest economy and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

In an effort to deflate that anger, Prime Minister Cameron had vowed to forge a new constitutional settlement that would grant Scotland the promised powers, as also give powers to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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