MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) - With the majority of the people in Scotland voting for the country to remain in the United Kingdom at the September 18 independence referendum, the results of the vote pose certain challenges for both policymakers and society in the UK, academics from the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Future of the UK and Scotland research teams believe.
“There is now a real challenge for both the politicians and civic society: is it possible to put aside political differences, the sting of losing and the thrill of winning, and work together for a fairer, better, more prosperous Scotland – and the rest of the UK?” Kirstein Rummery, a professor from the ESRC team at the University of Stirling said.
“If there had been a Yes vote, there would have been a clear path to a more participatory style of governance in Scotland,” she said. “However, we now have a No vote, and all the main Westminster political parties are scrabbling to offer Scotland a new deal on further devolution of powers and constitutional reform. However, there were no clear commitments from anyone that this would involve civic society, or be done in a participatory way,” Rummery wrote in a post on the ESRC website.
Charlie Jeffrey, the director of the ESRC Future of the UK and Scotland research teams, said that 45 percent of people in favor of independence have shown that the UK as it stands currently needs reorganization.
“The defeat of the Yes side has set off a constitutional chain reaction which looks set to reshape the UK’s territorial constitution,” the post by Jeffrey reads.
Honorary fellow at the University of Edinburgh, Richard Parry noted that the 84.59-percent turnout at the referendum facilitated the possibility of mass politics in the UK, revealing Westminster’s neglect of Scotland’s political discourse.
“The lasting legacy of this is the mid-80s% turnout that has re-established the possibility of mass politics on the UK scene. In political terms, it focused energy on Scotland and exposed the neglect and misunderstanding of its politics and governments by the Westminster village,” Parry stated.
The Scottish independence referendum took place on September 18, with 55.3 percent of Scots supporting a No vote, resulting in Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom. Scottish independence was supported by 44.7 percent of the population.