“Scotland’s ‘No’ Vote Could Still Splinter the United Kingdom”
Bloomberg Businessweek, September 19, 2014
“But the referendum campaign is likely to produce a United Kingdom that’s less united. Even before all the votes were counted, Cameron was facing demands from England, Northern Ireland, and Wales for greater autonomy and fiscal authority. There were also calls from within his own party for London to curb subsidies to Scotland. … In the runup to the referendum, Cameron promised to give Scotland’s parliament enhanced powers on taxation, spending, and social policy. That angered members of his Conservative Party, because Scottish members of Britain’s Parliament are able to vote on legislation affecting only England. … The Scottish campaign has also renewed calls for greater autonomy in Wales and Northern Ireland. ‘Wales needs its own say on taxation, policing, rail franchising, large energy projects, and much more,’ Kirsty Williams, who heads the Welsh Liberal Democratic Party, said in a statement after the referendum. The Liberal Democrats, while opposing Scottish independence, have said they favor a ‘federal U.K.’ in which defense and foreign policy would be set in Westminster but most other powers would be handed over to national parliaments. A federalized U.K. could lead to rekindled tensions in Northern Ireland between Protestants who want to remain part of the union and Catholics who want independence and closer ties with the Republic of Ireland. The U.K. has ‘changed forever’ because of the Scottish vote, Gerry Adams, leader of the pro-independence Sinn Féin party, told the BBC today. ‘London must deliver on its promises—to Ireland also,’ he said.”
Quickie Analysis: Pretty much every region in the UK now wants to change the UK’s system in its favor in light of the promises made to Scotland.