The no campaign won the most votes in all but four council areas securing a total of 2,001,926 votes against 1,617,989 in favour of independence. The turnout was 84.6 per cent.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said: “The people of Scotland have spoken. It is a clear result. They have kept our country of 4 nations together. Like millions of other people, I am delighted. As I said during the campaign, it would have broken my heart to see our United Kingdom come to an end.
“And I know that sentiment was shared by people, not just across our country, but also around the world because of what we’ve achieved together in the past and what we can do together in the future.
“So now it is time for our United Kingdom to come together, and to move forward. A vital part of that will be a balanced settlement – fair to people in Scotland and importantly to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well.”
The news was welcomed by business groups who had feared a period of economic turmoil and uncertainty if Scotland broke away.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “This is a momentous day for our United Kingdom and this result will be greeted by a collective sigh of relief across the business community.
“Business has always believed that the Union is best for creating jobs, raising growth and improving living standards, and welcomes that the people of Scotland want to play an integral role in this internationally successful partnership.”
Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said: “There can be no doubt that many businesses will breathe a sigh of relief that the prospect of a contentious currency debate and prolonged economic negotiations have been avoided.”
Questions remain, however. The three party leaders all signed a pledge vowing to increase powers for Scotland.
It’s unclear at this point exactly what these powers will be, but it looks set to result in a shakeup of the rules applying to England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well.
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