It’s now official: Scotland will stay in the United Kingdom. They’re still counting votes, but the Noes clearly have it (the tally stands at 1,877,252 to 1,512,688 right now). I’m not really surprised by this result. Despite the recent polls, I always believed that, when push came to shove, Scots would decide to stay with their brethren in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
But the United Kingdom won’t be going back to business as usual. The three main Westminster parties have vowed to give Scotland greater autonomy, and that hasty decision will likely have far-reaching repercussions for everyone in Britain. People in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are already asking why they shouldn’t be given a similar deal.
There will almost certainly be a dramatic realignment of the British constitution in the very near future. All signs point toward a federal United Kingdom, but the process of hashing out the details may well be difficult or even painful. But in the end, I’m optimistic that the Union will come out stronger.