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Scotland Rejects Independence: the United Kingdom is Preserved

September 19th 2014

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British Prime Minister David Cameron said he is "delighted" with the result of Scotland’s referendum on independence as the majority of Scots voted to stay in the union.

It was a sleepless night for many across Scotland as the results of the referendum on independence slowly trickled in early Friday.

A "No" vote was expected early on, as several constituencies predicted to turn up a "Y" majority instead delivered support for the union.

At 7 a.m. London time, David Cameron said the referendum delivered " clear result" rejecting full independence.

"So there can be no disputes, no re-runs, we have heard the settled will of the Scottish people. Scotland voted for a stronger Scottish parliament backed by the strength and security of the United Kingdom and I want to congratulate the 'No' campaign for that, for showing people that our nations really are 'Better Together,'" said Cameron.

He said the three pro-union parties will honor commitments made on further powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Across Edinburgh, a chilly drizzle settled on the streets, matching the mood for many 'Yes' supporters who gathered to hear the results.

Kitchen manager Grant McNeil, 28, was following the count at a cafe in the center of the city. As a 'Yes' voter, he said he and his friends had been expecting a close call, but were surprised by the large swing to 'No.'

"It's upsetting, it’s emotional. The thing that goes along the bottom, Labor and the Tories dancing with each other, that sums it up for me really. The media has been completely bias[ed]... There are things that won’t be forgotten. It will also be interesting to see the promises made by Westminster very last minute," said McNeil.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond conceded defeat at around 6am over his bid but emphasized that 1.6 million people voted to leave the United Kingdom and demanded the British government rapidly meet its promise of more powers for Edinburgh.

"I think the process by which we have made our decision as a nation reflects enormous credit upon Scotland. A turnout of 86 percent is one of the highest in the democratic world for any election or any referendum in history. This has been a triumph for the democratic process and for participation in politics," said Salmond.

The pro-independence movement attracted attention from across the world, with speculation that a 'Yes' vote could encourage similar calls for independence from countries across Europe.

Law student Montse Rodriguez, 20, travelled to Edinburgh from Catalonia with a group of friends to support the 'Yes' campaign.

Speaking to VOA in Edinburgh before the polls closed, she said the referendum was “very important” to people in her country.

"There’s a group of young people who came here to feel the feelings of the young people and the situation because it’s very important for us. We feel it's not the same but we are in a very similar situation," said Rodriguez.

The 'No' vote is expected to avert a fall in the pound due to uncertainty about a currency union if 'Yes' had won the day.

Supporters on both sides took to social media to appeal for understanding and reconciliation.

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