The UK has spoken – and so has Scotland

Three years ago, I remember when I started university my Grandmother saying, “What an interesting time to be studying politics!”

Since then, I have worked a Scottish independence referendum, a UK General Election, Scottish Parliament Election, and now a European Union referendum.

This morning, the UK spoke: It chose to leave the European Union, severing its ties with the single market it has been a member of for 40 years.

It was history, not simply for the act itself, but what will now follow, and I hope I can perhaps go about setting-out that future.

Firstly, the immediate impact: Currency decline.

The Pound Sterling has dropped to the lowest point against the US Dollar since 1985, to $1.34 This is to be expected, along with a significant drop in the FTSE100.

Nevertheless, this will not last. Markets dislike instability, but once an equilibrium is achieved again, those levels will be normalised given time.

Secondly, David Cameron’s future is under threat.

Cameron, the leading figure for the Remain side, has failed to secure a victory from the British public, and will be very quickly turned upon by members of his own party and Remain colleagues.

I doubt Cameron will step down easily. However, step-down he will, perhaps within weeks. Once a succession is decided upon, his party will choose a new leader.

This does not necessarily mean another General Election, but a vote of no confidence or a voluntary stepping-down will be followed by a quick succession from within the Tory ranks.

Cameron will speak outside Downing Street, assuring a safe and secure movement forward in discussions with Brussels. What happens afterwards is hard to presume.

Lastly: Scotland spoke tonight.

This was a vote by the UK, but the maps of the results could not be more clear. The shock results for me were Dumfries and Galloway, and Scottish Borders.

The border authorities voted 10,000 votes in favour of remaining in the EU, a figure that might surprise some, given the closest result came from Moray.

It naturally raises the question of a second independence referendum, as this would constitute a “material change” in Scotland’s circumstances.

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Photo: Christian Adams

Nicola Sturgeon will undoubtedly make a full speech later today, raising the possibility of another referendum. However, she will be cautious.

There is no clamouring as of yet for a Scottish independence referendum, and her rhetoric will likely be “it is for the Scottish people to decide.”

In 2011, the SNP were shocked themselves at their own landslide, and were almost forced into a referendum with an upward climb.

Two years on from the first referendum, it does not appear Scotland are pushing for a referendum, yet polls are divided on this. Some say more than half would vote for a Scoxit from the UK.

However, 62% voting in favour of the EU does not equal 62% wanting to leave the UK and go back to the EU. A lot more would have to be considered.

I would not be surprised, though, if there were a number of rallies in Glasgow and Edinburgh over the weekend, should Sturgeon seek the mandate of the Scottish people.

Whether Scotland has the stomach for a third referendum is unclear, but the fact the divide between Scotland and rUK is so stark it is not out of the question that there would be another.

Today will be a fascinating one to observe, and we should not forget the decision of Northern Ireland either. Furthermore, there will be concern over the Northern Irish-Republic of Ireland border being established once again.

Watch closely: History is being made. Calamity will not fall in the next 24 hours. Little will change immediately. But the wheels have begun to turn, and the Spinners are running their threads.

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