After two years of ever-more fraught campaigning, Scotland voted to remain in the Union. The ten point winning margin for the No camp is a substantial victory, especially given the closeness of opinion polls in the final fortnight. The last-minute Yes surge put normal Westminster politics on hold for two weeks. But the ramifications of Better Together’s response mean Westminster politics may never return to normal again.
A victory for the independence movement would have fundamentally changed Britain for good. But by committing their parties to further Scottish devolution, Cameron, Miliband, and Clegg have set in chain a process that will permanently alter the political landscape. It is already clear any change to the distribution of political power in the UK will have to involve England, Wales, and Northern Ireland too.
The following pages set out what the referendum result means for politics and policy. The changes it has wrought will alter the environment in which business operates in Britain; far from being the culmination of an argument about Britain’s future, the No victory may only be the beginning.