Scotland may have said no to independence, but the country will see some major changes despite this. As a promise to people voting no, Westminster announced that there would be further devolution. The Scottish Parliament would receive more powers, including over the amount of tax charged and how the welfare budget is used.
However, those north of the border are not the only people who will see a yes. Those in Westminster will also see a change if the English MPs have anything to do with it. Many have argued that if Scotland gets more powers, then the English need the power to be the only ones to vote on matters that only affect them. It is only fair, considering the Scottish MPs are the only ones to vote on matters that only affect the Scottish people. The same applies to the Welsh and Irish due to the assemblies set up.
Not everyone in Westminster wants to see the country get more powers. Some do not see the need for the country to get more powers, considering it is still part of the U.K. However, if Westminster ever decided to go back on its pre-vote promises there would be outrage among many Scots. Many of those previously undecided likely voted no because of the promise of extra powers.
The no vote in Scotland will still mean that there will be changes. The question is what those changes will be. At the moment, the three main parties at Westminster have differing opinions, and negotiations will need to be worked out with the SNPS.
Taxation is the main talking point for further devolved powers. The Conservatives want to see the country have power over setting its own income tax rate and bands, but the personal allowance will be set by Westminster. However, the Liberal Democrats would like to see Scotland have the right to set its own inheritance and capital gains tax amounts.
Welfare is another discussion everyone will need to have. The “bedroom tax” was something that many Scots are against, and wanted to change after a yes vote. With the no vote, there is still a chance that this part of welfare can be scrapped. It will all depend on the negotiated devolved powers.
The next discussions will take some time. At the moment, March 27 has been given as a date for the legislation to be finalized. Many hope that draft legislation will be created by January next year. However, it will mean that different parties will need to be willing to compromise. The SNPs will join these negotiations, which will give the Scottish people the voice they need.
Other negotiations will need to take place within Westminster to make sure the English MPs are given everything they deserve. This is another factor that will take time, but will likely be in the form of different legislation.
The Prime Minster, David Cameron, is still to comment on the no vote. He has tweeted about going into talks and congratulated Alex Salmond on a hard-fought campaign. It is now time for everyone to get around the negotiation table, as changes will come for Scotland despite the no vote at the independence referendum.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham