What will happen if Scotland votes 'Yes'?


We're on the brink of history: and it's an unknown future. What are the implications of an independent Scotland? There has been a plethora of predictions: some more serious than others. Here's a short selection.


Economic meltdown

Some doom-mongers have been predicting that a 'Yes' vote could lead to capital flight out of the country, where investors get frightened and move their money elsewhere, which can lead to a big drop in the value of assets. A survey of economists by Bloomberg found that this was the most frequent prediction made of the effect of independence. The value of the pound could drop significantly, especially if negotiations over what to do about Scotland's currency drag on. Leading Scottish businessman Tom Hunter has questioned Alex Salmond's proposals.

Civil war

Nationalist and unionist feelings have been running high in Scotland, and there are reports of intimidation and aggression from both sides. "Is Scotland at war with itself?" asks the Telegraph's Scottish editor Alan Cochrane, who himself predicts a long-running civil war. Given there is likely to be a large minority against the decision, problems could occur whatever the result.

Pretty serious

Uncertainty over nuclear weapons

Britain's Trident nuclear weapons are based in Scotland, and a 'Yes' vote will lead to uncertainty over their existence and possibly a very expensive relocation. The same article also raises questions over the impact on the military, with one senior officer stating that independence would damage the capabilities of the Navy.

Empty cash machines

Apparently, banks have been stashing banknotes north of the border, in case there's a 'run' on cash machines after a 'Yes' vote.

Quite upsetting

Andy Murray will play for Scotland


He's stayed very quiet about his views on the referendum, but Britain's top tennis player has said that if Scotland goes independent, he will play for his home country. For decades England waited for their own player to win at Wimbledon – only for him to be snatched away just over a year after completing the feat. 

Union Jack defunct

If you love this flag, you'll be mourning its loss after a 'Yes' vote. The bright blue comes from the Scottish flag, and losing it will make it much less colourful.

A bit trivial

Expensive stamps

Sending letters to Scotland might become more expensive. The sparse rural communities are difficult to get to, and without the Royal Mail subsidising their deliveries, costs could increase.

Odd website addresses

We're so used to the .co.uk at the end of a web address: but what will happen to it if the UK is no more? Scottish endings appear to have already been nabbed by other countries.