Beyond the triumphalism of the British mainstream media, beneath the jubilation of the London politicians, the last rites of “Britishness” may be taking place. The percentage margin of victory for the pro-British Union in the Scottish independence referendum belies any notion of a comfortably united British, so-called “United Kingdom.”
Scots were clearly galvanised to the tune of a remarkable 84% electoral turnout. This numerically translated as 3,619,915 votes being validly cast. Of these 2,001,926 were cast to remain in the United Kingdom, that is, to remain part of the British state. While 1,617,989 wanted complete autonomy and separation from the Kingdom.
What separated victory for the Union and with it the complete cessation of the state we continue to refer as “British” were 191,969 votes – or 5.3% of the voting electorate. A United Kingdom without Scotland, that is, a Great Britain without Scotland would have found it very difficult to continue referring itself as “British.”