The Scottish Independence Referendum of 18 September 2014 resulted in a no vote with 55% of the voters voting against Scottish independence and 45% voting in favour of Scotland becoming an independent nation. EFA Youth wishes to congratulate the Scottish people on holding such a historic referendum, held in a peaceful and democratic fashion. Such a process of self-determination is a perfect example of the basic right of people to decide on their own future.
EFA Youth applauds the high turnout to the referendum. Around 85% of the Scottish electorate voted, compared to around 50% for previous Scottish elections or 60% for previous UK elections. This result is impressive and shows the clear interest of the Scottish people in determining their future. EFA Youth congratulates the more than 1.6 million people voting Yes for backing the idea of Scottish independence and voting for a better Scotland despite a campaign of fear from London.
In addition, EFA Youth is pleased with the fact that, for the first time, 16- and 17-year-olds were allowed to vote. EFA Youth supports the vote from 16 and the positive interest of youth in politics. Not only they, but the Scottish people in general have made it clear that Scotland wants and needs greater devolution and control over its future. EFA Youth urges the UK government to deliver on its promises of further devolution to Scotland and other nations in the UK. As the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said on the promises of more devolution, “Scotland will expect these to be honoured in rapid course”.
Despite his campaign against Scottish independence and the fact that he is a conservative and Eurosceptic politician, David Cameron accepted the Scottish people’s will to democratically decide on their own future by holding a legal and binding referendum, as defended by the SNP in its manifesto. David Cameron commented: “We could have tried to block [a referendum on independence], we could have tried to put it off. But just as with other big issues, it is right to take, and not to duck, the big decision. […] But I am also a democrat. And it was right that we respected the SNP’s majority in Holyrood and gave the Scottish people their right to have their say.” EFA Youth urges all other EU Member States to follow this line. In particular, EFA Youth demands that the Spanish government recognises the right of the Catalan people to decide on their own future on 9 November 2014.