Ahead of our If No event this Saturday, our academic fellows respond to the question, 'what happens if Scotland votes no?'. To hear from them and politicians on both sides of the debate, register to attend our 26 April event in Glasgow.
Public support for more devolution is not as strong and as consistent as it is often portrayed. As a result politicians are left with plenty of room to select the bits of evidence that back the view to which they are inclined anyway - and plenty of scope with which to disagree with each other as to what in the way of more devolution should actually be proposed.
What happens to Scotland's relationship with the UK if Scotland votes No? That may depend on the nature of the campaign - a bitter campaign can affect the levels of trust that are essential to positive intergovernmental relations. It may also depend on the scale of result - a big NO vote could lead to a loss of influence for the Scottish Government within Westminster and Whitehall while a narrow result which demonstrated a strong desire for independence could increase the leverage that Scotland would have in intergovernmental negotiations on a wide range of issues.
In September 2014 Scotland will hold an historic referendum on its constitutional future. Migration is an important aspect of debates surrounding this ballot: the UK government has emphasised its desire to restrict immigration to Britain, whilst the Scottish Government views net immigration as a valuable contributor to the economic and demographic growth of Scotland. This discussion will explore these contrasting positions and consider the challenges and opportunities that Scotland faces in devising an immigration policy attuned to its particular needs, whatever the outcome of the referendum.
A 'no' vote does not mean status quo. With the provisions made in the Scotland 2012 Act set to come into force, and considerable powers already devolved to Holyrood, the Scottish Government will have the ability to influence significant parts of Scottish Society whether a 'no' or a 'yes' vote materialises in the September 18th referendum. The Scottish election in 2016, the UK general election in 2015 and, crucially, the possibility of an 'in-out' referendum in the UK on the EU in 2017 may also bring different policy directions to the fore with a range of implications. A 'no' vote still means fundamental change, with important implications for the operational costs and competitiveness of the business community, even if that change is not as profound as independence.