Scottish independence: What would have happened if Scotland voted Yes? I've got a rough idea

A light-hearted look at what the next ten years might hold for the un-United Kingdom

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The Independent Online

19 September 2014, 3.12am

“We have seized the moment”. Alex Salmond leads ecstatic celebrations across Scotland as the Yes campaign declares victory and the vote just tips over the 50% mark in favour of independence. Some scuffles break out and a few arrests are made. Isolated examples of burning the union jack.

20 September 2014

Westminster party leaders stage press conference where they apologise. “We have let down ourselves, our country and our parties” each declares. They add they will not stand down as a result of the failure of the No campaign. The promise a special Speakers Conference on whether to postpone next year's general election, given the danger that Scottish Labour MPs could deliver a Labour government that would have no mandate in the rest of the UK.

21 September 2014

Alex Salmond and John Swinney call for the opening of immediate talks on the “independence settlement”. “This cannot be delayed”.

26 September 2014

Formation of the “English Parliament for an English People” movement by John Redwood. Some Labour MPs from north east England back him.

28 September 2014

Sunday papers full of speculation about imminent leadership challenge to David Cameron. Later that day an obscure Tory backbencher, flanked by other obscure Tory backbenchers in lurid blazers and loud ties, announces a leadership bid. “David Cameron should to the decent thing, and go. This is worse than when we lost India.” Boris Johnson is unavailable for comment.

13 October 2014

David Cameron declares he will quit as Tory leader as soon as a new one can be found and leave public life.

14 October 2014

Alistair Darling declares he is leaving public life.


15 October 2014

Michael Gove quits the Commons, and Liam Fox says he will stand down at the next election.

16 October 2014

Gordon Brown declares that “now is not the time” for him to leave public life. Is reportedly looking for a safe labour seat in Yorkshire.

2 December 2014

Speakers Conference rules that the general election be postponed until May 2016. Emergency legislation to extend the life of parliament is passed within a day.

24 December 2014

New British Prime Minster Boris Johnson takes office, having secured a by-election gain in Michael Gove’s former seat in Surrey.

15 January 2015

During the “shadow” talks about Scottish membership of the EU the prime minister of Spain states his country's “irrevocable and immovable” opposition to Scotland joining the EU as a separate sovereign state. Scotland is offered associate EU membership, on a similar basis to Switzerland and Norway.

3 March 2015

Economic and financial talks between George Osborne and John Swinney break up in disarray. They do not speak again. Osborne tells the media that Scotland is “free to use sterling in the same way they use the US dollar in Zimbabwe; but there will be no influence on UK or Bank of England policy, and no banking or fiscal or true currency union.” Mr Swinney remarks that “it’s the same old English public school bully boy tactics”.

1 February 2015

Plaid Cymru announces intention to hold unofficial referendum on home rule for Wales.

19 September 2015

“One Year On Rally” with a triumphant Alex Salmond, John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon leading renewed celebrations. Buckingham Palace announces that Her Majesty is pleased to appoint Lord Steel of Aikwood, the former David Steel, first Governor-General of Scotland.

23 October 2015

Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Life, Foreign & Colonial, Barclays Stockbrokers and a clutch of other Scottish based financial institutions finalise preparations to move their registered businesses and assets to England. Jim Sillars threatens “a new day of reckoning”.

25 October 2015

Secret plan to print “Central Bank of Scotland” Scottish Pound bank notes and mint new coinage discovered. Scottish government refuse to comment on a matter of “national economic security”.

15 March 2015

Union Flag raised on all public buildings in Scotland so that to can be symbolically lowered at midnight. Ceremony attended by the Prince of Wales and some world leaders sees Scotland as an independent nation born at midnight.

16 March 2015

Two day national holiday declared to deal with financial and official transition plus hangovers.

18 March 2016

Scottish ambassador to the United Nations takes his place, sandwiched between Saudi Arabia and Senegal in the general Assembly. Scotland formally joins Nato and the Commonwealth, but the veto on membership of the EU is maintained by Spain.

16 April 2016

At a low-key ceremony in Edinburgh, the Queen is formally installed as “Elizabeth, Queen of Scots”. Appears grumpy throughout. A process of de-Englishification begins; the Queens head comes off the postage stamps, the pillar boxes and phone boxes start to be painted blue; all official road and other signage are made bilingual with Gaelic; English citizens are banned from owning second homes in Scotland.

17 April 2016

Separatist movements begin at the borders, as well as Orkney and Shetland and the Western Isles. English Independence Party founded as splinter group from UKIP. Cornwall County Council announces plans for a referendum on separation. Plaid administration in Wales announces plans to go its own way. Yorkshire Liberation Front formed in response to break up of England.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan declares London’s separate identity and world city role and sets new course for it based on trying to emulate Singapore and Hong Kong as a prosperous finance and trade-based city state. Parts of the Est Midlands and the Home Counties set to be all that is left of the old UK. Northern Ireland assembly gridlocked by confusion all round.

5 May 2016

Boris Johnson leads Tories to victory with thumping majority in new Parliament. Eccentric Conservative government in England now guaranteed for decades.

19 September 2024

The Scottish Free Democrats win the fifth round of elections of the independent Scottish Parliament. Based on the remnants of the old Scottish Conservatives, they pledge an “ever closer union” with England and radical Thatcherite policies designed to rebuild the Scottish economy after a decade of unstable and economically unsuccessful social democratic rule under various SNP-Scottish Labour coalitions.