Letter from a Yes future

We can imagine many different futures. Here is a letter from a future where Scotland voted Yes — not the only such future, but a possible one. Please read it in conjunction with this letter from a No future.

Skye, Scotland
Skye, Scotland by Berit Watkin, on Flickr.
Today, twenty years after Scotland voted Yes to independence, it can be hard to understand that many Scots genuinely believed the scaremongering from the No side.

Of course the financial markets panicked for a few days after the result was known, but they quickly calmed down once the negotiation teams started their work and it became clear that everybody was being constructive. Of course David Cameron had to stand down, but nobody seemed to think that was a big loss.

About a year after the Yes vote, the Scottish job boom started. Lots of companies suddenly realised they needed to have a presence in the new country, and the number of new jobs outweighed the ones being lost to the rUK by 4 to 1. Within a short amount of time all the No voters realised they had worried needlessly and it became really difficult to find anybody who admitted to having voted No.

A couple of years after Scottish independence day, Northern Ireland called a referendum on reunification. It became clear that a lots of Unionists there just couldn’t relate to being in a Union without Scotland, and the reunification referendum resulted in a huge victory to Yes.

Once Northern Ireland had left, Wales decided to become independent, too, inspired by the Scottish economic and intellectual renaissance that was now very evident.

Inspired by all these events, the Labour party reinvented itself in England, merging with the Green party in the process, and started implementing an English version of the Scotland’s successful Common Weal programme.

Amongst other things, this programme had caused the Scottish Government to encourage the creation of new companies all over Scotland, and the former industrial wastelands created by Thatcher were now starting to thrive again. Also, the Highland clearances had effectively started to be reversed, due to improved infrastructure, land reforms and new towns being created all over Scotland.

Of course not everything has been smooth sailing. Trident remained in Scotland a wee bit longer than we had hoped for, and we did go through a small recession in 2026. However, there is now full agreement in Scotland that independence was the right thing to do.

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