British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday congratulated Alistair Darling, the man who spearheaded the campaign against Scottish independence, as partial results indicated Scotland had voted to stay in the United Kingdom by a clear margin.
“I’ve spoken to Alistair Darling and congratulated him on a well-fought campaign,” Cameron, whose own job would have been on the line in the event of a “Yes” vote, wrote on his official Twitter feed.
Cameron, who campaigned against Scottish independence along with the leaders of Britain’s other two main political parties, made a televised statement welcoming the results of the referendum from his London offices.
He said he was “delighted” that Scots had decided to “keep our country of four nations together” and that had Scotland voted to break away it would have “broken my heart”.
He then went on the pledge that the promises of further devolution to the Scottish parliament made in the final days of the campaign would be honoured, and pledged a “balanced” constitution for the UK, with the grievances of English voters addressed.
Although he did not go into specifics, he said that he would ensure “English votes for English laws” at Westminster, indicating that he may exclude non-English MPs from voting on matters that did not affect their constituents.
He also said that he had appointed Lord Smith of Kelvin to oversee the process of negotiation over the new constitutional arrangements for the four UK nations, with draft legislation by January. Lord Smith has previously served as a BBC governor and was also chairman of a government-backed green investment bank.
Also speaking this morning, UKIP leader Nigel Farage called on Scottish MPs to voluntarily refrain from voting on issues that do not affect Scotland. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Farage accused David Cameron of “panicking” over the English question, and said he was not convinced that David Cameron was serious about creating a good deal for England.
He called for a constitutional convention for a “fair and balanced” settlement for Britain, which would involve creating a federal UK.
Reuters contributed to this report