Scottish independence: yes or no, here's what will happen next

Scottish independence: yes or no, here's what will happen next

If there is a yes vote

Alex Salmond wants Scotland to declare independence by March 2016, a target the House of Lords Constitution Committee hinted could be unrealistic due to the complexity of the negotiations. However long the process takes, talks about the process of separation (including oil, currency, healthcare, immigration and defence) are expected to begin almost immediately.

As well as separation from the rest of the UK, the Scottish government will have to negotiate with different countries and organisations including the European Union, United Nations, and Nato about its membership.

There would also be an economic effect: Deutsche Bank has warned a vote for independence would "go down in history as a political and economic mistake". According to the Huffington Post, the Labour party will all but cancel their annual conference, which is due to start in Manchester this weekend. It's expected parliament will be recalled for an emergency session but David Cameron has said he will not resign.

If there is a no vote

In the case of a no vote there would be no legal changes but Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Ed Miliband have all promised more devolution for Scotland. As the Herald reports, there would likely be a backlash to giving Holyrood greater control from backbench Conservative MPs. Alex Salmond will face political pressure but - like the prime minister - has said he will not resign if Scotland votes no.

More: Stop everything and watch this Scottish independence animation

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