Il Guardian ha provato a capire quali sarebbero le mosse, gli sconvolgimenti e le prospettive in Scozia e nel Regno Unito sulla base delle due possibili scelte che usciranno dal referendum sull'indipendenza scozzese.
Se vincessero i sì.
A series of carefully laid plans drawn up in secrecy in Whitehall over recent months will be triggered in the early hours of Friday morning if Scotland votes to secede from the United Kingdom.
The first – and most important – move will come when David Cameron telephones Alex Salmond to concede defeat. The prime minister will want to adopt a warm tone to reassure the markets that the remainder of the UK has no intention of engaging in recriminations with Scotland, which would be highly destabilising for the economies of both countries.
But Cameron will also be firm in making clear that the remainder of the UK has no plans – at this stage, at least – to agree to Salmond's demands to form a currency union. This will be crucial in reassuring the markets, which will regard sterling as an even more vulnerable currency if the Bank of England has to act as lender of last resort to Scottish banks – whose liabilities are 12 times the GDP of Scotland – without firm UK control over fiscal policy north of the border.
In the event of a yes vote, the performance of the prime minister in the early hours of Friday morning will be decisive in shaping his own political future. If Tory MPs, many of whom will be heartbroken by the breakup of the UK, wake up on Friday morning to hear that Cameron is providing clear and calm leadership, he may stabilise his position if only in the short term.
Salmond made clear over the weekend that he too would move quickly from campaign bruiser to father of the nation. He plans to invite all the leading figures from the no campaign to join his "Team Scotland" group to negotiate secession.
Se vincessero i no.
If Scotland votes against independence, much depends on the margin of the no campaign's victory. After the ritual calls of congratulations between Alex Salmond and Better Together's Alistair Darling, the first minister is likely to call for new powers for Holyrood.
With the yes vote likely to exceed 45% – far more than his own Scottish National party's level of support – Salmond will say there is clear demand in Scotland for greater freedom within the UK. His position as leader will be secured by a high yes vote; only a highly unlikely washout – a yes vote of about 35% – would raise serious questions about his future.
With the international markets calmed by the result, the no camp's rebuff will be immediate. They will confirm the appointment of an independent chair to lead a cross-party programme to deliver new tax powers for the Holyrood parliament at breakneck speed, with a reform process starting on Friday.
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