SCOTS in France and French who love Scotland told Connexion this morning they are pleased the country will stay in the UK – but feel the referendum has been a useful shake-up of the status quo.
The vice-president of the Caledonian Society of France, Joyce Gilhooley said: “I’m delighted with the way it’s gone. We Scots outside the country had no voice – unlike immigrants in Scotland or 16-year-olds – but I’m glad some people there showed some sense.
“Scotland’s my country and has been doing perfectly all right. It was a pipe dream and a big-headed idea of Alex Salmond and the only reason it came to this was that he managed to get a majority vote because the other two parties were useless. But it should never have come to this.”
She added: “A lot has been promised – we will see if anything comes out of it. I think things should change, for example that England should be able to vote on English affairs; I never saw the point of Scottish MPs doing that.
“They’ve got to do something different and hopefully this will make a difference.”
The president of the Association Franco-Ecossaise, Jacques Leruez, speaking from Edinburgh, said: “Our friends have voted ‘no’. As a long-time observer of Scottish politics, I’m not very surprised and a little relieved, mainly for Europe, because I think if Scotland had voted ‘yes’ there would have been a lot of uncertainty and a lot of unpleasant developments in Europe and I think, firstly, it should calm Catalonia a little.
“It’s true that the ‘no’ won by a larger margin than we might have thought from the polls. I think a lot of things were influenced not so much by the declarations of the big parties from London, but more the unemployment figures that came out on Wednesday – it turns out that Scotland is doing better than the rest of the UK, which is extraordinary when you look at history since the Second World War.
“It’s not been much commented on by the BBC, but I think it must have played a role.”
He added he thought that the majority of Scottish residents in their sister organisation, the Franco-British Society, had voted ‘no’.
One society member James Laidlaw, said: “I’m pleased of the result because my view for quite some time is that the systems of governing the UK have been creaking because of the concentration of economic power in London. I hope it will shake things up because it’s high time.”