European leaders welcome Scottish vote for united UK

Scottish voters' rejection of independence from the United Kingdom in a historic referendum has been received with relief by governments and politicians across Europe, who hailed the outcome as a vote for stable and prosperous Europe.

PTI| Updated: Sep 20, 2014, 13:57 PM IST

Berlin: Scottish voters' rejection of independence from the United Kingdom in a historic referendum has been received with relief by governments and politicians across Europe, who hailed the outcome as a vote for stable and prosperous Europe.

Germany described Thursday's vote by around 4.2 million Scottish voters to stay within the United Kingdom as a "good decision for Scotland, for Great Britain and also for Europe".

The outcome of the Scottish referendum "speaks a clear language; the majority of the people want a stronger Scotland within a stronger Britain", German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.

Steinmeier said he has high respect for Britain's "exemplary democratic culture, which found expression in the referendum. The German government hopes that Britain will remain a strong and reliable partner in Europe".

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said he welcomed the decision of the Scottish voters to "maintain the unity of the United Kingdom".

The outcome of the referendum "is good for a united, open and stronger Europe," he said in a statement.

The European Commission will continue to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Scottish government in ares under its responsibility that are important to Scotland's future, including jobs and growth, energy, climate change and the environment, Barroso said.

European Council president Herman Van Rompuy said he is relieved that the United Kingdom will stay together.

"I respect and welcome the choice expressed by the people of Scotland in Thursday's referendum," he said.

The pro-independence Scottish camp was decisively defeated in Thursday's historic referendum with over 55 per cent of Scotland voting to remain in the 307-year-old union with the UK.