THE BLOG

The Wider Impact of Scotland's Referendum

22/09/2014 11:15 BST | Updated 19/11/2014 10:59 GMT

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In the early hours of Friday morning, after a long, hard-fought, bitter campaign, it was confirmed that Scotland wanted to stay in the comfort zone of the Union.

However, whilst many of us who sided with the Yes campaign were of course disappointed, it certainly is not a return to business as usual. Westminster has now been shaken into drawing up devolution plans for Scotland and the rest of the UK, and, perhaps most significantly, more separatist movements across Europe, which have more or less been at the fringes of the political discourses of their respective countries, will now be shaken into more serious action.

Underneath are some that we can expect to be hearing more about, now that the spotlight is moving away from Scotland.

1. Catalonia, Spain

Possibly the most prominent and vocal of the European separatist movements, the Catalans have been fighting tirelessly to get a referendum on possible separation from the rest of Spain, and polls show that around half of Catalans want independence, and sixty percent want a referendum to go ahead. However, the Spanish government have been obstinate in their view that it would be illegal.

The campaign for Catalan independence is being headed primarily by the Republican Left of Catalonia party, and the Catalan leader Artur Mas. Catalan politicians are currently attempting to push a motion through parliament that will overcome the hurdle of the November referendum's legitimicacy, as the politicians in Madrid continue to wave away the November referendum as being illegal.

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2. Veneto, Italy

In March, around eighty-nine percent of Venetians voted in an online poll that they'd like to see the Veneto region secede from the rest of Italy.

Venetians' main concerns are a few things: firstly, they're sick of the corruption of the politicians in Rome; they also no longer want to help prop up the south of the country, which they believe to be a burden; finally, the decline of the Euro has left them in a tough position - they believe that independence would be a step in the right direction to solving their financial woes.

It is not just Veneto, either. The 'Lega Nord' political party stand for the secession of the whole of the north of Italy, citing, like Veneto, the supposed economic burden of the south on the north (though this is most likely a veil for a form of northern Italian racism against the south, as history shows us).

3. Flanders, Belgium

Flanders, in the north of Belgium, has recently enjoyed a boost in support for separation from the southern Wallonia region - in May, the New Flemish Alliance party took eighty percent of the vote from the electorate in Flanders.

Flanders enjoys its own distinctive culture, and is a lot richer than its Walloon neighbours (which certainly explains part of the desire for separation - though there is no doubt it is primarily for cultural and historical reasons). Both regions also speak different language: Wallonia is predominantly French-speaking, whilst Flanders, of course, speaks Flemish (a Dutch variant).

4. Nagorno-Karabkh, Azerbaijan

It is possible that the mass coverage of perhaps Scotland's most important moments will not have been missed in this Azeri enclave, which Azerbaijan and Armenia have been fighting viciously over in the years following the Soviet Union's collapse, and which UK MPs have been turning their attention to very recently. After Scotland, the region and the de facto republic that has been set up there, look like they could erupt again, to demand their full independence from Azerbaijan.

There are of course various other movements across Europe, but at the moment, these are the ones worth looking out for, especially in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum. Only time will tell if the map of Europe is to change once again. In any case, this referendum has given our establishment a much needed shaking, and this will inevitably descend on the rest of Europe.

(Sources: Washington Post, Guardian, Business Week, Western Daily Press. Photo source here (Catalan Independence March). And here (Scottish and British flags).)