President Barack Obama on Friday said the US “welcomes” the result of the Scottish independence referendum, in which Scots voted against independence and to remain a part of the United Kingdom.
“We welcome the result of yesterday’s referendum on Scottish independence and congratulate the people of Scotland for their full and energetic exercise of democracy,” Obama said in a statement.
“Through debate, discussion, and passionate yet peaceful deliberations, they reminded the world of Scotland’s enormous contributions to the UK and the world, and have spoken in favour of keeping Scotland within the United Kingdom. We have no closer ally than the United Kingdom, and we look forward to continuing our strong and special relationship with all the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as we address the challenges facing the world today.”
The “No” campaign won out in Thursday’s referendum, beating out “Yes” votes by a 55-45 margin. More than 3.5 million Scots voted in the referendum, for a turnout of more than 84%.
Obama has long favoured the continued union of Scotland with the United Kingdom. On Wednesday, he tweeted a message signaling the White House’s opposition to Scottish independence, saying he hoped the UK would remain “strong, robust, and united.”
During a joint news conference with UK Prime Minister David Cameron in June, Obama first came out against Scottish independence.
“I would say that the United Kingdom has been an extraordinary partner to us,” Obama said then. “From the outside, at least, it looks like things have worked pretty well. And we obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies that we will ever have remains strong, robust, united, and an effective partner. But ultimately these are decisions that are to be made by the folks there.”
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