Thank God. Just thank God. I don’t much care at the moment whether God is Scottish, and is glowering approvingly at Great Britain from over His bands and Geneva gown, or whether He is English and is raising a glass of sherry with an absent-minded smile. At least my country is intact.
When I say “my country”, I don’t just mean what it says on my passport. I’m one of those UK nationals – a minority, perhaps, but not an insignificant one – who self-identify as British. In England, Scotland and Wales, older patriotisms generally take precedence (Northern Ireland is a special case, obviously). Although many people across Great Britain are passionate Unionists, a “Yes” vote wouldn’t have forced them to redefine their identity. The UK might have been divided, and they might have been sorry to see it go, but they’d have carried on being English or Scottish or Welsh.
Those of us who are British first had no such fall-back. A “Yes” vote would have meant the end of the country we belonged to – the end of its name, of its flag, of our internal map of home.