Tony Blair and Labor were crowing Friday about "devolution": This referendum was another way to move government out of London. Yet the Scottish Nationalist Party was jubilant too, billing the vote as a major step towards independence. It has already been a remarkable compromise.
EDINBURGH, Scotland: From Glasgow to Edinburgh, from the islands to the highlands, the lads and lasses have spoken: Scotland will have a parliament. With a resounding 74.2 percent voting in favor, Scotland will get a legislature of its own in 2000, and with 63.4 percent in favor, that parliament will have the power to tax its new constituents. But though Thursday's referendum was timed to the 700-year anniversary of a William Wallace rout of the British, TIME's London Bureau Chief Barry Hillenbrand says the landmark shift is a lot closer to states' rights than revolution. "Years from now, you might be arguing that this was the first domino toward independence," he says. "But this is a lot more like block grants than anything else. There's an office in London that distributes $14 billion pounds to Scotland every year, that has to decide how much goes where. Now, the Scottish parliament will do that for itself."