Réunifier le Royaume-Uni

LONDRES – En fin de compte, la démocratie est venue à la rescousse. Le peuple écossais a décidé, par une marge confortable de 10 pour cent, de continuer à faire partie du Royaume-Uni – en grande partie grâce à la campagne menée par trois politiciens travaillistes, Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown et Jim Murphy.

Il a parfois semblé que le scrutin serait beaucoup plus serré et même que nous, Britanniques, mettrions en œuvre le démantèlement de notre pays qui depuis plusieurs siècles réunit quatre communautés nationales : l’Angleterre, le pays de Galles, l’Irlande du Nord et l’Écosse. Les Écossais font partie de l’État britannique depuis trois siècles, et sont au cœur de la culture protestante, impériale, aventureuse et ouverte au monde qui a forgé l’identité britannique. Aujourd’hui, une fracture s’est créée dans cette identité ; pas de manière irréparable, je l’espère. Dans tous les cas, la situation a été modifiée à tout jamais.

Les peuples d’Angleterre, du pays de Galles et d’Irlande du Nord – qui n’ont finalement pas été rejetés – doivent à présent se conduire du mieux qu’ils le peuvent pour tenter de dégager un consensus réalisable à partir d’arguments parfois âpres et conflictuels. Nous devons faire preuve de magnanimité – une vertu difficile à pratiquer dans les meilleures circonstances. Mais avant de nous montrer à la hauteur de ce défi, que pouvons-nous retirer comme enseignement de cette errance au bord de l’abîme ?

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