The Scottish referendum result is in and the verdict is that the United Kingdom will remain so. Politicians will make of it what they will, with devolution of power from London for all parts of the country now promised.
For me, though, the interesting aspect to all the shenanigans, was the impact on the markets as the yes campaign appeared, briefly, to be on the brink of victory.
A battle that became bogged down in trench warfare over the right to use the pound, brought out the essential conservatism (the small c is deliberate) of businesses and their top managers who weighed in, by and large, for the status quo.
In the stock and currency markets, traders of a nervous disposition and those scenting an opportunity to make money in a bear market drove down the FTSE. The exchange rate for the pound against the euro showed signs of shedding recent gains that have made summer holiday spending more affordable.
Yet, for all that the big guns of banking, retailing and industry backed a no vote, the FTSE has not really bounced back as a result of the result. Matters in Ukraine and the Middle East and trouble at Tesco have perhaps weighed more heavily.
As I write, the FTSE100 index of leading companies is at 6,649.39, about halfway between its 52-week high of 6,904.86 and low of 6,316.91. The pound is at €1.28, a 26-month high. Against the dollar, sterling’s performance is being held back by questions over the timing of an interest rate increase.
It was uncertainty that ‘frit’ the markets. But you didn’t need a referendum to tell you that. For small and medium businesses trading north of the Border, life goes on. But I have a sneaking suspicion that trade would have survived Scottish independence. Let’s face it, Hadrian’s Wall was not just a military barrier, but at the crossing points a Roman customs post too.