The prospect of Scottish independence, discounted by the markets for months, has all of a sudden become so worrying it might drive traders to a wee dram of Scottish whisky.
Much of the concern has been focused on the potential impact on sterling and Scottish-based U.K. companies.
It's not in anyone in the U.K. government's interest to have an economically crippled Scotland, so a "velvet divorce," with concessions to continuing support of the country's banks, is more likely than the threatened currency upheaval. Yet, with a "basic failure to prepare for the economic and constitutional consequences of an independent Scotland" (according to Oliver Harvey, currency strategist at Deutsche Bank), the U.K.'s elite has been caught napping.
Here, we take a look at the likely consequences from the economics and business perspective.