Just over a week ago the British electorate, in particular those in England and Wales, plunged the country into chaos and uncertainty. That fact cannot be denied. In the space of three days we lost our place in the EU, our Prime Minister and effectively an entire Opposition, and we had serious talk about a Scottish independence referendum as well as the prospect of a border on the island of Ireland.

This is chaotic, again. Modern politics is demanding that we reset our defaults and give serious consideration to the constant 'new normals' which present themselves.

The first few days of market turmoil goes someway to proving Remain campaigners right – our economy will be wounded to one degree or another. Many of the professional services sectors will suffer. Transactions have already stalled. Jobs will be lost. People will lose their homes. We should not underestimate or belittle the personal tragedies which will transpire.

But it happens. Economies experience highs and lows whether or not they are in the EU. There are extremely successful countries in this world which are not in the EU. They have rain and sun, electricity and roads, stock markets and tech sectors, and almost all have smaller economies than us. The EU is not the greatest institution the world has ever known.

So it is not inevitable economic disaster will befall us. And much of what I have heard and read from those on all sides is so infected with hysteria it seems our most urgent requirement is to calm down.

We can continue to whine about this, go on marches and sign petitions, or we can get on with creating a country with invests in infrastructure, reforms public services and taxes lightly, as well as trading freely with the world, which is the only sure way to a new dawn of success.

In Scotland, it is less simple. Our newest bout of constitutional turmoil adds an additional layer of complexity to the EU referendum result, and it is affected to an even greater degree by the hysteria. Scottish party leaders, so far, have reacted in an inevitably knee-jerk fashion, which will either be viewed as a masterstroke or a flunk in the final analysis.

In the end, the manner in which both unionists and nationalists react to this threat/opportunity (delete as appropriate depending on your mood) is as much an exercise in risk theory as anything else.

Optimistic nationalists (and, ergo, pessimistic unionists) will feel they will never have another opportunity like this. A large part of the Remain vote – young and middle-class – will have voted No in 2014. Could they be tempted to switch on the promise of re-integration with the EU? The emergence of the Conservatives as Scotland’s opposition and chief unionists, with Labour more likely to move towards a nationalist position than to recover as the principal party of Unionism, plays perfectly into the "Scotland vs the Tories" narrative, repelling left-wing No voters. Led by a politician with approval ratings usually only enjoyed by dictators, and which fell just short last time, surely the Yessers do it, won’t they?

The optimistic unionist (and pessimistic nationalist) case is not so sure. The Yes campaign lost last time because they were unable to persuade those with better financial prospects of the case in favour. With Scotland’s fiscal situation looking perilous, the UK economy performing well, and the Scottish Government leaning towards tax rises, is EU membership really enough to change their minds? The initial reaction polls, showing support for independence in the 50s, are far poorer for the nationalise cause than I expected. If that is the high watermark, they’re in trouble. Furthermore, who wants to show their passport to go to the Lake District? And as for the currency argument, take the last debate and multiply it by 10.

There will not be a third referendum. This is it. One side will win, forever, and the other will lose, forever. This is a career-defining gamble by Nicola Sturgeon, and therefore a defining moment for the nationalist movement.

There are some obvious reasons for nationalists to be chirpy, and they are perhaps right to consider this to be the moment which will never again present itself. However, there is no inevitability in a Yes victory. Optimistic, risk-lovers in the unionist community will see opportunity in the chaos of a second independence referendum, even if they don’t say it out loud.

Andy Maciver is a director at Message Matters strategic communications.