Scotland’s second independence vote

Scotland’s second independence vote

On the 14th of March 2017, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to hold a second referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom. This comes after the announcement of the triggering of Article 50

Will Sturgeon succeed in a referendum on Scottish independence?

On the 14th of March 2017, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to hold a second referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom. This comes after the announcement of the triggering of Article 50 at the end of the month; which in Sturgeon’s eyes has taken up the cause of Scotland and has been negligent to their own plight.

Scots rejected independence by 55-45% in a referendum in September 2014, but support for Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party has surged since then. The Nation voted to remain in the European Union with only 38% of the population voting to leave.

Was BREXIT a factor in the last referendum for Independence?

  • The ‘No’ campaigners during the first Scottish referendum for independence used fears of being separated from the ‘single market’ and the benefits of the European Union to deter people from voting to leave.
  • The Scottish National party espoused a view that an Independent Scotland can and should become a full member of the E.U, but their own currency would be put into place to avoid adopting the Euro. Debates raged over whether Scotland would have to fully re-apply or maintain similar standards set to the U.K (pre-BREXIT).
  • The European Commission offered to provide certain guidelines but the U.K government and the ‘No’ campaigners vehemently opposed it. There are no set guidelines as to how a member state dividing into two countries comes back into the E.U other than Article 48. Article 40 however was raised and this would mean a reapplication and verification from member states. 

Will PM Theresa May allow a referendum this year?

  • Whether or not Scotland has a referendum is decided by the U.K parliament. All other governmental roles are decided by the Scottish parliament, so they would have to wait for the U.K parliament to decide.
  • Sturgeon would like to the see the referendum in 2018 which could possibly aid May’s cause. The negotiations could help to coax Scotland into staying by negotiating an inclusive deal with European Union; keeping Scotland in the free market or allowing free trade between them and European nations.
  • But it remains to be seen how PM May will handle the groans from their constituent state. If she adamantly rejects the move to possibly try stopping from the effect spreading to Northern Ireland, she could be met with civil unrest in Scotland.

Assessment

Judging from the sentiment in the nation, Sturgeon will succeed in her second referendum bid and that might lead to success for Scottish independence. NATO has come out and said that if Scotland exit the U.K they would welcome them with open arms and this standard could hold true even for the European Union. They could make a statement to the rest of the nation’s doubting the benefits of the organization by appealing to Scotland and guaranteeing a economically fruitful relationship with the proposed nation. The ball however is truly in Theresa May’s court and if over the next year, she chooses to outline specific benefits for Scotland to remain, she could guarantee her role as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and not just England.

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