Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, today announced her intentions to demand the United Kingdom’s national government in London to allow a second Scottish independence referendum to be held sometime between fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019.
The Scottish were previously granted the right to hold a referendum on their independence day in 2014. At that time the Scottish people chose to remain within the United Kingdom by a margin of 55.3% to 44.7%.
Since then, British prime minister David Cameron promised to hold a referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union during the general elections of 2015. The vote, which finally occurred on June 23rd 2016, resulted in the decision to leave the European Union by a margin of about 4% with 51.89% choosing to leave, and 48.11% voted for remaining.
This political shock wave, commonly referred to as “Brexit,” now compels Scotland, whose devolved parliament is largely controlled by the pro-EU Scottish Nationalist Party, and whose people overwhelmingly voted to remain within the EU by a 24% margin, with 62% choosing to remain, and 38% choosing to leave.
This massive disparity between the English and Scottish vote has now created new justification for the Scottish leadership, led by Ms. Sturgeon, to call for a new referendum due to the massive change in the political future of the United Kingdom that was unforeseeable before Brexit.
If another referendum were to be held with similar voting patterns and turnout as occurred during the European Union referendum of 2016, it is likely the Scots would vote for independence, dissolving the 414 year old union between the two realms in place since the death of Queen Elizabeth the First and the ascension of King James the First.
Independence would give Scotland autonomy from the power and reach of the UK, and would either leave them within a regulation-heavy European Union or allow them to re-join.
Yet, due to the need for approval from the national parliament of the United Kingdom, which is currently controlled by the British Conservative party that overwhelmingly supports the British Union, it is likely the government will not grant such a request. Currently, the British government, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, is expending its political capital on Brexit negotiations with Brussels, and would hardly want to enable a second break anytime soon.
Photo Credit: ITV
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