The past week or so I’ve heard discussion about the possibility of Scotland having a second referendum on its independence from the United Kingdom, and today I have just learned that Scotland intends to carry out this referendum some time between 2018 and 2019. And you know what I think? Go ahead.
Yes, go ahead. If Scotland wants to pursue self-determination as its own country independent from the UK, even if it causes a major shake-up, then so be it.
Don’t think I don’t know what this is all about. It’s patently obvious, at least to me, that this is the SNP trying to get Scotland into the European Union separate from the rest of the UK because almost all of the Scots voted to Remain. That they chose to stay a member of the UK in 2014, thus staying as British citizens and therefore voting in the EU referendum as British citizens, appears to be irrelevant in this at least for Scots who want to secede from the UK.
And to be honest this is actually what bothers me, not the premise of Scottish independence in and of itself. Essentially Scotland’s plan is to secede from an existing national power and become its own nation-state, only to try and integrate into a larger supra-national political/economic union. One that is run by elite bureaucrats whose power cannot be affected by a democratic vote. That just seems like a damned farce to me. What’s the point? And from what I understand, the Scots won’t be automatically granted EU membership if they secede. They will have to apply to become an EU member state. And that’s assuming they’ll be accepted by the European Union at all.
Now this is just a hunch on my part, but I have a suspicion that the European Union isn’t interested in Scotland as a standalone nation. To me, a United Kingdom is too valuable for the European Union for them to take in only separate parts. Why do you think the EU leaders pursued the punitive measures that it did in response to the Brexit vote? Because they were about to lose a member state that they considered to be an important benefactor, whose separation from the union may well have inspired a succession of populist triumph across the rest of Europe and undermine the stability of the project as a whole. Beyond that, I suspect that a United Kingdom is simply of greater economic value to the European Union than Scotland, which has been hit with a major oil crisis in recent years.
I currently see two potential outcomes of a Scottish secession: if they succeed in leaving the UK and in entering the European Union, then it will be a farce; Scotland will have gained independence only to hand some of its power to the European Union – and make no mistake, the EU is very much on the path towards becoming its own supranational empire, with its own army, and its own central bank. If they succeed in leaving the UK and fail to become an EU member state, then it will still be a farce, for Scotland will have pursued its independence only to fail – essentially they’ll have done all that for nothing, and that’s important because I don’t believe for a minute that, in this instance, Scotland is interested solely in its own independence.
But then there’s the elephant in the room that is the SNP itself. If Scotland becomes indepenedent, then barring a Scottish general election afterwards I presume that the new nation-state of Scotland would be governed by the SNP. That’s a little worrying because I suspect that the SNP has an authoritarian bent, an example being their advocacy of the named persons scheme which requires that children have a state-appointed guardians intefering with their lives on a regular basis, and another being Alex Salmond’s desire to “ban all Donald Trumps”, and then there’s the super ID database they proposed a while back. So needless to say, I worry that an independent Scotland won’t actually be freer at all, and may become more authoritarian instead.
Other than that, I don’t feel compelled in any way to oppose the Scottish referendum ultimately, or its outcome. Either way they vote, then bully for them. If they’re doing this because of Brexit, then I am willing to accept an independent Scotland and/or potentially a divided United Kingdom as the price to pay for us leaving the EU (not least because that was my vote).
Oh, and if the British government or whoever does decide to rename the UK if Scotland successfully secedes, then whatever you do don’t call it England! I have a funny feeling that it might just piss off Wales.