The United Kingdom wanted to resign from its European Union (EU) membership and had a referendum on June 23, 2016. Coined Brexit from Britain and exit, the referendum yielded a vote of 51.9% to 48.1% in favor of leaving the EU, with 30 million people voting in said referendum. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series posted a tweet on June 24, 2016, saying that right after Brexit, Scottish people would want to seek independence from the UK.
There was an announcement from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon early last week that she would seek permission for a second referendum regarding Scottish independence. It’s to be held in late 2018 or early 2019, after the Brexit issue concludes. Scotland as well as Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU in the Brexit referendum. According to Ms. Sturgeon, the call for the referendum is needed to protect the interests of Scottish people after UK’s exit from the European Union.
The call for a second referendum is still up in the air. UK Prime Minister Theresa May says that the Scottish people are not in favor of an independence referendum for the second time, but did not confirm if the UK would grant or block the request. Nicola Sturgeon said that the referendum would grant Scotland the choice of remaining as an independent country in the EU. However, Ms. Sturgeon cannot decide on the referendum on her own. She will need to secure authorization from the UK government.
Still at the negotiating stage
A spokesperson from the UK government explained that while the UK wants to leave the EU, it is still seeking a better partnership with the Union that will work best for the entire United Kingdom, which includes Scotland and Northern Ireland. The spokesperson added that everything is still under negotiation but the interests of all the nations under the UK are being considered. There are many aspects that are on the table, including national security from terrorism and crime, the status of both UK and EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and other EU-member countries and worker’s rights.
Two years ago, Scotland had its first independence referendum, where the Scottish people voted to remain a part of the United Kingdom. This alone suggests that the majority of Scotland’s citizens are not in favor of another independence referendum, according to the spokesperson. Another referendum would only mean economic uncertainty and divisiveness at a crucial time when Scotland should be focused on the delivery of better services and good governance to its people.
A new poll was conducted to see how Scottish people reacted to the call for a second referendum. The poll, conducted by Panelbase, asked the opinion of 1,008 voters regarding the issue. The results revealed that 56% are not in favor of independence. The poll result was revealed after Ruth Davidson, Scottish Tory leader, backed UK PM’s decision to parry the call for another referendum. Ms. Davidson added that the Scottish National Party (SNP) does not represent the entire country of Scotland.
Some analysts are taking apart everything that Ms. Sturgeon has said about Brexit and her arguments regarding an independent Scotland. She stated that Scotland would have the opportunity to build a fairer society and a more sustained and stronger economy if the country can secure an independent relationship with the EU.
However, according to the EU, if Scotland becomes an independent nation, it will have to wait in line like other countries applying for EU membership.