Brexit is to blame: Scotland decided to hold a new referendum on independence

Brexit pushed Scotland to new steps towards separation from great Britain. Holyrood (the Scottish Parliament) on Tuesday evening voted to hold a second referendum on independence.

The debate in Parliament began a week ago, on March 21, the vote was scheduled for the following day. However, the 22nd in the London bombing occurred: a 52-year-old Briton Khalid Masud first knocked on Westminster bridge a few people a car, then the building of the British Parliament was stabbed a policeman. As a result, four people were killed and 50 were wounded. This tragic event forced the Scottish Parliament to adjourn the debate.

They resumed on March 28. Against the referendum was made by the labour party, the conservatives and the Democrats. However, the parliamentary majority in the face of the Scottish national party (SNP) and support it «green» won. The result: 69 deputies voted for a referendum, 59 against.


Initiative re plebiscite belongs to the SNP, whose leader is the first Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon went with her to the Parliament immediately after the Congress, the nationalist party adopted a corresponding decision. Sturgeon said that the referendum should be held before the end of the procedure, a Brexit — during the autumn of 2018 to spring 2019.

Prime Minister Theresa may has reacted quite sharply.

«Now we need to work together and not be separated. Together, we must work hard to get favorable terms for Scotland, favorable conditions for the UK, and it’s my task as Prime Minister. So I say the Scottish national party that now is not the time,» she said in an interview to Sky News.

According to the Prime Minister, in the current situation of uncertainty is to hold a new referendum on independence just not fair, because people have no need for such serious decisions information.

On the eve of the resumption of the debate, Theresa may, met with Nicola Sturgeon, their talks were held «sincerely» and «business-like», but, nevertheless, Holyrood returned to consideration of a question on the re-plebiscite. In the end, the Scottish Parliament voted to give the first Minister the right to hold a referendum.

A preliminary plan for its preparation, Nicola Sturgeon has promised to introduce in Parliament after may 16. At the same time, speaking to MPs, she said that the referendum should be held after, will be known when the terms Brexit «to assess them and to compare with the challenges and opportunities that brings the independence of the country» — that is, in essence, repeated the argument Theresa may.

Scotland against Brexit

A referendum on independence, the Scottish government held on 18 September 2014. If the voters then voted for secession from the United Kingdom, the independence he was supposed to proclaim 24 March 2016. The Scottish government even made a detailed plan of action, which, however, remained on paper: 55% of voters voted against ending the 300-year Union with England.

The reason for me to raise once again the question of the referendum on independence, served as the Brexit. June 23, 2016 in the UK held a national plebiscite, which is 51.9% of the participating subjects of the United Kingdom expressed support for the country’s withdrawal from the European Union. While about 62% of Scottish voters voted against Brexit — as, indeed, 55.8% of voters in Northern Ireland. England and Wales were in favour of leaving the EU, while the majority of residents (59.9 per cent) voted against it.

The Scottish nationalists did not fail to use the results of the vote for Brexit. Nicola Sturgeon said that such a significant change in the situation gives them the right to organize a second referendum because the Scots, unlike the English, did not want to leave the European Union, and in order to stay in it, they will have to leave the United Kingdom. She even urged all Britons who wish to remain in the EU, to move to Scotland.

«You are not welcome»

Even before the Parliament in Edinburgh has made a decision on holding a second referendum, in Brussels, was quick to dispel his hope that Scotland in case of independence will be able to «stay in the European Union». The official representative of the European Commission, Margaritis Shinas said at a briefing that in the case of separation of Scotland from the UK it would have to «stand in the General queue» States wishing to join the EU and accept it there will also be on a common basis.

The same statement was made by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said that an independent Scotland will have to join the Alliance as a novice.

Both will be very difficult, since the entry into these organizations, the new state will require the consent of all their members, and the Spanish authorities have already stated that not only will support the entry of Scotland in the EU, but do not recognize its independence.

Spain, for decades is experiencing a severe problem with separatism of Catalonia, any process of national self-determination always takes extremely painful. For example, Madrid is still not recognized Kosovo’s independence.

«In the European Union not too interested in the fact that Scotland separated from the UK. It is not for the EU special value to contribute to its exclusion from the United Kingdom. Even after a Brexit Europe will be more interesting for such a strong partner and a mediator between it and the United States as a whole Kingdom. Because in Brussels it clear in advance that with open arms an independent Scotland wouldn’t be welcome,» — said the Director of the Center for comprehensive European and international studies, faculty of world economy and world politics HSE Timofei Bordachev.

For access from everywhere

However, the Scottish nationalists, now in power, do not stop or the protests in London or the cool reaction of the EU and NATO. As for the spirits of Scots, they do change and quite rapidly: the share of supporters of independence in Scotland peaked in 1999, but has increased the number of eurosceptics. This is evidenced by data survey, which annually conducts the company ScotCen.

In support of Scottish independence vote is now 46% of respondents, which is two times more than in 2012, when he was running the campaign for the holding of the first referendum. Particularly strong separatist sentiments among young people: separation from great Britain support 72% of respondents aged 16 to 24 years.

At the same time, 62% of the population of Scotland now vote for a British exit from the EU or reducing the powers of the European authorities. It turns out that the desire of Scots to remain in the EU becomes fighters for Scottish independence is highly questionable argument. But they do not stop it.

The second of Catalonia is not?

The situation in the United Kingdom is unlikely at the Catalan scenario and unlikely to become a fierce protest form, says Timofei Bordachev, believes that the situation in the UK will continue to remain in the constitutional framework.

«The UK is not as strict a unitary state, as that of Spain, and the degree of civilization of political relations there is still different. So I think a clear indication of Teresa may for its position does not mean that it will be ready to go further,» — said the expert.

«The dispute between Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa may is related only to the timing of the referendum. I believe Downing street is unlikely to resist the decision of the Assembly of Scotland, and to prevent the holding of a plebiscite in the elected authorities of Scotland time», — says the head of the Centre for British studies, Institute of Europe RAS, expert of the International discussion club «Valdai» Elena Ananyeva.

During the first referendum in London and Edinburgh has made a commitment to do the will of the people, whatever it was, recalls the Director of the Institute of international studies, MGIMO Alexander Orlov. Initiating a new referendum, Scottish politicians are retreating from previous agreements, he said.

«The opposition will inevitably arise, and the only question is what shape it will acquire. While it is political in nature, then it may develop into a phase of showdown on the legal level. Can flash and protests, however, it is difficult to imagine that London will start to operate in such clumsy methods as, say, Kiev, and will be, for example, to bomb Scotland — especially that all British nuclear submarines are based in the heart of Glasgow. In any case, the situation is unlikely to lead to violence,» says Alexander Orlov, who believes that this time the Scottish nationalists more likely to succeed than two years ago.

RIA Novosti

Brexit is to blame: Scotland decided to hold a new referendum on independence 30.03.2017

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