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The 2014 Scottish referendum did not silenced the claims for independence. Moreover the victory of the Leave option in the 2016 EU membership referendum in the UK had given new hopes to the nationalist camp in favor of Scottish independence. Find out more about the pros and cons of independencea and vote in our poll: Should Scotland become independent?
Should Scotland be independent?
Devolution of power has been a longstading claim in Scotland. On 18 September 2014 Scotland held a referendum of independence. The "No" camp won by 10 points difference. However the issue of independence will likely continue to be discussed in the years to come. With the rise in support for the SNP, which in the 2015 general elections won 56 out of 59 Scottish seats in the parliament, the question of the break up of the Union remains open. There are economic, social, cultural and legal arguments to justify both positions.
After the results of the Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016 in which a clear majority of Scots voted Remain and the overall result was Leave, the issue of self-determination has been brought back to the political agenda. Theresa May speech on 17 January 2017 announcing the exit form the single market and customs union seems to confirm the fears of Scottish leaders.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister and leader of the SNP, has claimed that the UK cannot drag Scotland out of the EU against its will. She explained that if the UK government would not reconsider a hard Brexit scenario a second referendum of independence would take place. On 13 March 2017, Sturgeon explained that the new independence referendum will be held between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019. This time the situation may be more favorable to the pro-independence camp. Scottish people tend to be europhiles and a hard Brexit against their will may be considered as the tipping point in this relationship. However, quitting the UK does not automatically mean that Scotland would remain in the EU. In fact, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has already said that Spain would veto automatic Scottish membership. Spain is concerned with Catalan and Basque secessionist movements and defends the territorial integrity of other European Countries.
What do you think? Should Scotland hold a second independence referendum? Should it separate from the rest of the UK?
Pros and cons of Scottish independence
These are some of the reasons in favor of the independence of Scotland:
- Scotland would have more control over its political destiny; currently many decisions are taken in Westminster and 10 Downing Street. The British Government's disregards for Scottish preferences concerning EU membership can create further alienation.
- Scotland is more liberal than the rest of the UK and could push forward policies to increase social welfare.
- Scotland could decide to remain in the EU. The UK opted out of some treaties and European policies (such as Schengen) and is currently in the process of quitting the EU after the results of the EU exit referendum.
- Scotland could exploit more freely some economic resources, in particular the North Sea oil.
- Scotland would have more means and freedom to defend its own culture and identity.
Some of the cons of the a Scottish independence would entail are:
- Scotland may be forced to stop using the GBP as its currency. It would be very dangerous to maintain the Sterling Pound while not having any control over the Bank of England which is in charge of deciding the monetary policy.
- Both Scotland and the United Kingdom would lose political power at international level.
- The independence of Scotland could trigger a wave of separatist movements in Europe, weakening the political union of the continent and creating social and economic uncertainty.
- Many businesses could leave Scotland or at least transfer their headquarters to London or other parts of the UK. Scotland is a much smaller market than the UK.
- There could be social problems linked to the separation of the countries. Many Scots would like to remain British, many Scots live England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and there are many mixed families. The separation of the countries could create administrative problems in addition to the emotional ones.
- Quitting the UK does not guarantee Scotland's EU membership. In fact, some first level European politicians have already explain that Scotland would join the queue of countries requesting EU membership.
If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option.
Should Scotland be an independent country?
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