And It Has Begun


As everyone in the EU absorbs the shock of a Brexit vote, the implications of such a decision are becoming evident hour by hour. Many are choosing to cling to the hope that this decision could be reversed, but I think that is little more than a fantasy at this point.

Rather, the fact that the vote has dragged Scotland and Northern Ireland out of the EU when their populations voted strongly to remain, seems to be exactly the catalyst that they were looking for to reopen discussions about breaking up the UK itself.

Very recently, Scotland had a referendum about whether or not they should declare independence. Now, in light of this vote, many there seem to feel it’s time for another one.

Nicola Sturgeon has said the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union, after it became clear Britain had voted for Brexit in a historic referendum. 

Speaking after all 32 local authorities delivered a vote to Remain in Scotland, the First Minister welcomed her country’s “unequivocal” vote to stay in Europe. But despite the vote, the country still faces having to exit the European Union after the Leave campaign edged ahead across the UK.

The SNP manifesto for May’s Scottish Parliament election said there should be another ballot if there was a “significant and material” change in circumstances from the 2014 vote, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will.

Meanwhile, to their West, Sinn Fein’s looking at this as an opportunity for a United Ireland

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has called for a border poll on a united Ireland, after the UK has voted to leave the EU.

Support for the EU is considerably higher in Northern Ireland than the rest of the UK.

As the region shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland, it is unknown how the relationship between the two countries will be affected by Brexit.

While this might be less likely, another bid at Scottish Independence is looking like a real possibility. Last time around, it was 45% -55%, and now a second referendum seems imminent. The government seems to have predicted this possibility, but personally I think their attempts to keep the UK together are a little thin on the ground.

UK government sources said David Cameron, who quit as prime minister after the referendum defeat, was anxious to ensure that his successor made sure the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish government were closely involved in the UK’s Brexit negotiations to avoid increasing Scottish grievances and fuelling the case for independence.

All I can see after reading that statement is this

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Comments

  1. Siobhan says

    Gotta love that British legacy. “We want self-determination!” say the Brits, until the Scots self-determine away from the English and suddenly it’s all “no no, for the good of the nation.” Funny how that works.

  2. springa73 says

    I agree that this makes Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving the UK much more likely, which to me makes it doubly tragic. I’m just as much in favor of self-determination as anyone, but I think that economically the UK is better off as part of the EU, and by the same token Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are better off together than separate. A lot of people are going to get hurt economically by this, and I suspect that the same will be true if Scotland leaves the UK. I’m not sure about Northern Ireland – it might be better off economically as part of Ireland than part of the UK now, I’m not sure.

    In any case, breaking apart a political and economic unit like the EU or the UK causes a lot of damage (economic and otherwise) to lots of people, which is why I think that it should only be done if remaining in is really causing a lot of harm. What if in a year or two most people in the UK, even those who voted for separation, regret this decision because of economic problems? It can’t really be reversed, at least not without great difficulty.

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