I know, I know you’d have thought that this would be a settled issue by now but no it’s not. Under the looming shadow of Brexit, the Scottish referendum has been brought back into question because part of the rhetoric spouted in that political onslaught was that Scotland should stay part of the UK because they’d be in the EU and that it’s not guaranteed that they’ll become a member of the EU quickly or even at all. On the day of writing this article Nicola Sturgeon, the head of the Scottish national party has just called for a new referendum on Scottish independence in the spring of 2019. The justification being that 62% of scots voted to stay in the EU in comparison to 48% of Britain overall. Funnily enough, I’ve been monitoring the polls for some time on the issue of Scottish independence, and as it stands roughly 49% of scots are in favour of leaving the UK which in my opinion is high enough, as one-third or 33% are willing to be convinced either way.
This whole situation makes the current political situation in the UK very interesting. We can see Jeremy Corbyn voicing his support for the referendum in a poorly veiled attempt to claw some votes back from Scotland after they lost all but one constituency of Scotland in the last general election. Scotland was previously a real labour stronghold which the centrist Tony Blair managed to completely strangle when he dragged the labour party to the centre of the political spectrum (Scotland is left-wing). As a quick aside, I’m not sure entirely if Mr Corbyn realises this but him supporting independence in Scotland is like him supporting the severing of his own arm purely because it felt like leaving. Of course, he needs to gain back Scottish votes but it should be done by discrediting the SNP, not saying “A referendum is ok in my books” Because if the scots leave then he’ll have lost all the voters he tried to win back. As labour slowly tears itself apart for no good reason other than the labour MPs feel like being bad at politics right now. The conservatives continue to mop up the far right-wing vote. We have started to see a gap in the market for the centrist liberal vote. Currently, the liberal democrats are in the perfect position for that with their Anti-Brexit stance to gain some ground politically with both Scotland and England. So, what does this mean for Scotland? Should Scotland leave? Personally, I don’t think so, if Scotland left now they’d be leaving yet another union that benefits them both economically and politically, England and Wales and Northern Ireland together purchase roughly 64% of Scotland’s exports. The UK gives Scotland a position on the world stage with at least some say in the UN security council and I’d say some say is better than none. Because Scotland is dependent on oil for money, any shift towards renewable energy sources globally could have serious implications for their wealth, and with an ageing population, Scotland is starting to see a rise in unemployment and a shrinking of their workforce. A summary of their economy can be found on the Independent’s website here.
Scotland could potentially be the 12th largest economy in the world just behind Russia and strangely enough because it is on average per capita richer than the whole of the UK put together mainly down to oil, it could possibly end up thriving by itself once it sorts out its vast budget deficit dashing Scottish voters hopes of a welfare state in the process. Scotland would also have a way to choose its own destiny and forge its own path without being tied down by the whole of the UK, and be able to create a separate immigration policy to that of the UK and bring in an outside workforce to counter the ageing population. At this point, I think that Scotland will probably leave given the madness of the UK right now and I wouldn’t say it’d surprise me given what’s been going on in politics for a while with Brexit and Trump. However, I suspect that if Scottish voters vote to leave in 2019, the Scotland they get, will not be the Scotland they have been sold in recent years even if they manage to stay afloat.