The Herd

The War for Independence

Liesl Quigley, Staff Writer

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When Scotland voted decisively to remain in the UK in 2014, most thought that it would be the only independence vote for some time. The then-Scottish first minister Alex Salmond stepped down, while the then-prime minister David Cameron claimed that the three parties in parliament would work together in order to give Scotland better representation. It seemed that the tensions between Scotland and the UK would be settled within a of a few years.

Yet, only two years later, a call for an independence referendum has been made again, his time, by Salmon’s successor, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon. She cites the fact that Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU during the Brexit vote last June. British prime minister Theresa May has said that “now is not the time” for an independence vote according to USA Today, because the UK has initiated Article 50 to begin the Brexit. However, Sturgeon wants to have a referendum vote between fall 2018-spring 2019, when the conditions of Brexit are known.

“If the UK leaves the EU without Scotland indicating beforehand – or at least within a short time after it – that we want a different relationship with Europe, we could face a lengthy period outside not just the EU, but also the single market. That would make the task of negotiating a different future much more difficult,” (New Statesman) said Sturgeon in a speech on March 13th.

               If Scotland is forced out of the EU entirely, it could mean high tariffs and complications in moving goods. Scotland is also concerned that most of the Brexit talks have been in Westminster without much involvement of Scottish Parliament; therefore, they want a second independence vote after the terms of Brexit are known. That way, they argue, the people of Scotland could have a true choice in their own future, whether they remain in the UK or not. Sturgeon has utilized social media for high-profile speeches and articles, including writing a letter to Theresa May, reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher.

         It appears that arguments used to promote Brexit could also be said for Scotland. Both promote nation’s self determination and a protest against bureaucracy. The debate between Westminster and Scotland is still ongoing, and it remains uncertain whether there will be a referendum at all. However, the people of the United States should pay attention, because the repercussions of this event, whatever the outcome, could last decades.

 

“Nicola Sturgeon’s speech on Scottish independence: full text.” Nicola Sturgeon’s speech on Scottish independence: full text. New Statesman, 13 Mar. 2017. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

Scotl, Paul Hutcheon The (Glasgow, and ). Herald. “Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon takes campaign for independence to America.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 03 Apr. 2017. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

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