A key difference between the call for Scottish independence and something like Britain’s vote to leave the EU is one of sovereignty. Britain has been in a position where it could freely choose which parts of the EU it wished to be part of, which legislation it wished to adopt etc but Scotland has no such control in its relationship with the United Kingdom (or England, as the governing body of the UK is otherwise known). In matters of governance, Scotland has what decision making authority that the Westminster Parliament deigns to award it.
Westminster can force Scotland to quit the EU because the party that has, in recent times, been traditionally third in Scottish elections made a decision to offer a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, which they lost and for which they have been proven to have performed not even the barest of due diligence in either the offering, design or execution of the result. It isn’t just that Scotland voted to remain in the EU, knowing as they do the dangers of being ruled exclusively by Tory governments, it is that Scotland is being held hostage by an agreement signed in the 18th Century.
The obvious reason why people will draw parallels between Scottish independence and ‘brexit’ is referendums. Referendums are clearly not a very good way to solve an issue. If either the IndyRef or EURef campaigns are anything to go by, access to balanced and unprejudiced information by the voting public is very hard to come by. The IndyRef campaigns were actually being fairly well conducted until a poll in the Sunday Times on the 7th September placed Yes in the lead, kickstarting a panicked Westminster machine into action. What followed was an appalling attack undermining British democracy.
The resentment that was concocted by an ‘establishment’ against Scottish voters was further stirred during the Tories’ 2015 General Election campaign when, having struggled to find any issue with which they could gain traction with the public over Labour, they finally settled on demonising Scottish voters as a threat against English interests because of the assumed influence the SNP would exert over Labour in a coalition.
Both attacks on ‘ungrateful Scots’ fueled a rise in Little England’s dander, which almost certainly played a role during the EU referendum campaigns in 2016.
Scotland will likely return to the polls for a second referendum on Scottish independence which, hopefully, will see Scottish voters grasping the opportunity to be their own country. The reality is that the Union is past its use-by date, it is a relic of a bygone era and the desire to relegate to the past should be embraced by all of the United Kingdom. The union between the countries of the British Isles should be reformed. It shouldn’t need a referendum, Scotland’s First Minister should announce Scotland’s cessation from the UK and England can grow up from its 19th Century.colonial imperialist past and embrace the 21st Century.