The demand for Scottish Independence
- British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak rejected a call from the new First Minister of Scotland and leader of the governing Scottish National Party (SNP), Humza Yousaf, to hold a second referendum for Scotland’s independence from the U.K.
- In the 1970s, after oil was discovered in the North Sea, the SNP ran a popular campaign in line with its central ideology of independence. With the iconic slogan “It’s Scotland’s Oil”, the party argued that if not for Britain’s control over reserved matters, proceeds from the oil would have benefited the Scottish economy.
- A formal national referendum for independence in Scotland was held in 2014 which saw an 85% turnout. However, amid concerns over how an independent Scotland would function without British assistance, pro-independence voters lost to those who voted to stay.
Points to Ponder:
- Scotland desires a second referendum on its separation from the United Kingdom.
- The autonomous kingdom of Scotland was established in the ninth century and fought battles with the Kingdom of England to maintain its independence. The two countries entered a personal union in 1603 and were subsequently governed by the same rulers. The British and Scottish Parliaments enacted the Acts of Union, establishing political unity under the name of Great Britain, in 1707 as a result of economic and political weaknesses that existed on both sides of the conflict.
- The united assembly did not give Scotland equitable seats, even though it had some decision-making authority. A new, developed parliament for Scotland was established in 1999 as a consequence of two referendums that were conducted in 1979 and 1997. This parliament was granted the authority to draught laws regarding devolved matters like health, transportation, education, and other things.
- In the most recent secession poll, held in 2014, 55% of Scots chose to remain part of the United Kingdom. Scotland makes up one-third of Britain’s landmass, 8% of its people, and 8% of its income.
Why demand Independence?
- According to the Scottish National Party administration, Scots should have the freedom to choose whether or not they want to be an autonomous nation. For the majority of its yearly expenses, it presently receives a bloc grant from the British government, which once it gains independence, it intends to replace with oil revenues from the North Sea.
- It claims that the UK is undermining the interests of Scots by using north sea oil earnings to pay for current expenditures rather than investing in future generations. Additionally, it wants to rejoin the EU. In addition, the SNP intends to continue using the British pound sterling as its money after becoming independent.
The SNP is accused by the British government of failing to provide a better image of how pension and healthcare problems would be handled in an independent Scotland. Additionally, it has cautioned Scotland that re-entering the EU would result in the establishment of a hard boundary between Scotland and Great Britain.