Whether the United Kingdom will break apart once Brexit happens (if it happens anytime soon) is not a new discussion. As soon as serious talks began, the prospect of Scotland breaking ties with Britain has been in almost every article. Things have been more complicated, however, because of the difference between the desire of the people and actions.
Autonomy Is the Way to Independence
Scotland has proved to have the confidence to be on its own. The country has relatively high-level autonomy, which becomes evident by the presence of Nicola Sturgeon. In 2014, she became Scotland’s First Minister. Thus, the country came to represent the possibility of self-governance within a kingdom. It also unveiled an ever-present but subsided desire to return to an old state of independence.
Scotland functions thanks to its specific health-care, education, and law systems; it has world-famous cultural traits; its people share a collective consciousness which is different from that of the people in the rest of the UK. The chances that it will leave the UK seem quite high. At least in the minds of the nation, it is already a government in its own right.
What Has Been Stopping the Split from Happening?
However, something has been holding it back from becoming formally independent. The first referendum in 2014 failed, and London rejected Sturgeon’s appeal for a second one. Moreover, with Brexit procedures taking place, the Scottish have received an even more valid reason to leave the UK. Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP party has been opposed by the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party which holds the belief that another referendum would bring uncertainties in the country. The question is: are those the uncertainties of Scotland or England?
If England has to deal with the consequences and conditions of Brexit, then Scotland has to play with even more cards. England will remain as the prime power in the UK, while the majority of Scotland would grieve the loss of this relationship with Europe within a kingdom where decisions come from the South. As they say – the winner takes it all.
Brexit Comes to the Rescue?
The Northern part of the UK has seen Brexit as an opportunity to become even more autonomous to remain in the European Union. As The Atlantic points, Nicola Sturgeon considers the Prime Minister’s arbitrary decision to remove the whole kingdom from this relationship with Europe “democratically unacceptable.” Such words have found their way in the thoughts and speeches of a lot of Scots. Marches for independence have been taking place several times, and people have demonstrated their inclinations on social media with the hashtag #indyref2.
The air in the UK nowadays is what is more uncertain than the consequences of Scotland becoming independent. Although England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland share centuries of bringing the four territorial pieces on the map together, the UK rests on old laurels. Whether or not Scotland will try to build bridges with the EU once again, the country has long been striving for full independence from Britain. Steadily, the ambitions of Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish nation may lead to a historical shift.