As most will already know, Scotland held an independence referendum in 2014 and at that time 55% of Scots voted to stay as part of the United Kingdom. Despite this, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to demand yet another vote on the matter when the British government finally triggers Article 50. This came about because a referendum was held last year and as much as 63% of Scots voted to remain in the EU. Now, one of the consequences of Brexit is that Scotland faces being forced out of the EU regardless the majority vote. Speculation is rife as to whether there is likely to be a second referendum, along with what it would mean for the future of the UK.
What about the previous vote?
In their manifesto last May, the Scottish National Party (SNP) stated that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is a significant and material change in the conditions that occurred in 2014. One other reason behind Sturgeon’s call for this second referendum is UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to opt for a so-called “hard Brexit”, which would mean leaving the single market and customs union. However, in a speech attacking Scottish nationalists for being “obsessed” with independence, May declared that support for the argument in favour of breaking up with the UK, that is, loosening the ties which bound the two countries together, was simply not there.
What about the polls?
Opinion polls have found that Scots are divided on whether there should be another referendum. When online survey site, Panelbase, told respondents that Brexit would mean that it would no longer be possible to be a part of both the UK and the EU, most said they would rather leave the UK. However, when the question was asked as to whether Scotland should become independent of the UK the majority answered in favour of staying within the UK. The impact of Brexit is what will make the difference in the long run if these results are anything to go by.
In reality, Sturgeon cannot call for another referendum but can ask for a ‘Section 30 order’ to be granted by the UK government. The orders are a means of transferring power over to the Scottish government that would normally be reserved by Westminster. This, in turn, would give Scotland the power to call a new poll.
Is Nicola Sturgeon up to making another referendum call?
While May continues to reject demands for a second referendum, the SNP firmly believe that once the full realisation of the impact of Brexit is realised, there will be a surge in support for independence.
How will the Scots vote this time?
Polls have so far indicated that opinions on the subject have not changed much since the last referendum, however, the SNP is of the view that once the realities of Brexit hits home, attitudes will swing in the party’s favour.
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Alexander Bowring is a London based writer and a Southampton Solent University Screenwriting graduate. He has worked alongside TV personality and Telegraph feature writer Alison Cork, whilst also having produced content for ITV, This Morning, Canvas8, Who’s Jack, Alison at Home, and Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors. Alexander also has a keen interest in investments.