Of course, the SNP wants Scotland to leave the UK. Nevermind the inconsistency of wanting to leave the UK but be subject to the authority of the EU, this stance of the SNP hasn’t changed whether the UK is in or out of the EU. They have just taken hold of this opportunity to argue again for Scottish nationalism and independence.
I don’t believe this endeavour will succeed. From what I can tell, the Scots voted to remain united to the UK because they identified as British, and did not want to lose that identity. The same argument has been used to argue for remaining in the EU as well, but departure of the EU does not make one any less European, whilst departure of the UK makes one not British by definition.
One of the arguments the SNP had was the strength of their economy. They had control of much of North Sea oil, a valuable global resource. However, with the value of crude oil at record lows, Scotland really cannot claim to still have the strength of economy to stand on its own. As far as I understand it, Scotland still benefits very much from tax revenues from England, particularly London.
Sturgeon also argues that Scotland should leave the UK so that it can remain in the EU without the rest of Britain. However, membership of the EU was granted to the United Kingdom as a whole, not to its constituent parts. If Scotland wishes to be in the EU separately to the UK, it would have to apply on its own behest, which may or may not succeed.
On top of that, with David Cameron’s government having implemented devo-max, devolving even more power to regional governments, it makes little sense for Scotland to leave such a devolved union and join a centralised government as the EU where they have even less power and independence.
So, if Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP does get their desire for a second referendum, there will be three possible results, all of which I look forward to with great interest…
1) If they lose the referendum, that will be the second pie in the face for the SNP. Over a million of their 2.6 million voters at the referendum supported leaving the EU. That is not an insubstantial proportion, and then there are those who are equally worried about their economy, as well as those who still wish to identify as British. So it is not unreasonable to imagine the SNP losing their second referendum. I can’t see the SNP having more influence than being a mere fringe party after such an event.
2) Scotland could win its independence on the second Scottish referendum, but its economy could tank. This would again be more pie in the face for the SNP, and would even further impede it’s accession to the EU. But the EU might, in its hunger for power, be generous enough to accept Scottish membership even if Scotland became a net recipient of EU funds. Well, that would be interesting indeed.
3) in the best case scenario for the SNP, Scotland gains independence and prospers of its own accord, and maybe even gains membership of the EU with no great difficulty. If that be the case, I wish it well on its journey and maybe the rest of Britain could even learn from its example.
Some may argue that it is hypocritical to discourage Scottish independence from the UK whilst arguing for UK’s independence from the EU. But that is not my position at all – if Scotland wishes independence, they can do as they like as far as I am concerned, for it is no business of mine. I simply wish the nation well whatever they decide.