Scotland: Why is independence so elusive?

After the resignation of Sturgeon

Scotland: Goodbye Independence from Great Britain

Surprisingly, Scottish Prime Minister Sturgeon has announced his resignation

Surprisingly, Scottish Prime Minister Sturgeon has announced his resignation

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has suddenly announced her resignation. After ruling out such a move a few weeks ago, Sturgeon said at a news conference that she felt the time was now.

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Scotland is looking for a new head of government. But after Sturgeon’s resignation, the dream of independence is over for the time being.

London. Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation in mid-February has politics Scotland properly shaken. It is the end of an era – and the temporary end of Scottish independence. Sturgeon, who has been Scotland’s first minister since 2014 and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), has ruled the northern part of the country with virtually no strings attached for the past eight years. With charisma and much political skill, she led her party from one electoral victory to another: the SNP achieved such dominance that critics derided it in Scotland as a “one-party state”.

But Sturgeon fails in one important respect: their strategy to break up the UK and create a new Independent Scottish country I eventually hit a wall. With her departure the end of the independence movement was for the time being marked – as the New Statesman wrote: “Sturgeon’s resignation was like a wet fish a slap in the face to Scottish nationalism”.

Scotland does not want Britain to leave the European Union

It looked so good for a long time. Political turmoil in the past ten years The independence movement Always given a new push. Above all, Brexit: During the endless scramble to leave the European Union in the years after the 2016 vote, more and more citizens in overwhelmingly pro-European Scotland were able to embrace the idea of ​​self-reliance; 62 per cent of Scots voted to remain in the European Union. Opinion polls indicated growing support for independence.

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The movement also benefited from the fact that a highly qualified First Minister was at the helm of Scotland. The Covid crisis showed, for example, what sturgeons of a different caliber were compared to decision-makers in London. While Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as usual, acted erratically, joked about it and took the pandemic seriously, Sturgeon wisely carried on, communicating efficiently and matter-of-factly. Her poll numbers skyrocketed, and so did she consent to independence increased during the pandemic.

Liz fueled the independence movement’s cogs

And Liz Truss’ disastrous interregnum the previous autumn also heightened their yearning for a state of their own in many Scots. In just 45 chaotic days, the prime minister has managed it British economy On the brink of collapse and permanent reputational damage to the Conservative Party.

So there were plenty of reasons for the Scots to break up the UK and go their own way. In opinion polls, about 45 percent of the population regularly said they would vote for independence in a second referendum.

It will not work without the green light from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

But in the end, the SNP campaign didn’t work. The problem is Edinburgh’s limited decision-making power. For matters relating to the constitution of the whole kingdom, the Government at Westminster Say the last word. This blocked another referendum for years. She says the first vote, in 2014, when 55 percent voted against secession, decided the issue for at least a generation.

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So sturgeon went to court. She asked the High Court in London to clarify whether the Edinburgh government would act on its own initiative legal referendum It is allowed to organize, that is, without the consent of London. In November, the court said: No, you shouldn’t. So the Scottish government can do as it pleases – without the green light from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, nothing will come of an independent Scotland.

The broader pro-independence movement has also lost momentum in recent years. “The SNP has said practically every year since 2016 that a second referendum is coming soon; as a result, many campaigners have now given up hope that the SNP will be serious about it,” says David Jamieson, 35, who co-founded the campaign Radical Independence (RIC) ten years ago. That the independence campaign 2014 turned into a enthusiastic public phenomenon And I was able to inspire many previously apolitical Scots thanks to the RIC campaign. That movement is now “kind of dead,” says Jamieson.

On Monday, he voted on the successor to Sturgeon

The three candidates for successor to sturgeon, who are vying for the top job as of Monday, are dampening expectations. Candidate Hamza Yusuf, former health minister and close sturgeon ally, acknowledged that “there is no stable majority for independence”; He said that “a series of honest and frank discussions with party members” is pending. Joseph is joined by Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, both of whom are on the right end of the SNP. The party’s 100,000 members will name their new president on March 27.

But the temporary end to the independence campaign does not mean that calm will return to the kingdom and that the constitutional issue will be put on the table. As long as the country is characterized by monstrous inequality between regions, and as long as London monopolizes the power of political decision-making – hardly any country in Western Europe is so central as the kingdom, as long as The desire for independence continue in Scotland.

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