With Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon setting a date for a second Scottish independence referendum in October 2023, the many battles with Westminster have only just begun. The vote will only go ahead if deemed legal by the UK Supreme Court, the outcome of which is not guaranteed. Sturgeon is taking a huge gamble by going ahead with a vote that will likely not win London’s approval given her perception of the Johnson government’s collapse of democratic standards and the unique circumstances that are changing Scotland’s outlook on independence. is based on. places in Europe since the Brexit vote. For Sturgeon, the renewal of democracy in Scotland is paramount and as his second article illustrating the independence thesis points out, this can only be achieved through independence. The paradox is that to Westminster, Sturgeon’s drive seems fundamentally undemocratic and authoritarian, the whims of a nationalist-minded state that shows little regard for the laws of the union, of which it is still a member.
As the Conservative Party elects its new leader, the leading candidates have expressed that they want Scotland to wait another decade before holding a second referendum. Labor leader Keir Starmer is also against Scotland holding a referendum and has ruled out forming a government with the Scottish National Party (SNP). Labour’s political disagreement with the SNP is “fundamental” according to Starmer, alienating Holyrood from both major British political parties between now and well after May 2024 when the next general election is held. The SNP’s voice is a lone one, with what it is trying to sow something to welcome Vladimir Putin, calling it a division sturgeon compared to the Scottish Labor starrer.
If Scotland decides to become an independent nation or at least go ahead with its second vote in a decade, its external relations will also need to be considered. This is just one element of the heated debate now unfolding in Holyrood, a side effect of Brexit and the victim of a divided union. For Scotland, and for its important overseas allies such as the United States, this independence would depend on the full involvement of London, whose “presence or absence of involvement” is “the prerogative of the British state”, presenting a conflict between the demands put forth by Sturgeon. Modern statehood and democratic arguments for freedom outlined. Scotland has many friends and partners in Europe and beyond, as well as many thousands of ‘affinity Scots’ with Scottish universities or Scottish ancestry, as former SNP MP and current professor Stephen Gethin points out in his book Nation to Nation. It is an invaluable asset to Scotland, ensuring that all modes of trade can continue.
The United States has been a partner of Scotland since its founding days, when academic links were formed between the ancient universities of Scotland and US Ivy League institutions. Washington will continue to play an important role if Scotland becomes an independent nation. Importantly, the US would like to see Scotland leave the UK through a fully democratic process, with Westminster consenting to a new bilateral relationship from a position of mutual strength. The US would likely support an independent place for Scotland in the European Union and NATO, but since Britain would remain a strong US ally, any trade or border restrictions with England should be minimal and not subject to political interference. needed. Should Sturgeon proceed with a more adversarial approach to independence, Scotland should stand ready to side with London and Washington if it thinks its support for the unconstitutional referendum is too risky and for US-UK relations. is harmful. Scotland would become an independent nation as a very young peer, entitled to full relations with other kingdoms, but which would play a secondary role to the kingdom from which it originated. Just as President Obama said Britain would be “back of the line” for new trade deals with Washington if it votes to leave the EU, Scotland could find itself in a similar position.
While the US would prefer to maintain ties with a united Britain, the Scottish-American relationship would provide some of the leverage currently missing between London and Washington’s bilateral relationship. Scotland would be a small European power along the lines of Denmark or Norway, and an English-speaking second gateway to Washington’s European Union, if it were to join. In addition, Scotland will likely play a major role in efforts to combat climate change and establish itself as an Arctic nation, joining forces with other European states as an incredible addition to the global competition between the US, Russia and China. Will focus on the strategic sector. An independent Scotland would not have the burden of its imperial ties, but would focus on its immediate European neighborhood and on security challenges for the 21st century, some shared by the United Kingdom and others felt solely by its isolation able to go.
An independent Scotland would present many opportunities for Washington, but only if its isolation is handled with a degree of mutual trust and respect for Scotland’s long history in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Scottish independence is far from assured and a change in leadership in Washington, combined with global threats and challenges, could place US–Scotland relations at a low priority level. Scotland may want to be independent, but does the rest of the world want to deal with an independent Scotland? In times of deep upheaval and political division, redefining relations between states can seem like an arduous task. However, the present moment demands a reconstruction of relations within existing states with respect for the rule of law, national and developed parliaments and democratic norms.
Scottish independence, or the formation of a new state seeking to forge a new identity, should be a major occasion. The current risk for Scotland is that its independence is not a matter of pride, but the victim of a chaotic and divisive split from a great and great union. A new nation born out of bitterness is not one that can co-exist amicably with its neighbors and instill confidence in the world. Scotland’s primary gift to the world, and especially to the founders of the United States of America, is the Enlightenment and reason. In trying to separate itself from the UK, Scotland risks falling prey to the unwarranted impulses it has long accused successive London governments of possessing.,
When the UK formally left the EU in January 2020, MEP Elaine Smith called on Brussels to “leave the light on” for Scotland to find its way home. Scotland’s home is undoubtedly in Europe. It is up to the next generation of Conservative, Labor and SNP leaders to reconcile Scotland’s desire for a cohesive Europe with an acceptable solution that does not antagonize the rest of the UK., Only then will Scotland’s deep history of Enlightenment once again inspire other countries.
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