There are several debates going on in the current British political climate. EU? Brexit? Northern Ireland and Brexit? And so on. On the other hand, there is one country we are about to forget. Scotland. They have two separate questions they need to figure out. Do they want to stay in the EU and do they want to become independent?
Referendum for independence
In 2014, Scotland held a referendum on whether they wanted to stay in the UK or not. Even though the polls former to the referendum showed that Scotland wanted their independence, the result showed something else. The referendum ended up with a 55% majority for staying in the UK. It is important to emphasize that this referendum was held before Brexit was introduced.
Stance regarding Brexit
For the Brexit referendum, Scotland expressed a wish for staying in the EU. They had a great majority voting to stay. Only 38% voted for leaving. Though, they had a pretty low turnout. Only 68% decided to vote. On the other hand, the low turnout cannot disguise the great desire among the Scottish people to stay in the EU. The result from Brexit might also distance Scotland more from the UK. Considering the results of the referendum in 2014, the "staying in the UK" side had a slight majority of just 5%. If a similar referendum was held today, the result might have been very different. Since the UK and Scotland are so distanced politically, there is most likely a greater urge among the Scottish people to leave the UK, and stay in the EU.
The whole situation gets more complicated when you look at what the different political parties mean. The Scottish National Party (SNP) has a strong voice for both staying in the EU and leaving the UK. More or less what I assumed the Scottish people wanted. This gets complicated when you look at the last snap-general election result. The SNP managed to lose 21 seats in the house of commons. There might have been other factors playing in other than only Brexit and independence, but it still sends a signal.
As I see it, Scotland needs two separate referendums. First, they need to figure out whether they want to stay in the UK or not (again), and then they need to figure out if they still want to be a part of the UK. We are entering an age of great political changes, and Scotland might contribute to that.
Written by Karl and Léon