A large number of people in Scotland want out of the UK – one of which is Northern Ireland, one of its four composites.
All people of the North have interpersonal, cultural and emotional ties to their Caledonian cousins - and if the Scots leave, the political and social fallout would be dire.
The Republic of Ireland’s minimal and sporadic attention to Scotland since independence is no longer sustainable. We need to wake up to what is happening there.
What happens just a few miles from the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim in the coming years will have an impact on this island – north and south.
The UK Supreme Court’s decision that London Government approval is required for another Scottish independence referendum will only fuel new activism in Scotland, with major repercussions on both sides of the Irish border.
The UK judges’ verdict came as no surprise – but the current Edinburgh government, which is pushing the pro-independence initiative, felt the legal route had to be gotten out of the way.
In most Western jurisdictions, courts can never provide lasting answers to their core policy questions. Scottish First Minister and National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon was undeterred by this predictable verdict.
She promptly said her party would find another way to achieve independence.
Ms Sturgeon said the next general election in Scotland would be a “de facto” referendum on that country’s independence for Scottish purposes.
It is important to stress that the UK Supreme Court’s ruling did not address the principle of Scottish independence, nor the prospect of a repeat of the September 2014 referendum which resulted in a 55% to 45% remain in UK referendum.
Supreme Court justices ruled that – as the principle of secession from the UK would have repercussions for the four jurisdictions that make up that political entity – authorization from the central parliament in London is required to hold another referendum.
Ms Sturgeon responded by saying the Scottish National Party would not give up the path to independence, insisting “Westminster is blocking it.” She stressed that her government would find a new way of holding a referendum.
“From my point of view, this can only be a choice,” she said.
“The next national election scheduled for Scotland is of course the UK general election. So this was both the first and the most obvious opportunity to seek what I called a “de facto” referendum,” she added.
Not surprisingly, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed the judges’ verdict, calling it “clear and final”.
However, Ms Sturgeon said a special conference of her party will be held in 2023 to determine how to move forward with the pro-independence referendum campaign.
Predictably, some English politicians who favor the unification of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland urged Scottish nationalists to abandon their so-called “obsession” with independence.
Among them was former British President Theresa May.
“Scotland is a proud nation with a unique heritage. It is a valued member of our family of peoples. A union of people bound by our common interests for generations,” she said.
Ms May said the UK Supreme Court ruling gave the SNP “an exceptional opportunity to put the people of Scotland first and end their obsession with breaking us apart”.
However, this ignores the political reality – that the last Scottish independence referendum in 2014 sold union with the UK with the slogan ‘Better Together’, which also included joint EU membership.
In the Brexit referendum in June 2016, more than six out of ten Scottish voters opted to remain in the EU.
The likes of Charles Stewart Parnell and PH Pearse would have liked Ms Sturgeon’s addendum that the UK Supreme Court ruling does actually help even the Scottish independence case.
“A law that doesn’t allow Scotland to choose our own future without Westminster’s consent debunks as myth any notion of Britain as a voluntary partnership and pleads for independence. Scottish democracy is not being denied,” she said.
Ms Sturgeon again stressed persistence.
She said: “I am well aware that there is going to be a real sense of frustration today, both in the SNP and in the wider movement. I share that. My message, however, is this, while understandable, must be short-lived – and I believe it will be.”
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/uk-court-ruling-on-scottish-independence-vote-stokes-things-up-and-theres-huge-irish-fallout-42168787.html UK court ruling on Scottish independence vote heats things up – and there’s major Irish fallout