Spring of a Nation
A commonly used word in politics is “revolution”, in fact, so commonly that it has lost a lot of meaning. So when we’re faced with another wave of nationalism we don’t confront it with the reaction it deserves.
The internationally adored and domestically shafted country of Scotland is poised to have a second vote for independence. In 2014, Scottish people voted for a large 55% majority to stay in the United Kingdom, largely persuaded by a promise that the UK will not leave the EU.
But it seems the promise was a straight up lie as the UK did in fact vote to leave. Now with the news that Theresa May is aiming for a hard brexit it is not a surprise that Scotland is preparing for another vote.
In the EU referendum Scotland voted 62% in favour of staying in.
There are two big boogeymen that an independent Scotland has to fear. In 2014 the campaign to leave the UK were hoping to fund Scotland by oil, which was $130 a barrel. Now a barrel is $51, a 60% decrease.
The second hurdle is actually getting into the EU. The EU has stated that Scotland will have to apply as a new member if it becomes independent. This means that Spain could veto the new state. Madrid would not like the precedent of breakaway countries getting EU membership due to the problems it faces with its Catalonian population.
That said, Spain would still be hard-pressed to not accept Scotland’s lawful independence. While Alfonso Dastis, the foreign minister of Spain, has warned that rejoining the EU won’t be easy he has not outright said that Spain would veto Scotland’s EU membership.
Scotland “would have to queue, meet the requirements for entry, hold negotiations and the result would be that these negotiations would take place” -Alfonso Dastis
To add to that a spanish MEP, when asked if Spain would veto Scotland’s EU membership answered:
“No because if you are thinking about Catalonia the situation is very very very different to the Scottish situation.”
There’s also the question of what currency an independent Scotland would use. Would it stay with the GBP that it would have no control over or try to implement the EUR? One thing is for certain — the EU doesn’t want a country with a deficit that’s 9,5% of its GDP in the Eurozone.
Scotland is currently experiencing a £15bn deficit which is being blamed on the crashed oil prices.
Economically, just like the UK with Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon is taking a huge risk with this referendum. Supporters of independence argue that their fiscal situation won’t change if they don’t act, but others say now is not the right time.