The crowds converging on London this weekend to march for a people’s vote will encompass many thousands of Scots because their country voted … The report suggested that Scotland would be unlikely to be rejected as a member of the EU, should it become independent, noting that "not since de Gaulle’s veto on UK membership in the 1960s has a democratic country respecting the rule of law been refused admission". My starting point is to protect our relationship with the EU. Instead, they got Brexit – setting the country on a path it hadn’t agreed to and re-energizing the fight for independence. Britain’s fishing industry has been vocal in favor of leaving the EU. Some, like 26-year-old fisherman Lee Gardner, still aren’t sure who they’ll vote for. [22], The 2015 UK general election was held on 7 May almost eight months after the independence referendum was held. “It’s Brexit which is isolationist, which takes us into the unknown,” says Gethins. Both are English, which they say “lends itself to unionism a little bit.”. Share. 3 Referendum questions . The SNP wants Scotland back in the EU as quickly as possible Excluding "don't knows", the average of polls in 2019 was 51% No to 49% Yes. In 2013, Scotland exported around three and a half times more to the rest of the UK than to the rest of the EU,[109] while in 2015, that had increased to around four times more to the rest of the UK than to the rest of the EU. [57] Sturgeon's intention was for the referendum to be held in 2020. Scottish Socialist Party spokesman Colin Fox said the SSP would "work as hard as anyone to deliver a Yes vote for independence", but warned that making Scotland's EU membership a central and “overarching” issue of the debate would be “a risky strategy” and said it ran the risk of side-lining economic and social challenges facing Scots. Ahead of that referendum, the Scottish Government stated in its white paper proposing independence that voting Yes was a "once in a generation opportunity to follow a different path, and choose a new and better direction for our nation". Although the Scottish Government have paused independence referendum planning, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy will be present for many years. Many opinion polls were conducted about Scottish independence before the referendum and then during the campaign. According to the Growth Commission, Scotland would seek an open migration policy to allow for its population to grow. The Scottish Government was working on a three-pronged approach to constitutional change: The civic campaign group Voices for Scotland launched in April 2019 to secure a pro-independence majority in Scotland through societal engagement. [91], The new UK Prime Minister Theresa May met with Sturgeon on 15 July 2016 in Edinburgh, when May stated that she was "willing to listen to options" for Scotland,[92] although she later stated that some options were "impracticable". The first minister used to claim that that was her priority too—how times have changed. From the top, gazing in one direction, the sea stretches towards Europe. If Scotland were to join the EU, this could also cause a customs border to form due to the United Kingdom leaving the EU. Now he has the chance to transform the UK, Hardline Hindus are pushing the Indian government's agenda on British voters, Everything you need to know about the UK general election on December 12. [127] Twenty-five opinion polls were conducted in the year after the referendum, with seventeen of them having "No" as the predominant answer, seven having "Yes", and one having an equal proportion of respondents for each opinion. It’s a bitterly cold November day in the Scottish town of St Andrews, the kind of morning when the grass crackles underfoot like broken glass. They gather outside cafes handing out political flyers, all too aware that in a constituency where just two votes decided the winner last time around, they could make all the difference. The town’s prestigious university also has a reputation, Scottish commentators told CNN, as the place where wealthy English and American students go when they don’t get into Oxford or Cambridge. Happy to discuss w. @NicolaSturgeon next time she's in Bxl. Financial groups, such as the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, were reported to be considering moving their registered offices to London, as a result of a European law stating that banks should have their head offices in the same member state as its registered office, as well as implying that these offices should be in the location where they conduct most of their activity – which would be the remainder of the United Kingdom in the event of Scottish independence. Chamberlain’s biggest challenge may simply be convincing voters in her own home. 2 Application of this Act . YES campaigners demonstrate outside the BBC building in Glasgow ahead of the Scottish Referendum. At the heart of North East Fife is the university town of St Andrews. [129] From 18 September 2016 to 18 September 2017 twenty-six polls were conducted with twenty-five returning "No" as the most popular answer and only one returning "Yes" as the most popular answer. [59][61], Nicola Sturgeon's request for a referendum was rejected by the UK government in January 2020. In another pub down the road, the SNP incumbent in this constituency, Stephen Gethins, rearranges himself on a plush red barstool. [4], First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gained approval of the Scottish Parliament to seek a Section 30 order under the Scotland Act 1998 to hold an independence referendum "when the shape of the UK's Brexit deal will become clear". The European Union is far from perfect, however, we believe that it is overwhelmingly in Scotland’s interests for us to remain a member, engaging with the institutions as fully as we can, and to argue for reform from within. (asked after the EU referendum)", "Nicola Sturgeon points to 'growing urgency' for Scottish independence", "Scottish independence surveys 'show Brexit has put union at risk, "Why are more Scots supporting independence?". European Union Referendum (Date of Referendum etc.) In their manifesto, the SNP said the following in response to the Conservatives' manifesto pledge promising a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017 if elected:[23]. Some, like the university’spro-independence union, are adamant about the direction they want that swing to take. Critics meanwhile, have labelled the SNP blueprint“incoherent.”. The referendum on Scottish independence held on 18 September 2014 saw Scotland vote to remain part of the United Kingdom (UK), with 55% voting against the proposal for Scotland to become an independent country and 45% voting in favour. 4 Those who are entitled to vote . [44] Opposition to a second referendum is one of the issues that former SNP MP Angus Robertson and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson have attributed to reduced support for the SNP. [68], While the Scottish Parliament could hold an advisory referendum on the question of independence without the approval of the UK government,[69] a binding referendum would likely require a section 30 order from the UK government, or an amendment to the Scotland Act 1998 by the UK Parliament. Of course, there’s no guarantee that an independent Scotland would automatically be welcomed back into the EU. GLASGOW, Scotland—In the British general election on Dec. 12, 2019, the Scottish National Party (SNP) won a resounding mandate from its constituents, taking 48 of Scotland… SP Bill 46 Session 5 (2019) Referendums (Scotland) Bill [AS INTRODUCED] CONTENTS. As the United Kingdom faces its most momentous election in recent history, Scotland is grappling with which view to set its sights on. [21], Though the proposal for Scotland to become an independent country was voted down in 2014, the referendum resulted in the Scottish Parliament gaining additional powers through the Scotland Act 2016, which increased the devolved powers in areas such as taxation and some aspects of welfare provision. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has asked the Scottish Parliament if she can pursue a second independence referendum. [52] First Minister Sturgeon also announced the establishment of a 'Social Justice Commission' to develop the social argument for independence to complement the SNP's new economic policy.[53]. [98], Under the United Kingdom’s EU membership, Scottish farmers had been entitled to Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments, with fisheries receiving support from the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Before the referendum, leading figures with a range of opinions regarding Scottish independence suggested that in the event the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU but Scotland as a whole voted to remain, a second independence referendum might be precipitated. [32], In response to the result, on 24 June 2016, the Scottish Government said officials would begin planning for a second referendum on independence. In 2015, Labour had the highest vote share among unionist voters at 42%. If there was another referendum and if Scots voted out, it would mark the biggest shock to the United Kingdom since Irish independence a … [99], In November 2016, Sturgeon confirmed to members of the Scottish Parliament that the Scottish Government was considering joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Economic Area (EEA), based on the model of Norway and some other countries, to "protect [Scotland's] place in the single market" of Europe even if the United Kingdom as a whole does leave in a "hard Brexit". "[120], A spokesperson speaking on behalf of Cameron's successor as Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister, Theresa May, said in October 2016: "The prime minister and the government does not believe that there is a mandate for [a second referendum]. Professor John Curtice stated in January 2012 that polling had shown support for independence at between 32% and 38% of the Scottish population. For Scottish voters, a key issue in the December 12 general election will be whether, in the long term, they want to remain part of the UK or to break away and become an independent country. Of the top 10 most marginal seats in the UK,four are in Scotland. Experts say that’s largely down to a four-party system not seen in England. However, it affirmed that Scotland's independence would have to be accepted by the United Kingdom for Scotland to obtain EU membership: "There now seems to be a consensus that, were Scotland to become independent by legal means, it could join the [European] Union". [100] The SNP's 2017 General Election manifesto stated that "the Scottish Government [led by the SNP, had] published proposals that would keep Scotland in the Single Market, even as we left the EU. But in the last few years the party has made significant gains while Labour, which had triumphed here since the 1960s, lost huge swaths of voters to a reinvigorated SNP. It’s a prospect Labour hasn’t ruled out completely. [19] Three months later, Salmond reversed the position, highlighting the UK's EU referendum as a factor. The motion was carried 64 votes to 54. [49], On 25 May 2018, the Scottish National Party published its "Growth Commission" report, which detailed the economics of an independent Scotland when maintaining close alignment to British fiscal policy. Last modified on Mon 3 … For Scottish voters, a key issue in the general election will be independence -- whether they want to stay part of the United Kingdom or break away and become an independent country. In 2016 Scotsvoted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union. Once it was richer by far. [56], On the same day as the passing of the Referendums (Scotland) Act 2020, Nicola Sturgeon officially published the Scottish Government's request to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the transfer of legal authority to hold an independence referendum. If there was another referendum and if Scots voted out, it would mark the biggest shock to the United Kingdom since Irish independence a century ago - just as London … The Scottish Government advocates that Scotland should be a member of the European Union both as a part of the United Kingdom and as an independent state. The SNP went on to win 56 of the 59 Scottish seats that were contested in an unprecedented landslide winning 50% of the national vote and left just three unionist MPs in Scotland; Labour saw their worst result in Scotland since 1918, the Liberal Democrats fell to their lowest level since 1970 and the Conservatives received their lowest vote share in Scotland since 1865. [93] Sturgeon then publicly stated that she had five tests for any future arrangements. “When your mandate is not accepted, or your people are not listened to, then how can you want to stay part of that union?”, The students say Scotland feels like a “second-class country” where Westminster overlords dictate everything from their finance to defense policies. “So, what do we have to lose?”. [47][48] The Conservatives had a smaller rise among independence supporters, gaining 7% of their votes in 2017, compared to 2% in 2015. The SNP remained as the third-largest party in the UK House of Commons with its representation reduced to 35 of the total 59 Scottish MPs. The party specified that their preferred method of showing support for a referendum was via a public petition, although their manifesto didn't clarify how many signatories there would have to be to receive their support:[27]. In April 2019, Sturgeon proposed holding a second referendum before the end of the Scottish Parliamentary session in May 2021. Across Scotland, the Lib Dems’ vote share pales in comparison to that of the SNP – they hold just four of the country’s 59 seats, trailing behind the Conservatives and Labour. He has stated that 40 years is what he sees as the time needed between referenda. The party lost the first one by a margin of 6 percent. Meanwhile, kilt shop owner Robert Brown says he’ll be backing the Conservatives because they “support small businesses” like his. [81] An emergency Scottish cabinet meeting on 25 June 2016 agreed that the Scottish Government would seek to enter negotiations with the EU and its member states, to explore "options to protect Scotland's place in the EU". “It’s about us wanting to be in charge of our own laws, and England being in charge of its own laws.”. It's hard to see how dragging Scotland back down the rabbit hole of a debate on independence is going to improve our schools." [76] This legislation would form the legal basis of a further independence referendum. However, the currency would not be adopted until several key economic tests were satisfied, and until then an SNP government would have a policy of Sterlingisation of the Scottish economy and state. This amended version established that it is now SNP policy for an independent Scotland to create a new currency at the earliest feasible point of independence to enable fiscal sovereignty, with Pound Sterling being a transitional currency for Scotland. "[119], Former Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron in March 2017, said: “Scottish Liberal Democrats stood for election last year on a platform to oppose a new independence referendum. "[37], On 13 October 2016, Sturgeon announced that an Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation the following week. With Brexit, such support was due to be ended with a new payment system introduced. [45], The SNP lost seats that voted for independence. [80], Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, Following the EU referendum result, Sturgeon said she would communicate to all EU member states that Scotland had voted to stay in the EU. “Independence is not about ‘oh we hate the English,’” says 22-year-old Scot and pro-independence campaigner Iona Fraser-Collins. [2] The SNP formed a minority government after the 2016 election,[3] and the "leave" side won a referendum on UK membership of the EU in June 2016 despite 62% of votes in Scotland being opposed to Brexit. [130], "No" continued to show a lead in opinion polls until July 2019, when one poll by Lord Ashcroft showed a narrow majority for "Yes". This generally tends to show independence supporters favouring a referendum, with those against independence being against one. This request set out the constitutional history of Scotland's place in the United Kingdom and that the Scottish Government would deem either a Section 30 order or an amendment to the Scotland Act as a satisfactory means of transferring the power over independence referendums. [133] In October 2020, "Yes" received its highest ever rating when an Ipsos MORI poll for STV News showed 58% of respondents in support of independence. 6 Provision about voting etc. [102], In the 2014 referendum, the Scottish Government had advocated remaining in a currency union with the United Kingdom. Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said an independence referendum that could wrench apart the United Kingdom after Brexit should take place … And ensure the SNP doesn’t get a second Scottish referendum. Labour came a distant fourth in the last election here. Holding a second Scottish independence referendum in 2021 might be clever politics, exploiting Boris Johnson's unpopularity in Scotland, but the … Regardless, Sturgeon is confident an independent Scotland would be readmitted to the EU. [108] Therefore, this severe recession will have consequences on both the Scottish and UK Government's ability to supply confidence to people in Scotland on both continued participation within the United Kingdom and as an independent country. That is what we will do. The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 set out the arrangements for the referendum and was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013, following an agreement between the devolved Scottish government and the Government of the United Kingdom. Surrounded by rows and rows of multicolored kilts, fox furs, and traditional silver brooches, Brown scoffs at the prospect of ever voting SNP. [47][48], A realignment also occurred among those who opposed independence in the 2014 referendum. Her husband is an SNP member, though she’s quick to laugh off politically-induced marital strife. This election, Chamberlain is banking on her party carving out a niche – attracting voters who want to stay in the EU, but don’t want a second referendum on Scottish independence. “It’s pretty unusual for there to be an election during term time,” says the university’s student president, Jamie Rodney, who has been part of a campus-wide drive encouraging young people to register to vote. Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? Edward believed "Scotland makes quite a good fit with Iceland and Norway", referring to the European Economic Area and the European Free Trade Association, while Scott hinted that Scotland could be a successor state, meaning the rest of the UK would leave but Scotland would retain its seat. [13][14] The proposed UK referendum on EU membership had already been announced, and was a topic of discussion in the independence debate. [60] Given Johnson's opposition to a second referendum, Sturgeon stated the Scottish Government could pursue a legal course of action to try to give the Scottish Parliament the power to call a referendum. [54] Legislation was introduced to Parliament to govern any future referenda on any subject held by the devolved institutions. St Andrews, Scotland --It’s a bitterly cold November day in the Scottish town of St Andrews, the kind of morning when the grass crackles underfoot like broken glass. The SNP had 21 fewer seats than they won in the 2015 general election and its popular vote in Scotland reduced from 50% in 2015 to 37% in 2017 with a lower voter turnout. [97], With the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and previously having an opt-out of the Schengen Area, an independent Scotland, if acceded into the European Union, would be required to negotiate an opt-out of the Schengen Area to continue to form part of the Common Travel Area (CTA) alongside Ireland and the United Kingdom. Looking the other way, rolling hills lead to England. Uncertainty over Scotland's European Union (EU) membership was a topic in the run-up to the referendum vote. Scotland isn’t traditional territory for the Conservatives. These polls have been carried out since six weeks after the referendum. [33][36], Scottish Secretary David Mundell stated, on 26 June 2016, that "if the people of Scotland ultimately determine that they want to have another [independence] referendum there will be one", and added "Could there be another referendum? The Scottish Government has proposed holding a second referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom (UK). Undeterred, tourists swaddled in puffer jackets and armed with selfie sticks ascend the cathedral tower that has overlooked this coastal spot for 800 years. The 2017 UK general election returned a hung parliament resulting in Theresa May's Conservatives returning as a minority government through a pact with the Democratic Unionist Party. [93] The Scottish Labour Party published an 'Action Plan' in July 2016, focusing on the economy. [70][71][72][73][74] Under the Sewel Convention, the Scottish Government is able to issue a "legislative consent motion," which would signal to the United Kingdom Parliament that Scottish Government has deemed it necessary to alter a law enacted by the UK Government or to change the scope of the devolved government's powers in some manner.[75]. "[126], Since the referendum in September 2014, opinion polls have asked how people would vote in a hypothetical second referendum. [62] In his official response, Boris Johnson wrote that Sturgeon and Salmond had promised that the 2014 referendum would be a "once in a generation" vote, that both the Scottish and UK governments had pledged to implement the outcome of that vote, and that his government "cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums". “You couldn’t do it in the Thames (in London) because it’s too much of a threat to human life,” says Stage. This Act extends voting rights to anyone legally resident in Scotland over the age of 16, regardless of nationality or citizenship, and extends voting rights to some prisoners if they have less than 12 months to serve in prison. With many seats in Scotland resting on razor-thin margins, this will be the scene of a fierce battle that could have major consequences for the future of the UK. Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said an independence referendum that could wrench apart the United Kingdom after Brexit should take place in the earlier part of the devolved parliament's next term, which begins next year. Sturgeon: 'All options' open if Scottish independence referendum blocked 2 December 2019 Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out taking legal action if a …  with those who favor remaining part of the union. "[101] Christophe Hillion, a Professor of European Law at the University of Oslo who was invited to deliver an expert opinion to the Scottish Parliament, said that while there is scepticism about UK accession to EFTA in Norway, Scotland is viewed much more positively and that the EFTA member states would likely welcome an independent Scotland as a member. [59], Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, said after the election that "it couldn't really be any clearer from the results of this election that Scotland doesn't want a Boris Johnson government, it doesn't want to leave the European Union, and it wants to be able to determine its own future, whatever that future turns out to be. [7] Ruth Davidson later appeared at a press conference in Edinburgh and stated her position that "we will maintain that it should not take place when there is no clear public and political consent for it to happen". However, a spokesman for Corbyn later said: "Labour continues to oppose a further referendum in the Scottish Parliament and would campaign against independence if one were held. But the “bottom line,” according to Miklinksi, is that a Conservative majority is the only way to resolve the “logjam in Westminster” and deliver Brexit. Among those hitting the pavements alongside Chamberlain are students Joseph Luke, 20, and Alex Whitham, 21. They point to the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons, carried by submarines based on Scotland’s west coast, as an example of the “double standards” and “condescending nature” of Westminster lawmakers towards their country. [48] This dropped to 33% in 2017. A first referendum on independence was held in September 2014, with 55% voting "No" to independence. The Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 19 December 2019[77] and received royal assent on 29 January 2020. In May 2019, the Scottish Government introduced the Referendums (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament. The SNP held the position of the third-largest party in the House of Commons, gaining 13 seats from the previous election to a total of 48. [131] This trend continued into January 2020, when three polls put "Yes" support at between 50% and 52% (excluding undecideds). Franchise . [48] A large amount of support from independence voters had moved to the Labour Party, with the party increasing their vote share among independence supporters from 6% to 21%. Hauling lobsters onto his family’s boat in St Andrews’ harbor, Gardner stands on the cliff edge. [47][48], Following the 2017 UK general election, Sturgeon announced that the Scottish Government would postpone legislation on the proposed second referendum on Scottish independence until at least autumn 2018 when it was believed that the outcome of Brexit negotiations would become clearer. Sea on one side, hills on the other, constantly moving between the two. Despite the political turmoil of the ensuing three years, Brown believes Boris Johnson is the prime minister to finally deliver Brexit. In the event of a hung parliament –- one in which no party secures an outright majority -- the pro-independence SNP could play kingmaker, potentially propping up a Labour government (they’ve dismissed the idea of doing the same with the Conservatives). It’s best known abroad as the place where Prince William started dating Kate, and as the “home of golf” thanks to the 600-year-old course that dominates the rugged landscape. [111] This was re-affirmed in the Scottish Parliament on 29 January 2020 when the Greens voted with the government for a referendum to be held. Sturgeon said the UK government's current opposition to the independence referendum, indyref2, that could wrench it apart after Brexit, was ''unsustainable''. The SNP’s key condition for this would be securing a second Scottish independence referendum. The report noted that it would take £450 million to set up an independent state, with an initial budget deficit of around 6% of GDP. This includes Scottish Parliamentary elections, local authority elections and referenda under the Scottish Parliament's remit. [12] The British government and some mainstream political parties argued that remaining in the UK was the only way for Scotland to remain part of the EU. [107] Scotland's GDP remains at 17.6% lower than in February 2020 despite small levels of growth since the easing of lockdown restrictions. Share page. The answer to that question is yes. [65] Five months later, Sturgeon announced that the Scottish Government was planning a new draft referendum bill. Experts have warned that Spain – which is facing its own Catalan independence movement – may veto any attempt by Scotland to rejoin the bloc. Uncertainty over Scotland's European Union (EU) membership was a topic in the run-up to the referendum vote. Labour has pledged to renew the Trident program, despite its leader Jeremy Corbyn being a longstanding critic of nuclear weapons. 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