UK Votes to Leave the European Union: Scottish Independence and Possible United Ireland

UK Votes to Leave the European Union: Scottish Independence and Possible United Ireland

Takeshi Hasegawa and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


It would appear that the white working class and middle England have come together based on issues related to mass immigration, sovereignty, and growing disillusionment with the political order. Ironically, Scotland and London voters, on the whole, voted to stay in the European Union (EU), compared with the majority of England that voted to leave with certain exceptions like Manchester. Overall, the majority of people in Wales outside of Cardiff also voted to leave the EU, while Northern Ireland was more mixed depending on specific internal political issues despite the majority supporting to stay inside the EU. Therefore, it waits to be seen if other nations in Europe will follow the UK – and if the UK will survive given the clear pro-European vote in Scotland.

Sadly, elites like Chancellor Merkel in Germany – and others – appear more concerned about diluting Europe based on espousing mass immigration and dictating to nations that disagree with the ruling elites. This arrogance, just like the immigration policies of past UK leaders including Tony Blair, means that many individuals feel alienated by events that are happening all too quickly. At the same time, arrogance within the EU meant that sovereignty appeared to be handed over to faceless individuals who desired to dictate. This notably applies to individuals like Merkel who visibly stated that the EU was open to mass immigration – just like this individual tried to dictate to Greece – based on no internal consultations with fellow EU nations when it came to mass immigration prior to the crisis getting out of control.

Turning back to the EU election then it now remains to be seen if Scotland will leave the UK. Indicators appear to stress that this will happen in the foreseeable future given the election result in this nation. Ironically, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is gloating about the EU vote but this political organization may need to change its title because enormous stresses have now been put on the UK. Indeed, in Northern Ireland nationalists can now play the united Ireland card because the Republic of Ireland is firmly within the EU, therefore, further schisms will be felt in this part of the UK.

Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), said “As First Minister I have a duty to respond not just to the UK outcome of the referendum but to the democratic decision of Scotland… As things stand Scotland faces the prospect of being taken out of the EU against our will. I regard that as unacceptable.”

Obviously, the SNP must consider the fact that all local authorities in Scotland voted to remain inside the EU. In other words, Sturgeon is correct to ask the people of Scotland to decide to leave the UK. Indeed, she reiterated what was stated in the 2014 SNP manifesto that stresses Scotland “…should have the right to hold another referendum if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.”

Sturgeon, while making it clear that England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, will always be near neighbors and friends of Scotland, this does not distract from the wishes of the Scottish people with remaining inside the EU. Therefore, Sturgeon said, “We proved that we are a modern, outward looking and inclusive country and we said clearly that we do not want to leave the European Union… I am determined to do what it takes to make sure these aspirations are realized.”

Indeed, convulsions may equally be felt in Northern Ireland because the leader of Sinn Fein, Martin McGuinness, equally believes that the Irish people have the “democratic imperative” to decide on a united Ireland and to stay within the EU. McGuinness stated about the EU vote in the UK that “If Britain votes to leave the European Union then that could have huge implications for the entire island of Ireland and, given all the predictions, would run counter to the democratic wishes of the Irish people.”

The majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to stay inside the EU and with only this nation sharing a border with an EU member state, the Republic of Ireland, then new border controls will likely be put in place. Complex issues surrounding the Irish Question within the body politic of Northern Ireland and the UK have been visible and bloody based on past deeds. Therefore, Sinn Fein is correct on fearing a dwindling union whereby Scotland leaves, possible border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland come into existence – and greater power belonging to Westminster in London.

UKIP and other anti-EU politicians may be celebrating the vote and believing that this strengthens the independence of the UK. Yet, it is most likely that the UK will be dismantled based on the wishes of the Scottish people. Equally, this may be replicated in Northern Ireland despite this issue being more complex and dangerous given the divisions that exist in this part of the UK and recent troubles. Overall, nobody is certain when convulsions will likely dismantle the UK but it appears that it will happen irrespective if tomorrow, next year, or a decade later.


Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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