Vote Brexit for Scottish Independence?

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Some Scottish nationalists are apparently backing Brexit, on the assumption that a vote to leave will trigger another inde-ref. Polls suggest that there’s a good chance this will result in a successful vote for independence.

The SNP case for independence post-Brexit is that it wouldn’t be fair for Scotland to be dragged kicking and screaming out of the EU by England. Scotland with a much heavier dependence on tourism, farming and high value exports to the continent will be more adversely effected by Brexit. That the English would sabotage the Scottish economy, just because they’re racist against Poles would leave anyone to question the sanity of remaining within the UK. Brexit would also make it easier for an independent Scotland to join the EU, as it could potentially steal the UK’s seat at the table.

However, for that pitch to remain valid, Scotland would have to vote by a significant majority to stay in the EU. A narrow Scottish vote to stay in, or worse a vote to leave along with England, and the case for a 2nd inde-ref evaporates. Without a strong Scottish vote for staying in the EU, any attempt at a 2nd independence referendum will stink of political opportunism. Now while the SNP may well hold such a vote anyway (they’ll kind of have the Tories over a barrel), its less likely they’ll win in that scenario.

Keep in mind a large chuck of the SNP’s case for independence assume Scotland being (or becoming) a member of the EU. And a fast track to EU membership would require the EU being assured that the are Scot’s generally pro-EU and not going to start whinging about Polish or the shapes of banana’s.

In short if you are a supporter of Scottish independence you need to accept that it is going to be a lot harder (if not impossible) to achieve that without Scotland being in the EU, or a firm majority of Scot’s supporting EU membership.

Equally opponents of Scottish independence need to understand, that depending on the breaks, by voting to leave the EU you may also be triggering a 2nd inde-ref. In short neither side really wants to open the pandora’s box of an EU exit.

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