Scotland recently renewed a referendum of independence from the UK and the government plans to vote on the issue soon. Scotland already voted for independence once in 2014 and the resounding answer was no. In 2014, the “No” side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for “Yes,” according to BBC news.
Last time Scotland voted for independence, not only did Parliament continue to hold power in London and the Scottish parliament was not given lead on any large issues, but share prices rose when Scotland voted, which influenced the economy, according to BBC news.
John Duncan, a Scotland native, shared his experiences and viewpoints on the search for independence. Domiciled in Scotland from 1938 to 1984, John’s family immigrated to the United States where he has been domiciled ever since. In 1996 John became a U.S. citizen and now votes on issues linked only to the U.S. Despite this change in voting ability, John said he has a patriotic view on the independence issue.
“I have in fact had a clear view on independence for a very long time; long may the U.K. remain united,” John said. “Scotland has had a long union with England and Wales (less long with Northern Ireland), and has benefited enormously from English wealth. There have been significant (and successful) population interchanges amongst all the regions in U.K.; long may that continue. Of course, there are many more overwhelming rational arguments for the continued union of U.K.”
The history of Scotland has been bloody and full of tensions both within and without and specifically between Scotland and England. The parliaments of England and Scotland were united around the 18th century.
Despite the unification, the two parties in Scotland, the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) and the Labour Party, have been fighting for control over Scotland for years, Peter Duncan, a Scotland native and the son of John Duncan, said. Recently the SNP has taken over control of the Scottish Parliament.
“There is a difference of concerns on Brexit throughout Scotland. England voted for Brexit, but because England has so many more people, if you are a Scottish Member of Parliament in London, you are a minority in ruling,” Peter said.
Though Scotland currently has its own Parliament in Edinburgh that manages internal matters, it is still part of the U.K. and has members of Parliament in London at Westminster.
“Westminster is where more international, military and outside issues are determined while Edinburgh is where social issues and policies are addressed,” Peter said.
Scotland has some industry, but England is the monetary provider for most of the U.K. and Northern Ireland. Peter is concerned that if Scotland becomes independent, it will struggle financially. Scotland already has control of its money, but this may change if the status of Scotland changes.
“There is concern about economic impact…if they did break away and what that would mean economically, for the vast majority of the business industry,” Peter said.
Currently, fewer Scots want independence now than did in 2014, according to a new poll conducted after the announcement of Scotland’s intent to push for a second referendum, according to Huffington Post.