After the result was declared on Friday morning that the United Kingdom would be leaving the European Union, Nicola Sturgeon (First Minister and Leader of the Scottish National Party) said that “A second Scottish independence referendum was definitely on the table”. She said this because all of Scotland’s regional counting areas voted for ‘Remain’ and Scotland overwhelmingly voted for remain by roughly 62% to 38%. This would mean that Scotland would be taken out of the EU against its will. However, Guildford also voted for ‘remain’ and will be taken out against its consent, but you don’t hear the mayor of Guildford whining about wanting an Independent Guildford.
Nicola Sturgeon has spent the last few days going to various member states of the EU and the council itself to try to barter about an independent Scotland being in the EU. The commission firmly states that Scotland was in the UK and so couldn’t be addressed individually, so it appears thatSturgeon’s hopes are rapidly diminishing.
It’s clear that Scotland would not get a second referendum for a few reasons. Firstly, I might just be my memory but didn’t Scotland have a referendum two years ago? Yes… yes they did! Scotland’s Independence referendum was held in 2014 and Scotland decided to stay within the UK by 10 points with a record high turnout. Referendums are not something you have every time the wind changes direction, they can have great economic consequences and should only be done when the question is important, mandated and necessary.
Nicola Sturgeon’s plan is to leave the UK in order to join the EU. She says that because Scotland wants to be in the EU and the UK doesn’t want to be in the EU then Scotland must leave the UK. However, what she either doesn’t know or is hiding is that an independent Scotland would never get in, let alone want to join. New member states joining the EU are now forced to adopt the Euro, the currency of the EU. The same currency that has forced 19 countries to adopt the same monetary policy. These countries have different economies, rules and regulations to an extent and forcing them all to coexist under one interest rate and one exchange rate can have devastating
consequences. Not to mention, the lack of freedom. When a country joins the Eurozone it gives its monetary policy powers to the ECB who control interest rates, Exchange rates and the Money supply, this restricts the tools that a government can use to correct their economy. For example, if Greece wasn’t in the Eurozone it could devalue its currency and suddenly holidays would appear much more attractive as they’d be cheaper to foreign visitors. Tourism also represents roughly 20% of their GDP. This could be what’s needed to re-start the Greek economy and remove some of it’s huge debts.
The evidence of the destructiveness of the Euro can be seen in the PIIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) all of which have massive rates of youth unemployment like Greece who have roughly 49% youth unemployment. This along with other problems like budget deficits, debts and bail outs make the Eurozone a rotten club especially for new applicants.
This however, is assuming that Scotland was actually able to join the EU. Firstly, entrance to the EU can be a very lengthy procedure, Turkey for example has been trying to join the EU now for nearly 40 years so the idea that Scotland would immediately be able to join the EU is absurd. Secondly and most crucially, Scotland would be denied entry by the existing member states of the EU. All member states have a veto on new members entering the EU. A former EU finance minister, Ruairi Quinn said that secession movements in both Spain and Belgium meant it was highly probable their parliaments would vote against Scotland joining the EU.
With all these reasons it’s clear that Scotland won’t get another referendum and if they did, they wouldn’t be in the EU, no matter whose leg they humped!
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