The Aftershocks of the UK Exit from the EU Will carry on for Many Years
Following the 2016 referendum in the UK on the country’s withdrawal from the EU and the positive vote to leave, the country’s political and economic relations with the EU and other countries in the world has undergone major changes. Former British prime ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May, were voted out due to wrong decisions on the UK’s future, and current Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in a similar situation. Boris Johnson’s wrong decisions and policies have provoked protests by many people.
Although a vague and controversial agreement was reached on 24 December 2020 between the EU and the UK on how to leave the EU after 47 years, the aftershocks of the country’s exit from the EU will remain for years to come and its economy, politics and international relations will face many challenges.
Scots Angry over Boris Johnson’s Decision to Leave the EU
After the UK left the EU, the people of Scotland and its leaders called for a referendum on independence and secession from the UK. Boris Johnson is trying to prevent a “referendum on independence” in Scotland at all costs, but the Scots’ anger at the withdrawal of Britain from the EU is so great that it seems impossible to contain.
Scotland’s leader has said that she hopes to hold an independence referendum as early as the next year, setting up a political showdown with a UK Government that refuses to countenance another secession vote. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would campaign in the May 2021 Scottish Parliament elections for a mandate to hold a vote on independence “in the early part of the new parliament,” which will run from 2021 to 2025. In a speech to an SNP conference — held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic — Sturgeon said Scotland had the right to choose independence “if a majority of us want it.”
Polls Show Scots Support Secession from the UK
Scottish leaders are calling to join the EU as an independent state in the near future following a possible positive vote by the Scottish people to secede from the UK. Undoubtedly, the leaders of some EU countries also welcome Scottish independence. They believe that the fine for the UK’s exit from the EU should be much higher than imposing some customs tariffs or imposing some travel restrictions on British citizens.
Recent opinion polls suggest that 54% of Scots are in favour of leaving the UK and rejoining the EU, while 40% disagreed and 6% had no opinion. As can be seen, the polls are entirely in favour of the independence and nationalist current in Scotland; an issue which has doubled the fears of Boris Johnson and his government about what is happening in Scotland.
In the first referendum on Scottish independence from the UK in 2014, 55% of Scots voted to stay. Citing the same referendum, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes that another referendum should not be held in Scotland for at least a few decades. However, the Scottish administration believes that the Scottish people have the right to redefine their relations with London and the EU, given the British withdrawal from the EU and its transformation from an EU member to an independent country. In the 2016 referendum, a majority of Scots voted in favour of Britain remaining in the EU, but eventually the Scots were forced to accept secession from the EU due to other parts of the UK voting to leave.
Most British Citizens Are Demanding the Resignation of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister
The first poll of 2021 found that 43% thought he should resign, while 40% said that he should remain as leader. However, most Conservative voters (87%) think Johnson should stay on as leader, with just 7% thinking he should resign.
The Scots Are Seeking Compensation from Boris Johnson
The pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), which supports independence from the UK, has asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to pay the Scots billions of pounds for the mounting costs and disruptions of Brexit. The request comes as Johnson is under pressure from Scotland to hold a second independence referendum. Scotland and Northern Ireland, both of which are pro-independence, also voted against the referendum on the UK’s secession from the EU. According to the leaders of the Scottish National Party, the consequences of Brexit for the Scots are like economic theft. Polls show that in the next round of parliamentary elections, neither of the two main parties, the Conservatives and the Labour Party, will be able to win a majority and will likely need the help of the Scottish National Party to form a coalition government.
Brexit has shaken the bonds that hold Britain together. England
and Wales voted to leave the EU, but Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to stay. The SNP, which wants independence for Scotland and is pushing for a second referendum, said Scottish fishers faced grave disruptions due to Brexit.
Johnson’s Conservatives “must apologize to Scottish businesses and pay compensation to Scotland for the long-term damage they are doing to our economy – costing us billions in lost trade and growth,” said Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader at the British Parliament. Blackford cast Brexit as “an unnecessary act of economic vandalism, which has been inflicted against Scotland’s will,”.
“The UK Government must now provide an urgent multibillion package of compensation to Scotland to mitigate the lasting Brexit harm done to Scottish businesses, industries and communities,” he said.
Boris Johnson Opposes Scottish Independence
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces the question of whether it is possible to re-hold the Scottish independence referendum. He has said that he opposes a second referendum. He called the devolution of powers to Scotland “a disaster”, a comment that played into the hands of Scottish nationalists as recent polls show a majority of Scots now support independence. In a video call on Friday with northern England lawmakers from his Conservative Party, Johnson said that devolution, which was introduced by Tony Blair, had been the former Labour prime minister’s “biggest mistake” and “a disaster”, media reported.
Later this month, members of the Scottish National Party will meet for a virtual National Assembly to discuss alternative routes to the independence referendum, if the UK government refuses to pass a vote that would end the centuries-old alliance between Scotland and the UK. Polls suggest the SNP is on course for a landslide in elections for the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh scheduled for 6 May— and that after rejecting independence by a 55-45% vote in 2014, voters in Scotland would now back leave the UK.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has waved aside claims that Brexit, which Scotland voted overwhelmingly against, has strengthened the case for a new independence plebiscite. He argued in an interview this month that Westminster should not approve one until the 2050s, setting the stage for a new round of constitutional confrontation.
The Scots’ decision to secede from the UK and rejoin the EU is quite serious, and Boris Johnson’s obstruction can only delay it for a while, because with the withdrawal of Britain from the EU, the Scots have suffered a lot and the economic prospects of Scotland will continue to be catastrophic. Therefore, in order to avoid further damage, they have decided to hold a referendum again for their independence from the UK, and by joining the EU, they will be able to play a role in European mechanisms.