The unexpected departure of Nicola Sturgeon has cast a veil of uncertainty over the future of the SNP and the potential for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. Stepping into her role, Humza Yousaf has carried forward Sturgeon’s agenda of seeking independence. However, the UK Supreme Court has opposed Scotland’s bid for freedom and revoked the Scots’ right to conduct an independence referendum. What are the driving forces behind the Scottish National Party (SNP) and its pursuit of independence?
Scottish independence after Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation
Scottish National Party (SNP) and the push for independence is high. Sturgeon recently announced his resignation as minister and leader of the Scottish National Separatist Party, insisting that the independence process of this region from the UK is in the final stage and this dream will finally be realised. “Never forget that everything in this office is an opportunity to make something better for someone somewhere in Scotland,” she told reporters invited to his official residence.
Changes in Scotland after Brexit
Scottish National Party (SNP) and the push for independence is due to Brexit. The first Scottish independence referendum was held on September 18, 2014, during which 55% of voters voted to remain in the UK and 45% voted to leave. But Nicola Sturgeon and supporters of a referendum on Scotland’s right to self-determination believe that the British vote to leave the EU has changed the situation and that the region wants to remain in the EU.
Sturgeon’s failure to hold another referendum
Despite many efforts, the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the push for independence have failed. Sturgeon planned to repeat the secession referendum of this region on October 19, 2023. She said earlier that the realisation of the independence of this region would be challenging. Still, it will allow us to chart our path, build a more prosperous, greener, fairer country, be outward-looking and international and learn from the best.
The UK is accused of violating the rights of Scotland.
Asserting that the present is a crucial juncture for deliberating and determining Scotland’s future, Sturgeon has levelled accusations against the UK government, contending that their authority over self-determination in the region has waned. However, she remains resolute in preventing Scottish democracy from becoming ensnared by central governance. The former Secretary of State for Scotland has dispatched a letter urging the government to consent to the devolution of powers necessary for a referendum within the local parliament (Holyrood). Conversely, UK government officials have underlined that the outcome of the 2013 referendum should suffice for acknowledging a generational timeframe.
Sturgeon’s complaint against the government and issuing a verdict in favour of the UK
Sturgeon took the UK’s resistance to conduct a referendum to the court, but according to the verdict delivered on December 2, initiating another independence referendum in this area was blocked unless authorised by the central government. The presiding judge in the case articulated that the Edinburgh administration required the approval of the central government to proceed with a fresh referendum, the outcome of which would have implications for the UK’s territorial integrity.
Legal obstacles and Sturgeon’s discouragement from moving toward Scottish independence
Sturgeon declared her intention to regard the upcoming general election as a de facto referendum. This alternate strategy entailed that should her secessionist party triumph in the parliamentary elections, a pathway towards exiting the UK would be paved. However, the formidable barrier of legal challenges dampened her resolve, leading her to abandon the idea of convening a special conference the following month to enact this alternative approach.
Serious challenges ahead of Sturgeon’s successor
Sturgeon’s successor must endeavour to mend the fractured cohesion within the Scottish National Party. Simultaneously, they must work to allay the concerns of those often referred to as fundamentalist members, assuring them of the region’s unwavering commitment to breaking away from the UK. Meanwhile, a mounting series of strikes by public and private sector employees in protest against the economic conditions will present an additional challenge for the incoming government.
Humza Yousaf’s following of Nicola Sturgeon’s policies
Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has laid out his plan for a Scottish independence vote. He wants to declare the upcoming UK general election a genuine referendum on independence from London. The leader of this party also said at the special conference of the SNP party in the city of Dundee, Scotland: “If the SNP does win this election, then the people will have spoken. We will seek negotiations with the UK government on how we give democratic effect to Scotland becoming an independent nation.” Yousaf said: “Vote SNP for Scotland to become an independent country.”
A vote for the SNP is a vote for Scotland.
Humza Yousaf believes the election manifesto should start with the statement that a vote for the SNP is equivalent to a vote for an independent Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon also wanted to declare the upcoming election a practical referendum for independence. According to polls, supporters and opponents of separation from the UK are roughly balanced in the northernmost point of the UK.
Sunak agrees with the opinion of the UK Supreme Court.
During his inaugural visit to Scotland in his capacity as the Prime Minister of the UK, Sunak engaged in an interview with Colin Mackay, the political correspondent for STV News. In this exchange, Sunak was queried about his stance concerning the potential implications of an informal independence referendum in Scotland. While endeavouring to address the query by alluding to his discussions with Scottish inhabitants, the Prime Minister found himself challenged by Mackay, who pointed out that he was sidestepping the question of the nation’s constitutional future.
Scotland’s independence is in doubt.
While certain analysts posit that the departure of Sturgeon, Scotland’s most prominent and beloved politician, coupled with the UK government’s resistance to holding another referendum on the region’s separation, has caused a halt in the Scottish independence process, the possibility of Scotland’s secession is not entirely extinguished. Despite this setback, a considerable majority of people in Scotland remain supportive of the region gaining independence following Brexit. Sturgeon’s resignation could serve as an opportunity for the independence movement to reassess its strategies and explore novel approaches.
In any case, with the ascent of Humza Yousaf to power and his continuation of his predecessor’s stance, the longevity of this situation will be a matter of observation, even in the face of the pronounced sense of nationalism prevailing in Scotland.