Despite facing some of the most challenging months and weeks in the history of the Scottish National Party, Humza Yousaf, while advocating for a new independence referendum with a legal mandate for Scotland to secede from the UK, underscored that the support for independence among the Scottish people has reached unprecedented levels. Leaders of the Scottish independence movement are actively working to reverse the impacts of the Brexit vote. What rationale do Scottish independence leaders provide for mitigating the consequences of the Brexit vote? How has the UK government responded to the endeavours for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom?
Scotland’s economic crises in the post-Brexit period
Addressing the repercussions of the Brexit vote holds particular significance for the Scottish population. Recent efforts by British authorities aim to quell the rising tide of independence sentiments in Scotland. Surveys indicate that enduring economic challenges post-Brexit and the conservative government’s failure to meet various Scottish demands have significantly contributed to a heightened desire for independence among residents in this region. Furthermore, there is growing concern among British officials about the potential extension of this sentiment to Northern Ireland and Wales. In response, members of Rishi Sunak’s government, in collaboration with UK police and security institutions, are formulating preventive strategies targeting both past and present leaders of the pro-independence movement in Scotland.
Inhibitory scenarios of the UK government towards Scottish independence
In a particular instance, Police Scotland is probing accusations of financial mismanagement by Nicola Sturgeon during her time as the First Minister. The ex-First Minister was held for several hours as part of a police inquiry into corruption within the Scottish National Party (SNP). Despite the arrest, the former high-ranking Scottish official was released after seven hours, and no charges were filed, as per the police. Sturgeon characterised the arrest as shocking and deeply disturbing, asserting that no wrongdoing had occurred.
An indirect ultimatum to Scottish independence leaders
Nicola Sturgeon was a popular figure in Scotland and across the UK at the time of her sudden resignation this spring. At that time, she said that her decision to step down from power had nothing to do with political pressure on the party, and he had made such a decision a long time ago. She has repeatedly denied that his resignation had anything to do with the growing police investigation, the progress of which was not publicly known at the time. It is an indirect ultimatum to other Scottish independence leaders. In other words, the government and the British security service are trying to increase the costs of separation from the UK by nationalist movements in Scotland.
Brexit is the cause of independence of Scottish independence leaders.
Rectifying the consequences of the Brexit vote is the primary motivation behind the pursuit of Scottish independence. As the leader of the Scottish independence advocates, Sturgeon explicitly highlighted that the Brexit phenomenon, leading to the shift from a “European UK” to a “non-European UK,” rendered the 2014 independence referendum invalid and necessitated reconsideration. The recurrence of such a material change due to Brexit amplifies Sturgeon’s legal argument, which might not be received favourably by the UK government.
Humza Yousaf calls for bold policies.
Humza Yousaf said in a speech at the Southern Regional Assembly of the Scottish National Party: “piss some people off” within the SNP as he called for “bold and radical” policies which would allow Scotland to achieve the prosperity of Norway and Austria.” Scotland’s first minister promised to tackle the issues of “human migration” and “the climate emergency”. To undo the damage of the Brexit vote, Humza Yousaf calls for a radical policy for the independence of Scotland.
Humza Yousaf praises Sturgeon for global leadership.
Six months ago, the Scottish Parliament elected Humza Yousaf, the leader of the Scottish National Party, to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as the country’s first minister, becoming the first Muslim to hold this position in Scotland. In his speech, Humza Yousaf praised Sturgeon for what he called her “leadership on the world stage” and said: “an independent Scotland could aspire to match countries such as Ireland, Norway and Austria.”
Scottish independence is closer than ever.
“Just look at the countries around us that are around our size,” Humza Yousaf pointed out. “They are healthier and wealthier than the UK and doing better than the UK for productivity.” Scotland’s First Minister said he accepted there were divisions within the Scottish National Party but that the pro-independence party had grown to around 75,000 members, so “Scottish independence is now closer than ever”. Humza Yousaf added: “It’s so important, first of all, that even in the face of, let’s be frank, some of the most difficult weeks and months in our party’s history, support for independence remains rock solid.” He called for a “legally binding referendum”.
Increasing the level of Scottish support for Scottish independence
Historically, Britain has never been a country with a fixed identity. Relations between “England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales” regions have historically fluctuated. In this regard, Humza Yousaf, the First Minister of Scotland, while supporting the holding of a new independence referendum with a legal obligation on the independence of Scotland from the UK, emphasised the level of support of the Scottish people for independence, despite experiencing the most difficult months and weeks in the history of the National Party. Scotland”, at the highest possible level.
The Scottish independence referendum is the red line of the UK government.
The leaders of Scotland’s pro-independence group emphasise that due to the official withdrawal of the UK from the EU, it is necessary to hold another referendum regarding the separation of Scotland from British sovereignty. UK government officials are trying to prevent a referendum in this regard. The conservative party and the Labor and Liberal Democratic parties are against any independence referendum in Scotland; Therefore, the referendum has become the red line of England.
Internal problems of Scottish independence
At the same time as the UK government’s efforts to prevent the independence of Scotland and to put pressure on the independence leaders of Scotland to desist from secession, the internal differences in the pro-independence Scottish movement have also become an obstacle in the process of this region’s separation from the UK. Last winter, after Nicola Sturgeon suddenly resigned from Scotland’s first minister, the Scottish National Party elected Humza Yousaf as its new leader due to an intra-party vote, A choice that analysts believe revealed deep divisions in the pro-independence Scottish movement.
The prospect of Scottish independence is in doubt.
Nicola Sturgeon said her successor would have “a tough job” ahead of them; she said she believed they would “build on [her] record and continue to maintain the trust of the Scottish people”. However, analysts believe that with his resignation as the most popular prominent politician in Scotland and the London government’s opposition to holding another referendum, The independence of this region from the UK has brought the process of Scottish independence to a standstill. There are no other short-term prospects for another independence referendum, and Sturgeon’s plan to treat the next general election in the UK as a genuine vote for Scottish independence did not appeal to the Scots and large sections of the people in the region.