British Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatens the unity of the United Kingdom

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatens the unity of the United Kingdom

Today there are elections in Scotland and there is a good chance that the SNP will get an outright majority. Calls for a second Scottish referendum will eventually grow back on their feet after a resounding election victory by SNP Prime Minister Nicolas Sturgeon.

In addition to Scotland and Wales, aversion to Prime Minister Johnson’s government is also increasing in Northern Ireland. Since the Brexit supporters made few concessions in negotiations with Brussels, Northern Ireland is now separated from the rest of the United Kingdom by a customs border. Dissatisfaction with this situation has recently led to unrest in Belfast.

The winds in the sails

If today, after the election, Scottish nationalists achieve an absolute majority after the election, the pressure on Johnson to allow a new Scottish referendum will increase. In the first referendum in 2014, the Scots chose to stay with the United Kingdom, but that was for the 2016 Brexit referendum that was narrowly won by Brexit supporters.

The Scottish economy, closely intertwined with that of England, would suffer greatly in the event of a rupture

When it comes to calls for sovereignty, supporters of Brexit and supporters of Scottish independence have a lot in common. Both movements are ideologically driven and economic objections are easily dismissed. Johnson took the decline in prosperity for granted with Brexit because restored sovereignty would have an even greater effect. The economy of Scotland, which is closely intertwined with that of England, would suffer greatly in the event of a rupture, but this is less important to the Scottish independence movement.

Read also: Opinion: The rough reality in the UK divided after Brexit ends

Johnson understands Brexit so well that when it comes to sovereignty, emotions outweigh rational arguments. It is precisely for this reason that he will resist the referendum in Scotland to the greatest extent. But the more the SNP gains today, the harder it will be for it to ignore Scotland’s desire for independence. He can blame himself for that. If he had been less hawkish on the Brexit process and had taken into account the desires of Scotland, he could have held the UK together more easily.

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