BREXIT continues to be a reality at the end of 2019 as Boris Johnson secured a sweeping majority in the House of Commons, allowing him to pass through the legislation he needs to “Get Brexit Done” with ease. A similar victory from the SNP has sparked talks of another Scottish independence referendum.
Brexit is now likely to happen on January 31, 2020, as Boris Johnson and the Conservatives have secured a new mandate to pass the relevant Brexit legislation through Parliament. The SNP claims they have also secured a new mandate for Scottish Independence, as the only other party to make a net gain in the 2019 elections.
What would happen if Scotland became independent?
The question of Scottish independence was briefly quashed after the 2014 referendum saw most of the country reject the option.
The Brexit referendum brought Scottish independence to the forefront of politics once again in 2016, as most of the region voted to remain in the EU.
Nicola Sturgeon used the 2019 campaign to unite the SNP against Brexit, claiming with a mandate Scotland could exit the UK after a new referendum and rejoin the EU.
Ms Sturgeon has insisted the SNP’s recent gain of 13 seats, giving them 48 in total, gives the party a mandate to demand a second referendum.
If the referendum was granted and Scotland left the UK, the newly formed state would likely require a hard border.
A Scottish Conservative Party spokesman told the Scotsman in 2018: “It was made perfectly clear during the 2014 campaign that a hard border would be required if Scotland and England had different arrangements in relation to the EU.
“Given the UK is leaving the EU, and given it’s stated SNP policy for an independent Scotland to join the EU, it’s difficult to see how a hard border could be avoided.”
A newly independent Scotland could join the EU, and scholars suggest it would be welcomed with open arms.
Given Scotland already complies by EU laws, it would likely be fast-tracked through a standard application system.
If Scottish representatives gave way to EU demands, the country would then easily settle into its new membership.
However, to gain independence in the first place, the Scottish Parliament requires power provided to them by Mr Johnson, something he is unlikely to give.
The Scottish First Minister said she would write to Mr Johnson to formally request legal powers for Holyrood to stage another independence vote, following her report of a “detailed democratic case” for independence.
Mr Johnson has said he will refuse her request, and instead assert now is the time to unite the UK.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister will not mark her letter “return to sender” as initially expected but provide reasons for avoiding more “divisive” referendums.
He is expected to rule out any future independence votes, and “sell” Brexit to the Scottish people.
Senior sources told the publication: “It will be rebuffed and there will be an explanation for why it will be rebuffed.
“This is not a time to have more divisive referendums.
“It’s time for us all to pull together.
“The job of the British Government to start selling the new Brexit world to the Scottish people.”