Growing up in Scotland, it wasn't unusual for someone to quote Braveheart whenever they disagreed with a decision made down in Westminster. A few years ago the idea of Scottish Independence went from just that, an idea, to a possibility. Around me my friends called for a vote, claimed we didn't need the rest of the UK and the time had come for the young voices of Scotland to be heard.
At the time, the vote fell short and a lot of people were disappointed. However, this does not compare to the levels of frustration, anger and sadness I experienced in Scotland following Brexit. With all 32 council areas in Scotland voting to remain and a 62% vote overall, it isn't surprising that there are many Scots who want their independence back.
The question is, would Scottish Independence really help the country, or put it in a worse off position?
Firstly, let's look at the pros of Scottish Independence:
- The big positive, especially following Brexit, is that Scotland would have control over their political destiny. No longer required to follow the rules of Westminster and 10 Downing Street, the country would take back the reigns.
- Secondly, as a largely liberal country, Scotland would have the ability to push social welfare policies with as much opposition as they currently face.
- No longer a member of the UK, Scotland could choose to remain in the EU (as the overall vote during the EU election indicated it wanted).
- The North Sea Oil would become a larger economic resource if the country held more control over its land.
- The country would have more freedom to defend its culture and identity as an Independant Land.
On the other hand, when one looks at the cons of Scottish Independence, it cannot be denied that there are a higher number:
- No longer a member of Britain, there may be a question of currency. With no control over the Bank of England which decides monetary policy, it would be a risky choice to maintain the Great British Pound and therefore the country would need to find a new currency.
- Both Scotland and the UK would lose their level of International Political Power as they both reduce in size.
- Scotland's fight for independence could cause social issues as the countries separate, with families split throughout the UK. With emotional and administrative issues on the horizon, it's something everyone needs to consider.
- Independence for Scotland could spark the fire for many more separatist movements across Europe which may weaken the Unity of the Continent and lead to social and economic unease.
- Many businesses may leave Scotland. With a smaller market than the rest of the UK, they could risk losing businesses as they move back to their Head Offices in London or other areas of the UK.
- There is the question of border control. How would England and Scotland manage their borders, especially if Scotland becomes a member of the EU?
- Finally, and this is the biggest point of all, separating from the UK will not, I repeat will not guarantee EU membership for Scotland. Some European politicians have already made it clear that Scotland will simply join the list of other countries who are already waiting to gain EU membership.
Looking at the facts, it's clear that the pros could greatly benefit Scotland. However, the cons could devastate the market for the country and not only that, cause great disruption across Europe. With so many facts up in the air, all possibilities and no solid answers, I myself can only lean one way.
I believe Scottish Independence will be great for the country one day and I believe they will achieve it. However, I don't think that now is the time. Like the last referendum, politicians for Scottish Independence are basing their movement on the passion and idealism of people who are upset about the unknown. With Brexit on the horizon, no one can know for sure what is about to happen. However, surely surely Scotland should having both feet shot, and wait to see what happens first.
They may take our EU membership but they will never take the independence in our hearts.
Photo: Mr. Push