Independence: the undying desire of Scottish nationalism

Edinburgh, UK, Apr 16 (EFE).- “We promised them a referendum in 2023 and that’s what we will try to achieve,” Patrick Harvie, of the Scottish Greens, said in an interview with Efe.

The regional authorities, in cooperation with independentists and environmentalists, are working to hold a new consultation in 2023, despite the fact that neither London nor the polls are favorable to that vote, he said.

The Scottish National Party and the Greens share the vision of giving “the people of Scotland the ability to choose their future,” the Greens’ co-leader added.

“That was the commitment we made in the (regional) elections” held in May, he said. “The Scottish government’s commitment is to seek this referendum in 2023.”

Brexit, however, changed everything, he stresses.

Scotland has the right to repeat the 2014 referendum because it has had to leave the European Union against the will of the majority of its citizens, who supported remaining in the bloc in the 2016 British plebiscite, he said.

Both the Greens and the SNP propose an independence referendum as a way to return to Europe, he added.

Should Scots vote for independence, the process to re-enter the EU could take some five years, Scottish economist and former lawmaker Andrew Wilson, author of the financial plan for a hypothetical emancipated Scotland, told Efe.

The British government has the final saying on holding the referendum, which has not been approved by prime minister Boris Johnson.

“This is not the moment to be having another referendum,” he said, citing the war in Ukraine and the economic situation after the pandemic.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, should not prevent the Scottish authorities from fulfilling their electoral promises, Harvie said.

Harvie considered that there is “a potential” that the referendum efforts “could end up in court,” given Johnson’s stance.

Only 36% of the population currently supports a referendum in 2023, according to a recent YouGov poll.

The YouGov poll showed that 53% of the Scots support remaining in the UK, and 70% say they are unaware of the pro-independence policies proposed by the Greens and the SNP.

In the referendum held on 19 September 2014, Scotland voted No to independence by 55.3%, compared to 44.7% who supported it. EFE


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