Coffee House

Brexit has ruined my case against Scottish independence

30 October 2016

10:26 AM

30 October 2016

10:26 AM

I can feel my views on Scottish independence changing. Not enough to write a column about it, perhaps, but enough to sneak in a mention here. Scotland voted to stay in the EU, and England didn’t, and this somehow changes everything. People who argue that Scotland also voted to stay in the UK, and so should lump it, miss that point, probably on purpose. Every aspect of Scotland’s settlement with the wider UK, from devolution to the Barnett formula, accepts that the effect of straightforward majority UK rule needs to be mitigated for the Union to survive. Brexit is a deviation from this.

Independence still seems like a bad idea. Economically, I’m pretty sure, it would be an even madder act of folly than it would have been last time. Still, the unionist case I made last time, and believed in, was emotional and cultural more than it was financial, and I’m honestly not sure I could make it again. ‘Bought and sold for English gold,’ sneered the Nats back in 2014. Next time, they’ll be right.

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