Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon defiantly and unexpectedly announced Monday that she will seek a new independence referendum, forcing British leaders to try to prevent their country from ripping apart even as they negotiate a high-wire divorce from the European Union. With Britain poised to trigger the start of its E.U. departure by month’s end, Sturgeon said she will push for a vote on Scottish independence in autumn 2018 or spring 2019 — likely just before the United Kingdom leaves the union. The move, Sturgeon said, will allow pro-E.U. Scots to decide whether “to follow the U.K. to a hard Brexit or to become an independent country.” “It will be Scotland’s choice,” she said.
If Scotland leaves, England will lose the Brexit game
The union that binds together the four countries within the United Kingdom has never been more at risk. What nobody in the English political and media class seems to have realised is how badly England will fare if Scotland, which is more than likely, and Northern Ireland, which is plausible though by no means certain, split off. It will be the end of England – the dominant power of the UK, when the term “Little England” will really come into its own. Almost exactly two and a half years ago, the Scottish electorate decided against leaving the UK. They were told by pro-union campaigners that if they did vote to leave Britain, they would lose their membership of the European Union.