The Scottish people, as William Wallace once persuasively pointed out, rather value their freedom. In the aftermath of the historic Brexit vote, they may be forced to fight for it once again.
In today's Seeker Daily dispatch, Laura Ling explores a critical aspect of the Brexit vote. Now the the United Kingdom has left the European Union, there's a very real possibility that Scotland will choose to leave the United Kingdom.
While 52 percent of U.K. citizens voted for the Brexit, the results were mostly localized -- with one exception: Every single local authority area in Scotland voted to stay. The result was predictable, considering Scotland's own recent referendum on independence. A major part of the reason Scotland chose to stay was the assumption that it would continue to benefit from EU membership.
So now Scottish leaders are calling for a second independence referendum for Scotland, with the intention of breaking off as a fully separate nation, then rejoining the EU. It's likely to be a lengthy and arduous process, however. The last Scotland referendum took more than five years to organize, and a new vote can't be set until the U.K. officially exits the EU, which may still be some time away. If a new independence vote does succeed, Scotland's official separation would take another couple of years.
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Then there's the fact that admission to the EU is not necessarily a given. The European Commission has made it clear that the EU won't even consider Scotland's application until it's fully and finally divorced from Great Britain. The Scotland would have to go through the usual EU application and lobbying process.
Finally, a split with the U.K. would create some immediate military concerns for Scotland, which relies heavily on the U.K. for defense. Scotland would need to create its own army from the ground up, although the country has some historical experience with that.
Nevertheless, the current consensus is that Scotland will almost certainly call for a second independence vote, if and when the U.K. officially pulls out of the EU.
-- Glenn McDonald
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