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Why is Independence Right for the UK but Not for Scotland?

Unanswerable Questions for Brexiters #2


Last year, when he was still Prime Minister, David Cameron applied to the Electoral Commission to register the Tories across Britain as the “Conservative and Unionist Party” until then, they had only been called that in Northern Ireland. The name change is meant to emphasise the Tories’ support of the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, better known to most of us as the United Kingdom.


Unfortunately for Unionists, by calling and then losing the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, Cameron has imperilled the British union too. Because, just as the strongest arguments made for Scotland staying in the UK (such as “We’re stronger together” and “It’s worth giving up some sovereignty for increased prosperity, security and influence”) can be made for the UK’s continued membership of the EU, most of the strongest arguments the current Conservative government uses to defend leaving the EU can be, and have been, made for Scotland to leave the UK:


• “We can take back control from London/Brussels and make our own laws again.”


• “We can control our spending, rather than have it decided in London/Brussels.”


• “We wouldn’t have to accept decisions forced on us by other countries.”


• “We wouldn’t have to listen to lots of English/foreign politicians”


It would be interesting to hear Brexit-supporting members of the current Conservative government trying to square this circle. You could also try asking members of the Scottish National Party why they are so keen to leave the United Kingdom and yet want to remain part of a bigger, more distant union.


If you have a Brexit-supporting Conservative and Unionist MP, ask them if they support the breakup of the UK too and, if not, why they think different arguments apply for the British and European Unions. And if you have a SNP representative, ask them why they want independence from the UK but not the (far less democratic and accountable) EU. We look forward to hearing their answers...

Matthew Wherry

About the Writer

Matthew is Impolite Conversation's editor.


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