Generation Brexit

Brexit's impact on Scotland and the Union

Scotland voted to Remain within the European Union at the referendum. They also voted to stay part of the United Kingdom in 2014. 

Many of those in favour of Scottish independence and Remaining in the EU have argued that Better Together used the UK's EU membership as a reason to stay in the Union. This, it is argued, is a problem since Scotland then voted to remain within the EU but are being taken out of it despite not voting for it.

The Scottish government subsequently have been challenging the UK government on Scotland's place after Brexit. For example, when powers are returned from Brussels, should these powers be devolved to Scotland, England, Wales and N. Ireland separately, if it is on matters that impact the countries, instead of remaining with Westminster as a whole.

If Westminster refuse or do not come up with adequate solutions, is it justified for the Scottish government to want another independence referendum?

What do you think?

ScipioTheYoung Mar 16, 2018

This is a very interesting topic. It's hard to say... I guess it depends how detrimental to the UK economy Brexit becomes, which in turn will depend on how soft/hard it ends up being.

Now, we have to bear in mind that the situation is far different from how it was in 2014, and overall, far, far worse for the Scottish.

When the 1st referendum took place a barrel of crude oil sold for about 91$. It's now around 48$. Bear in mind that Scottish North Sea oil is one of the most expensive in the world to produce, at close to 44$. That's a razor-thin margin that has dwarfed Sottish share of revenue from oil from 1.8bn$ in 2014 to 60m$ in 2016.

Combine that with the fact that Scotland is the most heavily indebted nation in Europe at ~9.5% of GDP.

And on top of that, 64% of Scottish exports go to the UK and around half of what remains to the EU.

Taking everything together, it shows the economic prospect of leaving to be quite unpromising indeed.

Reply 3

Amy Smith Mar 19, 2018

Personally I agree it would be justified for the reasons stated in the blog post regarding the Better Together campaign.
However there any many interesting debates ahead of us when it comes to deciding whether powers from Brussels should be returned to Scotland or to Westminster. I believe there is a lot of distrust towards Westminster in Scotland which would perhaps sway public opinion towards having most of these powers devolved to Scotland. But having more and more policy areas devolved to Scotland and not having full access to our oil fund really increases pressure on the Scottish economy.
For example, Scotland benefit a lot through subsides from the EU's common agricultural policy so if this issue was devolved back to Scotland it would be very difficult to maintain our agricultural industry while our budget is still determined by the Barnet formula.

Which policy areas (if any) do you think should be devolved back to Scotland and which to Westminster?

Reply 2

ScipioTheYoung Mar 20, 2018

I am not sure what you mean by having powers devolved to Scotland. Could you explain more? Forgive me for being ignorant of this matter.

Reply 2

Amy Smith Mar 28, 2018

To devolve power means to give control of it to the devolved governments in the UK (ie. the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Irish Assembly)

Reply 2

ScipioTheYoung Mar 31, 2018

Understood, thanks.

Reply 1

Hugh D Mar 26, 2018

All policy areas should be devolved back to Scotland in my opinion. The Scottish people seem to be being presented with a false choice of rule from Brussels or Westminster. I don't yet have such a low opinion of Scottish people that I think we need to devolve all the big decisions to some foreign power with its own interests. Small countries throughout the world seem to be capable of it.

Reply 4

Amy Smith Mar 28, 2018

I agree with you in most of what you say. When you say a foreign power do you mean both the EU and Westminster?
Because I would question your alignment of Westminster and Brussels as though they are both simply machines of bureaucracy and control. Personally I think that is the case with Westminster but being part of an international union with freedom of movement and trade is valuable to Scotland and adds to us more than it takes away (and I think most of Scotland agreed with me by voting to stay in the EU) because lets not forget that it is the EU member states who make the rules they want to follow and the UK was in a unique position to have a rebate and veto power in the EU so I think Westminster rule is different to being an EU member state.

Reply 2

View all replies (6)

Kristina Griffin Mar 29, 2018

Do you think Scotland should have further devolution?

Reply 3

Rebecca McCurdy Apr 9, 2018

I think there should be mpre devolution to the Scottish Parliament depending on the powers Westminster get from the break up of the EU, especially on things like fisheries. In the UK as a whole though, Scotland does have more devolution than the English, Welsh and Irish Assemblies so that also should be addressed in my opinion. The Scottish government will continue to push for full control over all laws concerning Scotland, and rightly so, but wouldn't independence just be easier in that case?

Reply 2

Kristina Griffin Apr 10, 2018

I agree!

Reply 2