Scottish independence would stumble at the first hurdle

BY Andrew Willshire   /  11 January 2021

Whether or not Boris Johnson succeeds in denying the SNP a second referendum on independence in the next Parliament, it seems unlikely that it can be avoided forever. And with younger voters significantly keener on independence than their elders, there is every chance of the pro-independence side winning that referendum, if and when it comes.

If you believe the nationalist spin, from there it’s a simple march on to an independent Scotland taking its proper place among the other sovereign countries of the world, happier, healthier and more prosperous than the poor benighted rump UK.

Well, maybe. Most Unionists would agree that Scotland could indeed govern itself fully if it chose to. Their objection is that it would be quite a bit poorer but, as the Brexit vote showed, that is hardly a clinching argument when faced with claims of sovereignty.

However, scant attention appears to have been paid to the transition period, in particular the years between an independence referendum and Scotland formally separating from the UK.


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