On June 2016, voters in the United Kingdom have decided to leave the European Union inflicting a heavy blow on the concept of European political unity. With this, the United Kingdom will lose many economic and political relationships with the rest of Europe. How will this affect Scotland?
Why the U.K. Chose to Leave
A popular argument in the U.K. is that being a member of the European Union has been a net drag on the economy, because taxpayers send more money to the EU’s headquarters in Brussels compared to what services they get in return from the EU. The majority that chose to leave believes that Britain can be more prosperous if it is free of the pressures from Brussels.
Scotland’s Reliance on English Trade and EU Support
The concerns raised on Brexit could also work against a reunited effort for Scottish independence. Scotland’s biggest trading partner is England and Scotland uses the British pound as its currency. Furthermore, the public’s view for Scotland’s independence appears to have dwindled since the price of oil plummeted almost immediately after the first referendum as the lack of revenue from oil gave doubts that Scotland could survive economically as an independent country.
Scotland Joining the EU
Scottish voters held a referendum back in 2014 whether to leave or stay as a part of the United Kingdom. Fifty-five percent of the voters decided to remain as they argue that it could put Scotland’s membership with the EU in jeopardy.
In the event Scotland declares independence, it is not sure whether Scotland could remain in the EU. Most EU member nations oppose the joining of new countries. Should they be able to join the EU it is highly unlikely that Scotland will be able to keep the pound as its currency. If they are forced to switch from the pound to the euro, it is uncertain what economic fallout might arise.