The ties between Scotland and England have become strained since the 2016 European referendum, and 2014’s divisive Scottish independence referendum. Unionist parties over the past several years have been decimated politically and continue to lose support. Both Labour and the Conservatives are in the doldrums while the Scottish National Party is a political force to be reckoned with.
It’s clear that there is virtually no opposition remaining in Scotland since Ruth Davidson quit the Conservative party, and there’s no-one that can challenge the status-quo, but is Scotland ready to annex itself from Britain and forget 300 years of history?
The relationship between England and Scotland has been on a down lately. Devolution has given Scotland much more control over its taxes and spending, but at the same time, it has weakened the bond with the rest of the union. With pro-union parties withering away, there is no voice in Scotland to speak for Britain, and as the distraction from Brexit continues, there is mounting concern that Scotland is being forgotten – and feels like it is not being listened to.
In reality, the union has been struggling to find its own identity after handing back Hong Kong in 1997. And in the post-Blair era, there’s not been a lot of work done to create a stronger British identity, particularly after devolution, which has had a profound effect on Britain’s political landscape. Following devolution, Britain has become more fractured, more rebellious, and political parties are increasingly polarised. There are secessionist movements in Britain, but elsewhere too. In an era of Trump, rising nationalism, and the fracturing of nation states, the union, one of the greatest that has ever existed, is being forgotten about too.
Following Brexit, there will be many questions about Britain, its future, and its status in the world. Leaving the European Union seems like a toxic and unimaginable idea to many, but since the referendum, we have also been reminded about how important our union is, and what we need to do to make it better. Europe will go on, and Britain will be a strong partner for many years to come, and perhaps leaving the European Union will give us more time to focus on the very important issues affecting us at home.
Could this be a great opportunity to revisit what the United Kingdom stands for? An opportunity to forge a stronger bond between England and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
Britain Daily editorial view