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Dear Old Blighty
Scottish Secession Drawing Near?

With a Scottish referendum on secession from the United Kingdom just eight months away, the nationalists may be gaining significant ground. A new poll shows those in favor of independence have increased by five points, putting those opposed to secession just seven points ahead. The FT reports:

The sharp narrowing of the pro-union lead was “extremely encouraging”, said Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s deputy first minister.

“With eight months to go, this poll shows that our positive message is making significant progress, and a swing of just over 3 per cent will put Yes ahead,” she said.

The Scotland on Sunday, which commissioned the poll and is generally unsympathetic to the nationalist cause, said the result was a “landmark moment” that made independence “look like a practical possibility”.

This is not just a UK story: nearly every country in the world with an organized, secessionist-minded minority is paying attention should the nationalists win the referendum. Canada, Spain, Russia and China don’t want Quebec, the Catalans, Basques, Chechens or Tibetans getting any bright ideas. The Scottish nationalists seem to think that independence wouldn’t put Scotland’s economy and international political standing (not to mention its place in the EU) in a lot of unnecessary trouble. But international organizations naturally disposed to opposing such disruptive change could make an independent Scotland’s life pretty miserable.

Interestingly enough, it might be what’s left of the UK that would spend the least amount of time wringing its hands over the breakup of Dear Old Blighty:

In a sign that voters in the rest of the UK remain relatively unconcerned by the possible implications of the looming referendum, Sky News said a poll for it by YouGov found 57 per cent of respondents “wouldn’t mind” or “would be delighted” to wake up tomorrow and find Scotland was an independent country.

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  • bigfire

    Minus the diminished North Sea oil. Those oil field were developed with British money, and they’ll stay in England.

  • phineasfahrquar

    England may be thinking of this as “addition by subtraction.” In other words, they might be better off without the heavily Socialist Scotland.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Spot on…it would also cripple Labor, which would essentially cease to exist as a viable party in Britain without the north…

  • Andrew Allison

    Not a chance. Despite the wishful thinking of the power-hungry SNP leadership and their media lackeys, I predict that most Scots will recognize that secession would be disastrous.

    • rheddles

      That’s why they should allow the English to vote.

  • S.C. Schwarz

    Another story to file under “The Decline of the West.”

  • gabrielsyme

    I’m sympathetic to Scottish nationalism. The Union was achieved by bribery and subterfuge at one of the weakest points in Scotland’s history. Nor was the Union a triumph of justice – it helped pave the way for the Highland Clearances and the suppression of Scottish culture. Moreover, I don’t think an independent Scotland is a poor structural fit for nationhood.

    That all being said, Scotland’s left and lefter electoral history does not create confidence that an independent Scotland will be capable of administering the nation effectively.

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