Scotland should have the right to veto any British exit from the European Union, the Scottish National Party’s new leader announced yesterday. The Financial Times reports:
An EU exit should require a referendum majority both in the UK as a whole and in each of the nations of Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales, said [Nicola] Sturgeon, who will next month become leader of the pro-EU Scottish National Party and Scotland’s first minister.David Cameron rejected her call, telling the House of Commons: “We are one United Kingdom and there will be one in-out referendum. That will be decided on a majority of those who vote.”
As we saw during the Scottish Independence Referendum, Scotland is further to the left than the UK as a whole. In the current political climate, that means it tilts pro-EU (and even pro-Euro). Since the EU just gave England’s Eurosceptics 1.7 billion reasons to want to leave, this creates a serious rift. Were Scotland just any other left-leaning region of England, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. But enough secessionist sentiment still exists there that a double split—Britain out of the EU, so Scotland out of Britain—would be a real possibility.The question of Brexit is endlessly complicated. Even leaving aside Eurocrats who might have other interests, it’s still unclear as to who will be Prime Minister in a year—and Labour hasn’t fully signed off on holding a referendum. But if Britain does come to choose, the Scottish question will probably continue to be a major factor.