argument top image

Should Scotland seek independence? Show more Show less
Back to question

Although they were once thought to share a common destiny, the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom has recently been under debate. Since the failed independence referendum in 2014, the country's politics have revolved around Scottish nationalism and the nation's future with the rest of the Union. Should they seek to end their more than 300-year long union with England and the rest of the UK?

Scotland should become independent from the UK Show more Show less

Scotland should vote to no longer be a part of the United Kingdom and venture out on to the global stage as an independent nation.
(1 of 3) Next position >

Scotland has different values and goals

The national ethos of Scotland has long been separated from the leadership in Westminster. In the midst of Brexit and the ascendancy of the Scottish National Party (SNP), the trajectories of the two nations do not align.

The Argument

Scottish nationalism is largely the result of a diverging national ethos between Scotland and the rest of the UK. It has become clear that the leadership of Scotland wants to lead the country in a different direction than Westminster. Independence would finally grant Scotland the autonomy it deserves and allow Scots to forge their own path. A clear example of this divergence is Brexit. While the UK as a whole narrowly voted in favor of exiting the EU, 62 percent of Scotland chose to remain in the bloc.[1] Now doomed to follow the rest of the UK out of the EU, Scotland is left with its hands tied. If Scotland were to become independent, it would be able to rejoin the EU. This is something that the Scottish government and a majority of Scots are clearly in favor of. Not only has the SNP framed an independent Scotland as a part of Europe, but also as a bastion of diversity.[2] Additionally, their handling of domestic issues, such as healthcare, social services, and defense differs greatly from that of the UK government.[3] Scotland has taken a much bolder approach to the NHS, abolishing prescription costs, offering feminine care products at no cost, and adopting bold drug policies.[4] Also, Scotland has detailed that it would remove nuclear submarines from its waters in the case of independence, which is a direct rebuke of the UK's current policy. With the COVID-19 pandemic also highlighting the separation between Scotland and the rest of the Union, the divide is becoming clearer. Scotland has been forging a clear and distinct path for the country, but it is not shared with the rest of the UK.

Counter arguments

Scottish nationalists ironically accuse the UK government of being the arbiters of populist and national sentiment, despite the SNP advocating for the breakup of Britain. Despite leaving the EU, Britain is positioning itself as a bastion of internationalism. Already more diverse than Scotland, England and the rest of the UK will continue to be participants in European and global politics, albeit, without being a member of the EU. Scotland would benefit from creating policies that encourage the diversity and immigration they claim independence would bring. As it stands, England and Wales has 6 percent more immigrants in its population.[5] Additionally, England and Wales have a more substantial proportion of minority ethnicities than Scotland.[6] Being a member of the UK is not a barrier to the goals Scotland hopes to achieve. With a devolved parliament, it may create policies to attract more immigrants and investment. Even with the freedom of movement granted by EU membership, Scotland failed to attract the same rate of immigration as their neighbors to the south. This failure indicates that the UK was no barrier to Scotland's supposed goals. Lastly, Scotland has many different options to achieve its goals as a nation. They could make a more durable case for more devolved powers or financial independence, but, instead, they pursue an impractical policy of independence that does not inherently achieve any of their set upon goals.

Proponents


Premises

[P1] Scotland wants to take the country in a different direction than the rest of the UK. [P2] Scotland wants to be a member of the EU and present on the global stage. [P3] Devolved policies over the past two decades have diverged from the UK's government. [C] The direction of Scotland's politics has grown increasingly separate from the rest of the UK, as well as what role it wants to play in European and international politics. Independence would grant Scotland the autonomy it needs to realize its goals as a nation.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] While Britain left the EU, it is also framing itself as a hub of internationalism. [Rejecting P3] That is why Scotland was granted a devolved parliament, and different policy does not require independence.

References

  1. https://time.com/5778350/will-scotland-rejoin-eu/
  2. https://bylinetimes.com/2020/03/02/scottish-independence-is-driven-by-internationalism-rather-than-nationalism/
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/19/scotland-drugs-problem-westminster-policy
  4. https://www.businessforscotland.com/scotlands-nhs-outperforms-the-rest-of-the-uk-heres-why/
  5. https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/migrants-in-the-uk-an-overview/
  6. https://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ethnicity-identity-language-and-religion#:~:text=55%25%20respectively).-,Ethnicity,'White%3A%20Other%20British'.&text=The%20Asian%20population%20is%20the,point%20(69%2C000)%20since%202001.

This page was last edited on Friday, 31 Jul 2020 at 15:50 UTC

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more before voting ↑

Discuss

Explore related arguments