The 2016 referendum which decided whether the UK would leave or remain in the European Union has turned the UK upside down. With more than 30 million votes, 51,9% backed Brexit and 48.1% was against. The breakdown across the UK however, shows otherwise. Scotland, for example, voted Remain by 62% to 38% BBC. Clearly, Brexit is lacking in general approval from the Scottish people. In light of a new analysis predicting Scotlands future, SNP politician Nicola Sturgeon is suggesting a second referendum. Is Scotland facing a constitutional crisis?
Neither the UK government or anyone else, including the Scotish government, have a strategy for Brexit. The only thing that seems to be certain these days are that Brexit will have a huge impact on the UK’s economy, and not for the better. The paper analyzed the potential impact of three scenarios: EEA membership, a Canada-style free-trade agreement, and reverting to basic WTO rules. Sturgeon said every option would involve a “hit to the economy”.
In case of a “hard” Brexit, the UK will have to operate under the World Trade Organisation rules. The Scottish government report shows that this will result in an 8% decrease in the UK’s economy. Additionally, it would alone cost Scotland up to £12.7 billion, as well as cause real household incomes to fall by 9,6% (£2,263 per head). On the contrary, due to the intensification of digital industries, energy, and services, the UK economy will possibly result in an increase of 2.4% if they remain a part of EU’s single market (The Guardian).
First minister Sturgeon believes it is “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland is forced to leave the EU when they voted to Remain BBC. The report highly strengthens the arguments for staying within the single market. This way, the Scottish independence referendum is flourishing once again, creating indyref2. Last time, in 2014, 55% of the Scottish population voted against Scottish independence. However, this time the tables might be turned seeing as the Scottish people clearly wanted to remain as a part of the EU. If that were to happen it would most likely create a chain of independence referendums throughout the UK.