The confidence of the SNP must be high for Sturgeon to suggest another referendum, while its been on the cards for some time there has been no indication it was nothing more than nationalist rhetoric. Brexit however changed the name of the game, bringing the prospect of a new referendum to the forefront of Scottish, and subsequently British, politics. It now almost seems a certainty it will materialize. The winds of change are quite favorable. From Brexit to the Westminster government the nation is divided in countless ways which seem to suggest that Scotland is miles apart from the power base in England.
The divides which have shown themselves over the past few years since the 2014 independence referendum are unprecedented. The results of the 2015 General Election were surprising south of the border, but not so much to the north. In England the Conservatives managed to secure a majority of MPs, a complete shock given that for 6 months prior all we heard from political commentators and politicians was the certainty of a hung parliament, resulting in another coalition. North of the border however the SNP enjoyed a huge surge in the polls, mobilizing the 45% from the indy campaign they managed to secure a whopping 56/59 seats. Scotland chose an open inclusive form of nationalism and democratic socialism, while England chose Camerons’ liberal brand of Conservatism, quite a stark contrast between then two when you consider the Conservatives are pushing an austerity agenda while the SNP are the the vanguard in the fight against it.
Just as with the General Election Brexit revealed the stark divides between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. While England and Wales voted for Brexit, Scotland (along with Northern Ireland) voted overwhelmingly for remain, by a score of 62-38. As a result the Scottish will be dragged out of the the European Union against their will , even as it was something they soundly rejected, only further fueling the divides which are propelling them towards independence. But Brexit has another, more important consequence which will see itself come to fruition during any Yes to Independence campaign in future.
That simplistic slogan of the Vote Leave camp “Take back control” will return to haunt them. Especially since the whole focus of the Brexit referendum from the Leave camp was based on the idea that the British people should take back control from out of touch elites in Brussels, so we can decide our own future and destiny. For after all, if English and Welsh can take back control from Europe, why can’t the Scots take back control from Westminster? Worst of all for the Brexiteers they will seemingly be unable to defend this great union, as the Scottish people are merely trying to achieve the same thing as they were, only the contexts have changed. Ultimately disarming their arguments, as to belittle the Scots who use their own arguments against them would ultimately attack their Brexit campaign too.
By doing away with the Union the Scots allow themselves to be the controllers of their own government, future and more importantly their own destiny. Removing the shackles of the Westminster Parliament, controlled by the much reviled Conservatives, allowing themselves to say in the EU or rejoin if they’ve already been taken out. Sturgeon and the SNP have never had it so good. Winning should be a lot easier than it was in 2014. If they lose again however the question should be settled for a generation.