Will Scotland hold another vote on independence?

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to risk a second referendum on the country's independence on 19 October 2023 - without London's approval if necessary. In 2014, 55 percent of Scots voted to remain in the UK. Is holding a second plebiscite a sensible move?

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The Guardian (GB) /

Brexit justifies new vote

A majority of Scots were against the UK leaving the EU, The Guardian reminds readers:

“Mr Johnson has a point when he says that with a cost of living crisis and Covid recovery to deal with, now is not the time to revisit the independence question. However, the Scottish first minister is also right to say that Brexit means the circumstances in which Scotland voted against independence in 2014 no longer exist. In Britain's referendum on leaving the EU, every single area of Scotland voted remain. The Scottish question has returned to the fore because many Scots feel they have been taken on a journey to a destination they did not vote for.”

The National (GB) /

A ban would be counterproductive

Although politicians and the judiciary in London could formally ban a new referendum in Scotland it would be a Pyrrhic victory against the separatists, The National warns:

“Should the British state be foolish and arrogant enough to go down that road, then the next General Election in Scotland will become a de facto referendum on independence, a plebiscite election. The SNP will contest that election on the single issue of securing Scottish independence and a victory in that election will provide a mandate for independence. ... One way or another Scotland will have its say.”

The Times (GB) /

Sturgeon should govern instead of agitating

The Scottish head of government should focus on the real problems in her country, The Times recommends:

“Her machinations will be viewed with dismay and consternation by the majority of Scots who are wholeheartedly sick of the SNP's independence obsession. ... Her party has governed a devolved nation for 15 years now, and has failed even to exploit what levers it already has. Scotland deserves leaders who are prepared to give their full and active focus to the many areas in which the country underperforms compared with the south, rather than hiding behind the notion of independence as a panacea for all ills.”

The Herald (GB) /

Politics on hold

The issue of Scottish independence must be resolved as quickly as possible, The Herald urges:

“Scottish politics has been caught in a holding pattern since 2013. Unable to go forward but with roughly half of voters unwilling to go back to simply being that bit of the UK stuck at the top. ... The issue is not going away and it will need to be settled before we can tackle the big issues we face: a cost of living crisis, an ageing population, relatively low productivity and levels of entrepreneurship, an NHS in trouble, and an economy too heavily dependent on the public sector.”

The Times (GB) /

This generation has already decided

The Times doubts that Sturgeon will be able to push through a referendum:

“The chances of a second plebiscite in eight years are slim. Unlike the SNP administration at Holyrood, the Conservative government at Westminster appears unwilling to break its promise that the 2014 referendum was a once-in-a-generation event. The same holds for Labour under Sir Keir Starmer. ... Nor do the Scottish public share Ms Sturgeon's zeal. Recent polling shows that 59 per cent of voters, regardless of their constitutional preference, do not want a referendum in 2023.”