As a sympathetic Englishman I understood the emotional and sentimental appeal of Scottish independence in the referendum of 2014. Indeed if I had been a Scot I might have voted in favour of independence given the economic and political circumstances at that time. But times have changed.
Notwithstanding that original sympathy I am perplexed by the action of the SNP in seeking a new referendum on leaving the Union. If they won a majority for ‘independence’ from the historic Union where would that leave Scotland? Ultimately, with Scotland having a population a little larger than Lithuania, perhaps as a minor province of a federal European Superstate dominated and controlled by Germany. This would hardly amount to ‘independence’ and seems a far worse option in terms of having control over the economic, political and social fabric of Scottish society compared with remaining part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore the time to negotiate and achieve that subordinate role in a European Empire would be measured in many years not months as is obvious from previous EU trading and membership negotiations (not to mention the vehement opposition of Spain to any deal). During that time Scotland would be adrift on its own without any trading agreements, without access to the single market, and without the economic support which EU membership might possibly confer.
As oil prices collapse once again and thus with reduced income and necessarily a new interim Scottish currency until the possible adoption of the Euro as a precondition for EU membership, what would that mean for Scottish Society, for schools, social care, health services and all the rest? The resultant massive deterioration in social infrastructure would surely not be compensated for by eventually becoming a minor ‘subject’ nation within the European Empire, riven as it is with its own internal schisms and problems especially within the Eurozone.
It is clear that there is a sense of ‘now or never’ for the nationalists but the consequences of leaving the United Kingdom seem dire and the exact opposite of what the nationalists are calling for, that is “independence”, because the end result would be subjugation and loss of independence and national identity within a European Superstate.