As I was remarking to some friends this morning, the Brexit vote wasn’t really a question about England or the United Kingdom, but rather one of nationalism vs globalism. Those hungering for a borderless world where national identity and tradition are subsumed are finding significant resistance from people who have worked for centuries to establish and maintain their own sense of culture and independence. Why this comes as a shock to anyone is puzzling at best.
But the independent streak may not stop at the borders of the United Kingdom. Scotland barely voted to pass on their own bid for independence not too long ago, and in an odd twist, their desire to remain in the European Union may be providing the excuse they need to take another shot at it. With the Brexit votes not even fully counted, the Scots are already making plans for another push to leave the United Kingdom. (The Guardian)
Alex Salmond has said he is quite certain Nicola Sturgeon will call for a second Scottish independence referendum after the UK voted to leave the European Union.
The former first minister and Scottish National party (SNP) leader said Scotland, which voted heavily in favour of remain, must stage a second independence vote before the UK’s exit was agreed – a process expected to take two years to negotiate.
He said the Brexit vote constituted a material change in Scotland’s position within the UK, telling BBC Radio Scotland: “This changes the whole context of Scottish independence.”
You can expect a referendum in the near future designed to schedule a second vote for Scottish independence. If it succeeds, they can choose to join the EU again or not as they please. But they may not be the only ones. Northern Ireland is already making noise about unifying their own nation once again. (Belfast Telegraph)
An Irish Senator has suggested that the Republic of Ireland should rejoin the Commonwealth.
Speaking in the Seanad, Roscommon senator Frank Feighan said consideration should be given to the merits of Ireland rejoining the organisation currently made up of 53 members.
The Republic officially left the Commonwealth in 1949 but Feighan said that as the “decades of deep political and societal upheaval are now firmly behind us” it may be time to reconsider.
Even if Scotland and Ireland were to retake their independence and express an interest in going with the EU, would there be much of a union left to join? Denmark and Sweden are currently experiencing internal surges toward their own exit from the union, as well as the right wing in France and even Italy.
The question I think we need to consider is… would that be such a terrible thing? Each of the nations under discussion, much like America, has their own proud history and distinct culture dating back a very long time. (All of them centuries older than the relatively young and upstart United States.) Different nations have their own unique history of religion, forms of government and interpretations of the law. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, even though we may disagree with each other on various points. (Sometimes violently) We neither need nor benefit from any sort of World Court or planetary high council issuing mandates and telling everyone how to live. It’s contrary to fundamental human nature.
Wall Street types are on television this morning bemoaning the tragedy of the UK leaving the EU. For me, I’m more in line with Nigel Farage, the leader of their Independence Party. This isn’t a disaster. It’s Independence Day.