The vote for Brexit has been often described as a populist revolt by the countryside against the globalists in London — and it was that. But it was also a very distinctly English revolt. The victory margin for Leave in England and Wales was nearly double the margin in the U.K. as a whole — because Northern Ireland voted to Remain by a margin of nearly 56 percent to 44 percent, while Scotland voted a whopping 62 percent to 38 percent. And while Leave won every region of England but London, Remain won every single counting area in Scotland. If it was a nationalist reaction to globalism, it was English nationalism, not British.
If May’s deal fails, her government falls, and Brexit is effectively canceled, all because of Northern Ireland, English nationalism could well become all the more truculent in the areas where it holds the greatest sway. But if Brexit does go through in some fashion, that will surely fan the flames of Scottish nationalism. Even though Scotland would have a far easier time leaving were Britain to remain in the EU (since leaving would then have minimal impact on trade between the two neighbors), the Scots already see Brexit as a blatant violation of a promise made by the Better Together campaign. If there is no second referendum on Brexit, there will likely be a second referendum on Scottish independence.