You may have thought that the issue of Scottish Independence was done and dusted. After all, the Scots voted by 55% to 45% to stay in the Union on 18th September 2014, with a huge voter turnout of 84.59%. Case closed, right? Apparently not. In fact, with the SNP taking the country by storm at the last General Election in May, the question of Scotland becoming a separate country is clearly still alive and kicking. James Cook, the BBC’s Scotland correspondent from 2008 to 2015, argues that, if anything, the referendum merely added fuel to the debate.
PPE and Economics students might be interested in the arguments surrounding the economic impact of a Scottish exit from the Union. It’s a particularly divisive issue, and provokes diametrically opposed responses from highly respected economists. In a similar vein, the political and legal issues surrounding the ownership of the North Sea oil fields are proving to be a hugely important factor in this debate. Politics and Law students should be particularly interested, especially as Russian actions in the Ukraine and Syria threaten Western Europe’s energy security.
The Historians and Anthropology students amongst us should consider the history of Scottish nationalism, and the complicated processes behind the formation and perceived destruction of national identity. With the debate far from over, should Scots follow their heads or their hearts? Is there a case for independence and, if so, what kind of Scotland would emerge from the Union?