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[英国]您认为苏格兰是否会独立? [复制链接]

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只看该作者 175 发表于: 2014-09-19
回 tudou002 的帖子
tudou002:现在的英国应该是苏格兰吞并的英格兰吧?是苏格兰国王加冕英格兰国王才组建的现在的大英帝国。
也就是现在应该是英格兰威尔士北爱尔兰脱离苏格兰的吞并,光荣独立吧? (2014-08-26 10:12) 

这个历史表明,所谓苏格兰独立根本就是个伪命题。
只看该作者 176 发表于: 2018-01-17
6年多了,还没有独立,再等等看
多数人一生三件事---自欺、欺人、被人欺
一个人炫耀什么,说明内心缺少什么。
一个人越在意的地方,就是最令他自卑的地方。
人生在世,幼时认为什么都不懂,大学时以为什么都懂,毕业后才知道什么都不懂,中年又以为什么都懂,到晚年才觉悟一切都不懂。------林语堂
只看该作者 177 发表于: 2018-01-18
苏格兰真的独立了,是不是大不列颠的五常位置就难以保障了?
只看该作者 178 发表于: 2018-01-18
回 扬歌海上 的帖子
扬歌海上:苏格兰真的独立了,是不是大不列颠的五常位置就难以保障了? (2018-01-18 14:02) 

不会的。参考苏联解体后的俄罗斯
多数人一生三件事---自欺、欺人、被人欺
一个人炫耀什么,说明内心缺少什么。
一个人越在意的地方,就是最令他自卑的地方。
人生在世,幼时认为什么都不懂,大学时以为什么都懂,毕业后才知道什么都不懂,中年又以为什么都懂,到晚年才觉悟一切都不懂。------林语堂
只看该作者 179 发表于: 2019-07-28
上次蘇聯因為一位叫 Boris 的而解體, 連哈薩克都只好獨立
看看這次蘇格蘭會不會也受惠於 Boris 而獨立
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 180 发表于: 2019-08-20
現在這個 Boris 跟之前那個 Boris 主政時一樣, 都是聯盟領導國家 (英格蘭跟俄羅斯) 比其他分子國更想要拆分整個聯盟

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-08-09/scottish-independence-irish-reunification-brexit-helps-both
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 181 发表于: 2019-08-21
正常情况下其实不会,但保不准呢。
只看该作者 182 发表于: 2019-09-12
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 183 发表于: 2019-10-18
Another Scottish referendum beckons—and this time the nationalists may win – The other exit negotiations

www.economist.com
by www.economist.com via GoorufBot
GoorufBot 6 hours ago
  
www.economist.com
Article taken from: www.economist.com
https://www.economist.com/britain/2019/10/17/another-scottish-referendum-beckons-and-this-time-the-nationalists-may-win

Article summary

IT IS A defining characteristic of the modern Scottish nationalist movement that it refuses to engage in extreme methods to advance its cause. This week, as Spain’s supreme court jailed Catalan separatist leaders for between nine and 13 years for sedition, following an illegal referendum and unilateral declaration of independence in 2017, the Scottish National Party was gathering peacefully in Aberdeen for its annual conference. Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP ’s leader and first minister of Scotland, was quick to condemn the Spanish court’s decision as “dreadful”. When it comes to radical activity, Scottish nationalists might engage in a boisterous march through the streets of Edinburgh or, if especially grumpy, wave some placards outside the “biased” BBC .

This perhaps reflects the fact that Britain has been a union of choice for more than 300 years and has largely operated to Scotland’s advantage. Polls in recent months have shown support for independence creeping up to 50% and above . One reason is Brexit, which Scots opposed 62-38 and whose implementation is proving to be messy. It may not be long before they are once again asked to make such a decision.

Ms Sturgeon says she will request a Section 30 order from Westminster, enabling another referendum, by the end of this year. It seems unlikely that a Conservative government would oblige before the next Holyrood election in 2021. The price of its support would be a second referendum. With their objective suddenly and unexpectedly looming into prospect again, some of the more excitable Scottish nationalists are growing impatient.

“The unhappiness is real and stronger than the leadership would like outsiders to believe. The first minister has long had to balance the SNP ’s gradualists against its fundamentalists. The latter are often loyal to Alex Salmond, who led the party for most of the time between 1990 and 2014, and whose approach to politics was considerably more abrasive and divisive than Ms Sturgeon’s. There is also the matter of Mr Salmond’s trial, due early next year, for attempted rape and other sexual offences.

This, they know, would establish an undeniable mandate for a new referendum. Before then, they want to deepen support for leaving, and drive that 50% figure higher. Despite the grumbles, SNP gradualists still have the upper hand. They believe their lifelong goal of Scottish independence has never been closer, and that playing by the rules will get them across the line sooner rather than later.

And the truth is that Ms Sturgeon, like all clever democrats, doesn’t want to have the fight until she is sure she can win it.
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 184 发表于: 2019-10-18
17th October
Blocking Scottish independence referendum indefinitely is unsustainable, think tank warns
By Evening Times Online

It would be unsustainable for the UK Government to block a Scottish independence referendum if a majority of Scots want one, according to a leading think tank.

In a new report, the Institute for Government (IFG) also suggests the legitimacy of the union could be undermined if a request to hold another vote is continually rejected.

The document, which focuses on the impact of a no-deal Brexit and the union, was highlighted on the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a deal had been reached with the European Union.

Under a section titled “Mitigating the risks to the union”, the IFG wrote: “The Scottish Government intends to hold a second independence referendum.

“This will need the agreement of Westminster. However, if there is a clear majority in Scotland for a second vote on independence, it would be unsustainable and counterproductive for the UK Government to block it indefinitely.”

At the SNP conference in Aberdeen, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon restated her position that independence must be achieved through a legally binding referendum.

That was despite calls for a “plan B” approach which would involve starting independence talks with the UK in the event that a pro-independence majority is achieved at the next Holyrood election.

On the potential for the UK Government to block another vote, the report read: “Any attempt to proceed with a second referendum without Westminster explicitly devolving the power to do so would almost certainly be subject to legal challenge and probably a boycott from unionist parties and the UK Government.

“A referendum held in this manner would be unlikely to command widespread legitimacy. It’s clear that the Scottish Government, and other prominent supporters of independence, do not want to go down the path of an unauthorised referendum.”

The report continued: “A continued refusal by the UK Government to devolve the power to hold an independence referendum would become harder to justify if nationalist parties perform well at the next UK general and Scottish parliamentary elections.

“If the UK Government continues to deny a vote in all circumstances, this could further undermine the legitimacy of the union and make for ever-more dysfunctional intergovernmental relations.

“For both practical and principled reasons, the UK Government should ultimately accept that Scotland has the right to secede from the union should a majority of its citizens so desire.”

The report also suggested that potential trade and economic barriers could make the case for Scottish independence more difficult in the event of a hard Brexit.

It said: “There is an argument that the case for Scottish independence might in fact become harder for nationalists to make after a hard Brexit.

“The reason is that if the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union, and Scotland leaves the UK in order to rejoin the EU, then this could lead to new barriers to trade and other economic activity between Scotland and England.”

Keith BrownSNP depute leader Keith Brown said Scotland should and must have the choice to determine its future (Jane Barlow/PA)
SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “It is self-evident that Scotland can, should and must have the choice to determine our own future with independence.

“This report adds grist to that mill, making clear that the decision Scotland makes must be respected.

“It sends a stern warning to Westminster that continuing to refuse a referendum will completely undermine the legitimacy of an already crumbling union.

“And what right does anybody have to deny the people of Scotland that right to choose our own future? It is a completely unsustainable position, already coming apart at the seams.

“Any form of Brexit will hammer Scotland, as we are dragged out of Europe against our will.

“Westminster’s assault on democracy is untenable, and Scotland will have a choice.”

https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/17976106.blocking-scottish-independence-referendum-indefinitely-unsustainable-think-tank-warns/
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 185 发表于: 2019-10-18
苏格兰独立的可能性不大。
只看该作者 186 发表于: 2019-10-18
再过5年后看
多数人一生三件事---自欺、欺人、被人欺
一个人炫耀什么,说明内心缺少什么。
一个人越在意的地方,就是最令他自卑的地方。
人生在世,幼时认为什么都不懂,大学时以为什么都懂,毕业后才知道什么都不懂,中年又以为什么都懂,到晚年才觉悟一切都不懂。------林语堂
只看该作者 187 发表于: 2019-10-19
回 zhaohz 的帖子
zhaohz:不会的。参考苏联解体后的俄罗斯 (2018-01-18 14:22) 

哪怕是只剩下英格兰,实力已然超越大韩民国!
中央行政区划委员会是行政区划改革工作的核心领导和决策部门。主要职责:1.编制规划地方三级管理体制。2.审核批准各级政区的设立标准和规模。3.组织指导各个政区的官员级别和套改工作。4.地名和边界标准化等等。
只看该作者 188 发表于: 2019-11-04
英苏关系破裂是大不列颠岛民不想看到的,苏格兰应该争取更多的自治权
只看该作者 189 发表于: 2019-12-24
回 vladimir 的帖子
vladimir:上次蘇聯因為一位叫 Boris 的而解體, 連哈薩克都只好獨立
看看這次蘇格蘭會不會也受惠於 Boris 而獨立 (2019-07-28 08:25) 

不同的是,俄罗斯加盟共和国总统Boris推动苏联解体,英国首相Boris阻碍英国解体
燕山雪无畏,燕山雪有理
只看该作者 190 发表于: 2019-12-24
回 人民民主 的帖子
人民民主:不同的是,俄罗斯加盟共和国总统Boris推动苏联解体,英国首相Boris阻碍英国解体 (2019-12-24 16:11) 

大英帝國是因邱吉爾打勝仗而解體的
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 191 发表于: 2019-12-25
回 vladimir 的帖子
vladimir:大英帝國是因邱吉爾打勝仗而解體的 (2019-12-24 20:47) 

我说的英国指的是现在的英国
燕山雪无畏,燕山雪有理
只看该作者 192 发表于: 2020-01-04
回 人民民主 的帖子
人民民主:我说的英国指的是现在的英国 (2019-12-25 00:05) 

我指的就是英國的解體進程從那時就開始
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 193 发表于: 2020-02-04
歐盟開始要裂解英國了?
前歐盟理事會主席稱他同情爭取獨立的蘇格蘭 引爭議
宇寧2020.2.3 08:24

【希望之聲2020年2月3日】(本台記者宇寧綜合報導)歐盟理事會前主席圖斯克2月2日表示, 歐盟非常同情希望獨立後再加入歐盟蘇格蘭。英國外相拉布則批評圖斯克的言談不負責任。

據政治週刊報導,圖斯克說從感情上而言,毫無疑問布魯塞爾和歐洲更廣大地區都歡迎蘇格蘭加入歐盟。

自從英國於上週五午夜11時正式退出歐盟後,蘇格蘭首席大臣斯特金(Nicola Sturgeon)就開始爲爭取蘇格蘭進行二次獨立公投而努力, 因爲在英國2016年的英脫歐公投中,大多數蘇格蘭選民要求的是留在歐盟。 而且上週的一份民調顯示,蘇格蘭地區支持獨立的選民的人數超過了支持英國統一的選民人數, 這是自從2015年以來蘇格蘭首次出現大多數選民支持蘇格蘭獨立。

蘇格蘭外交事務發言人史密斯(Alyn Smith) 對於圖斯克的這席話表示歡迎,他說這是歐盟領袖私下來的態度, 這也說明歐盟會“敞開胸懷接收蘇格蘭”。

他說:“蘇格蘭被英國保守黨強行帶離是違背蘇格蘭選民民意的,也是未得到蘇格蘭民衆授權的。”他表示蘇格蘭準備通過獨立來保護其是歐盟 一部分的地位。

但是英國外相拉布則在同一天表示,圖斯克的話很不像歐盟領袖的話,而且相當不負責任。

他說:“我不認爲歐盟領袖會歡迎這種言辭,更不要說英國政府會歡迎。 ”

拉布還表示,英國政府期望蘇格蘭民族黨能夠兌現他們的承諾, 因爲該黨曾經承諾會遵從2014年蘇格蘭獨立公投的結果,而蘇格蘭2014年公投的結果是要求蘇格蘭留在英國。

英國政府已經表示,由於2014年蘇格蘭民族黨要求的蘇格蘭獨立選舉是一個“一生一次”的選舉,因此英國政府不準備授予蘇格蘭第二次獨立公投的機會

https://www.soundofhope.org/post/339136?lang=b5
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 194 发表于: 2020-02-14
路漫漫,革命之路花团锦簇。
中北海-主动承担部分中南海职能
只看该作者 195 发表于: 2020-06-23
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 196 发表于: 2020-08-05
國際
2020年7月12日星期日
國際要聞

蘇格蘭抗疫績佳 蘇獨支持度升

蘇格蘭上周一(6日)起允許室外酒吧和咖啡店等重開,首席部長施雅晴率先在之前3日到一間室外酒吧視察。(法新社)

【明報專訊】英國蘇格蘭首席部長施雅晴(Nicola Sturgeon)在新型冠狀病毒肺炎疫情下民望攀升,有人將當地疫情較英格蘭輕微,歸功於她相對謹慎的抗疫態度,又拿她與首相約翰遜作對比。民調顯示,蘇格蘭民眾除了對施雅晴的抗疫表現滿意度上升,就連她提倡的蘇格蘭獨立支持度亦增至54%。有專家認為對民族主義者而言,今次疫情正好證明蘇格蘭能作為一個獨立小國運作。

施雅晴防疫措施謹慎獲支持
截至上周五(10日),英格蘭有逾4萬宗確診個案,每10萬人有443人曾受感染;蘇格蘭只有2490宗,每10萬人有337人染疫。兩地同於3月23日起封城,但蘇格蘭多方面都未有跟隨英格蘭,例如施雅晴召集獨立於英國政府的科學顧問,向德國取經。當地有自己的檢測及追蹤計劃,從社區招募追蹤接觸者。有官員認為,這比英格蘭委託私人承辦商進行追蹤更有效。施雅晴每日出席簡報會,亦被讚有助緩解民眾焦慮。

蘇格蘭在解封上亦相對謹慎,例如延遲數日才重開室外酒吧,避免像英格蘭一樣在周末重開。英格蘭只要求民眾在公共交通及到醫院時戴口罩,蘇格蘭則自上周五起,規定在商店亦須戴口罩。約翰遜同日稱,或須更嚴格要求民眾在密封埸所戴口罩,亦稱不會強制民眾在商店戴口罩。英格蘭豁免59個國家或地區入境人士的隔離規定,蘇格蘭則將西班牙和塞爾維亞剔出名單。

學者:疫情證明蘇格蘭可更有效管治
民調機構Panelbase本月初公布的調查顯示,蘇格蘭民眾對施雅晴抗疫表現的淨支持度為60%,較3月上升6個百分點,相比下約翰遜則由17%大跌至-39%。有54%受訪者支持蘇格蘭獨立,較3月上升5個百分點。蘇格蘭獨立是施雅晴帶領的蘇格蘭民族黨主要政綱之一。

斯特拉思克萊德大學政治學教授柯蒂斯(John Curtice)指出,對許多民族主義者而言,過去3個月已證明蘇格蘭可如何作為一個獨立小國更有效管治。約翰遜日前表明拒絕授權二次蘇獨公投,但愛丁堡大學政治學教授麥克尤恩(Nicola McEwen)認為,隨着施雅晴所獲的權威和尊重攀升,約翰遜要拒絕公投將更加困難。

https://news.mingpao.com/pns/%E5%9C%8B%E9%9A%9B/article/20200712/s00014/1594491226249/%E8%98%87%E6%A0%BC%E8%98%AD%E6%8A%97%E7%96%AB%E7%B8%BE%E4%BD%B3-%E8%98%87%E7%8D%A8%E6%94%AF%E6%8C%81%E5%BA%A6%E5%8D%87
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 197 发表于: 2020-08-05
蘇格蘭二度獨立公投呼聲再起 強生說NO

時間:2020-07-24 11:11新聞引據:採訪、法新社撰稿編輯:吳寧康

英國首相強生(Boris Johnson) (資料照片/路透社/達志影像)
儘管對蘇格蘭與英國分道揚鑣的支持明顯升高,但英國首相強生(Boris Johnson)23日仍拒絕蘇格蘭二度獨立公投的呼聲。

蘇格蘭曾在2014年曾舉行獨立公投,結果以55%對45%的結果維持現狀,就連支持獨立的蘇格蘭民族黨(SNP)都同意,那是「一世代一次」的公投。

但在倫敦與愛丁堡因為英國脫歐的緊張、以及在政治與個人歧見的刺激下,這個議題捲土重來。

如今民調顯示,大多數的蘇格蘭人支持獨立、告別雙邊逾3個世紀以來的聯盟關係。

然而,英國保守黨(Conservative)黨魁強生重申,英國國會不會授權蘇格蘭議會再度舉行公投的權力。

強生說,「我們有過一次解散這個聯盟的公投…只在6年前那次」,不論怎麼計算這都還不到一個世代。

他表示,這個聯盟是極為強力的機構,協助他們度過了艱難險阻,人們真正希望的是看到整個國家更為強盛,團結一致,而這正是他們所要去做的事。

英國俗稱武漢肺炎的2019年冠狀病毒疾病(COVID-19)已導致逾4.5萬人死亡;加上蘇格蘭首席大臣施特金(Nicola Sturgeon)對疫情更為審慎的處理,激起了這場辯論。

根據現行憲法慣例,蘇格蘭若要二度公投必須取得英國政府同意。施特金已在去年底正式提出請求,讓蘇格蘭合法舉行公投。

但強生已在今年2月致函施特金,正式拒絕蘇格蘭舉行第二次獨立公投的請求。

民調機構Panelbase本月稍早指出,創紀錄的54%蘇格蘭人支持獨立。過去6個月的民調平均支持度是51%。

而施特金對疫情的處理更使她的滿意度飆升到60%,遠高於被控未能及早遏制疫情的強生。

https://www.rti.org.tw/news/view/id/2073330
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 198 发表于: 2020-08-05
蘇格蘭防疫受認可 獨立聲浪再起
台灣醒報

2020年7月26日 下午3:01

王安棣

民眾對於蘇格蘭防疫作為讚譽有加,讓首席部長施特金的蘇格蘭民族黨更有本錢推動獨立議題。(photo by Wikimedia)

【台灣醒報記者王安棣綜合報導】「蘇格蘭政府防疫措施優於英國,再次打擊了人民對聯合王國的支持。」英國首相強森23日拜訪蘇格蘭的奧克尼群島,想宣示他對聯合王國的投入,然而,隨著蘇格蘭在處理疫情得當,採用務實防疫措施的首席部長施特金支持度激增,人民對強森政府的認同感則再降低,將有助於施特金的蘇格蘭民族黨再度推動獨立議題。

施特金主打務實防疫

根據《CNN》的報導,英國與蘇格蘭在處理疫情的方式大不同,強森是直到自己確診後才正視疫情問題,近期則因為讓人困惑的解封措施受批評,他5月10日時指示,國人若無法在家工作,則「強烈鼓勵出門上班,」但同時仍須「保持警覺,」施特金則是對這個宣導不以為然,「我不懂『保持警覺』是什麼意思。」

強森政府日前頒布規定,開放居民拜訪特定國家,歸國後不需隔離,施特金稱此決定過程「混亂無章,」蘇格蘭則未開放不受限的境外旅遊。此外,蘇格蘭在口罩政策上也較英國嚴謹,施特金比唐寧街搶先兩週就規定,在商家內必須戴口罩,自己在公開場合也多戴著口罩示人。

獨立聲浪與日俱增

《路透社》的報導指出,蘇格蘭政府製造出防疫成績較佳的形象,與聯合王國的關係再度動搖,最新的民調顯示,蘇格蘭獨立的支持率已來到54%。施特金確實在解封過程中,採取更謹慎的做法,蘇格蘭也在過去一週都沒有新的死亡案例。

蘇格蘭曾在2014年進行獨立公投,雖然以10%的差距沒有通過,但支持獨立的蘇格蘭民族黨在隔年的英國大選中,在下議院拿下56個席次,2016年英國脫歐公投的結果,也讓多數蘇格蘭人感到不滿,民調經辦人柯提斯日前表示,蘇格蘭的獨立支持度,已在最近一年攀升,連當初投下脫歐同意票的蘇格蘭人,也開始導向支持獨立。

強森重申財政助益

這個民意趨勢對保守黨的強森來說,可說是極為頭痛,他上週出訪蘇格蘭時,便重申聯合王國團結的重要性,以及2014年獨立公投的結果應受尊重。強森也提到,先前英國國庫的休假計畫,保住了數千個蘇格蘭人的工作,藉此強調英國對蘇格蘭的財政和經濟成長的助益。

https://tw.news.yahoo.com/%E8%98%87%E6%A0%BC%E8%98%AD%E9%98%B2%E7%96%AB%E5%8F%97%E8%AA%8D%E5%8F%AF-%E7%8D%A8%E7%AB%8B%E8%81%B2%E6%B5%AA%E5%86%8D%E8%B5%B7-070119702.html
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
只看该作者 199 发表于: 2020-08-05
The road to independence: How Covid and Brexit pushed Scotland from the Union

No.10's weak response to the crisis has been a gift to Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Monday, 3 August 2020 8:29 AM
By Chaminda Jayanetti

At least they've noticed. Boris Johnson's flying visit to Scotland late last month wasn't much of a response to rising support for Scottish independence - but it was, at least, a response.

Johnson's desperation not to be the prime minister who 'lost the union' might be the only thing motivating him to try and hold it together, given that, like David Cameron, he instinctively sucks at the electoral teat of English nationalism, casually alienating Scottish voters with the insouciance of a man for whom everything in life has been cleaned up after him.

The recent turn in the polls towards independence is much more dangerous for unionists than the Yes campaign surge in 2014. During the referendum campaign, the surge in support for independence came from undecided voters rather than supporters of the union. But 2019 and 2020 have seen a much more direct shift of opinion from No to Yes.

The shift has had two big drivers - the first of which is Brexit.

"If you go back to the 2014 referendum, there was no relationship at that referendum between people's attitudes towards Europe and whether or not they voted Yes or No," says polling expert John Curtice.

The Brexit vote then sparked a movement of pro-union Remain voters towards Yes, but one that was balanced out by pro-independence Leave voters shifting towards No - initially at least.

"Last year it became clear that the group of people who were moving from No to Yes because they voted Remain was now larger than the group moving in the other direction," says Curtice. "So by the end of 2019 and by the time Boris Johnson gets his majority, it's very clear that the pursuit of Brexit is beginning to undermine support for the Union, such that we were getting close to, but were not quite at, the 50-50 mark."

And then came the coronavirus.

"When the pandemic started, I briefly thought 'well, this could be curtains [for independence], at least for a good few years'," says James Kelly of pro-independence website Scot Goes Pop! "The fact that it's gone completely the other way demonstrates how catastrophic Westminster's handling of the crisis has been."

Critics of the SNP argue the Scottish government has overstated the extent to which it has deviated from the decision-making at Westminster in handling the pandemic, and Scotland has endured many of the same problems as the rest of the UK, most notably with outbreaks in care homes.

"It is really interesting that at a point where two governments are following a similar path in policy terms to a crisis, they are getting very different responses from the public for what is essentially a very similar response," says Edinburgh-based political consultant Mark Diffley.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has enjoyed sky-high popularity in Scotland during the pandemic - the complete reverse of Johnson's subterranean personal ratings. And this support is not limited to SNP voters.

"The really striking thing was that the cohort of 2014 No voters, which of course would include lots of Leave voters as well, rate the first minister's handling of the crisis more positively than the prime minister's handling," says Diffley.

"Which is quite something when you sit and think about it - a Conservative prime minister against an SNP first minister coming off worse amongst unionists."

While survey data has long shown Scottish voters have more trust in the devolved government than in Westminster, Sturgeon's style - and her visibility fronting most of the ongoing daily press conferences - contrasts with that of the prime minister.

"There's been a sense in which basically she's just levelled with people," says Curtice, "and she's kind of said, 'this is difficult, I'm probably going to worry about some of these decisions I've made for the rest of my life'. There is no promise of 'sunny uplands'."

Her focus on enabling people to reunite with loved ones when easing lockdown, in contrast to Johnson's focus on reopening the economy, also gives her leadership a more empathetic tone than the prime minister's, while steering away from the tub-thumping partisanship of the Tory leader.

"It's certainly possible to construct a case that would argue that perhaps Nicola Sturgeon has got the tone correct and given the impression that she knows what she's doing," says Curtice.

By contrast, Johnson is a "liability" for the unionist cause, says Kelly.

Scotland is now pursuing a 'zero Covid' strategy, with no deaths from one day to the next, whereas the Tories appear ready to tolerate an ongoing level of communal infection as they try and reopen the economy.

"The feeling is that things were going badly when Scotland was following Westminster's lead, and then improved markedly when Nicola Sturgeon went her own way," says Kelly. "It's not that what happened in care homes is directly Westminster's fault, but Scotland at that point had locked itself into a Westminster-led 'four nations' strategy that was hopelessly misconceived."

Diffley points to a basic communications problem for the UK government: "Stuff that goes wrong - UK's fault. Stuff that goes right - plaudits to the Scottish government."

All this feeds through to the independence debate. Just as Brexit proved that Scotland's wishes could be overruled by the UK government, many Scots increasingly feel the pandemic shows they are better off governing themselves.

But with rising support for independence among Leave voters since the pandemic started, does that make an explicitly pro-EU Yes campaign risky in a second referendum?

"Insofar as Brexit becomes an essential part of the story, Yes support will fall further among Leave voters," says Curtice. "But it doesn't have to gain at the same rate amongst Remain voters in order to for it to match its losses."

Instead, the big challenge Brexit poses to the Yes campaign is the wearily familiar issue of the border. If Yes promises to pave the way for Scotland to rejoin the EU, we could see a repeat of the wrangling over the Northern Irish border after the 2016 Brexit vote - although that would also leave the UK government adopting the very same logic to argue against independence that it previously rejected in arguing for a hard Brexit.

The independence debate still has years left to run. But Kelly is confident that Brexit and the pandemic mean that voters will no longer see the Union as the safe option.

"My guess is the pandemic may have shifted opinion to the point where that's less likely to happen.  There's a feeling now that we're being run by a bunch of clowns in London, and that things won't get any better, and will probably keep getting worse, unless we do something about that."

https://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2020/08/03/the-road-to-independence-how-covid-and-brexit-pushed-scotlan
东南军政长官,兼行政院东部联合服务中心主任、台湾省政府主席、浙江省大陈区行政督察专员、福建省金门军管区行政公署行政长、福建省马祖守备区战地政务委员会主任委员、台湾省梨山建设管理局局长、台北市阳明山管理局局长。
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