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Scotland will maintain one other independence referendum regardless of U.Okay. opposition — and vote Yes: minister


‘The adjustments that Brexit led to are as dangerous if not worse than had been predicted. And we look ahead to remedying that,’ Scotland’s minister of exterior affairs instructed the National Post

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson could also be dead-set opposed, however Scotland will maintain one other independence referendum subsequent yr as deliberate — and the Yes aspect will win, predicts the Scottish minister in command of such constitutional issues.

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On a go to to Canada this week to have a good time the international locations’ “symbiotic” relationship, Angus Robertson stated Johnson’s authorities would threat worldwide embarrassment if it blocked the referendum promised by the Scottish National Party as a part of its election platform final yr.

The harm finished to Scotland by Brexit and an more and more “inward-looking” U.Okay. make it essential for Scots to have one other probability to vote on separation — regardless that the final referendum was simply 9 years in the past, stated Robertson.

“At some point it is unsustainable for decision makers in London to paint themselves in the corner of opposing democracy,” he stated after arriving in Toronto. “Which is what they would be doing if they were to block the legitimate democratic demands of the Scottish parliament … It would have quite severe international repercussions.”

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At some level it’s unsustainable for choice makers in London to color themselves within the nook of opposing democracy

Angus Robertson

Robertson is minister of exterior affairs, tradition and the structure within the Scottish authorities, which for twenty-four years has wielded powers over home coverage within the U.Okay.’s northernmost territory.

His pro-independence Scottish National Party — aided by help from the Green Party — returned to energy in an election final yr, pledging to carry one other referendum earlier than the top of 2023 after dropping the primary one in 2014 by a 55-45 margin.

But Johnson says the U.Okay. parliament — the place the Conservatives maintain the bulk — won’t present the requisite approval for one more vote, and has stated a break-up with Scotland would spell financial “disaster.”

Canadians unfamiliar with the problem might scratch their heads on the concept of ending the 300-year-old union, however the minister stated Scotland’s causes for doing so have solely grown for the reason that U.Okay. left the European Union.

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The Scottish inhabitants is definitely projected to shrink on account of Brexit, with EU members now not capable of journey and work freely within the U.Okay., whereas far fewer Europeans are enrolling in its universities, he stated. Scottish residents voted 62 per cent towards leaving the EU within the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The Johnson authorities’s choice to require Ukrainian refugees to acquire visas earlier than coming into the U.Okay. — the one European nation to take action — underlines a rising hole in values between it and Europe-focused Scotland, stated Robertson.

“The changes that Brexit brought about are as bad if not worse than were predicted. And we look forward to remedying that.”

Whether to approve the referendum is a difficult query for Johnson, who doesn’t need to be “responsible as prime minister for the demise of (his) country,” stated Mel Cappe, a former Canadian excessive commissioner to London.

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On the opposite hand, if Johnson declines to provide permission, that refusal might itself gas help for separation, stated the University of Toronto public-policy and governance professor Tuesday.

Cappe stated he doesn’t imagine independence can be useful economically for Scotland, although Brexit did make the case for secession stronger. Regardless, the problem will reside on, he stated, even when there’s a referendum subsequent yr and the No aspect wins once more, as some latest polls have advised might occur.

“Does everybody just pack up and go home? No,” stated the previous envoy to the U.Okay. “This is the low-grade fever of Scottish politics, just like Quebec sovereignty or uniqueness or distinct society … is a low-grade fever in Canadian politics. It ain’t going away.”

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In truth, secession even colors Robertson’s journey to Canada. He’s visiting right here and the U.S. to mark Tartan Day — April 6 — a North American celebration of Scottish heritage. It commemorates the Declaration of Arbroath, a 14th-Century letter written by Scottish barons to the pope asserting Scotland’s standing as an unbiased nation.

The minister famous that his nation’s affect on Canada and Canadian historical past for the reason that arrival of European colonialists — to not point out its affect on the U.S. — is “massively out of proportion” for a rustic of 5 million individuals.

But he stated the connection goes the opposite manner, too, with Canadians contributing to fashionable Scotland.

That contains two Canadian members of the Scottish parliament — Alberta-born Lorna Slater of the Greens and the SNP’s Elena Whitham — who emigrated to Scotland. Slater is even a member of the SNP-Greens cupboard. Whitham was born in Scotland and moved to Quebec as a six-year-old, earlier than returning to the land of her delivery as an grownup. She was sworn into the Scottish parliament in French, stated Robertson.

“There is a symbiotic relationship,” he stated. “It’s not just the case that lots of Scots left Scotland, came to Canada, helped it to become the country it became and it was all one-way traffic. We’re very fortunate to have Canadians who have come back to Scotland.”

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