PoliticsWorld

What Brexit means for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland By David Clegg

What have they done?

That was the overwhelming feeling on Friday as a shocked Scotland woke up to the news voters in England are to wrench them out of the European Union.

When Scots can’t even be bothered celebrating David Cameron resigning, you know something has gone terribly wrong.

And it wasn’t just the stock market crash, the run on the pound and the months and years of political chaos stretching out ahead that was causing dismay.

It was the complete sense of bewilderment about why it had happened.

Every single council area in Scotland voted to stay the EU. Overall, 62% of the ballot papers were marked in favour of Remain.

Scotland and England have never felt politically further apart.

Viewed from north of the border, much of the Brexit debate has appeared beamed in from another universe.

It was dominated by a Tory civil war and obsessed with an issue – immigration – that nobody really cares too much about here.

The upshot is that another referendum on Scottish independence is almost inevitable. And the smart money is on it returning a Yes vote this time around.

After all, Cameron previously insisted that only by staying part of Britain could Scotland guarantee its place in the EU. It’s an argument that has come back to bite unionists on the behind.

Many of those who voted to stay in the UK two years ago did so because they wanted to reject a narrow nationalism and its insular view of the world.

Friday’s result has recast independence as the positive, outward-looking option for Scotland.

There is only one winner in a contest between Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s civic and progressive nationalism and Nigel Farage’s foreigner-bashing.

Sturgeon’s speech from her official residence Bute House in Edinburgh captured the mood.

“I am proud of Scotland and how we voted yesterday,” she said.

“We proved that we are a modern, outward-looking, open and inclusive country, and we said clearly that we do not want to leave the European Union. I am determined that we will do what it takes to make sure that these aspirations are realised.”

Watching David Cameron ’s Downing Street resignation, it felt like he was talking from amongst the rubble of the British state.

In their desire to “take back control” of Britain, the Brexiteers may have succeeded where Hitler failed and destroyed it.

 

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