The Null Device

Scottish independence?

As the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union, that forged the state of Great Britain out of Englandandwales and Scotland, approaches, a narrow majority of Scots support Scotland gaining independence from the UK, for the first time after devolution.
The survey for The Scotsman newspaper, six months before Scottish Parliament elections, will make Scottish Labour nervous, especially since it confirms recent polls showing the Scottish Nationalists making gains from Labour. If the Nationalists win power, they say that they will hold a referendum on independence within four years.
Whether or not independence will happen is another matter; the fact that Scotland's oil/gas reserves are in decline means that Scottish independence would not be as severe an economic blow to the UK as it would have been a decade ago.

The question arises of what would happen were Scotland to vote for, and gain, its independence. Would England, Wales and Northern Ireland call themselves "the UK" (much in the way that Serbia and Montenegro called themselves "Yugoslavia")? What if Northern Ireland went its own way (breaking the union after which the UK was named)? I suppose Englandandwales could be referred to as "Great Britain" (the name of the island it's on), much in the way that the United States is known as "America", though as an official name it sounds unwieldy.

Of course, it's quite likely that Scottish independence may not happen and that it may be an ambit claim. Perhaps the separatists could be bought off by replacing the asymmetric, London-centric UK with a German/Australian-style federal system, in which England, Wales and Scotland are member states. The question is: where would the new British Parliament be sited?

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