Hoping to soothe the groundswell of support for a second Scottish independence bid and using words as an antiseptic, Prime Minister David Cameron exhorted Scotland to accept the results of last September’s failed attempt for autonomy and decline a second undertaking for self-rule.
“We all agreed, as do the Scottish public, that the independence referendum should be a ‘once in a generation’ or a ‘once in a lifetime’ event, so now it is time to move on. Some may want to obsess about separation, but I am focused on delivering devolution,” Cameron said in remarks released by his office.
Seizing momentum from sweeping gains in the May elections which witnessed the Scottish National Party (SNP) earn 56 of the 59 Scottish seats in British parliament, SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has encouraged “patience” for supporters of Scottish independence.
“David Cameron is living on borrowed time,” Sturgeon said in remarks delivered to SNP MPs and activists in Edinburgh to mark the one-year anniversary of the independence vote.
“If we are to win independence, we must convince a majority of Scots that it represents the best future for Scotland. That was true last year, it is true now and it will be true at all times in the future. There are no shortcuts,” she said.
Opinion polls in Scotland have revealed a slight increase in support for independence for Scotland.
Creating an atmosphere of distrust is Holyrood’s (Scottish Parliament) contention Westminster is unhurried in honoring Mr. Cameron’s repeated vows to “devolve” power from Westminster and strengthen the legislative assemblies in both Wales and Scotland.
A further source of discord between Downing Street and Scotland is Mr. Cameron’s planned referendum to withdraw from the European Union (EU). A potential wedge issue, Scotland has forewarned Mr. Cameron the unilateral removal of the UK from the EU without consultations with Holyrood would re-ignite a Scottish independence vote.
Although dominion is a passionate concern, there is a Byzantine complexity of independence: Aside from the historic ties between the two, a host of economic issues, for example, would be thrown into a delirium. Currency development, loss of aid from Westminster, representation in NATO, G8 and the EU, and a remainder of unimaginable, internal bureaucratic trials would persist and plague Scotland should it gain self-rule.
Mr. Cameron should understand Scottish rationale and not dismiss Ms. Sturgeon as some energetic agitator, but independence may not be the elixir of life Ms. Sturgeon and her SNP allies may think.
[Reuters] [The Guardian] [Photo courtesy jcunews.com]