Brexit is done, The United Kingdom has finally cut ties with the European Union and the departure is now final.
The finalization of the dreadful separation after five long unsettling years has illuminated the uncertainty ahead of the UK and has put the Kingdom’s unity at grave risk.
The UK Government has occasionally refrained to apply the most important policies; a decent coronavirus response and Brexit are of the kind.
Brexit; threatening the ‘Union’
The UK held the Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016, among voters, 17.4 million have chosen to leave the bloc, and 48 percent or 16.1 million people voted to stay in the EU. People of England and Wales voted to leave, but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay.
The referendum reflected the division rooted deep inside the United Kingdom.
Brexit revealed that the UK is more divided on the inside rather than from the EU.
UK Prime minister Boris Johnson did get Brexit done, but he is falling short on keeping the bonds among the four nations; England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland from gradually falling apart.
Johnson believes he is the Prime minister of the Union, meaning England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. But his Covid-19 response and a disaster called Brexit show this ‘Union’ is living very troubling days and is expected to see worse.
Scotland and Northern Ireland have both voted against Brexit in 2016 and are now on the lookout for a different path than the one UK is blindly stepping in without considering the dire outcomes that may arise in the coming years.
Brexit has unleashed the divisions that laid beneath the skin of unity in the UK.
Prime Minister Johnson’s popularity is endangered by Covid-19, SNP leader’s popularity in contrast is peaking at 72 percent, her party is foreseen to win the May election with an overwhelming majority, and remaining in Holyrood.
Nicola Sturgeon; taking Scotland away from Brexit senselessness
Not so many ‘UK citizens’ are happy with Brexit, or the UK Government’s clear confusion about what the future is holding for the Kingdom.
Take Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is working hard to achieve a second independence referendum should Scottish National Party (SNP) win the next parliament majority in May.
“Parting is such sweet sorrow,” Nicola Sturgeon said. “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
Since 2016, the UK Government has ruled out any reaction to Scots’ will to remain in the UK rather than showing their sympathy.
Unlike those who are responsible for the chaotic departure from the EU in Johnson’s Cabinet, Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon has introduced an 11-point roadmap pushing for another independence referendum.
Prime Minister Johnson has too followed the sympathy trail by not giving a second shot at an independence referendum to Scots and reaffirming his stance by saying independence debate is ‘irrelevant’ to most Scots!
In his last visit to Scotland, Prime Minister Johnson said “I think endless talk about a referendum without any clear description of what the constitutional situation would be after that referendum is completely irrelevant now to the concerns of most people
“We don’t actually know what the referendum would set out to achieve.
“We don’t know what the point of it would be – what happens to the army, what happens to the Crown, what happens to the pound, what happens to the Foreign Office. Nobody will tell us what it’s all meant to be about.
“I’m inclined to stick with what they said last time.” Referring to Scotland’s vote to remain in the UK held on 18 September 2014.
As ‘The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn strikingly puts it; Boris Johnson has constantly downplayed the Scottish stance on independence as a lesser issue of importance compared to bread-and-butter issues.
Demeaning the issue of independence as a second-rated matter that could be simply ignored until it magically goes away on its own.
Scottish First Minister on the other hand stated that she is eager to hold an advisory referendum regardless of Westminster’s consent.
Sturgeon said: “I want to have a legal referendum, that’s what I’m going to seek the authority of the Scottish people for in May, and if they give me that authority that’s what I intend to do: to have a legal referendum to give people the right to choose. That’s democracy. It’s not about what I want or what Boris Johnson wants.”
First Minister Sturgeon embraces what Prime Minister Johnson clearly decides on not acknowledging, and that is ‘What Scots want’.
The Scottish nation seeks to return to the EU and believes the way to do it is to leave the UK.
The Irish Are in Favour of ‘United Ireland’ in Five Years
While Scotland is expected to win the fight against Johnson’s denial, and eventually become an independent state, Northern Ireland has shown the same interests with less patience compared to Scotland.
Polls show that 47 percent in Northern Ireland want to remain in the UK compared to 42 percent wanting to leave the four nations, but when asked if they supported a referendum on a united Ireland in five years, 51 percent said they would vote YES while 44 percent said NO.
The same polls indicate that voters anticipated that Scotland would leave the UK in ten years.
The polls show a 2 percent rise in support for a united Ireland since the last poll in 2017.
The majority of those who identified themselves as nationalist (25 percent) supported a united Ireland. While the majority of unionists (28 percent) were against leaving the UK.
With Scotland moving closer to a second referendum, demands for the Irish Border poll grows stronger.
Northern Ireland has suffered for five years in the middle of the Brexit storm.
More lorries are stuck at customs while Brexit slowly fuels up the disaster engine, but Brexit could cost the four nations more than that.
Brexit simply is threatening the integrity of the UK along with the steadiness of the Irish peace process.
The signing of the Good Friday Agreement (aka Belfast Agreement) between the British and the Irish governments is an indication of a broad approach to justice, civil rights, governance, and policing.
Strong UK-EU ties made it easier to manage the Irish border, with Brexit, the single market of the EU is lost and now the peace process seems to be in danger of extinction.
The fact that the Belfast Agreement is protected by two treaties; one ratified in 1999 between the UK and Ireland, and the other agreed between the UK and the EU in 2019 known as the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland could create a new order among the four nations.
If Johnson keeps refusing to believe in facts about Scotland and Northern Ireland, future referendums are ahead of the United Kingdom which could change the order of the ‘Union’.