Scotland’s Political Future: Split or Solidarity over Independence Referendum

While Scotland is getting closer to parliamentary elections, political parties and politicians have presented different reasons on whether Scotland should be independent of the United Kingdom or not. The Scots are clearly split over the idea, but mostly lean towards the idea of having a country which is more powerful politically What is SNP’s position on the independence referendum? Which are the parties against the independence referendum? Is there a political replacement for the independence referendum?

There are several different political parties in Scotland with different philosophies. The Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, has 129 Members from across the country. There are 61 MSPs from the Scottish National Party, 30 MSPs from the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party, 23 MSPs from the Scottish Labour Party, five MSPs from the Scottish Green Party, five MSPs from the Scottish Liberal Democrats, three MSPs are independent, one MSP is from Reform UK, and one MSP has no party affiliation. Scottish political parties have different ideas and views on the independent issue. An independence referendum was held in 2014, but the Yes side did not win. After the Brexit referendum in 2016, in which the majority of the voters in Scotland voted to remain in the European Union, the independence referendum issue was raised by some political parties again and, lately, some parties have placed more emphasis on it.

Some Politicians in Scotland Call for Another Independence Referendum

The Scottish National Party (SNP) is the largest political party in Scotland which has always pushed for independence. It has been seeking to hold a second independence referendum by presenting different reasons. The SNP has argued that Scotland’s future is its own choice, not that of the UK. The largest Scottish party believes that they should not give a free hand to the UK government to do whatever it wants to Scotland. The SNP has stressed that Scotland should take its future into its own hands so that people can form the kind of country they want to live in. The largest political party in Scotland has emphasised that Westminster does not have the right to block Scotland’s democracy and the democratic wishes of its people. It has also rejected any threats against Scotland’s NHS and its funding by London. The SNP is certain that the UK government cannot be trusted with Scotland’s NHS and prefers its own authority over social matters. The other issue for the SNP is the Trident Project. The party has announced that it believes nuclear weapons are wrong morally, strategically, and financially.

The SNP Says London Has no Right to Block Scotland’s Democracy

Another political party is the Scottish Socialist Party, which is also pro-independence. They call it a moment for Scotland’s democracy and an independent socialist country. This party believes that the people of Scotland should have the right to decide the form of government they want for their needs. The Socialist Party believes in a monarchy-free Scotland in which the offensive practice of swearing loyalty to the Queen by MSPs must end. They have argued for the creation of a Scottish Socialist Republic and a country for ordinary people which is free from the “suffocating stranglehold of the British state”. They also emphasise on the National Health Service to work better for working-class people in Scotland. The Socialist Party in Scotland mentions that they want to be independent, because it is the route to real change and becoming a better, new, democratic society rather than more of the same society. The Scottish Socialist Party supports an independence referendum for a Scotland with no nuclear weapons and no NATO. It has voiced recommitment to the nuclear ban in an independent Scotland and wants a nuclear-free future for the country.

The Scottish Socialist Party Wants a Monarchy-free Country and One Free from WMDs

Another political party in Scotland is the Scottish Liberal Democrats. They claim to be different from other political parties and an actually democratic organisation. Members of the organisation elect their leader and decide their policies. The Democrats believe in hard work for their communities and in giving voice to the ordinary people. The liberal democrats of Scotland have argued that their country should be strong and under the control of the Scottish people as part of a federal United Kingdom. This party has said that they should move on from the independence referendum divisions, because it has damaged the country, and said that all parties in Scotland should focus on improving public services for the Scottish people. They argue that there should be a federal UK where all countries work together with the shared sovereignty of all four constituent parts of the union: Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Scottish Liberal Democrats have stated that they reject the SNP’s call for an independence referendum and would rather promote a democratic federal framework for the United Kingdom.

The Liberal Democrats Prefer a Federal UK, Not an Independence Referendum

The other political party in Scotland is the Labour Party. There seems to be a split among the members of the Labour Party over the second independence referendum. In general, members of the party support more power for Scotland as part of a federal United Kingdom and oppose independence. But the split is whether Scotland should have a second independence referendum or not. On the one hand, they have argued that the focus should be on fighting the pandemic and getting the economy back on track; on the other hand, they have argued that if people in Scotland want a referendum they should have one because Scotland is a democracy. The Labour Party of Scotland has stated that they have a plan for a better and fairer Scotland in which the people can feel safer. The other political party is the Greens, which is for a second independence referendum. They have argued that with independence they want a bolder democracy for their country and stronger powers for Holyrood.

The Scottish Labour Party is Not supporting Independence while the Greens Do

Another important political party in Scotland is the Conservative Party. Conservatives have warned about the ‘internal party civil war’ over the independence issue which has been ‘taking down’ their country and ‘dragging down’ the reputation of the Parliament of Scotland. They have argued that talking about being independent of the UK is a wrong priority for their country. Conservatives have said that the people of Scotland want to focus on the country’s recovery, rebuilding the public services and creating jobs. The Conservative Party of Scotland has called the SNP roadmap a divisive independence referendum and asked for full focus on the pandemic instead. They have asked the NHS and other pro-independence referendum parties to stop the referendum in Covid times. The Conservative Party has stated that their job is to stand up for those people who do not want another independence referendum. The Conservatives have stated their opposition to independence and said their message is to end division and rebuild the country without a second referendum.

Scottish Conservatives Oppose a Second Independence Referendum

There are several different political parties in Scotland and they have different views on political matters. By getting closer to the Scottish Parliament elections, they come up with more diverse ideas for the future of their country. Some political parties in Scotland call for another independence referendum, whereas some others want a federal United Kingdom with shared sovereignty for all regions, or they prefer the continuation of the status quo. The largest Scottish party, the SNP, has always strongly emphasised independence from the UK. The Scottish Socialist Party also wants a socialist country free from submission to the Queen. The Greens also want independence from the UK, while the Liberal Democrats prefer to be part of a federal union. The other two important parties, the Scottish Labours and Conservatives, do not support independence. Although the Labours are divided on whether people should have to another referendum, the Conservatives formally announced that they oppose a second independence referendum. The Conservative Party has suggested that all political parties must concentrate on the pandemic and the social services in Scotland.

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