Why the Scots want independence from the English – Telegraph

Why the Scots want independence from the English – Telegraph.

Why the Scots want independence from the English

The more life in Scotland feels like life in England, the stronger the desire to assert a distinct identity

8:01PM GMT 22 Dec 2011

Sir Gus O’Donnell, in a valedictory address as our most senior civil servant, says it will be an “enormous challenge” to prevent the break-up of the United Kingdom. Not surprisingly, Alex Salmond, the SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland, believes it is a challenge which will not be met. Even before his party surprisingly won a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament in May, he told me that independence was now inevitable.

In part, the disengagement of Scotland from the UK reflects the inexorable consequence of the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. It is in the nature of institutions and their members to seek to extend their powers. We see this in Brussels and we see it in Edinburgh. It may still be unlikely that a referendum in Scotland would produce a majority for outright independence, but there will probably be a majority for giving much greater powers to the Scottish Parliament – what is commonly called devo-max. The Union is being sliced up salami-style until the final step to independence is small.

The rise of Scottish nationalism puzzles many in England, especially those who believe that Scotland is subsidised by England (an arguable proposition) and also those millions south of the border who claim Scottish ancestry, often proudly. In truth, it puzzles some of us in Scotland, too, for many are still happy with a dual Scottish-British identity.


Read the full story here: The Telegraph

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