The UK is already stretched to the breaking point. Boris Johnson’s scam pile is not helping matters

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His former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, recently stated that the prime minister’s plan “that donors secretly paid for renewals were unethical, unwise, possibly illegal and certainly breaking rules on the proper disclosure of political donations” Huh.”

Government officials are concerned that Cummings, who left the government in November amid public power struggles, is preparing to take his revenge exactly as these elections take place. If anything has happened in the past week, several scandals have been distracting the public from Johnson’s biggest success ever since he took office – the vaccine rollout.

In one place it could hurt Johnson a lot which is Scotland. The Prime Minister already knows that Scottish voters have little chance of choosing anything by a parliamentary majority in favor of independence. The only question is how badly the Unionist parties, including their own conservatives who wish to remain in Britain, will be defeated.

While Johnson does not realistically require Scottish votes to win the general election, any increase in demands for independence is extremely embarrassing for a man who gave himself the title, “Minister for the Union.”

For Scotland to be truly independent, Johnson would have to agree to a referendum, as happened in 2014 when the Scots voted in favor of remaining in Britain by a margin of 10%.

Johnson has thus ruled out a second referendum reminiscent of the Scottish National Party (SNP) dominating Scottish politics, believing that the 2014 vote would be a generation-by-generation event. However, the tighter the grip of the SNP and other separatist parties, the more problematic it is to ignore their demand.

But if Scotland were to ever leave Britain, there would be inevitable complications.

“In the case of Brexit, the process was guided by the steps set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union. There is no uniform procedure in the UK Constitution,” says Nicola McEwen, professor of regional politics at the University of Edinburgh. .

This means that in the event of voting for independence, the UK Government and the Scottish Government will probably instruct civil servants to agree on a framework for negotiations, a timeframe and how the negotiations will take place.

However, as McEwen points out, the political leadership on both sides will need to respect the process where things can go haywire.

“Of course, agreeing to a process for negotiation does not mean that things will be easy. Relations may be less than cordial, and both parties will have their own interests in negotiation and for protection in the wider political arena.”

It is likely that the Scottish Government will open up with the Scottish Government, putting forth its best-case idea to divide shared assets based on population and other practical considerations – for example, many nuclear submarines are in Scottish waters which There is a clear house elsewhere.

At least the British government would not accept this under Johnson. “This government is full of Brexit veterans, where he emerged as a big partner. This time he would be more than happy to be a blocker,” says Rob Ford, professor of politics at the University of Manchester.

Opponents of independence argue that this leaves Scotland at the mercy of a hostile government in Westminster, with no guarantee on fundamental questions about which currency they will use, what assets and institutions they will be able to keep and What kind of border will England be with?

“Freedom is the wrong solution for Scotland not only because of economics and unavoidable costs, but because it rests on the false claim that Scotland has less in common with others than in Britain, which unites them,” Eddie Barnes, former director of communications for Scottish traditionalists.

Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon

While this is far from the nationalists’ only controversy, a central point of the SNP’s argument is that it may eventually rejoin the European Union following Britain’s departure. Kate Forbes of the SNP says Scotland has been “taken out of the European Union and the huge European single market – which is seven times the size of the UK – against our will.” He believes that “With full control over the powers that come with freedom, with our abundant resources, we can emulate the success of similarly sized independent countries like Denmark.”

As the leader of the Brexit campaign and self-appointed defender of the Union in 2016, it is difficult for Johnson to consider it more humiliating, as Scotland has to endure to leave Britain and return to the EU.

Brexit has drawn people to the independence movement and the SNP are aware that the forced exit of Scotland has radicalized the Reminers north of the border.

The independence movement is no longer just an anti-working class, “anti-incumbency” as a senior SNP adviser told them, but the new political home for many of Scotland’s wealthiest, outsider-looking voters.

The SNP adviser said, “In 2014, the Tories told the Scots that voting for independence is the only way to guarantee your EU citizenship. Now, we are responsible global citizens.”

While SNP leader Nikola Sturgeon and his foot soldiers are prudent to pledge to rejoin, it is a pipe dream when they need Johnson’s permission, even to hold a vote.

Boris Johnson is surrounded by the Union flag

Less widely discussed is whether Brussels would be ready to return them. Forbes is optimistic that the accession process will be easier for Scotland inside the EU than in most countries, “following all the rules for almost 50 years and by definition.”

This argument has some merit, as it is unlikely that Johnson would even leave Scotland sufficiently desolate that it would not meet the EU’s criteria for candidacy. This means that it will probably be in a situation where its institutions coincide with what they currently have, its functioning will be democracy, it is able to support itself financially because it is involved in the union among other things. it happens.

However, it ignores other political constraints that may crop up in Brussels – and it will ultimately be a political decision.

Firstly, the border issue will be extremely complex, if anything Brexit happens after the Irish border talks, and the European Union may be reluctant to reopen.

Second, it creates a blueprint for other separatist movements across Europe. The most obvious example of this is the Spanish Autonomous Region of Catalonia, where opposition leaders are arrested and protesters violently attack the Spanish police.

However, EU officials say privately that the Brexit saga ending with part of the UK is a tasty tale that is very appealing to those wishing to peek into Johnson’s eyes. Some also think that it would be a boon for the European Union to have another nuclear power other than France, as it wants to build a consensus on a common defense policy.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

So, while Sturgeon’s European dream is a bit more complicated than some might claim, it is possible that the EU’s hostility to the UK is enough that a coalition of Johnson’s enemies could do serious damage to the legacy of the man who made Brussels. Made a career by swinging balls. .

Apparently, this is all hypothetical until Johnson refuses to give his vote to the Scots. Following the event that the Scottish Parliament is indeed dominated by pro-independence parties the following week, it is difficult to predict whether the PM’s rule is a political help or a more widespread obstacle across Britain.

According to Ford, “there is a long way to go until the next election in 2024 and without the European Union, Johnson needs a new enemy.” “Scotland is almost right, as many English voters think the Scots have a chance to get out of the Union and make the complaint a bit annoying.”

In a way Ford seems to be mistaken for Johnson if he stops the demand in a way that leads to hostilities in Scotland.

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The issue may also expose Johnson politically, McEwen believes, because the issue is not disappearing.

“It is likely to feature prominently in the next UK general elections. If the SNP once again wins an overwhelming majority of the Scottish seats in that election, they could be quite powerful in the House of Commons and especially the scenario. It can be more difficult to ignore where they balance power, ”she says.

Of course, this is all off and probably not in the front of Johnson’s mind, given the recent departure of employees who were working exclusively on this question. However, members of his own government are also privately concerned that Johnson, the unionist who sought to unite the nation-Brexit, may set off a series of events that lead to Scotland And eventually loose from the United Kingdom.

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