Brexit has left our country more divided than ever before. It is no secret that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted differently to their English and Welsh counterparts. However, that is not an excuse to tear apart the United Kingdom.
Ironically, if we’re to make a success of Brexit, then it’s ‘remaining’ and not ‘leaving’ that’ll help us achieve that.
A recent YouGov poll has given the No to independence side in Scotland an 11% lead. The case for independence is worse than it was in 2014. Sturgeon still cannot clarify which currency Scotland would use if it left the UK. Her case to the Scottish Parliament for a second referendum was an utter disaster. May has refused permission for another vote, for now. The implications of Brexit, let alone Scottish independence, are unclear. If the Government can secure a satisfactory deal with the European Union, there is no reason why the unionists cannot prevent a Yes vote to the nationalists.
It turns out an independent Scotland may not even be a member of the European Union. Alex Salmond has hinted that his country may join the European Economic Area post-independence. The EEA is far from perfect, but it is a better alternative to the failing European Union. Yet there is no certainty from the SNP.
Sinn Fein secured a good performance during this year’s Assembly elections. This may suggest there is a rise in nationalism. It does, for now, yet if the Government and the European Union can strike out a deal that does not hinder the Good Friday Agreement 1998, these short-term anxieties may be eased.
Nonetheless, that proves why we need to remain united as we prepare to leave the European Union. Throughout our history, we have achieved significant outcomes. We have only been a member of this super-bloc for 43 years. We have survived before and we can do so again. Brexit provides an opportunity to negotiate trade deals worth far more than the Single Market. We can end the supremacy of European law over British law. We can forge a new role and identity for this country in the world. We can implement a fairer immigration system that allows talent from across the globe here, not just Europe.
We can only prosper as a United Kingdom. If we tear ourselves apart, Brexit will be for nothing. Let us work together to make Brexit a success, regardless of how we voted or campaigned before June 23rd, and halt the plight of narrow-minded nationalists and ardent Remainers.
Article by Matt Snape