This is a situation which has existed for many years but swept under the carpet because it raises too many spectres and too many easy comparisons.
However, there is no denying that Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have long campaigned for separation from the United Kingdom of Great Britain (UK) and the Parliament at Westminster. Indeed, in Northern Ireland, the Republican Army (the IRA) fought the fiercely loyal Unionists of Northern Ireland (NI) to make The Republic of Ireland complete over the island. In recent decades there has been peace in the area, but, an uneasy peace sometimes.
In Scotland the shift towards independence from the UK deepened in 2014 and a referendum was held in Scotland to ask the Scottish people if they wanted independence. Even with voters as young as 16, the answer was a distinct rejection of independence from the Union. Since then, the nationalist political party, the SNP, has been campaigning vigorously for another referendum.
Similarly in Wales, particularly in the north, Plaid Cymru, has been actively seeking independence from the UK. Some violence from it’s supporters have conversely detracted from their support. However, it seems clear, that, with it’s own language in very common use and a feeling that Westminster has badly run down their economy, the pressure for independence will continue to thrive.
People within the UK often forget that the largest population in England sees the devolved communities within the UK as potential hangers-on with interference from their MPs in the House of Commons in London. So even in England there is a growing populist movement towards independence of a kind, from it’s neighbours.
Why not then allow all four countries to become independent of each other in terms of government, economy, trade, politics, sovereignty and laws. After all, the four countries have had a lot of experience dealing with their own internal problems over the last ten years or more. I’m sure that they would be able to cope with foreign policy and trade to their own benefit.
As far as commonality is concerned, defence, monetary institutions and the Commonwealth, these could be centralised for practical purposes in any or all of the four countries, i.e. finance could stay in the City of London, Defence in Wales, Commonwealth in Scotland and International Community Affairs in Northern Ireland. Or really, any combination or alteration of that order.
It is not insurmountable; we all speak the same language, we all trade with each other, we all have families who work and live cross border. There need not be any physical or political barriers. Membership of the EU would be available to those states who are able to and still wish to join. As would the WTO and other free trade organisations across Europe and the rest of the world. We could still remain a Union member of NATO or states could drop out of that if they wished.
This type of federation is a very basic model and can be as complicated or as simple as people wish. But it has to be better than the constant bickering which takes place between the different countries making up the UK at the present.
Please let me know what your thoughts are.
April 29th 2017