British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party won a resounding victory in the May 7 National Elections. In fact, his “Tories” surprised everyone by gaining enough seats in Parliament to “form a government”, without the help of any coalition parties. But personally, I believe that all eyes remain fixed on Scotland.
Over the years, Scotland has held a number of non-binding referendums, which were basically used to check the public sentiment of Scots as to whether to seek independence from the much larger United Kingdom (Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). With each vote, the Independence sentiment has gained more support; however, the various British Prime Ministers have granted more and more autonomy in order to keep Scotland in the fold.
The Scottish National Party now holds 56, of the 59, Scottish seats in the UK Parliament. That shifting political wind might even be more onerous for the Conservative Party as SNP–which jumped from just six seats previously in Westminster–has vehemently espoused Scottish Independence. Besides , many are now wondering how long Nicola Sturgeon will bide her time before, once again, holding an Independence Referendum. Some might also question whether this movement might portend similar rumblings in Northern Ireland or Wales.
Scotland might make a go of Independence, since it is roughly the same size as Ireland: 5.3 million population and a GDP of $216 billion, as compared to the Irish population of 4.6 million and $218 billion GDP. Scotland would have to form a close working economic and defense relationship with UK, however, as well as its full cooperation in unbundling their two countries–that is, if Scottish Independence is ever realized.
But, Northern Ireland and Wales, at least in my opinion, are much too small to go solo. Northern Ireland has a population of 1.8 million and a GDP of approximately just $24 billion, and Wales has a population of 3.0 million, with a GDP of $30 billion. Those regions pale when compared to the $216 billion GDP of Scotland.
NOTE: Spain would almost certainly Veto any newly-independent breakaway nations from joining the European Union. It is currently trying to resist–actually ignore–the separatist demands of its own potential breakaway province–Catalonia, which is its most economically productive region..