The Scottish Referendum: Another Major Step Toward Independence?
21 International Trade Law & Regulation, 2015, Forthcoming
13 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 9, 2014
While Prime Minister David Cameron has for now avoided the ignominy of being the leader who “lost” Scotland after more than 300 years of union the September 18 referendum is not the end of the Scottish independence movement. As Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond noted, “For Scotland the campaign continues and the dream will never die.” Spain, Belgium, Canada and the Ukraine breathed a collective sigh of relief. The United States and the EU Commission welcomed a result that they saw as protecting U.K. influence in Europe and on the global stage. Still, Scotland will expect Mr. Cameron’s pledges of greater local rule to be honored promptly, a process that must resolve complex constitutional issues and differences of view among the various political parties and sub-national political entities that see this as a now or never opportunity to share the benefits. The article focuses on the immediate challenges of constitutional reform; the parallels of the Quebec secession movement; and the legal and political hurdles for an independent Scotland (now or in the future) seeking membership in key multilateral organizations. It also speculates on factors which could contribute to a future resurgence of the independence movement leading to an independent Scotland and a diminished Britain.
Keywords: international law, state secession, Scotland, United Kingdom, international organizations
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