Nicola Sturgeon is a Scottish Nationalist politician serving as First Minister of Scotland & Leader of the Scottish National Party as well as First Prime Minister of England and leader of the Scottish National Party. She is currently the first female to hold both of these positions at the same time. She was elevated to this position after the resignation of her predecessor, Alex Salmond. Since her appointment as First minister in July of 2021, she has had major influence on the direction of the Scottish National Party.
During her term as the Scottish first prime minister, Nicola Sturgeon put forward the idea of a United Kingdom within a united Europe. She has been a vocal critic of the direction in which Scotland is going under the direction of the Unionist parties. She has often stated that a vote for independence would be a vote for the break up of the United Kingdom. While this is still controversial in Scotland, the majority of opinion is in her favor. If Scotland were to vote to separate from the UK, the remaining parts of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland would vote to remain in the UK. Nicola Sturgeon has also stated that if the vote was successful there will be no need for a second Scottish devolved election.
Her efforts have been recognized by the British government. The former first minister of Scotland, John Smith, immediately called for a snap cabinet secretary election to be held. His announcement came in the run up to the Scottish Referendum. It is not entirely clear how far the Scottish Nationalists will be able to go in their campaign to remove the remaining UK laws from Holyrood and set up a completely separate Scotland. One thing is for sure, however; it appears that the two main parties in the Scottish parliament are in agreement that a second independence referendum is looming.
The former first minister of Scotland, Edinburgh, has taken a much bolder stance against the UK on the issue of another independence referendum. According to this official announcement, the first minister is “certainly not ruling out the possibility of a second Scottish independence referendum”. In an interview with the BBC Scotland’s editorial board, she indicated that the next step for her party is to set up a task force to examine the options open to the Scottish people. She went as far as to state that a second plebiscite might be the only way of ensuring that the will of the Scottish people is respected. If this assessment is correct, it means that the chances of a vote to separate from the UK are dwindling.
Should the vote go ahead and a majority choose to separate from the UK, then Nicola Sturgeon has stated that a second Scottish independence referendum will take place in the autumn of next year. This means that the polls will be open over the summer, with the final result known well in advance. A recent analysis by the Daily Record newspaper has suggested that the turnout in the EU referendum was higher among Scottish residents than the rest of the country. It also pointed to the fact that Remain voters outnumber Leave voters.
One of the reasons why a second referendum may now be imminent is the upcoming snap general election. The polls have suggested that the Scottish Government may struggle to hold onto power due to a lack of a mandate from the electorate at the last election. Recent opinion polls have suggested that more people are backing remain than leave. If there is a large amount of swing towards the remain side in the poll it will be seen as a significant boost for the Remain camp and Nicola Sturgeon will look to capitalise on this.
Should the UK vote to leave the European Union, Nicola Sturgeon has stated that there will be a need for another independence referendum before the end of the Article 50 period. It is widely expected that the remain camp will win the poll by a large margin. Should this occur, Ms Sturgeon will have no difficulty calling for another independence vote as she has already said that she will hold one within the next four years. Should Scotland follow suit and vote to leave the EU; the first minister will become the first leader of a united Scotland.
The Scottish independence movement is currently gathering momentum and many opinion polls show that there is an increasing number of people who wish to secede from the UK and become part of another country in the European Union. Should the remain camp win the upcoming independence referendum it would mean that Scotland would be leaving the United Kingdom, however should the leave camp win the poll it would mean that Scotland would stay in the UK. Should the remain camp win then there will be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the rest of the island. These problems have been highlighted by the Irish government and the British government. Should there be another independence referendum, it will be very difficult for the remainder of the UK to work with the Irish government and its stance on devolved matters such as the banking crisis.