Menu
Share
Share this story
Close X
 
Switch to Desktop Site

Scotland independence movement sends dangerous message

Next Previous

Page 2 of 5

About these ads

Secessionist movements were once seen as the last option for embattled ethnic minorities or struggling democrats lodged inside brutal autocracies. But the Scottish deal represents the first wave in a new tide of independence claims in some of Europe's most stable democracies, from Spain to Belgium. The success of the Scottish independence movement in persuading London to accede to a referendum serves as a warning to Europe's democracies on how calculating politicians can undermine the very institutions most in need of preserving. 

And to would-be secessionists in other countries, it is a lesson about the uses of quiet maximalism – the way in which astute regional parties can dismantle a workable country while no one seems to be looking.

Scotland joined its royal house with that of England in 1603; the countries' two parliaments were merged in 1707. Afterward, Scots retained many of their ancient institutions, such as a separate legal system, and Scots spread throughout the British Empire – from America to India – as soldiers, administrators, and merchants. In 1998, the Scottish Parliament was restored in Edinburgh, giving Scots much greater control over local governance and eventually even significant tax-raising powers. 

Next Previous

Page 2 of 5


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Loading...