“Scotland’s Place in Brexit: Role and Perspective”
In the aftermath of the EU referendum, one of the essential resultant questions has been the role of Scotland in the process of Brexit. The majority vote for Remain in Scotland, the traditionally more pro-EU nature of Scottish mainstream politics and the ambitious drive of the governing SNP contributed to building a notion early on that Scotland could (or should) have a different arrangement in respect of Brexit. To that end, the present Scottish government is occupied by two parallel and competing Brexit objectives – (1) to oppose (hard) Brexit in relation to Scotland and (2) to ensure that, as and when Brexit develops regardless, Scotland’s interests are represented. Differentiation for Scotland within the UK’s Brexit settlement has consequently become a focal point of debate, concentrating in particular on Scottish membership of/association with the EU’s Single Market. At the same time, the various positions and tactics of all the main Scottish parties have degraded the original political consensus on maintaining Scotland’s place in Europe (however that was defined). The future of devolution and the debate on independence further contribute to and complicate the picture, as do politics in the UK as a whole, the Member States and the EU institutions. This presentation will explore the state of affairs of Brexit for Scotland (including the Scottish government’s strategy), from a politics perspective, and evaluate the prospects of Scotland’s principal scenarios for Brexit.