Scottish independence bid gathers steam

Thousands of Scots march in Glasgow for new independence referendum.

Scottish independence bid gathers steam

The most recent push for Scottish independence was heard loud and clear over the weekend during a massive march held jointly with a climate rally.

The organizers said more than 50,000 people attended the march that paralyzed Glasgow's roads for an entire day on Saturday.

It was the third major pro-independence event this year as the All Under One Banner, a pro-independence activist group, led their supporters on the streets of Stirling and Edinburgh earlier this year.

As eased coronavirus restrictions have been permitting more social gatherings, independence seekers are planning more marches next year barring a dramatic deterioration in the pandemic situation.

Scottish independence from English rule has been a force to be reckoned with for centuries, with neither side relinquishing their claims over the years.

The first war of Scottish independence was waged in the early part of the previous millennium. Despite some battles won over the centuries, the two countries were eventually unified in 1707 with the Acts of Union.

Independence again

A renewed bid for independence came right after the Brexit referendum in 2016, when British voters had their say to leave the EU.

Many Scots, however, feel that they were dragged out of the bloc against their will, despite the result of an earlier independence referendum in 2014, in which voters preferred to remain part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Polls have been signaling gains for the idea of independence from the UK.

The ruling party of Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) consolidated its position in the last election held in May 2021. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the victory as "historic and extraordinary" in her speech after the voting results came.

Having secured 64 seats in parliament, the SNP became part of a staunch pro-independence majority, along with the Scottish Greens which won eight seats.

Sturgeon promised a new referendum by the end of 2023, with the Scottish government already having published draft legislation for the new public vote.

Scotland held a referendum to leave Britain in 2014, two years before the referendum to leave the EU. Scots voted against independence with a 55.3% majority, as more than 2 million people voted to remain part of the UK, compared to 1.62 million who voted to depart from the union.

The British government, under then-Prime Minister David Cameron, pledged to better understand the Scots and to grant "widespread new powers to the Scottish Parliament," whilst the SNP, which led the independence campaign, was quite confident that the country would be better off apart from the UK.

However, Scots rejected secession, as more than two million people (55.3 percent) voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, compared to 1.62 million (44.7 percent) who supported independence.

Hüseyin Demir