One of the main reasons for Scotland’s enlightened thought - Reformation 1560 to the 1700s – was our close collaboration, integration and trade with Europe. Our scholars studied in Paris and beyond, and also taught there.
When the UKs Brexit happened it was such a profound and distressing wrench for Scotland it was extremely hard to write about. Many of us thought the EU project had brought us peace, stability, security, and prosperity. Most Scots feel European of heart and mind and culturally.
We didn’t understand what Brexit was for – was it a global Britain, to stop immigration, to be Singapore on Thames, with de-regulation and lower pay – or high paid jobs? Who knew? Those of us who lived through the 60s and 70s remember a UK in turmoil, a rollercoaster of financial crashes – IMF, pound devalues, blackouts and strikes.
Most Scots prefer the stabile European economy, to the insecurity of a Brexited Britain. We only have to look over the sea to Ireland. We have a major constitutional divide now in Scotland that will not be easily healed. How do we move forward? Half of Scotland has a vision of a new, greener and more successful Scotland.
The other half wants what they already know and prefer – to share resources with the rest of UK. The main drawback to the UK ‘centralising dependency’(not a union) is its extreme centralisation of power in London, which sucks and draws from the rest of the country.