Separatism in the UK

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 09-03-14 15:08

Separatism in Scotland


  • In 1999, Scotland elected its own parliament for the first time
  • Shared parliament since 1707
  • Shared a monarch since 1603

Political Situation:

  • In 1997, 74% of Scots voted in favour of their own parliament
  • It controls domestic affairs, health, education, transportation and taxes
  • Labour won the most seats in the first election but in May 2007, the SNP became the largest party (47 of 129 seats). In that election, a referendum for independence was promised before 2012
  • The referendum is to take place in 2014
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Social/Cultural Argument for Scottish Independence

Cultural Independence:

Both the agricultural tradition in the highlands and urban industrial regions of Scotland claim to have stronger community with a more inclusive and supportive outlook than parts of the UK

Social Independence:

The government could  be closer to the people it represents so can respond more quickly and efficiently

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Economic Argument for Scottish Independence

Scotland should own  the oil from it swells offshore and should enjoy the profits from its 'own' reveneue -> the profits that might come from oil revenue may well be more or less balanced by the loss of money that flows into the country from the UK to pay for general services

Scotland could thrive by specialising in goods and services for the whole EU, developing those nuche markets that they could fill more efficiently than any other country. Nationalists compare economic growth to that achieved by Ireland. It is also compare to Norway - an independent, oil-producing country that has grown very rapidly over the last 30 years. 

Argument is based on:

  • communication becoming so much faster and efficient
  • more integrated global economy
  • the service economy becoming dominant in most developed countries
  • the economic argument in favour of countries needing a population of over 50million to survive becoming less strong
  • pressure for increased efficiency and adaptability
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Welsh Separatism

...A resurgence of the welsh language and culture has demonstrated a strong national identity - politically the country has moved towards greater self-government.

In the 1997 referendum, Welsh citizens voted to establish a national assembly. The Welsh National assembly cannot legislate and raise taxes. It controls most of Wales' local affairs. The secretary of state and members of parliament from Welsh constituencies have seats in the British Parliament.

The population is half of Scotland and lacks any resource base like the oil & gas off the coast of Scotland. 

  • It has less tradition of self-government
  • In much of North Wales (agricultural community) welsh is quite widely spoken and people support cultural independence but fear the South would dominate

Pressure is mainly for greater control of local affairs than separation from the UK

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Welsh Separatism

South Wales has a more urban, industrial background than the north adn has suffered industrial decline since the 20th century. This decline has led to frustration with central government in London and a desire for greater local control.

There is no Welsh independence party because:

  • it is so much smaller
  • lacks resources
  • close proximity of populated Wales to England
  • close integration
  • less tradition of self-government
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Separatism in N. Ireland

The government of Ireland Act 1920 gave a semi-autonomous governemnt. But in 1972, after 3 years of sectarian violence that killed 400 and injured thousands, Britain suspended the parliament.

After the Good Friday Agreement 1988, a new coalition government formed and power was formally transferred to the Northern Irish Parliament. It had to be suspended four times while the parliament developed a power sharing agreement between the two communties

In May 2007, Rev. Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party and Martin McGuinnes Reoublic Party were sworm in as respective leader and deputy leader of executive government.

Catholics want Northern Ireland to be separated from the UK whereas Protestant (unionists) will go to great length to fight moves towards separatism

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