Matt Gemmell on the Scottish referendum →

September 19, 2014 |

I was very curious to read Matt’s thoughts on this subject. I think his position is entirely coherent and eminently reasonable. Then again, that’s not really a surprise.

I actually believed the yes would win, mainly because of how the issue has been portrayed by the Spanish media. Many politicians from Catalonia have been holding up the Scottish referendum as a victory of the people for months, and they’ve been playing it as though Scottish independence was a sure thing, and the referendum a mere formality. They believed the result was going to be overwhelmingly in favor of the yes, and they bet heavily on the Scottish example to advance their own pro-independence cause. As it turned out, it was not to be, and no matter how they try to spin it now, the outcome of the Scottish referendum has been a direct blow to the aspirations for Catalonian independence as well. If the door was already half-shut, this may be what slams it closed for good.

Now the question is, where do they go from here?

Matt says:

I don’t mind admitting that I feel like we’ve missed an opportunity.

I absolutely get where he’s coming from, but I believe the opportunity still exists. Scotland has achieved an unprecedented level of autonomy from the British government, and that’s huge. If they play their cards right, they could very well get the best of both sides with this outcome. Of course, as Matt points out, there are a million problems that the UK as a nation still needs to figure out, so we’ll see how things work out in the end.

I readily admit I’m not qualified to judge, but as a European citizen, I’m happy Scotland is still part of the Union. Yes, the UK has always been pretty ambivalent towards the EU, but they’re part of it, even if they don’t always like to admit it. I like Scotland, and I like the idea of it feeling like an extension of home. Europe is one big home we’ve built together, and I for one wouldn’t trade it for anything.