Long title, concise and annoying reality.
If you frequent platforms claimed to be based on free speech, nationalism and the free determination of a nation’s fate, you might’ve come across articles, videos and memes proclaiming “the UK has taken its independence back from the European Union”.
Moreover, if you are not based in the UK, you might not be aware that only England and Wales overwhelmingly voted for Brexit, whilst Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against it (in Scotland, this being the dominant vote).
Where is Scotland’s right to self-determination in this equation, where the promoters of Brexit are concerned?
The irony would be far less poignant if this weren’t about self-determination in the first place. Apparently, some are so happy to start lowering the coffin of the European Union they keep circulating material which portrays the whole of the UK going in the same direction, although they know this not to be the state of affairs.
Some understand better than others that the current fascination with the far-right and dismantling the EU is, at a popular level, not only rooted in opposition to Brussels dominating countries financially, but in the desire to close the borders and limit freedom of movement, as well as purge countries of foreigners.
Although doubtlessly, there are many who want this change for purely administrative reasons, kick all these foreigners out is a venial drive for a lot of people, especially in England. Fervid Trump supporters, in Europe or the US (or elsewhere) seem to share this obsession with isolationism, some claiming “Scotland is the new Sweden”, in terms of the leftist political direction it seems to be taking.
They fully ignore, however, the fact that in recent decades, many people have built their lives around the freedom of movement they took for granted, as if it would always be there. Things have gone way too far to be radically changed now, without turning the lives of individuals completely upside-down. Matters are no longer as simple as “just close the borders again”.
Nationalism in Scotland is different that its counterpart in other European countries, in terms of not being rooted in right-wing isolationism.
It is a separate and unique phenomenon.
It is, nonetheless, nationalism – in its true meaning, which is not by default associated with conservative politics.