The Scottish people must have the right to self-determination

A statement from the National Committee of Another Europe in the wake of the 2021 Holyrood election results.

This is a statement from the National Committee of Another Europe is Possible. You can add your name as an individual here.

The people of Scotland are being taken out of the European Union against their will. Now that the UK has left the EU Single Market and Customs Union, the democratic injustice of this situation will start to bite.

On May 6th 2021, the Scottish people elected a parliament in which the Scottish National Party and Scottish Green Party together have a majority. Both of these parties were elected on an explicit promise to hold another referendum on independence, though both have stated that they will not press ahead with one until the pandemic is over. Boris Johnson has stated that he will not allow such a referendum to take place. 

Another Europe is Possible neither supports nor opposes Scottish independence. But we wholeheartedly believe that the UK must be a voluntary association of nations on the basis of mutual cooperation and respect. Scotland’s future is a matter for the people of Scotland, and it would be fundamentally wrong for Westminster to deny them the right to a referendum.

Such a moment would not just be a big issue in Scotland – it would likely dominate the politics of the UK as a whole. It is essential that everyone who regards themselves as a democrat defends the right of the Scottish parliament to determine what happens next. 

As a UK-wide group, we will aim to be a part of a broad coalition of left wing and progressive organisations campaigning to put pressure on the Westminster government to give the people of Scotland a referendum if the Scottish Parliament legislates for one. 

As internationalists and democrats, we also urge the EU Commission and Council not to intervene on either side (as it did in 2014 when it intervened on the Unionist side). The EU should instead make clear that, should Scotland choose to become independent, it would be welcome to apply for membership of the EU – and any membership process should take due account of the fact Scotland never voted to leave in the first place.

11th May 2021