Thursday’s UK election brought a huge majority to the Tories amid Labour’s cataclysmic defeat, which makes Brexit a prospective fact after three and a half years of political gridlock. Brexit will be a long, drawn-out process, but now it will happen.
Interestingly, leaving the European Union might set into motion the dissolution of the United Kingdom.
It isn’t easy to explain the election’s implications for perpetually fragile Northern Ireland, although it should suffice to use the word “destabilizing” — to say the least.
DUP and Sinn Féin under pressure to restore power sharing, by Rory Carroll (The Guardian)
DUP loses big name as voters punish parties for Northern Ireland’s political dysfunction
… Boris Johnson’s election victory, which has liberated him from dependence on DUP votes in Westminster, has added to the sense of urgency. He is expected to push through a Brexit deal that will create checks and inspections on trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Mike Nesbitt, a former leader of the Ulster Unionist party, told the BBC the election’s great irony was that for decades, unionists had feared Irish nationalism as the main threat to the union. “Then more recently it was Scottish nationalists, but it’s actually English nationalism which is posing the existential threat to the future of the union,” he said.
Lots of eggshells and tightropes in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile in Scotland, things have become very interesting. The previous Scottish independence referendum in 2014 didn’t favor detachment. It might a second time, given a general pro-EU opinion.
Scottish independence vote a ‘democratic right’, says Sturgeon, by Severin Carrell and Libby Brooks (The Guardian)
Boris Johnson rejects first minister’s call as his spokesman says result of 2014 vote ‘should be respected’
Nicola Sturgeon is to publish a blueprint next week for a new Scottish independence referendum but Boris Johnson has rejected any moves towards a fresh vote.
The first minister said the Scottish National party’s “overwhelming” election victory in Scotland, where it won 47 of the country’s 59 Westminster seats with 1.2m votes, gave her a clear and undeniable mandate to hold one.
Sturgeon said she would publish the “detailed democratic case” for the transfer of the legal powers from Johnson’s new Conservative government, which has to authorise the Scottish parliament to stage any referendum that changes the UK’s constitutional structures.
“This isn’t about asking Boris Johnson or any other Westminster politician for permission. This is instead an assertion of the democratic right of the people of Scotland to determine our own future,” she said in a short victory speech in Edinburgh, where she declined to take questions.
Sturgeon said the scale of the victory proved again that a large majority of Scots wanted to remain in the EU, three years after the country voted against Brexit by 62% to 38%. The election was a “watershed moment”, she said.
“Westminster has ignored the people of Scotland for more than three years. Last night, the people of Scotland said enough,” Sturgeon said. “It’s time for Boris Johnson to start listening. I accept, regretfully, that he has a mandate for Brexit in England but he has no mandate whatsoever to take Scotland out of the EU.”
She made a direct appeal to EU citizens – a group expected to be given a vote in any independence referendum, saying the SNP would protect and champion their interests. “I will fight with everything I have to protect your right to call Scotland your home.”