The Big Picture

Vincent Boland: This time, Scotland will vote on leaving a very different UK

Eight years on from the last Scottish independence referendum, British politics is dominated by a strident English nationalism which voted to leave Europe

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the SNP, has unveiled a plan to hold a second referendum on October 19 next year. Picture: Getty

The referendum eight years ago on whether Scotland should become an independent country was an exceptional exercise in democracy. Fifty-five per cent of voters decided, on a high turnout and after a lively campaign, that the country should remain in the UK. The outcome reflected the settled will of the Scottish people. Everybody accepted it with grace and agreed that Scotland’s England question had been settled for a generation.

In 2014, Scotland was a somewhat ...