[Confusion about the national identity of the UK after Brexit]What kind of country will the UK be after Brexit? The concept of “Global Britain” put forward by the Johnson administration has encountered strong headwinds, and the “United Kingdom of Britain” is facing the dilemma of being neither Britain nor united. (China Business News)
What kind of country will the UK be after Brexit? The concept of “Global Britain” put forward by the Johnson administration has encountered strong headwinds, and the “United Kingdom of Britain” is facing the dilemma of being neither Britain nor united. The first is the challenge of the Scottish referendum. After the Brexit, the pressure on Scotland to leave the UK has increased day by day. The second is the future of Northern Ireland, whether to stay in the UK or return to Ireland. The border of Northern Ireland is not only the border between Britain and Ireland, but also The land border between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Brexit seems to be a “technical” failure of the referendum, but from the perspective of Britain’s national identity, Brexit is to find the identity of the United Kingdom as a sea power country. However, as the United Kingdom moves towards a sea power country, the United Kingdom still There is no Great Britain or the United Kingdom. England is the core and the foundation of British identity. Brexit is not only the beginning of Britain’s search for its own identity, but it may also uncover the painful process of “peeling the onion” in Great Britain. Scotland and Ireland Also seek their own history and identity.
In the Scottish parliamentary elections held on May 6, the Scottish National Party led by Sturgeon won 64 seats, and only one seat will win an absolute majority. After the election, Sturgeon announced that it was only a matter of time before the second independence referendum was held. At the same time, Frost, the chief representative of the Brexit negotiations, visited Northern Ireland and met with representatives of Northern Ireland. The core issue was the border issue in Northern Ireland. The Brexit agreement stipulates that British products from Irish waters will arrive in Northern Ireland. A security check is required. Although it is only a security check, there is a big loophole in the integrity of the UK. The British government stated that it will have extensive contacts with various groups and listen to the voices of all parties in the hope that a better solution can be obtained.
The voice of the Scottish independence referendum has grown louder after the British referendum on Brexit. In 2014, the Scottish independence referendum was not passed. If the United Kingdom does not leave the European Union, Scotland’s demand for independence may not be so strong. The Scottish National Party has taken the absolute initiative in the Scottish Parliament, and the separation between Scotland and England has gradually become a trend. After Brexit, Scotland did not want to leave the European Union, but after Brexit, Scotland was taken out of the European Union “by the way”. If Scotland wants to return to the EU, it must first leave the UK. After independence, it is a question of whether it can join the EU as it wishes. Former British Prime Minister Brown commented that in fact, Scots do not want independence, but more cooperative cooperation. Brown said that there are now “three” Scotlands. In addition to independence and union, there is a third group of people. Externally, they behave like nationalists. They think they are Scottish rather than English. They like the Scottish Parliament. More than the English Parliament, if they choose between being a Scot or an Englishman, they will undoubtedly choose the former. But they are different from the nationalists in that they do not want to choose between Scotland or England. They want to be a patriot who loves their own country, rather than endlessly between our “Scotland” and their “England”. Hugh’s fight. Brown’s wishes or vision are good, but it is too late. The Scots do not think that it is an equal cooperation with England, but think that “union” is actually a mistake of the times. In addition, during the Labour Party’s administration, London continued to decentralize power, and the Parliaments of Scotland and Northern Ireland gained greater influence. In 2007, the Scottish National Party defeated the Labour Party and became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament. Since then, the political party landscape in Scotland has changed, and Scottish independence has become a political trend. During Blair and Brown’s administration, Great Britain became more and more loose.
England and Scotland merged in 1707. Brown believed that the Scots would respect this contract, but judging from the identity of the country, it seemed to be a mixture of oil and water. Although they were mixed together, they did not truly merge. From the perspective of nation-building, England made a choice during the time of Henry VIII, going to the sea and withdrawing from the European continent. In the era of Queen Elizabeth, England gradually moved away from the powers of the European continent. In 1588, England was defeated. The Spanish Invincible Fleet from the European continent, this can be regarded as England’s “mature gift” as a sea power country. Scotland has historically acted as a transit point and base for continental European countries to invade England. After the British Revolution, the restoration forces still gathered in Scotland, and they also received the support of France. From this perspective, the merger of 1707 did not mean that Britain became a large England, but the expansion of the expanding sea power of England. However, Scotland did not cut off relations with the European continent like England, at least in Emotionally and identity, Scotland identifies with the European continent. This is the deep-seated reason why Scotland chose to “independence in Europe”. In other words, the reason for Scotland’s withdrawal from the UK is to join European integration. Some people think that this is Scotland’s “post-sovereign” thinking, but it is basically because Scotland and England are two different identities.
Of course, for Scotland to be “independent in Europe”, it must be separated from the United Kingdom, but the EU member states are almost land-powered countries. Even though the EU represents a form of political organization that can divide and transfer sovereignty, the member states will not allow their own countries. The power of separation imitates Scotland to join the European Union for separation, such as Spain and Italy. According to the logic of Scotland, the European continent will almost return to the state before the era of sovereign states, full of various autonomous groups. Even so, Brexit did add another fire to Scotland’s Brexit. Even if Scotland does not hold a second independence referendum, Scottish independence will still hang over London like the sword of Damocles.
Even more serious than Scotland is the border problem of Northern Ireland. This year is the 100th year of Ireland’s partition. Coincidentally, the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland has once again become the focus. In the past 100 years, this border was artificially created and gradually disappeared. After the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998, the United Kingdom and Ireland gradually dismantled military checkpoints, and both belonged to the big market of the European Union. Was removed. Through greater integration, disputes on the border were eliminated, and after Brexit, the border of Northern Ireland became a focal point. Polls now show that within ten years, Northern Ireland will remain in the UK, but after 25 years, the outcome is unpredictable. In Northern Ireland, if a referendum is held, 49% of people will choose to stay in the UK, while 43% will choose to reunify with Ireland; on the Irish side, 51% of people support reunification, and 27% think that Northern Ireland will stay in England. Just like after Ireland’s partition, the boundary was gradually drawn through the “Irish Government Act”. The boundary drawn by accident or expediency at that time was gradually accepted. In the future, after Brexit, Northern Ireland will become a British island. More importantly, Northern Ireland is the land border between the UK and Ireland and the European Union. This is a historic challenge facing the UK. In other words, the border between the UK and Europe is not only the English Channel, but also Northern Ireland.
Brexit, geographically speaking, it is a sea power country that “landed”, after 40 years of “torture”, it was launched again and returned to sea power England. However, the United Kingdom of Great Britain was tied to Scotland and Northern Ireland. These two territories with a European atmosphere will not only cause confusion about the identity of England, but also bring about fission like “peeling onions” in Great Britain.
(Source: China Business News)
(Editor in charge: DF544)
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