More than half of Scots are in favour of Scottish independence, according to a new poll. A recent survey by Panelbase puts support for independence at 52 percent, making it the second this year, after one conducted by Ipsos MORI, to indicate a Yes majority. The poll, which was commissioned by ScotGoesPop, was taken in the wake of the Dominic Cummings scandal, and asked pollers: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
It suggests that 20 percent of No voters from the last referendum in 2014 would now swap their votes and poll in favour of independence.
According to a recent report by The Times, the SNP are now formulating policies and expecting to unveil a prospectus for a second referendum once the coronavirus outbreak has come to an end.
Speaking during a daily media briefing last week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she wants independence “as soon as possible”, but admitted that the coronavirus crisis is her main priority right now.
As uncertainty over the Union continues, unearthed reports shed light on the issues an independent Scotland would raise in a global context.
According to a throwback report by The Independent, in 2017, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said an independent Scotland would “not automatically” become a member of the military alliance.
Speaking in Brussels after Ms Sturgeon announced plans to hold a second independence referendum three years ago, he said Scotland voting to leave the UK would have meant it also had to leave NATO.
He told Sky News: “If it happens, then the UK will continue as a member of NATO but a new independent state has to apply for membership and then it is up to 28 allies to decide whether we have a new member.
“All decisions in NATO are taken by consensus, so we need the consensus of all allies.
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“By leaving the UK it will also be leaving NATO, but of course it is possible to apply for membership and then the allies would then decide whether the independent state would become a member of NATO.”
However, Scotland would face the prospect of having its entry challenged by Spain, which is wary of encouraging break-away states as it faces similar calls for independence in Catalonia.
Moreover, NATO considers nuclear weapons a “core component” of its defence capability and the SNP’s opposition to them may prove problematic for a future independent Scotland’s bid for membership.
Britain’s current nuclear deterrent, Trident, is based on the Clyde near Glasgow and would likely be moved south of the border in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote for independence.
The issue had already been raised by former NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson in 2014.
Before the first referendum, Lord Robertson said Scottish independence would have had a “cataclysmic” impact on the world.
Speaking at the Brookings Institute in America, Lord Robertson, who served as Defence Secretary under Tony Blair between 1997 and 1999, said: “Whatever our occasional faults, we are still an anchor of the Western world.
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“The loudest cheers for the break-up of Britain would be from our adversaries and from our enemies.
“For the second military power in the West to shatter this year would be cataclysmic in geopolitical terms.
“If the United Kingdom was to face a split at this of all times and find itself embroiled for several years in a torrid, complex, difficult and debilitating divorce, it would rob the West of a serious partner just when solidity and cool nerves are going to be vital.
“Nobody should underestimate the effect all of that would have on existing global balances, and the forces of darkness would simply love it.”
Lord Robertson also challenged former First Minister Alex Salmond, who claimed that an independent Scotland would have been able to join NATO, despite demanding the removal of Trident nuclear weapons.
He called Mr Salmond’s determination an “election fix” that was “loaded with ominous overtones for Western deterrence”.
He added: “It is one thing to unilaterally disarm yourself but when you choose to unilaterally disarm your neighbour then you are playing with fire.”
Ms Sturgeon, who was the then Deputy First Minister, dismissed the tone of Lord Robertson’s intervention as “insulting and offensive” and said he did a “real disservice” to the debate.