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Scotland and Arbroath 1320 – 2020

700 Years of Fighting for Freedom, Sovereignty, and Independence


Edited By Klaus Peter Müller

700 years of people in Scotland, England, Europe, and the world fighting for freedom, sovereignty, independence and justice are investigated in the essential periods and cultures since the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath: the Middle Ages, the Reformation and Early Modern Age, the English Revolution, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Cultural, media, political, and social studies, history, the law, art, philosophy, and literature are used for an analysis of the evolution of human rights, democracy, freedom, individual as well as national independence and justice in connection with past and present threats to them. Threats from politics, the economy, digitalisation, artificial intelligence, people's ignorance.

With contributions by Alasdair Allan MSP, Christopher J. Berry, Neil Blain, Alexander Broadie FRSE, Dauvit Broun, Mark P. Bruce, Ewen A. Cameron, Robert Crawford, Ian Duncan, Richard J. Finlay, David Forrest, Edouard Gaudot, Marjory Harper, Sarah Longlands, Ben McConville, David McCrone, Aileen McHarg, John Morrison, Klaus Peter Müller, Hugh O’Donnell, Murray Pittock, Anthony Salamone, David R. Sorensen, Silke Stroh, Christopher A. Whatley and Ben Wray.

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Brexit and Scotland’s Independence Debate: New Arguments for Autonomy (Anthony Salamone (Edinburgh))


Anthony Salamone (Edinburgh)

Brexit and Scotland’s Independence Debate: New Arguments for Autonomy

Abstract: Alongside reshaping British politics, Brexit has transformed Scotland’s independence debate. The contrast between Scotland’s opposition to leaving the EU and the UK’s pursuit of it nonetheless has created two powerful arguments in support of the autonomy of independence. Functionally, independence is now the means of ensuring that Scotland remains part of the EU. Instrumentally, independence would ensure that Scotland could take its own major decisions without risk of being overruled by England.

Keywords: History; Arbroath; autonomy; independence; Scotland; UK; EU; freedom; Brexit; politics; institutions; parties; divisions; consensus; government; parliament; people; sovereignty; democracy; nation; state; constitution; referendum


The UK’s ongoing debate on its relationship with the European Union has transformed Scottish and British politics. For the UK, the aftermath of the decision to leave to the EU has tested British political institutions and the party system. More than three years after the 2016 referendum, divisions between Remain and Leave strongly persist across politicians, public figures and voters. Brexit has become the predominant political theme, occupying the public mind and eclipsing nearly all other issues. It is difficult to envisage a realistic pathway to a national consensus on Brexit, and the UK looks certain to continue its introspective arguments for years to come. For Scotland, Brexit stands alongside the independence debate, the primary question of Scottish politics. Scotland voted clearly to remain in the EU, and the prospect...

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