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Scotland After Brexit

Will It Leave the United Kingdom?

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, smiles during a EU referendum remain event, at Edinburgh airport in Scotland, June 22, 2016. Clodagh Kilcoyne / Reuters

When Scotland went to the polls in September 2014 to decide whether it wanted to become an independent country, Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister at the time, called the ballot a “once in a generation” opportunity. If the country rejected the proposition, as it eventually did by 55 to 45 percent, then his party, the Scottish National Party (SNP), would, he said, honor that decision for the foreseeable future.

However, the recent Brexit referendum has given new life to the debate about Scottish independence. Although the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU by 52 to 48 percent, Scotland voted by 62 to 38 percent to remain.

Unsurprisingly, the current SNP first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and her colleagues called it a “democratic affront” that votes cast in England could take Scotland out of the EU against its will. From their perspective, the U.K.-wide decision to leave the EU perfectly illustrates how being part of

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