Should England have a referendum on independence?

At some point in the next few years (maybe as early as 2010; or 2011, 2012 or later), the people of Scotland will be offered a referendum on whether to become an independent country. In my view, it’s highly likely they’ll vote ‘yes’.

At the same time as this Scottish vote, the people of England (and, indeed, Wales, Northern Ireland and possibly Cornwall) should also be allowed to have referendums on whether they want England (and Wales, N. Ireland and Cornwall) to be independent from the other countries of the present United Kingdom. An argument justifying this can be found here.

What do you think?

As an alternative to adding a comment, why not just vote on it?


7 Responses

  1. There’s an interesting post on this subject on the OurKingdom blog today. This refers to a press release by the Constitution Unit at University College London last week, in which they argued that there would have to be two referendums in Scotland, in any case: one consultative, to establish whether the majority of Scots favoured independence in principle; and a second definitive vote, following negotiations on the precise terms of separation, including the financial settlement (North Sea Oil, national debt, end of financial support to Scotland from the UK, etc.).

    In a comment on the OurKingdom post (in the moderation queue as I write), I argued this makes it all the more imperative that the people of the rest of the UK are consulted on Scottish independence, at least in the second referendum, as this would affect the interests and governance of the rest of the UK, in whatever form this state was carried forward.

  2. […] the nations of the UK at the same time as a Scottish referendum on independence for Scotland (see previous post) is to say that we should all have a vote, not just on independence for our respective countries, […]

  3. There shouldn’t be a referendum as the United Kingdom is my country and no-one has the right to take it away from me.

  4. […] comment represents a slight change in my position compared with the post ‘Should England have a referendum on independence?’, where I suggested that if Scotland were going to have an independence referendum in 2010 […]

  5. How about this. Why don’t you work with us scottish nationalists and cut the carping and slagging. It ill behoves you. This is what nationalism was like in scotland 30 years ago before we got politically savvy.

    I fully support english independence and self determination. I have english family and friends. I do not hate the english though from this site and some others easily linked to it you would wonder if the same is true in reverse. All I want, like you, is to live in my country and for us to run our own affairs. Same as you frankly.

    Work with us so we both get what we want. Are you big enough to do this or not ? It’s time to set aside the silly slagging in all directions; some silly scotnats do the same too I acknowledge.

    Saor Alba, as we say, and good luck to you.

    Anyone interested, email

    Feel free to cut and paste this post wherever you think it might spread the debate.

  6. I agree with you, McMadman, that English and Scottish nationalists have more things in common than reasons for falling out. I hope I’ve not come across as Scottophobic in any of the posts I’ve put up on this site. I do think that it shouldn’t just be down to the Scots to decide the future, or not, of the UK in a one-country referendum. All the nations should vote on a single question, whether it’s on a continuing UK of some sort without Scotland, or independence for all the nations.

    The trouble about the official Scottish nationalists (the SNP) being seen to collaborate with official English nationalist movements is that this could be used against them: it would give Labour ammunition, as they could say ‘look, the SNP are actively trying to subvert the Union by both whipping up English resentment against Scottish financial and political privileges, and then trying to provide political support to English-nationalist movements’. This wouldn’t help the English-nationalist cause, either. However, some ‘unofficial’ co-ordination of campaigning messages might not be a bad idea.

  7. The United Kingdom is not a country, Barry – it is a Union of countries. And Cornwall is not currently a country either. A referendum must be carried out there to determine whether its inhabitants wish to remain an English county or become a separate country.

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