Scotland May Not Be The Last European Nation To Seek Independence

Whether Scotland opts to stay within the United Kingdom or chooses to be an independent nation, Brookings Institution scholars Fiona Hill and Jeremy Shapiro assert it will not be the last nation to pose such a question to its people.

They argue that more important than the decision Scots make is the broader political crisis in the UK and the European Union.

Scotland “has shown the way for every province that has a regional identity, ambitious politicians, and a loathing of its capital city to seek independence, or at least much greater autonomy, within the protective embrace of the EU. It is not surprising that another European region with a strong identity, Catalonia, seems poised to head down the same path,” they contend.

Steve Forbes echoes the scholars’ argument that the Scottish referendum could spark a trend in independence movements throughout Europe.

“We are in one of those dangerous periods of history when things can go terribly wrong. The break-up of Great Britain would encourage all the forces of chaos, terrorism and aggression and set a terrible precedent. Separatists in Europe would ramp up their campaigns exponentially, which would vastly increase political turmoil on a continent that is already becoming vulnerable to the kinds of political extremism we once thought had been extinguished in the ashes of the Second World War,” writes Forbes in London’s Telegraph newspaper.

In a related article,  Flavia Freidenberg and Maria Esperanza Casullo examine the rise of outsider politicians in Latin America and Europe.

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