Will the vote for Scottish independence unleash a tsunami of unexpected and uncontrollable forces rippling across the global theatre in the same way the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo did in the last century? It may sound absurd to compare the cataclysmic ramifications of this assassination with a simple gesture to voice a desire to live in an independent country. But in this highly globalised and interconnected world, a vote for Scottish independence would be used by a spectrum of political entities to endorse, justify and amplify waves of nationalism throughout the global stage which in turn will destabilise the West at the time unity and cooperation are most needed. A fragile West will only encourage the imperialist appetite of not just Russia but also China.
If the YES vote prevails, many assume that the divorce will be amicable. Sadly, I think not. The Scottish referendum has not only stirred the sovereign will of the Scottish people, but, it has also stirred the sovereign will of the English people. The juvenile and sarky comments by Alex Salmond about the national debt (“What are the Brits going to do? Invade?) has deeply angered many mild-mannered English and as such the path of acrimony is newly paved. For example, the 18+ months to negotiate the split is a timetable proposed by Scottish interests — it has not been agreed to or endorsed by the Unionists. As such, the balance of power over the negotiation of the divorce settlement will shift in favour of the British. If Britain so decides, then she can make this separation as painful as possible. Although this undermines the national interests of both countries, the political fervour and sovereign will of the English will demand deeply punitive penalties against Scotland.
The first casualty will obviously be Scotland.
The second casualty will be a national shift away from the current mainstream leaders and towards the more nationalistic and untested (and therefore dangerous) UKIP. As a result, the UK will likely ‘devolve’ or exit from the EU.
The third casualty will be the infrastructure, treaties and alliances that the West has steadfastly built during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. A distracted Britain and the inexperience of UKIP on the global stage will undermine NATO, the World Bank, the IMF, the EU and many other entities.
The fourth casualty will be the stability in Western Europe and the Balkans as regional nationalists will be emboldened by the Scottish vote.
A destabilised Western Europe is an ineffective counterbalance to the ongoing ISIS-jihadist threats, the new Putin-machismo territorial expansion, and the Chinese imperialistic desire over the South China Seas.
In short, the Scottish vote may be the thin edge of the wedge that ripples across the political ocean in unexpected ways. The lurch towards nationalism and the weakened West could be the ignition that sets off the global firestorm.
It is right that each person should have the right to decide the fate of their future and the legitimacy of the Scottish referendum is unquestioned. It is my hope that the Scottish voters will pull back from the abyss and vote against independence because IT IS IN THEIR INTERESTS to remain within the Union. A strong UK is in their interests and in the world’s interests.