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Wait for the next UK government and ask them?
Hold their own referendum, as devolved government or Catalonia-style?
Just declare independence?
If the Tories think that SNP is going to do nothing when the Tories says no, saying no becomes a safer course, and thus more likely.
At the moment everything Boris does is a gift for the SNP, because none of it takes account of Scottish sensibilities and is so obviously English ruling class inspired. If the SNP can't win even an indicative poll now, they never will.
Index of Frank's Diaries
Basic question is how often and in what circumstances an organization unit can review whether it wants to be part of the next higher level. Should households be able to get independence from neighborhoods? Neighborhoods from towns? Towns from counties? Counties from states? States from countries? Countries from federations?
Historically, Scotland and England were united by the 1707 act of Union. It would be a relatively simple legal process to repeal that act. The question of how the two states would divide common assets, liabilities, and manage ongoing relations is the hard part.
Index of Frank's Diaries
The EU allows it, although Brexit might trigger some eventual hardening of the withdrawal rules. I think the EU is an outlier among geopolitical arrangements, though.
Irish unification doesn't seem that unlikely. It would be less of a headache than the status quo for basically everyone, the US would probably support it for domestic reasons and the political tendency that favors it has historically been willing to endure quite a bit of pain.
But Scotland? Who is going to force the UK to release Scotland? The EU really isn't a serious political actor and even if it was, who really wants a second Irish land border situation, but worse? The US has no reason to care. I guess Moscow would send sincere well wishes, but that and eight quid will buy you haggis. So my guess is still: The SNP will demand a referendum, the Tories will say no and that's that for the foreseeable future.
Irish unification is easy in comparison.
If the voters carefully consider the options (unlikely given recent voting history everywhere on the Earth), they would insist that the SNP provide an honest and comprehensive explanation about how things will work out. Just like there wasn't for Brexit.
My view is that Scotland is stuck in England for the duration. Although maybe the US would accept a petition for Scottish statehood!
The article notes that they will look at other ways to hold a lawful referendum. This may mean the referendum is indicitive rather than binding. Or it could involve passing legislation with a commencement clause contingent on Westminster granting consent, waiting for it to be refused, and then going to court to try and force it to be granted (the constitutional convention with other colonies being pretty clear about that, and there being obvious reasonableness arguments. Which is probably another reason why the Tories want to gut judicial review).
It doesn't matter if this is immediately unsuccessful, because failure will just be another example of Westminster saying "no", and every time that happens support for independence rises (more time also means the demographic pressure for independence is stronger). Eventually, Westminster is going to have to agree, because a democracy cannot hold a people against their will forever - at least, not if they want to remain a democracy.
(The ultimate pathway is likely electoral - Westminster's electoral system is so cooked and gerrymandered in favour of the tories that Labour's most likely path to government is via SNP support. A referendum is the obvious price. If Labour refuses to pay it, I guess England will just face endless elections until they do)
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