Brexit, a chance for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Frexit, a chance for Brittany

Publié le 19/01/17 11:38 -- mis à jour le 00/00/00 00:00

Brexit, a chance for Scotland and Northern Ireland

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On June 24, 2016, exit (British Exit) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) and Northern Ireland from the European Union was decided by referendum. The Leave vote (Out) of Brexit supporters, with 51.9 % of the votes, obtained the majority, the Remain (In) vote reaching only 48.1 %.

But in two of the components of the United Kingdom, Scotland and Northern Ireland, supporters of remaining within the European Union, were leading:

Scotland: remain = 60 %, leave = 40 %

Northern Ireland: remain = 56 %, leave = 44 %

Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the European Union while England and Wales voted to exit.

In Scotland, this result brings back the agenda of Scottish independence already raised in a previous referendum on September 18, 2014. Indeed, supporters of independence gathering only 44.7%, the process leading to independence from the United Kingdom had not been able to take place. Seizing the opportunity offered by BRitish Exit, the independendist Prime Minister announced in October 2016 her intention to introduce a new bill for an independence referendum. If it is necessary to protect the interests of her country, she thinks that Scotland can reconsider the question of its independence before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

As about Northern Ireland, this desire to remain in the European Union is justified by the fact that the Union contributed, by providing social and structural funds, to the end of the civil war (between Protestants and Catholics) and was the guarantor of the peace agreements. In the referendum for Brexit, support was strongly defended by nationalist parties (Sinn Féin and SDLP), who are also supporters of the reunification of Ireland. While the unionist parties (UUP and DUP) advocates of staying in the UK and therefore opposed to reunification and Eurosceptic, have campaigned for the exit from the EU.

But this europhile result raised the problem of the reunification of Ireland. For Sinn Féin, Brexit offers a unique opportunity to move to a unified Ireland. This would lead Northern Ireland to remain de facto in the EU, as present-day Ireland is already a member of this Union. Sinn Féin therefore calls for the holding of a referendum on Irish unity.

Frexit, a chance for Brittany

Following these British examples, it is possible to consider in France an identical scenario if an exit from the European Union (French Exit) is realized. Two major frontist movements, the Front National (FN), the first French party and the Left Front (FG) plus a few other political groups are campaigning today for an exit from the European Union. The hypothesis of a Frexit can therefore be considered.

In the event that the Eurosceptics are coming to command, Brittany's highly Europhile situation, as shown by the 1992 and 2005 European referendums (calculated on the 5 Breton départements), would raise the problem of its maintenance in the whole France.

- Referendum 20 September 1992 for the ratification of the EU Treaty:

Historical Brittany: = 59 %, France: = 51 %

- Referendum 29 May 2005 for a European Constitution:

Historical Brittany: = 51 %, France: = 45 %

Under these conditions, if historic Brittany wants to remain in the European Union, it might very well be possible to organize a referendum on its access to independence.

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