If the secessionism epidemic is to someday expire, then its causes will have to be addressed. And what are they?
Fresh from his triumphal “Get Brexit Done!” campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson anticipates a swift secession from the European Union.
But if Britain secedes from the EU, warns Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland will secede from the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland, which voted in 2016 to remain in the EU, could follow Scotland out of Britain, leaving her with “Little England” and Wales.
Not going to happen, says Boris. His government will not allow a second referendum on Scottish independence.
Yet the Scottish National Party won 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats in Parliament, and Sturgeon calls this a mandate for a new vote to secede:
“If (Boris) thinks … saying no is the end of the matter then he is going to find himself completely and utterly wrong. … You cannot hold Scotland in the union against its will.”
She has a point. If a majority of Scots wish to secede, how does a democratic Great Britain indefinitely deny them the right of self-determination?
Is Scotland fated to become for Britain what Catalonia is to Spain?
Where does this phenomenon, this continuing unraveling of old and proliferation of new nations, this epidemic of secessionism, end?
The most recent population explosion of new nations began three decades ago, when 15 republics of the USSR became independent nations. Soon, several of the 15 began to unravel further.
Transnistria seceded from Moldova. South Ossetia and Abkhazia seceded from Georgia. Chechnya sought to break free of Russia, only to be crushed. Since 2015, the Donbass has sought to secede from Ukraine.
When Josip Tito’s Yugoslavia collapsed, six “nations” seceded from Belgrade.
When did secessionism begin? The Americans started it all.
The first great secessionist cause was the Revolution, when the 13 American colonies declared and won independence from the British crown.