Brexit and divisions in the North
Sir, – Among the arguments about Scotland and Northern Ireland having voted “to remain in the EU” it seems to have been overlooked that neither Scotland nor Northern Ireland are members of the EU; neither for that matter are England and Wales.
The entity that is a member of the EU is the United Kingdom of Great Britain (which encompasses the historical kingdoms of England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland. As a result of the referendum the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. The fact that in constituencies in different parts of the UK a majority voted to remain does not entitle those constituencies to remain in the EU when the UK leaves.
If that were the case the region with the strongest claim to remain would be a large part of London where the number of people who voted to remain in the EU was a multiple of the number of people in constituencies in Scotland and Northern Ireland who also voted to remain.
In another recent referendum a majority in Scotland voted to remain in the UK. By reductio ad absurdem the SNP argument that “Scotland voted to remain in the EU ” by extension implies that any constituency that voted that way should be entitled to the same right. Of the considerable number of constituencies in the UK where a majority voted to remain in the EU a number were in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but they were outnumbered by those that voted to leave.
Scotland was not consulted in the UK EU referendum any more than were Wales, England and Northern Ireland. It was the electorate of the UK as a whole that was consulted – and a majority voted to leave. – Yours, etc,