Scotland’s Vote on Independence – The Implications for Ireland


On 18 September 2014, Scottish citizens will vote Yes or No in a referendum on the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” If Scotland becomes independent, the remaining union between England, Wales and Northern Ireland would be radically disrupted.

Should the UK leave the European Union, as is now possible following the commitment made by Prime Minister David Cameron to hold an in/out referendum in 2017, the internal turmoil over Scotland would be accompanied by an external crisis over the UK’s role in Europe.

No state would be affected as much as Ireland if either or both of these developments come to pass. In this paper, Paul Gillespie presents four possible scenarios concerning how the Scottish independence issue relates to the potential referendum on EU membership and argues that these scenarios raise profoundly important questions for Ireland.