IN 2014, the Scottish referendum captured world attention. The interest was fueled by mere curiosity: whether Scots would be able to leave the United Kingdom as the proud Irish had done 100 years ago.

Few people thought then about the reasons of the Scottish independence movement. In fact, the reasons seemed evident – typical populism of local nationalists. By the word “nationalists” – the ultra-right are understood worldwide. By “independence movement” – the very separatism, which is commonly regarded as a phenomenon exclusively destructive (at least as world media tells us). So it must be reasonable that modern states fight against separatist tendencies as Spain fought against secession of Catalonia.

The visit of the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Scotland in 2017 was an emblematic illustration of such logic. During the visit, Trudeau met with Queen Elizabeth II. Nevertheless, despite visiting Scotland, the head of the Canadian government did not meet with the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. It seemed weird in terms of diplomatic protocol, common courtesy and any sense.

However, it was not senseless. Trudeau wanted to not only please the Queen and express his support to the Tory Government in London, the signal was addressed primarily to the Canadian public. By such a demarche, Trudeau made clear his attitude to the 2014 referendum and a new potential voting on independence of Scotland, in order to assure the Canadian population that the Quebecois nationalists would not be allowed to organise anything of the kind.

It’s been almost six years since the first Scottish referendum. The main change of these years for the UK and its citizens is Brexit. The main “not a change” – the dominance of the Tories in parliament and in government. In the meantime, in Scotland a new referendum is brewing.

According to the recent public opinion polls, the majority of the Scottish population, namely 52%, strongly favours secession from the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the number of independence supporters continue to rise, and by no means all of them represent the SNP. Regardless of the propaganda stream of the conservative media, it becomes evident that their choice is not based on far-right separatist sentiments; on the contrary, it relies on objective understanding of the economic realities and people’s needs, understanding which is peculiar to the left-wing progressive views.

Moreover, a referendum on the independence of Scotland is a logical response to the far-right policy of the Conservative party in London. The trigger for the second Scottish independence referendum was Brexit coveted by the British Conservatives. Two-thirds of the Scottish population voted against Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, realising the catastrophic consequences it would bring. Refusal of the European single market and free movement of people and goods will inevitably hit Scottish agriculture as well as the spheres of technology-intensive co-operation. Brexit will deteriorate the demographic situation in Scotland, which needs migrant workers more than other UK regions do. According to the analytical research of Her Majesty’s Treasury (which, under the Tory Government, cannot be accused of sympathies for the proponents of Scottish independence) Brexit will cost each UK household £ 4300 per year. It is a rather considerable sum for an average Scottish family.

By its uncompromising support for Brexit, the Conservative party of Boris Jonson demonstrated who are the real far-right nationalists. Anglo-centric Tory’s policy (culmination of which became Brexit) forces Scots to struggle for independence in order to stay in the EU. Centrifugal forces created by London itself and intensified under the governments of David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson, disunite the United Kingdom. Tendencies to break away from London also are on the rise in Northern Ireland, where 56% of the population voted against Brexit. Technically, it would be even easier for Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland than for Scotland to gain independence. After all, the Good Friday Agreement and two and three articles of the constitution of the Republic of Ireland remain in effect.

TORIES can endlessly keep blaming Sinn Fein or the SNP for separatism and keep accusing Labour of appeasement and internationalism. In reality, however, nobody contributes to the break-up of the UK more than the Tories themselves. Flag-wavers from the nationalistic Conservative party armed with nothing but emotional rhetoric are guided only by the interests of elites and their partners from Washington.

Leaders of the Conservative party do not even bother to objectively assess socio-economic processes in their own country, let alone their ability to draw lessons from developments abroad. Catalonia exemplifies how political and economic centralisation only induces ethno-separatist tendencies. Outright nationalistic policy of Ukraine’s leadership led to a split of the country, referendum and secession of Crimea. Foreign policy of the British Conservatives may lead not only to the independence of Scotland but also to the loss of the Gibraltar Peninsula, which will accede to Spain as Crimea acceded to Russia. Brexit is going to deprive Great Britain of European support on the Falkland issue and that will eventually result in the loss of the islands. Do the Tories really want to destroy what their idol Margaret Thatcher firmly fought for and British soldiers died for (the soldiers whom the Tories themselves sent to death)?

The Conservative establishment is trying to explain Brexit to the British population including Scots by the necessity of sovereignty in economic issues. Then how can one explain the Tories’ intentions to quit the European Convention on Human Rights? What does this have to do with economy? The Cabinet of Theresa May demanded to drop criminal charges against British militaries who had committed war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq merely because they were the British. This fact literally demonstrates the fascistisation of the Conservative party.

Due to the social reforms of the Conservative party, Scotland and other countries of the UK cannot cope with coronavirus. During the past decade, Tories were slashing hospital beds and were weakening the NHS by its privatisation.

Developments after September 18, 2014, clearly show that Scots are not the problem here.

Neil Karpenko is a contributing author to Haaretz and the Morning Star among other publications