The United Kingdom has various serious problems at the moment. Some of them are short term primarily caused by our response to Covid, others are more long term. Many of us will struggle to heat our homes or drive our cars, because of long term failures in our energy policy. But the greatest threat to the UK and the greatest long-term problem is the one caused by Scottish Labour and the Liberal Democrats arguing that because Scotland didn’t vote Conservative, we needed a devolved parliament.
The problem is that politically everyone treats the UK as if it were four countries. This used to be harmless. We played each other at football, because it was invented here. But the key to defending the UK is to tell the truth. The UK is one country just like every other nation-state in the world. From this follows everything.
This decision has fuelled nationalism not only in Scotland but also in Wales, which just barely voted for devolution by 50.3% in 1997. Encouraged by the success of the SNP and the independence referendum in 2014 there are now upwards of 30% of Welsh voters who support independence, which a generation earlier would have been considered as preposterous.
In the 1970s almost no one thought that there was the remotest possibility that the UK would break up, just as no one thought there was a chance that the United States would become fifty countries. The UK was as permanent as France Germany and Italy. We happened to call our parts countries and they played international football with each other, but this was merely a quirky British thing like driving on the Left.
Devolution changed everything. It led directly to Nicola Sturgeon attempting to organise an independence referendum without permission with the back up plan of turning the next General Election into a de facto referendum. The next step would be a unilateral declaration of independence.