An Open Letter to the Rest of the UK – The Majority of The English DON’T Want to Get Rid of You – Stephen Bailey

‘In his new article, Stephen Bailey looks at the objective, verifiable facts behind the current state of public support in England for keeping the UK together and finds that there is a strong desire among English residents to maintain the Union.’

It is a common tactic of anti-UK separatism (those that seek to remove their part of the UK, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales), from the Union, principally, but not exclusively, the Scottish National Party, to provoke antagonism among the inhabitants of the English part of the UK by acting in a very troublesome and antagonistic manner to the English in a deliberate attempt to make them dislike or even hate the Scots, Welsh and Ullish (the inhabitants of Northern Ireland) in order to facilitate the advancement of their anti-UK separatist agenda.

The SNP have been in power at Holyrood since 2007, 17 long arduous years (for the majority pro-Union citizens of the UK anyway), and this war of attrition against the Union, designed to gradually ware down and degrade those that want to keep the UK together, has intensified by a significant degree.

The good news for those that intend to maintain the Union is that this campaign is failing. The impact on public opinion of this campaign in the English part of the UK has been very limited, and it has simply failed to produce a significant call among citizens of the English part of the UK to end the Union. Certain extremist English nationalists have TRIED to use this push by the Scottish separatists to drive a wedge between the constituent parts of the UK, in a rather pathetic attempt at bolstering their efforts to promote English independence or the setting up of a separate English Parliament, but this campaign has also failed.

Across the English part of the UK, public opinion, as reflected in comprehensive, authoritative surveys, like the 2021 UK National Census (among other polls) shows that the majority of English public opinion strongly supports keeping the Union together, in staying the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

But don’t take this at face value-look at the objective, verifiable, empirical (based on hard evidence, not subjective opinion), data conclusively proves that this is the case.

Let’s look at these facts:

The 2021 UK National Census (the latest), and its findings on national identity, confirm this pro-UK trend in public opinion in England and also the rest of the UK.

SNP-controlled devolved Scotland decided to run their own census, separately from the rest of the UK, and inevitably, it turned into an embarrassing show of incompetence. It was a lesson in how NOT to do it.

Initial results (pertaining to population) have been released (September 2023), but the results relating to national identity are to be released (hopefully) in Summer 2024. Consequently, no analysis and comment can be made at this juncture. This article will be updated at that time.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released the Census data on national identity in England and Wales. (1)

In its ‘Figure 1’ we see that more than half of the usual resident population of England AND Wales, 54.8% or 32.7 million people, indicated that they were of solely ‘British’ national identity, a rise since the 2011 Census.

Conversely, the opposite trend was witnessed in the ‘English only’ category, which fell massively from 57.7% in 2011 to 14.9% in 2021.

(A) ‘British only’:
2011: 10,690,999 (19.1%)
2021: 33,677,619, (54.8%).

(B) ‘English only’:
2011: 32,351,735 (57.7%)
2021: 8,898,728 (14.9%).

(C) ‘English and British only’:
2011: 4,867,862 (8.7%)
2023: 8,112,809 (13.6%).

The above results prove that there has been a monumental rise in the number of English residents who view themselves as citizens of a United Kingdom, as British rather than just of English nationality.


The pro-UK national identity trend continues in three separate datasets that relate to various aspects of national identity:

It found that: national identity (national identity based):

-42.8% (814, 600) of people living in NI described themselves as ‘British’ (i.e. they identified with the UK mainland).

— 33.3% (634, 600) said they were ‘Irish’ (identifying with the Irish Republic).

This clear majority of support for the British identity in NI is further buttressed by the results relating to person-based national identity:

— ‘British only’: 606, 300 (31.9%).

— ‘Irish only’: 554, 400 (29.1%).

There is also a clear pro-UK majority for the national identity (nationality based) data:

— ‘British’: 814, 600.

— ‘Irish’: 634, 000.

In overview, three separate datasets on national identity have returned a clear majority of NI residents describing themselves as ‘British’ and who identify with the UK, not the Irish Republic. (2)

These results dovetail with the results of several polls and surveys carried out since 2020 which strongly indicate that majorities in all parts of the UK want to keep the Union of the UK together and have rejected separatism. (3)

It is the inescapable, overwhelming conclusion of a very substantial body of objective, verifiable, empirical evidence (in the form of hard data and statistics from surveys and polls of citizens from around the UK) that a similarly substantial majority of the public in England and all parts of the UK desire keeping the Union together.


(1) To read the full 2021 UK National Census dataset on national identity in England and Wales, please click here:


To read the full dataset on national identity in Northern Ireland, please click here:

See the following links for fuller details of surveys and polls on re-unification in NI:



(i) For a list of opinion polls on independence in Scotland, please click here:

The vast number of these polls show a majority of Scots want Scotland to stay in the Union.

(ii) England and Wales: A Panelbase poll (conducted in 2021) established that of the 3,981 people surveyed, 54% of the English respondents wanted Scotland to remain in the Union and 56% said there SHOULD NOT be another independence referendum held there.

A UK-wide 2020 Savanta ComRes poll found that 51% of English residents stated that their identity was ‘British’ rather than English, and 46% of Welsh residents also stated this. The poll also found that 48% of all UK citizens (in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) also considered themselves as of British identity only. Click on the following link for fuller details:

(3) To read a fuller discussion concerning opinion polling on separatism across the UK, please click here:

NB: The article does not represent the views of Scotland Matters.

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