The British working class movement exists and has been created in over 200 years of joint struggle against British capital. The highest form of workers unity is in a socialist party struggling for socialism. However, the Scottish nationalist left rejects the idea of building a common socialist party with our comrades south of the border.
The socialist movement in Britain traditionally fought to unite all workers in Britain to fight for pro-working class reforms and a workers’ government in Britain. The Scottish nationalist left reject that political struggle in favour of uniting with a section of the Scottish establishment to fight for a Scottish capitalist state and to put “Scotland first”.
Such a nationalist perspective is obviously opposed to working class unity and is subservient to the forces of capital. We can expect the Scottish nationalist perspective to provoke a Stronger for England narrative down south – indeed this is already happening. Nationalism begets nationalism.
In a period of heightening international tension we can expect any Scottish divorce proceedings to become quite nasty. Chauvinists on both sides of the border will be arguing over the division of assets and liabilities. Workers will be dragooned into supporting their own bosses against the other: Scotland first, England first, etc. National traitors will be denounced. The divorce proceedings will tend to split the working class into nationalist fragments, each supporting their own bosses.
I support the right of national self-determination for Scotland and Catalonia, etc., but that does not mean that I support the call for independence, for the reason stated above. Often nationalists seem blind to the fact that support for the right of national self-determination does not necessarily mean support for independence. As Lenin says, socialists support the right to divorce but do not advocate that everyone who is married should get a divorce.