A Twitter hashtag has gone viral counting down the days the COP26 summit as a ploy to raise awareness for a new independence referendum amidst growing frustration in Scotland surrounding a variety of issues including Brexit and Covid-19
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Despite Scotland voting 55 to 45% in favour of remaining in the United Kingdom in 2014, calls for Scottish independence have never faded.
Now, with a variety of issues from Brexit to Covid-19 and climate change causing tensions between Westminster and Holyrood, the conversation has only intensified.
Earlier this year, the SNP’s victory in the Holyrood elections was the third successive victory for the pro-independence party.
The debate surrounding Scottish independence has been rumbling since the Act of Union in the 18th Century, with wars fought between Scotland and England for centuries.
Why is Scottish Independence trending on Twitter?
Today, Twitter exploded with discussion about a referendum focusing around a single hashtag: Scottishindependence3.
While the issues around independence are widespread, including leaving the EU and the energy crisis, it is understood the hashtag is a countdown to the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
People have been flocking to Twitter to discuss the tag, with tens of thousands of tweets appearing following the countdown’s rules.
Users have been writing the hashtag including the relevant day’s count, along with the corresponding number of Scottish flag emojis.
One wrote: “Day 3 must only mean one thing…. #ScottishIndependence3”
Another wrote: #ScottishIndependence3 Let’s make a difference today for the children of tomorrow.
It is understood the aim of the count is to put pressure on politicians in order to demonstrate the Scottish desire for another independence vote.
Is there a possibility of another independence referendum?
While the focus of debate in Westminster currently rests on other matters, Boris Johnson has been staunchly opposed to a second referendum since his premiership began.
As part of the 2014 referendum campaign, the SNP Government said it was a once in a generation opportunity for the people of Scotland to break away.
Unsurprisingly this is now exactly what opponents to independence say.
Mr Johnson said that the gap between referendums on Europe – the first in 1975 and the second in 2016 – was “a good sort of gap” on the Andrew Marr show in January this year.
But Ms Sturgeon believes circumstances have changed so much that it is time for another vote, and has set the target for a second referendum in 2023 as long as the pandemic is “under control”.
Following a relatively successful Scottish Parliament election in May which saw the SNP gain a seat but fall one short of a majority, Ms Sturgeon has cause for optimism over public support for independence.
But only the UK Prime Minister has the power to grant another referendum, so Mr Johnson currently holds the cards.