The Romantic Game
»Brexit«, the departure of the UK from the EU, has given the movement for Scottish independence a new boost. However, an analysis of the nationalism that the governing Scottish National Party adopts, a self-styled »civic nationalism«, shows several contradictions: a European Scottish nationalism (or European non-nationalist regionalism), an unacknowledged federalism in a centralist – and constitutionally still feudal – country as the UK is, and the absence of any understanding for a need for a modern written constitution to define a possible new and modern independent Scottish state. There also appear some similarities between the Scottish independence referendum of 2014 and the Brexit referendum of 2016: maybe the nationalist Scottish Government did not quite want to win the referendum anyway, just as the proponents of Brexit within the ruling Conservative Party in the UK did not quite want to win the Brexit referendum, either, but only sought political gain in a personal gamble? The following is a perhaps idiosyncratic discussion by a European about Scotland's drive for – and largely already achieved – autonomy within the UK, with an emphasis on the legal perspective. As this discussion concerns the UK, it cannot be divided from »Brexit«. The chapter concerns the development of autonomy of a »European« region within a country that has positioned itself outside Europe as a cultural space.