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Why a second vote on Scottish independence is completely different from the EU referendum

Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May
Brexit Britain is a real place, which we lived in just 50 years ago, whereas independent Scotland is a fantasy

“La Reyne le veult” (“The Queen wishes it”). With these traditional words of Norman French, Her Majesty this week gave her assent to the Article 50 Bill which will signal the end of our 45-year constitutional connection with the European Continent.

The last time a monarch refused to authorise those words was in 1708. Queen Anne rejected the Scottish Militia Bill which Parliament had passed, with the words “La Reyne s’avisera” (“The Queen will be advised”). That Bill was introduced after the Act of Union which had united England and Scotland the previous year. The Bill permitted the rearming of the Scottish militia, but because the French were reported to be sailing for Scotland to incite revolt, Anne feared disloyalty up north, and so preferred the militia unarmed.

This week, Nicola Sturgeon mustered her disloyal militia in Aberdeen. Theresa May rallied British loyalists in Cardiff. There...

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