Hasn’t There Already Been A Scottish Independence Referendum?
Yes. When the people of Scotland went to the polls for a referendum on independence in 2014, they voted 55.3%-44.7% in favour of staying in the United Kingdom in what Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party at the time, described as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity. However, the outcome of last year’s nationwide referendum on leaving the European Union, when the UK opted for ‘Brexit’, has prompted current SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to push for a second vote on Scottish independence.
When Might The Next One Be?
Sturgeon has cited the fact that 62% of Scots wanted to remain in the EU as a reason for her request, and is hopeful that she will be granted another referendum on independence. Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly made it clear that she does not feel now is the time for such a vote whilst the formal two-year process of Brexit is in action following the activation of Article 50. However, even if attempts to hold a referendum in the very near future are blocked, it seems likely that another Scottish vote will be held within the next few years.
According to bookmakers, there is an odds-on chance that there will be a referendum before the end of 2020. Bookies also rate it likely that Scotland would vote for independence in the next referendum, and that could have an effect on games like EuroMillions.
What Would Happen To EuroMillions In Scotland?
There was a great deal of uncertainty ahead of the 2014 referendum as to whether residents of Scotland would be allowed to keep playing UK National Lottery games such as EuroMillions if the country voted for independence, with ‘Yes Scotland’ campaigners insisting that they would and the ‘Better Together’ group arguing the opposite.
However, a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport later said that ‘a Scottish state would have no right to continue being part of the UK National Lottery’, suggesting players in Scotland would have lost the chance to play if they had voted for independence. As Scotland remained a part of the UK, the issue did not materialise, but it may provide food for thought for players ahead of any future referendum.
EuroMillions is organised between the official lottery operators of the participating countries, not their respective governments, and this is why UK players can keep playing after Brexit. However, if Scotland opted for independence, the future of the UK National Lottery would be one of the many issues that would need to be resolved. It is possible that, even though the new Scottish state would have ‘no right’ to remain part of the National Lottery, the two governments could work together to keep the status quo of the lottery. Alternatively, a new Scottish Lottery would need to be formed and the operator would need to find an agreement with the other EuroMillions countries in order to play.
Would EuroMillions Be Affected If Scotland Voted For Independence?
Scotland has produced a large number of the UK’s EuroMillions winners, including Chris and Colin Weir from Largs in Ayrshire, who scooped a colossal £161.6 million in July 2011. Scottish players contribute to the prize pot in every draw and jackpots may not grow as quickly if the country were not able to continue providing participants.
It is unclear how the economic landscape of Europe would change if Scotland opted for independence, while the currency of an independent Scotland would also need to be confirmed. There has already been a keen interest in fluctuating exchange rates since the vote for Brexit, and the next few months and years will be fascinating as a possible second Scottish referendum looms.