Sturgeon is an opportunist. For all her rhetoric at the 2015 SNP conference that she would accept the result of the referendum and issue another vote in 2021, she has contradicted herself, using #Brexit as an excuse for a rematch of the 2014 Referendum. Now there are rumours circulating that Alex Salmond is pushing his ally into legislating a second vote. Something fishy is going on here.
1707 Act of Union
For all the debate about how complicated Brexit will be, the First Minister fails to realise how complex Scotland's exit from the UK would be. In 1707, the Act of Union brought together the kingdoms of England and Scotland. The original Scottish Parliament was abolished and Scottish MPs were sent to Westminster. If they vote for independence in 2018 or 2019, the 1707 Act of Union would have to be abolished. If a second vote is held in 2019, there is also the uncertainty about whether or not the Scots will send MPs to Westminster in the event of a general election.
The Edinburgh Agreement
However, for a second referendum to even become a reality, the Scottish Government would need to secure an agreement with the British Government over when the vote will be. The #Edinburgh Agreement stated that the 2014 Referendum was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Theresa May wants to avoid any more obstacles as she triggers Article 50. She has already ruled out a second vote. Therefore, Sturgeon is unlikely to succeed.
The SNP would also struggle to legislate a second referendum in the Scottish Parliament. The nationalists lost their majority during the election last year. The Scottish Conservatives are unilaterally opposed to a second referendum. It is unlikely that Sturgeon will receive parliamentary support for this measure.
Economically, independence would be a total disaster. The UK still has an extortionate national debt to pay and a budget deficit that it needs to eradicate. It is unclear how much of the debt the Scots would have to take with them. And they would have to deal with their own state-owned bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland. So the consequences of the 2008 Recession would linger for them.
Finally, both the EU and NATO have warned Sturgeon that if Scotland left the UK, they would automatically lose their membership of both organisations. They would have to apply to rejoin both groups. Spain and Belgium have already suggested that they will block the First Minister's application due to secessionist threats in their own countries.
But most Scots knew all this in 2014, and they know it now. The majority of their electorate rejected independence then, and they are more than likely to do so now.