International relations are complex and influenced by several historical and geographical factors that shape the way countries interact with each other. The process of separation between Scotland and England and the partition of India and Pakistan are examples of how the historical legacy of border delimitation can become an obstacle to the future and the need to carefully consider the consequences of these geopolitical decisions.
Before addressing the issue of border delimitation, it is important to reflect on the characters who are currently making decisions in the United Kingdom. Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to rule a Western capital, Rishi Sunak, the first “premier” of Indian origin in an Anglican country, and Humza Yousaf, the first Muslim of Pakistani origin to assume the reins of the Scottish Executive, are examples of how cultural and ethnic diversity can play an important role in international politics.
In 2014, the central government in London allowed a first plebiscite on whether or not Scotland could remain in the Union and 55% of Scots voted to remain in the United Kingdom, mainly because independence would leave Scotland out of the European Union. However, two years later, in the referendum on Brexit, the vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union won, which caused Scotland to end up leaving the supranational body.
This political paradox reflects the complexity of political decision-making at the national and international levels. On the other hand, the historical legacy of the delimitation of borders by the colonizing countries is reflected today in the situation between England and Scotland, where separation has generated a relevant political debate. The coincidence that the political leaders involved have family roots in India and Pakistan, countries that were also victims of artificial borders created by “English” imperialism, is an irony of fate that reflects the importance of respecting peoples’ cultural and ethnic differences when designing borders.
The partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 is another example of the impact of borders on international politics. The creation of two independent states and the delimitation of borders were based on religious criteria, which generated a large migration and generalized violence. This geopolitical decision had serious consequences on the lives of millions of people and even today, India and Pakistan are in a situation of constant tension.
Marx said that history repeats itself twice, once as a great tragedy and the second as a miserable farce. The victims of the tragic separation of borders between India and Pakistan decide the future of relations between England and Scotland.” Sometimes the repetition as a farce can be more terrifying than the original tragedy.”