In the 2014 referendum, Scots rejected independence by a decisive margin, 55 percent to 45 percent. That was supposed to resolve the issue for a generation but two years later came the Brexit vote, and that radically altered the landscape.

While England voted to leave the European Union, 62 percent of Scottish voters wanted to stay. With only about a tenth the population of England, Scotland was badly outnumbered and its preference was simply ignored. Resentments over that have helped revive the push for what is widely known as "indyref2."

Then there is the person of Mr. Johnson. Already widely disliked in Scotland, he did nothing to endear himself by steadfastly championing a hard-line version of Brexit, finally "getting it done," as he liked to say, when 2021 rolled in.

The resultant disruption to exporters, and particularly to Scotland's important fish and shellfish industries, which relied heavily on friction-free trade with the European Union, has further angered Scots.

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