Unionism in the United Kingdom

Unionism in the United Kingdom, also referred to as British unionism, is a political ideology favouring the continued unity of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as one sovereign state, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Those who support the union are referred to as "Unionists".[1] British unionism can be associated with British nationalism, which asserts that the British are a nation and promotes the cultural unity of the Britons,[2][3] which may include people of English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish and Cornish descent.

The United Kingdom is composed of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Union Jack, in addition to being the flag of the United Kingdom, also serves as a significant symbol of British unionism.

Since the late 20th century, differing views on the constitutional status of the countries within the UK have become a bigger issue in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and to a lesser extent in Wales. The pro-independence Scottish National Party first became the governing party of the Scottish Parliament in 2007, and it won an outright majority of seats at the 2011 Scottish Parliament election. This led to a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014, where voters were asked: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"[4] 44.7% of voters answered "Yes" and 55.3% answered "No", with a record voter turnout of 84.5%.[5][6]