Five countries that could gain independence in the next twenty years

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The world’s political map could look very different by 2027.

It’s 2027 - robots are replacing humans in many of society’s key jobs, Theresa May is a footnote in British political history, and the world survived President Donald Trump's bombastic presidency.

Here are five countries that could become independent, UN-recognised states in the next twenty years.

1. Catalonia

Last weekend’s illegal independence referendum has dominated much of the west's news cycle in recent days. After the vote, the Catalan parliament tried to push for independence, but the BBC reported that Spain’s court has suspended the parliament due to the “indivisibility” of Spain laid out in the country’s young constitution. No one knows what will happen next, and while Catalonia looks unlikely to be independent any time soon, it could happen in the next two decades.

2. Scotland

The Tory surge north of the border at June’s snap election put the SNP in retreat mode, but the latter still won 39% of the vote. The party’s independence cause is far from dead. A brief spell in opposition could even do them good, and lead to a pro-independence resurgence. Watch this space.

Nicola Sturgeon

3. Quebec

In Quebec’s history as a Canadian province, it as held two referendums on seeking a new relationship with Canada. The most recent proposal for sovereignty, held in 1995, was defeated by an agonisingly close 50.58% - 49.42%. Since then, the separatist Bloc Quebecois have been in decline, winning just four seats in 2011 and ten in 2015 at the federal level. As for the provincial assembly, the party is in second place, currently holding 30 seats, dwarfed by the 70 held by the Liberals. Quebecois independence looks like a distance dream, but movements ebb and flow. Quebec could well become an independent state within the next twenty years.

4. Flanders and Wallonia

Belgium has one of the world’s most complicated systems of governments in the world, with different language communities and different regions each having their own governments.

This video explains the complex picture extremely well.

The country could well split within the next twenty years, but one crucial question concerns the bilingual Brussels. Would it be a part of Flanders or Wallonia - or it could it become an independent city-state? The Washington D.C of the EU?

5. Wales

With Labour winning almost one in two of the votes in Wales at this year’s general election, and the Tories winning a third, Welsh independence looks like a distant dream. Plaid Cyrmu won 10% of the vote, but they did gain one seat from the liberal Democrats. The movement for independence has long existed in Wales, but a YouGov poll recently found that just 26% would be in favour of Welsh independence, according to WalesOnline.