I think this is a fascinating article as to some extent it suggests that an era that marked the formation of nations states in Europe which mirrored the first industrial revolution and the need for capital to accumulate and aggregate and for geopolitical success to be based on size and not locality, is breaking down.
As a result of the digital revolution and a reaction to globalisation, local and not national needs are once more to the fore. Does Catalonia need Spain either economically or politically? Does London or Manchester need the rest of the UK? London and Manchester were very strong pro-remain and pro-immigration areas imbued by social liberalism and economic dynamism very different places from say East Kent or Lincolnshire. This feels both an economic and social issue throughout Europe that will not dissipate. The notion of the all powerful global state has perhaps hit the rocks - not able to deliver agile enough economic growth or meaningful social inclusion.
Scotland, then Catalonia and now Lombardy and the Veneto. The list of European sub-national areas bidding for independence, or at least greater autonomy, is growing. The Scots voted to remain in the UK, though not by a huge margin. Catalans, in an unsanctioned referendum, voted to leave Spain. Last weekend, Lombardy and the Veneto voted for greater autonomy within the Italian state. In France, the entire party system collapsed in the wake of Emmanuel Macron’s insurgency. The recent German and Austrian elections produced big successes for an extreme right-wing party. These movements, like the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s presidency, are evidence of growing disenchantment with the traditional governments of nation states. Tired and out-of-touch political establishments face insurrection on different electoral fronts.