WHO SPEAKS FOR SCOTLAND IN THE UNION AND BRITAIN IN THE EU?

JOHN McGURK                    

 

Honestly, turn your back for a moment and it all starts again. Big time.

Not that anyone with any sense ever believed that the question of Scottish independence was a “once in a generation” decision.

That was just another powerful phrase – a bit like “Let’s take back control”, designed to create a mood and then capture it.  Soundbites can win elections.

Convince enough folk that it’s their only opportunity to change and many will agree.  

The SNP nearly did it as well.  From one in three Scots who supported independence, they ended up with the backing of nearly one in two.

Now, only two years after the first referendum, the SNP believe the circumstances post-Brexit have moved in their favour and Nicola means to take full advantage.

She’s right, of course.  When we voted to remain in the United Kingdom back in September 2014, the UK was a leading member of the European Union.

“Scotland please stay,” the UK politicians and various celebrities pleaded.

We were even warned that the only way Scotland could remain in Europe was to stay in the UK.

But the Tories have changed all that. Thanks to their internal feud over sovereignty and argument over immigration, Scotland is to be dragged out of the EU against the wishes of the majority of its voters.

Let’s be honest. Nicola is making perfect sense.  Her argument is very clear.

The only way Scotland can save itself and maintain all those jobs and investments which rely on the EU is to remain in Europe.

As for Theresa, well, the new Prime Minister hasn’t even been elected.  She wants a “hard Brexit”, which means quitting the single market, despite the fact that nobody has voted for her or her government.

Those English Tories are stuffing us again. It’s a damned disgrace and Scotland won’t put up with it.

So here we go.

The balls are being juggled as Nicola prepares new independence draft legislation this week.   

Unless Westminster allows Scotland to protect its own interests inside the EU, the next Scottish independence referendum is likely to be staged in around two years.

As Nicola says, it’s not a question of politics, it’s a question of what’s best for Scotland.

To those already converted, independence is straightforward. To those opposed, it will be a disaster. For the don’t-knows, it’s confusion time, again. Those who fall into this category are right to be discombobulated.

Maybe Scotland can prosper as an independent nation but what about that £15 billion black hole in our economy because of the collapse of North Sea oil and gas?

To be reminded that an independent Scotland would be another Greece is not a pleasant thought. I know because I’m writing this in Greece and folk are still raking the rubbish bins for something to eat.

Isn’t our biggest trading market within the UK?  In fact it’s four times bigger than our trade with Europe.  Why on earth does Scotland want to leave the UK single market but stay in the EU single market?

Why quit one union but stay in another less lucrative union and to which we would have to pay huge fees to be a member.  Fees which we currently couldn’t afford?

And what would be our currency?  They couldn’t tell us last time and they’re unlikely to be able to next time.  If it’s not £ sterling, the trade barriers with England would become fraught.

Perhaps even more alarming is that the EU doesn’t appear to want Scotland anyway.  

During the first independence referendum, we were continually warned by Brussels that Scotland was not a member of the EU and that, should we become independent, we would have to apply for membership which would take years with no guarantee of success.

When Nicola went to Europe in the aftermath of Brexit, the EU Council President, Donald Tusk, wouldn’t even speak to her.

The truth of the matter is that Europe is not interested in a left-wing, anti-austerity, independent Scotland with a huge economic problem.

Neither are they interested in supporting a breakaway nation when other mini-states in Europe like Catalonia want their independence.  The Spanish would certainly oppose an independent Scotland in the EU.

Then there’s Theresa who said she wanted the UK to remain in Europe but now seems to have been a secret Brexiteer all along having stuffed her cabinet with euro-sceptics who keep on saying the stupidest things.

When she declared that the way forward for the UK is to quit the EU single market so that we can halt mass immigration, the pound crashed to its lowest in decades. It’s now virtually on a par with the euro.

And when her big-mouthed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the UK “could have its cake and eat it”, the EU retorted that he would only get “salt and vinegar”.

Theresa seems to be in a mess. 

Her honeymoon is over. 

We still have no idea what Brexit looks like.

So what about the 52% of folk who voted for Scotland to stay in the UK and the 48% who voted for the UK to stay in Europe? Who’s speaking up for them?

Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable and, anyway, he seems to be another secret Brexiteer, or at the very least, not a great supporter of the UK in the EU.

Corbyn is likely to ensure that the Tories will rule Britain for decades.

The Lib Dems may be making the right noises but they’d say and do anything for votes.

After the Nick Clegg years, why trust them now?

The biggest fear must be Scotland out of the UK and unable to get into the EU…while sinking into oblivion. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  Comments: 1


  1. Quite right all you say. The feasible idea (technically but not yet politically, legally or constitutionally) for Scotland and for N.Ireland is that of “One country two systems” somewhat like China and Hong Kong maybe, but really just a new type in the many types already of relationships between the EU and nearly 30 ‘overseas territories’ if bigger and more important than any of the others.

    London financial and other services business interests and voters too perhaps also it seems want a special EU deal? A special deal for Scotland and N.Ireland so they can keep one leg in UK and the other in the EU would break new ground and potentially valuable for the rest of the UK if it persists with hard Brexit.

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