February 2020: The first days of the rest of the UK’s life as a former member of the EU. Will it transition smoothly from awkward, dissatisfied full member to powerless little 3rd country?
Query: How long will it last in its poorer and much-diminished status ?
Not very long . It appears to be fatally fractured as support for Scottish IndyRef2 and an Irish reunification Border Poll hits and surpasses the 50% mark and Sinn Fein appears to be striding towards power in next week’s Irish general election.
How fares Scotland?
Scots are deeply upset and angered at losing their EU membership (they voted 62% to remain). Although some thought FM Sturgeon’s speech on Brexit Day was great, many were profoundly disappointed and disillusioned because the SNP leaders had confidently told them for years that Scotland “would not be taken out of Europe against its will” .
They expected over-cautious lawyer, FM Nicola Sturgeon to come out fighting as time ran out on Scotland’s EU membership. They were looking for ‘leadership and vision’. Instead, the
didn’t seem to have a plan or a strategy on how to protect Scottish rights as EU citizens or how to achieve independence. They had asked Independence supporters to give them a mandate for a referendum at multiple elections, then did nothing and asked for another mandate in the 2021 Scottish election. This could well guarantee them a low vote at these Holyrood Elections, due probably to low turnout rather than voting for other parties. Nicola Sturgeon’s speech has effectively cut the SNP and the Scottish Government adrift from the grassroots Yes movement.
The SNP failed to
for Scotland. Since the Brexit referendum the Scottish Government has focussed more on stopping Brexit than stopping the imposition of Brexit on Scotland.
This approach had no way of succeeding. There was no reason why Scotland could, or even should, have altered Brexit, a decision made by the English for England. Since 62% of the Scots had voted against Brexit, the task for Scottish MPs, MSPs and MEPs should have been to make sure Scotland wasn’t involved in Brexit in any way.
The second strand of SNP’s strategy for independence, indeed according to FM Sturgeon “the only way that it would be recognized internationally”, was to request Westminster for a section 30 order for Indyref2. Both times (2016, 2019) requests were refused by Prime Ministers Theresa May and Boris Johnson. In her speech, FM Sturgeon repeated she would simply ask again at a later date. So the First Minster’s approach to achieving Independence through Westminster has already failed. Twice.
Comments: No MSP, MP or MEP has publicly described an alternative route to independence. Scottish Independence will hardly be accomplished by hoping Westminister sees Scotland’s point of view when it’s in its interests not to.
“But David Cameron did”.
He did indeed. Westminster granted a Section 30 order for a referendum on Scottish independence when support was running at 25% and it was more than likely to lose.
Which it did.
PM Johnson is not going to concede a Section 30 with support for independence running at 50% and likely to win. No British PM wants to be the one that loses Scotland.
Comment: Despite the high SNP vote, Scotland is now in a very bad position vis-à-vis Independence and EU membership.
- Is Scottish government actually afraid to disobey Westminster’s colonial rules and conventions?
- As a lawyer, is FM Nicola Sturgeon, in full conscience, unable to break the law of Westminster?
- Are the SNP are afraid of losing IndyRef2? Scared of being seen to lose?
Comment: FM Sturgeon would be forgiven if she lost, but she will never be forgiven for not trying
Comment: No wonder the sound of SNP membership cards being ripped up echoed voices demanding new SNP leadership over the weekend. It’s not clear where the Scottish Independence movement goes from here. As a national movement, it reflects many strands of political opinion and many personality types, from the gradualists and constitutionalists, to the patient and tortoise-like movers, the reckless and impetuous shakers, the impatient and the stubborn!
Here are some of their thoughts at present:
- NS should resign forthwith . .. BUT
Scotland would be sad to lose Nicola Sturgeon’s managerial abilities. She has done a lot for the country and its image abroad.
Query: Could she share power?
Advantages: If Nicola Sturgeon continues as First Minister but has no responsibilities for delivering Independence it immediately gets rid of “the get on with the day job” line of attack.
A new Minister for Independence could take up responsibility for delivering independence
- More Independence parties in Scotland,
Advantages: No more eggs in one basket. No more reliance on only the SNP. Scotland has only one choice really, and the SNP are trying to do the impossible and appeal to all.
Scotland needs changes in strategy, tactics, ideas – preferably from all quarters.
- Recall SNP MPs from Westminster.Scottish MEPs are already back. A“National Assembly” instead of Nicola Sturgeon’s “Constitutional Convention” should be set up. It could declare independence, be internationally recognised, and hold a confirmatory referendum.
- Holyrood has to shut its doors to Westminster’s rules and conventions and open them as the Sovreign Scottish parliament. Independence happens when Scotland stops obeying Westminster and rejects its conventions.
- Persuade the world to recognise Scotland’s legitimate status as a nation. Approach world authorities for International Recognition, thus by-passing Westminster
- Test whether Westminster’s refusal of a Section 30 order is legal. Forward as One has just sent a pre litigation letter to the Lord Advocate, arguing on behalf of the people of Scotland and using the Declaration of Arbroath and the Claim of Rights etc which predate the 1707 Scotland Act of Union.
Remember: the difference between being in the UK and being in the EU!