Monday, 13 March 2017

Scotland Indyref2 – Tell May where to Stick her Hard Brexit

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, fired the starting pistol on a second Scottish independence referendum today, by announcing her intention to hold a vote in the Scottish Parliament on the matter, probably next week.

Although the Scottish National Party (SNP) does not hold an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Green Party announced today that they will support the SNP, and their six MSPs are enough for an overall majority, even if all, as seems likely, the other parties vote against.

Scotland will need authorisation by the full UK Parliament, which may prove more problematical, although the Prime Minister, Theresa May, fell short of over ruling the referendum at Westminster today. What she did say was that there is no demand in Scotland for it, which is open to question, the SNP was playing politics and that it will be ‘divisive.’

What a cheek May has. She has been playing politics all along with the Brexit issue, fighting tooth and nail to stop MPs have a say on the outcome of negotiations with the European Union (EU), and using her hard Brexit stance as way to consolidate her power within the Tory Party. Her predecessor, David Cameron, only held the referendum in the first place to manage the Tory Party Euro-sceptics. And as for divisive, well her hard Brexit stance has further torn apart the country, when what was required was a healer of the wound, a one nation approach, if you like.

No, May has made Indyref2 inevitable with her hard Brexit approach to the issue, and now the chickens are truly coming home roost. May could have aimed for a softer version of Brexit, perhaps retaining membership of the European Free Trade Association (Efta) and through that joined the European Economic Area (EEA) with Norway and others. She could have conceded some ground to Sturgeon on Scotland staying in the single market, but she has refused point blank to concede anything to the Scots.

If the referendum goes ahead, it will be tough for the SNP to win a yes to independence vote, but the opinion polls have been moving in that direction in last couple of weeks, since it has become clear what the UK government strategy is going to be. Demand everything from the EU, and when they don’t let you have it, howl about foreigners aided and abetted by the right wing media, and crash out of the organisation with no deal at all.     

This may be the start of the unravelling of the UK, with much unhappiness in Northern Ireland about the UK government’s handling of Brexit. Northern Ireland as well as Scotland voted to remain in the UK, and if one good thing comes out of all of this, Brexit might lead to the overdue uniting of the island of Ireland.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has also called for an independence referendum in Wales, despite a majority of the Welsh voting for Brexit.

And then there is London, which voted almost as strongly as Scotland to remain in the EU. I’ve written before on the desirability of London independence from the UK, but unfortunately we in London are saddled with a Labour Party mayor, Sadiq Khan, who refuses to countenance the idea. He gave his rather feeble response reported on Labour List today to the latest developments on Brexit. But pressure may now increase on Khan, with Scotland making its intentions clear today. In 2014, at the time of the first Scottish indyref campaign, I saw a poll of Londoners which showed 20% support for London independence, and this time it could well be higher. It seems when the Scots consider independence and it is in the national news, Londoners think along the lines of ‘if they can have it, why not London, with a bigger population and economy than Scotland?’

Who can blame the Scots for wanting to ‘take control' of their destiny, rather than be lashed to the mast of a Tory government in England, hell bent on a potentially disastrous Brexit? Having to live in a shit country, where racism and bigotry is on the rise, when they can rule themselves, in the way they want to be ruled.

Solidarity with Scotland from the people of London.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for putting round, Mike. The SNP position - backed by Scottish Greens who are also in a position to hold SNP to account - is for an internationalist, Pro-European, social justice and sustainability oriented future which is not a bad start in breaking the hold of May's hegemony