Monday 13 March 2017

Oh Lord...yet another referendum!

Could it be true?

So far thanks to Brexit the UK has done really rather well, exports have grown, jobs increased, GDP grown, new friendship found with the US President, the Labour party destroyed and Cameron and Osborne de-throned in the nick of time.

Against this are some downside possibilities in the future, but the full furore of Remain side in the campaign has looked very poor.

However today, Nicola Sturgeon has, as entirely expected, pressed the button on a new independence referendum for Scotland to be held in 2018 or 2019. It will be hard for a Westminster government to refuse this given the mandate from the Scottish Parliament that will come down.

So, we really could end up getting rid of Scotland. Here was me thinking that hope had gone after 2014, but no, the fruit of Brexit is ripe and plentiful. The Scots can vote themselves independence in the EU and enjoy the bounteous Euro, unlimited Romanian immigration and other splendid and wonderful things that the EU brings to its member.

The Scots will vote to leave the UK just as their economy topples down from its petro-based fuel to something all the less interesting. It may even do us a favour as Banks could potentially passport into the Euro area via their already existing Scottish branches, without the need to go to Luxembourg (though they will go for the tax-free status in all likelihood).

The only downside is that these referendums are very consuming of media time and popular angst. First Minister Sturgeon has also not noticed that the side expected to win has not had much luck of late....


Demetrius said...

Scotland increasingly seems to be the ill tempered grannie in the attic who costs a fortune to keep. No wonder so many seem to want to pack her off to the workhouse of Europe.

Blue Eyes said...

May has called her bluff. She should immediately respond by saying she will give the referendum her blessing. No "vow" this time, no concessions, no more cash or powers. It is for the Scots to decide.

I am sure we will discuss this at great length, but it seems to me quite unlikely that Scotland can leave the UK and remain in the EU or even EEA automatically and smoothly.

Steven_L said...

but it seems to me quite unlikely that Scotland can leave the UK and remain in the EU or even EEA automatically and smoothly.

I think tyhe big questions is whether part of any Art50 deal (qualified majority voting) can include Scotland inheriting the UK's membership should sh evote to leave. Otherwise everyone has a veto and surely they'll all either want something (perhaps just to break up the UK in some cases) or refuse because of their own risk of breakaway states.

Bill Quango MP said...

Chavez lite is having a difficult time with her own MPs. The highwater mark was very high indeed. It can only drain down.

It was this distraction of the Indy ref-II, or invade las malvinas.

Scan said...

If they genuinely wanted independence, they should include a clause entitling the English to vote. The only people to turn out in any meaningful numbers would be the ones who want shut of the Scots.

The irony is, the Scots on my Twitter timeline (a scientific and foolproof method of gauging opinion, obviously) who are still furious that the English are making them leave the EU, are now bellyaching that they could leave the English and return to the EU. It's like dealing with stroppy children: "For the love of God! Exactly what is it that you want?!"

Raedwald said...

Scotland needs to be allowed to fail. It won't quite come to us setting up soup kitchens on the border, but jobless Scots of working age will leave the nation in droves. EU membership will be essential for Scotland and we should do everything we can to support it - far better have France and Germany pour ESF and ERDF into what will be a country economically equivalent to Greece than English taxpayers having to do so.

Problem is, Brussels doesn't want any more economic basket cases in the club. Plus won't agree to a shortened entry procedure because of Catalonia. So we'll end up with an economic basket case being run by the IMF. 20% cut in pensions and retirement age up to 75, whilst England has the Triple Lock and pension from 67. Still, it's what they would want.

CityUnslicker said...

Politics wise, it is like Xmas happened on 23rd June 2016 and has carried on most days since.

Please let them have a referendum. Either they vote out and we are shot of loony socialists and hangers or. Or they vote remain and the SNP fox is well and truly shot - either way - real progressive politics.

andrew said...

As Raedwald / SL said, the Spanish, Hungarians etc will not let scotland in due to internal issues.
All the others do not want a net beneficiary to join, all the money has been spent.

They are welcome to 'cry freedom' but comes with the living standards from the film.

Sobers said...

Just give them the referendum, but as soon as legally possible, hopefully within 6 months, preferably earlier. Then it'll be done and dusted before the Brexit negotiations really kick off. And we all know which way the Scots will vote, they'll vote with their wallets and stick to the English taxpayer, because there's f*ck all chance the German taxpayer will pay for them to live life on the hogs back, especially as the English taxpayer will have just vacated the EU building too.

Theresa May should give the the new vote they want, do zero campaigning, just say make you minds up, and this time its for real, no more p*ssing around, if you vote IN you're leaving the EU and never going to be independent, if you vote OUT off you go to who knows where, but frankly we don't care.

Blue Eyes said...


Sebastian Weetabix said...

If Wee Burney does pull the trigger on a referendum she'll be toast. All sensible Scots are sick to the back teeth of the SNP. (Sadly that's only about 65% of us.). The thing that bugs me most of all is the fraudulent nature of their positioning. They hate the English so much they're willing to be a satrapy of Berlin.

The one thing the SNP are successfully doing, having failed to persuade the majority of Scots to jump over a cliff with them, is to make the English hate us.

K said...

I think Sturgeon is expecting May to decline her request and thus use it to direct anger at an external enemy.

I can't remember the exact details but a referendum requires a party at Holyrood to be elected with a majority and to have done so with a referendum as part of their manifesto. Thus for the last referendum Cameron couldn't say no because he was bound by the rules New Labour wrote.

But since then the SNP have actually lost their majority in Scotland and said there wouldn't be a "neverendum" so Sturgeon doesn't actually have the authority to do anything and is just posturing like usual.

DJK said...

Please don't confuse Scotland or The Scots with the shrill demands of Nippy and the rest of the SNP. A look a the comments in The Scotsman will confirm that there is absolutely no appetite for another referendum --- whatever people's views on independence. Living through the last campaign waas bad enough. The only time Nippy was booed during the last election was when she suggested there should be another referendum soon. If Mrs May has any sense she'll say there can only be another one after the SNP has campaigned in an election on a promise to hold one. The thought of another referendum will be a sure fire vote loser for the SNP. We might even have a Tory majority in Scotland after.

Electro-Kevin said...

Referendum as soon as possible, please.

It's the quickest way to get rid of Lego Head, short of cellotaping her to a rocket and lighting the fuse.

Nick Drew said...

This is where we run into the limitations of May: thick, unimaginative and nervous

so she affects to despise creative political initiative, basically because it scares her

dustybloke said...

Scotland need to borrow 9 billion quid a year from someone, ad infinitum.

Are the SNP going to find that someone before or after a referendum?

Can you promise the electorate that you will join a club, even though you don't qualify for the membership rules and the existing members have clearly stated that they will not let you join?

The only way this can work for the SNP is that they claim that the English sabotaged their attempt or if some dumb politician promises them the BoE as a backstop, so they get independence, but still rely on Mum and Dad for pocket money.

Nothing more clearly illustrates the attitude of the modern politician than this. Kick the can down the road and hope something will come up.

Anonymous said...

May: thick, unimaginative and nervous

Tell us what you really think, ND.

Blue Eyes said...

Mrs May clearly does not read C@W. Why has this "caught her by surprise"? What is this nonsense?

Anonymous said...

If England and Wales leave the UK, Scotland can stay in the EU and NI can follow whichever side it wants.

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - and whay would we want to do that? The Scots don't even want that, only the SNP. Much as I would be shot of Scotland, they voted NO to leaving the UK very recently.

The EU ref is another thing and even then 1/3 voted to leave it anyway.

Dick the Prick said...

If all you go into politics for is one clear, unambiguous objective then it's obvious that you take every chance you get to pull the trigger. Hanging about waiting for the ideal time is a mugs game and rarely happens - except if you happen to be called Nigel!!

Wildgoose said...

Democracy requires a Demos.

A people with a shared political vision about how they want to structure their society into the future.

England and Wales clearly still share a Demos.

Just as clearly, Scotland and Northern Ireland do not share that Demos with us - 56 out of 59 Scottish MPs last General Election were SNP, a party with the explicit goal of separation.

Northern Ireland is even more stark. Labour supporters are told to vote for the nationalist SDLP. Liberal voters are told to vote for the non-Unionist, non-Nationalist "Alliance" party. And most vote for either Sinn Fein/IRA or their counterparts in the DUP. There was a Conservative candidate last time, I think he got 16 votes. He needed 10 electors just to get his nomination papers signed - so just 6 (SIX) more votes. For the party that actually won the majority of Westminster seats.

Devolution has allowed the violence in Northern Ireland to abate. It is unlikely to be viable as an independent statelet so the obvious answer is to move the Devolution from the UK, to Devolution from the Republic of Ireland.

Similarly the trajectory towards Scottish Independence is also clear. You might rail that it is stupid - but it is an emotional need that is clearly not going away. Just like the Northern Irish, a very large minority have a visceral hatred of being in a Demos with the English.

It's time we accepted that fact for what it is.

Time to break up.

Bill Quango MP said...

Can anyone explain why Jeremy Corbyn got himself into a load of trouble by demanding his MPs vote through the A50 bill.
despite being a serial rebel himself he made the issue a three line whip to ensure party discipline got the bill passed.

Then yesterday he was attending his "Emergency protest" outside the House of Commons. Campaigning to stop the passage of A50. That he himself had insisted be passed.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather a Scottish referendum was held once a deal is done (or not) with the EU and we are O U T. We'll see then how keen Spain is, with Catalonia and the Basques queueing up.

The thought occurs that the same forces which 2 years ago were anti-Scottish independence (I remember the constant drip-drip of 'sky will fall' stories each day) now see the threat of Scottish independence as their best hope of keeping the UK in, if not the EU, the Single Market, with those lovely open borders, cheap crop pickers, hand car washes, and 600 applicants for a 20k London job.

These forces have plenty of allies. You should read the top-rated Guardian comments last night after the vote. Lots of people who WANT the EU deal to be as punitive as possible. They've lost the referendum, and the toys are flying out of the pram.

formertory said...

If the sweaty socks go, and remain EU (doesn't seem likely the EU would have them), we'd need to take a leaf from President Trump's book - a hard border / wall / fence right the way across with border patrols and passport examination.

Necessary, if only to stop the Northumberland moors getting totally clogged up with dead migrants from all over, trying to walk to England. Or blown to kingdom come on the Otterburn Ranges. Outside of the virtue-signalling burghers of Edinburgh, there's not much sympathy for migrants up there.

And of course, taking another leaf: suggest making the Scots pay for the fence :-) . That'd really get them wound up. Oh frabjous day!

andrew said...

... isnt it called Hadrians wall?

Wildgoose said...

Hadrian's Wall is entirely within England. The border more closely follows the River Tweed.

Anonymous said...

The EU thing is coming full circle.
Just as the EU integration process promoted regionalisation and political nationalism (gravytrain-ism) in Wales Scotland and to and extent N Ireland, leaving the EU must inevitably result in some retraction. At the same time Westminster must rediscover it's integrity.
Having said this, the regionalisation genie is out of the jar and can't be put back. It's a matter of degree.
Nevertheless, no EU no 'independence' within a EU federal arrangement.

Electro-Kevin said...

Wildgoose - "Just like the Northern Irish, a very large minority have a visceral hatred of being in a Demos with the English."

No. There is a visceral hatred OF the English - even though we don't really exist anymore.

I have seen numerous examples of this and heard of one more today, a colleague who was more-or-less booted out of Scotland for being English during the referendum. (She recounted the unreported rioting that went on in the centre of Glasgow that night.)

In recent weeks I heard a Welshman rail against the English at a folk night and we politely let him get away with it. It was pure hatred.

In Italy recently we heard an young Irish lady explain to the waiter "I'm Irish LIVING in London. An important distinction." whilst raising a disapproving eyebrow towards our table.

Perhaps it is time for the Union to break up. We English (what's left of us) have no appetite to be entangled in these nation's affairs.

Nowhere is more cosmopolitan than London (or any of our major cities.)

Blue Eyes said...

It is Self Determination 1.01 that Scotland should hold a ref if it wants to. The question is: does Scotland want to. May should say fine, now get on with getting a bill through Parliament. She is an idiot for saying Not Yet.

As for anti-English nationalism, who in England cares? If your national "story" depends on hatred of a neighbour that is your problem not mine.

The arguments for/against Scoxit are not that different to Brexit: on the one hand there is the warmth and security of what you know and on the other is a chance to decide things more locally with a small risk of economic imposion. It is difficult to be Leave and Better Together at the same time. Where that leaves the SNP position I will not speculate.

Electro-Kevin said...

But the Scots (over represented in the UK Parliament) want to cede their power to the EU (with hardly any Scots in it.)

Blue Eyes said...

Yep. Exactly. And if that is what they want...

andrew said...

the difference is that the UK made net conts to the EU
... but Scotland does not make net conts to the UK.

Anonymous said...

As pointed out in a comment above, the same forces who want to keep Britain in the EU (or at least the Single Market) now see the threat of Scottish independence as their best hope of achieving that prospect.

This is obvious enough in the case of the BBC, who have been promoting Sturgeon's latest predictable little tantrum as a major political event, given far more prominence and "analysis" than the passing of the Brexit Bill itself.

Fake news, anyone?

formertory said...

@wildgoose: Hadrian's Wall is entirely within England. The border more closely follows the River Tweed.

Thank you.

Blue Eyes said...

Andrew that is true, but what bearing does that have? If Scots want to vote themselves into a black hole that is their choice. It is not exactly a secret that the Scottish public finances are a disaster.