Monday, 13 March 2017

How ironic to see the actions of the Tory Party destroying the Union – as Nicola Sturgeon’s call for another Scottish independence referendum makes Brexit look a whole lot less likely

How amusing it is to see the actions of the Conservative and Unionist party systematically dismembering the Union that it allegedly holds so dear.

First, David Cameron carries through on his reckless decision to hold a referendum on EU membership. The arrogance of the man, that history is likely to judge to be one of the worst individuals to ever hold the office of Prime Minister, saw the leave side triumph.

Now, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has called for another referendum on Scottish independence – premised in the main on the sovereignty of the Scottish people in deciding they want to remain in the EU.

Sturgeon would seem likely to win such a referendum, given the narrowness of the defeat last time and the role that the then powerful Labour Party in Scotland played in securing a no vote. Let’s not forget the important role played in Scotland by leading Labour figures like Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling in securing the no vote. Labour saved the day for Cameron back then. He failed to learn the lesson though, blundering on to defeat on the EU referendum.

If Scotland goes ahead with the referendum this must stop UK negotiations to leave the EU in their tracks. Leaving the EU is already complex enough but will become a whole lot more so if Scotland becomes an independent country wishing to stay in the EU. The EU will simply refuse to negotiate until the Scottish referendum is complete.

The Brexit vote has also helped push the cause of Irish unification, bringing the north and south of Ireland together again in a desire to remain in the EU. And surely it can only be a matter of time before the penny drops with the Welsh – as those EU subsidies disappear – and they realise that too that it maybe better in the EU than outside.

So what a fine old pickle the Tories have got into over the Union. Cameron set the wheels in motion but Theresa May’s arrogant refusal to take on the concerns of those who want to remain in the EU – across Scotland, Ireland, London and some of the north - has helped make a bad situation a whole lot worse. Though for remainers, the actions of Sturgeon in calling for a new referendum must make the chances of ever really leaving the EU a bit remote.

*published Independent - 14/3/2016

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