Farage Boost to Yes 93


I have maintained ever since the independence referendum date was announced, that the EU election results would boost Yes support into the lead.  I am very confident that will prove a good prediction.

Today’s Sunday Times opinion poll on European election voting intentions gives:

UKIP 31

New Lab 28

Cons 19

Ldem 9

Green 8

A win for UKIP will not only remind Scots that England remains in thrall to very right wing politics tinged with racism.  It will also make plain to Scots that the only way to be sure to stay in the EU is to be part of an independent Scotland.  No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland, even though a tiny minority of European politicians occasionally like to threaten it would, for their own domestic purposes.

A massively greater risk is the crazed Little Englanders dragging the UK into leaving the EU.  UKIP are rampant.  The Tories are terrified of them, and have a risible position that after the next election they will renegotiate Britain’s membership, then have an in-out referendum.  In fact there really is no chance that all the other member states will unanimously agree to Cameron’s demand for changes in treaties that were excruciatingly difficult to gain unanimity for in the first place.  In several instances EU states would be unable to agree without a referendum, a can of worms nobody wants to open.  Cameron’s renegotiated settlement can never happen, so the Tories’ European figleaf only has a couple more years to go before expiry date.  Then the English will want to leave.  A majority of English voters already do want to leave.

The difference between English and Scottish voters on the EU is not a myth.  Lord Ashcroft regularly commissions polling data for the Conservative party on a much greater scale than anything the newspapers do.  Newspaper samples are typically around 1,000.  Ashcroft’s are around 20,000. His first quarter survey in 2014

All things considered, do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union? (Sample 20,058)  (excluding don’t knows etc)

Wales England Northern Ireland (WENI)

Yes 49

No 51

Scotland

Yes 60

No 40

That is a huge difference, and shows one clear reason why Scotland needs to be an independent state with its own foreign policy.

I trace this strong popular support for the EU in Scotland back to the early 1980’s.  Thatcherism was devastating the economy, there was negative public investment from Westminster, and the only available jobs were on EU regional development funded projects like the A9 upgrade and Dundee City airport.  I remember the big blue EU hoardings at those sites, and it was like a breath of sanity amidst the English Conservative wreaked havoc.

Scottish EU support is also part of our open, internationalist outlook.  We have no desire to rebuild barriers between ourselves and the vast European cultural social and economic space.  We are not fearful or resentful of those foreigners.  We want the EU itself to be more outward looking and porous too.

New Labour are not going to win the next UK general election.  In the last six UK general elections, the governing party has gained an average of 6.5 percentage points in the twelve months preceding the general election.  New Labour are at their polling zenith – which is not at all high – and about to decline.  The Tory/Clegg disaster is coming back to the UK in 2015.

Though when New Labour are committed to cut benefits more than the Tories, and given their record on bank bailouts, NHS privatization, academy schools, PFI, university tuition fees and the numerous other disasters New Labour visited upon us – not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan and extraordinary rendition – I cannot understand the brainless tribal loyalty that makes anybody believe New Labour would be any better anyway.


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93 thoughts on “Farage Boost to Yes

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  • Andy C

    Full poll results are here:

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/pjvdg1r9fz/YG-Archive-Pol-Sunday-Times-results-140525.pdf

    The results for UKIP across the UK in answer tothe question:
    “The European elections are held under a proportional voting system which gives smaller parties a better chance of winning seats than in general elections.
    If there were an election to the European Parliament held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?”

    Are:
    London, Rest of South, Midlands / Wales, North, Scotland
    23, 35, 32, , 35, 18

  • Catherine

    “The Tory/Clegg disaster is coming back to the UK in 2015”.

    Or worse, a Try/UKIP cataclysm. Although there is a good chance UKIP will implode long before then.

  • OEM

    I agree with you that the Tories’ proposed renegotiation is a no-hoper but where I disagree is the place of an independent Scotland within the EU. I don’t think EU leaders have any grounds to rule out future Scottish membership in the EU, that would be political discrimination. But what I do understand is that membership of the EU for a new country, Scotland will not be automatic. There will have to be a negotiation from scratch as the EU will be dealing with a different legal entity in an independent Scotland. The problem with a new negotiation is that the EU bureaucrats with their ultra-integrationist ideology will demand in those negotiations that Scotland adopts the Euro like all new EU member states from Eastern Europe eg. Croatia, possibly Turkey in the future etc, all have to do. An independent Scotland will be made to adopt the Euro which I believe is quite unpopular and that is why Salmond is campaigning that Scotland will keep the pound instead. An independent Scotland if it joins the EU will not have the advantage that the UK has in its relationship with Europe, although fraught, at lest the UK gets to benefit from the Single Market without Euro adoption due to the fact that the Single Market predates the Euro and so the UK already being a member of the EU had the choice of opting out of the Euro. For Scotland there will be no such choice because the rules have changed for future EU membership applicants. If Salmond wants an independent Scotland in the EU, the full thrust of federalist integrationist policies will be hammered down on Scotland as all the ex-communist Eastern European countries have suffered. Is that something pro-independent Scots are willing to concede?

  • craig Post author

    OEM

    Scotland will not be a new country starting from scratch. It will be inherit the treaty obligations of the UK, which it entered when it was part of a union. Czech and Slovak model on treaty membership. Personally I would be delighted if Scotland adopted the Euro. The Euro is a much broader based currency than the pound. It is more acceptable in international transactions, and we wouldn’t have currency charges in transactions with the rest of the EU.

  • GutterTheQuantifier

    EU-philia versus EU-phobia isn’t the cartoonish left/right thing that Craig and all the mainstream media like to portray it as.

    Now that Bob Crow is usefully out of the way we never get to hear the progressive, internationalist case for leaving the undemocratic, neoliberal, and increasingly proto-fascist empire that is the EU.

    Take a look at No2EU.com.

  • Mary

    Tory/Clegg disaster returning in 2015. God help us all in that case.

    I see nobody to vote for in any election whether for MEPs or MPs.

    The turnout for the EU elections will be low. With less than a month to go, no candidates’ names have been reported, no election material received, no debate of any kind but I have had a polling card.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_East_England_(European_Parliament_constituency)

    I have written to all 10 of thpse MEPs over the last years, mainly about the EU giving support to Israel and this legislation known as ACAA – ‘Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the EC and Israel on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (CAA) Subject: vote: request for referral to committee’. It is now enacted as far as I know but the EU websites are impenetrable if you want to know how the votes went. Like wading through porridge.

    Some never answered, two or three gave a Zionist supporting type response including an LD. This did come from an LD about EU funding Israeli settlement building.

    ‘Many thanks for contacting me regarding the guidelines published by the European Commission on the eligibility of Israeli bodies for financial support. Announced in July, the new EU guidelines should bar it from awarding grants to Israeli projects in the territory occupied since 1967 and exclude Israeli businesses and institutions that operate in the West Bank from receiving EU loans.

    Some of my Liberal Democrat Euro MP colleagues including Fiona Hall wrote last month a joint letter to the European Commission urging them to implement these guidelines in full.

    This cross-party letter stated:
    “We call on you to implement the guidelines in full as we oppose the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the Israeli government’s policy of establishing settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have been condemned on numerous occasions by the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice.

    Allowing Israeli entities established in the settlements or having activities there to benefit from financial assistance from the EU would mean de facto recognition of the legality of Israel’s illegal and immoral settlement policy. These guidelines are therefore in full conformity with international law, which the EU is bound to respect in accordance with Articles 3(5) and 21(1) of the Treaty of the European Union.”
    The letter also confirmed that the MEPs “feel strongly that Israeli settlements should not benefit from European taxpayers’ money”.

    I understand that there is much pressure on the EU to repeal the new guidelines but I sincerely hope the European Commission will listen to our voices in the European Parliament and implement them in full. I will continue to monitor the progress of these guidelines through the EU Institutions.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “It will be inherit the treaty obligations of the UK, which it entered when it was part of a union.”
    ___________________

    There are jurists (UK as well as EU) who wouldn’t agree with you on that; their position is that only WENI inherits the treaty obligations of today’s UK.

    Furthermore you’re playing with words when you say “No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland”? Scotland would have expelled itself. You should have written something like “….seriously believes that the EU would not agree a re-admission of an independent Scotland into the EU (because, as you’ve pointed out yourself in the past, the acquis commautaire already applies in Scotland and will not disappear with Scottish independence ubkless the Scottish govt were so to will).

    OEM is also correct with his remarks about the Euro. I also happen to agree with you that the Euro is a fine currency, but that’s only part of the point – the Euro appears to be unpopular everywhere in the UK, including Scotland, but Salmond says he wants to retain the GBP (but won’t be able to when Scotland rejoins).

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    (but won’t be able to when Scotland rejoins)

    should have read

    (but won’t be able ton à terme, when after Scotland rejoins)

  • Mary

    Gissa job!

    Scottish independence: CBI Scotland director to step down
    The CBI said Mr McMillan had signalled his intention to retire two years ago

    Scotland’s Future
    What’s going on in Scotland?
    Do I get a vote in the referendum?
    The referendum in 60 secs Watch
    BBC’s referendum library

    The business lobby group, the CBI, has confirmed that its Scottish director is to step down towards the end of the year.

    The announcement that Iain McMillan is to retire comes two days after a bid by the CBI to reverse its position as a registered campaigner against Scottish independence.

    The CBI denied any link between the referendum issue and his retirement.

    ~~
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-27178295

  • Sackerson

    “Little Englander” – if readers would kindly look up the origin of this phrase, there would be more LEs, since it was used to label those who opposed empire-building and colonialism.

    I am not a racist. Besides, there are and have been racists in the Labour and Conservative parties also; as to Liberals, I don’t know, though they have to contend with other historic shames, as we now see.

    Nor would I describe myself as remotely “right wing”.

    I am in favour of an EU referendum on democratic grounds. So were Margaret Thatcher, Douglas Jay, Tony Benn and Lord Blake; so was Lord Rees-Mogg, who challenged the legality of Maastricht in the courts. Ask Dennis Skinner what he thinks of the EU, though with his heart condition it would be better not to.

    A little nuancing in your thoughts re UKIP would be most welcome. If Prof Alan Sked’s New Deal Party gathered momentum I’d certainly be prepared to consider; until then, when the three largest parties in the UK have agreed a stitch-up on EU membership, which appears to be more in the interests of big business, bureaucracy and careerist politicians like Tony Blair who want to sell their contact book for millions after public office, don’t be surprised by the popularity of an underfunded and heavily top-directed newbie like UKIP. Among the ruins of democracy in Britain, si monumentum requiris, circumspice.

  • Sackerson

    @ Ben (3.12 pm): someone has clearly put a lot of time – and, dare I suggest, money – into that site. Has professional trolling gone up to a new level?

    For what it’s worth, I think a well-run UK would be best; but a well-run independent Scotland would be better than to be part of an ill-run, democratically deficient UK.

    Will Scotland be well-run in future, and how?

  • Ben-

    “Will Scotland be well-run in future, and how?”

    Sackerson; Being American I don’t really have a dog in this fight, except that I wish Scots a wee bit of peace and freedom.

    I think the attempts to create animosity between various ethnic and political groups will continue even if independence wins out.

    Maverick governments get a lot of outside interference when real reforms are attempted.

  • foolish speculation

    It will be interesting which way the Liberals go before and after the election whether they will flip flop to labour or stay with the Tories. They are trying to look more radical and signal that they would be going to the left and if labour have the most seats and liberals do badly I would suspect that they will have a leadership battle and join labour arguing that they must support the party which has won the most seats. If UKIP actually win seats then the Tories and UKIP are going to have to engage.

    I know you don’t agree but I can’t help but take the Peter Hitchens line that deep down the Tories are not all opposed to Scottish independence. Not only 1) will it keep them in power in the rest of the UK, but it will also 2)take away the responsibility for paying for public sector workers in Scotland.

    I have no insight whether the EU will keep Scotland in – you may be right, but there will be a negotiation to be had, and the EU are not going to want to subsidise Scotland, and will that mean that Scotland will have to join the Euro?

    There is a third reason why some parts of the establishment might appreciate an independent Scotland and that is because perhaps one part of the UK (as it currently is) will remain in and another will exit: providing Scotland and Wales & England are still talking there could be an advantage in that.

    Who will leave? All the bets would be that it would be England, but perhaps Cameron will renegotiate and in so doing turn England into the EU’s in house off shore base (rather like HK is to China – One state two systems).

    I know I post with a keep Scotland in the UK bias here, but I don’t have a vote and I have actually not made my mind up. If I were Scottish I would find it very hard to vote against independence even if I thought it meant trouble ahead.

  • OldMark

    ‘No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland’

    That isn’t really the point, as several commenters have noted. However the EU will undoubtedly play hard ball on the terms for the re-admission to the EU of an independent Scotland, as Barroso himself hinted at a few months ago- the point being to discourage secessionists in Catalonia & Flanders.

    Salmond himself seems to understand this, judging from the leaked summary of a speech he’s due to deliver in Bruges tomorrow-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27178205

    I assume he’ll be delivering this soothing message standing up at a rostrum; perhaps instead he should try it reclining on a leopardskin sofa, legs spread wide, whispering ‘Take me!, I’m yours!’

    He seems to think that trumpeting the fact that 12 other EU nations hoover up the bulk of Scotland’s fish stocks will play well to his target audience. His reference to Scotland holding 60% of EU oil reserves is also a pretty blatant come-on; hey, let me in and these too could become a ‘common EU resource’! Why else mention this statistic in this context?

  • Donald Carthlan

    @Foolishspeculation

    An independent Scotland can in no way be “forced” into joining the Euro as one of the key conditions is that a member state must have been part part of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) for a minimum of two years. Joining ERM II is entirely optional giving Sweden a de-facto opt out and is why Sweden has never joined the Euro despite being obligated to in it’s accession treaty.

    Indeed the EU has accepted that Sweden is staying outside the eurozone for the foreeseable on its own decision. Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic affairs has said that it is up to Swedish people to decide.

    As for the reason Salmond brings up the oil well I direct your attention to the McCrone Report which states:

    “North Sea oil could have far-reaching consequences for Scottish membership of EEC (now EU) because of the tremendously increased political power it would confer. Without oil other members might pay little enough regard to Scotland; her voting power would not be large and it might indeed be argued that she could exert more leverage on the Community as part of the United Kingdom. As the major producer of oil in Western Europe, however, Scotland would be in a key position and other countries would be extremely foolish if they did not seek to do all they could to accommodate Scottish interests.”

  • CanSpeccy

    We have no desire to rebuild barriers between ourselves and the vast European cultural social and economic space.

    Just a barrier between us and that seething mass-immigration melting pot of England, while we suck up what remains of the fast diminishing supply of oil.

    After that, we will demand reopening of the fine high road that leads to England, where we can join Craig Murray and millions of others of his “compatriots” already comfortably settled there, if not actually born there, among all those horrible right wing racist English.

  • Anon

    Little Englanders, waythism…. yawn. Give us some arguments.

    Europhiles simply love to push the idea that those of us who want out are little narrow-minded jingoists who can’t stand foreigners. Truth is we love Europe, want to trade with Europe, but don’t want to be part of an ever-expanding, undemocratic and unaccountable political union.

    “That is a huge difference, and shows one clear reason why Scotland needs to be an independent state with its own foreign policy.”

    Ha. By joining the EU?

    “The Tories are terrified of [UKIP], and have a risible position that after the next election they will renegotiate Britain’s membership, then have an in-out referendum.”

    They’ll do no such thing. ‘Cast Iron’ Dave is committed to keeping this country in. He is a proven liar on the EU.

    “Personally I would be delighted if Scotland adopted the Euro.”

    Just when most of Europe has learned to rue the day they joined it, Craig wants Scotland in! I don’t know why you call this a vote on independence when you want to sell your country out entirely.

  • Reliably

    I’m hoping that an independent Scotland offers a path to repatriation for those of us whose ancestors were forcibly removed from their land during the Clearances.

  • Mary

    James Cranch Cameron would not be in the equation apparently. I put this comment up yesterday.

    ‘Matthew Parris thinks that if there is a Yes vote, Cameron will resign and call an election. If the union is broken, his badge of honour is broken. Anyway, jolly good if he pushes off.

    If it’s a ‘yes’, they’ll be after Cameron’s head
    Matthew Parris
    April 26 2014

    He agreed to the Scottish referendum, after all; but it was a brave decision and the question has to be settled

    Imagine. It’s the second day after Scotland votes to leave the union. The first day has of course been about the shock of the result; but now we’ve had 24 hours to think further.

    What will be on the front page of this newspaper? No, let me put it in Daily Mail terms: “How dare he carry on? Cameron faces calls to resign.”

    You may not be thinking about this yet. But count on it:David Cameron must be.’……….

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4073257.ece paywall

    I think we will be seeing and hearing a lot of the Boris Bluster. Coming soon. What’s that saying about getting rid of nurse? Woe is us whichever way.

  • foolish speculation

    Donald,

    Thank you for the clarification; I hope you are right and that Scotland would not be required to join the Euro (and that it doesn’t).

    With regard to the oil well solution I again hope you are right, but I remain slightly sceptical simply because over time one notes a disconnect between energy profit projections and reality (I don’t mean in Scotland but more generally). I am cynical also as to why would the UK establishment allow this to be going forward if there was real value left and unless it did not somehow play to their benefit; I admit that would require something of a conspiracy because it would mean that the conservative (unionist)party would in effect be implementing or perhaps just acquiescing in something which on the face of it they are opposed to.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “I have written to all 10 of thpse MEPs over the last years, mainly about the EU giving support to Israel and this legislation known as ACAA –…etc, etc….”

    ___________________

    Here we go again: a mere 2 hours in and already an attempt by Mary to divert Craig’s post to her pet theme pet theme of Israel….

    Truly a one-trick pony!

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