The Timing Trap for Scotland 321

It is self-evidently essential to negotiate for Independent Scotland to remain in the EU, in advance of Brexit taking effect. But those negotiations will take time – budgetary contributions, relationship to the Euro, the Central Bank and Schengen, fisheries quotas, representation in the parliament and commission, Phare and research grants, structural and development funding, and those are only a few of a massive list of details to be settled before Independent Scotland takes its place in the EU. There is over a year of negotiation there.

But Scotland’s position becomes much more difficult if there is not a seamless transition. If when the rest of the UK withdraws, Scotland remains seated at the table as a successor member without its citizens losing that status, both the process and the substance are very much simpler than if Scotland leaves with Brexit and has to apply to rejoin. Indeed there is a respectable legal argument that in the first case Scotland’s continuing membership cannot be subject to single state veto, whereas a Scotland which is rejoining could.

The stark fact is this. Scotland cannot await the outcome of Brexit negotiations. These are certain to take up almost all of the available time between triggering of Article 50 and actual Brexit two years later. If Scotland waits, it will be too late for Independent Scotland to negotiate her own terms in time for continuing EU membership on rBrexit.

The only possible result of the petrified stalling of the SNP in the face of the obvious need for IndyRef2 is that they will fail in both of their objectives. Even at the earliest the Scottish Government may call for IndyRef2 on their current plans, it will be too late. Scotland will find itself still inside the UK and outside of the EU or just about to be. They will then face the prospect of selling Independence with no guarantee that we will be allowed back in.

Caution can be good. But there are times in life where inaction, though from the best of motives, may prove disastrous. I very much fear that, if we do not move to hold Indyref2 in spring 2017, the sequence of events may mean we miss the chance for Independence for a great many decades.

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321 thoughts on “The Timing Trap for Scotland

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  • michael norton

    Oil has dropped anothe 2% today.

    So don’t rely for your Scottish future on:
    SHIPBUILDING for the British Navy

  • michael norton

    More than 300 North Sea OIL and GAS workers will stage a 24-hour strike next month in a dispute over pay.
    It will be the first industrial action of its kind in the offshore industry in almost 30 years.

    The RMT and Unite unions said their members who work for Wood Group would stage the stoppage on 26 July over the firm’s plans for “swingeing” pay cuts.

    The oil services firm said it was “extremely disappointed” by the decision to take strike action.

    The unions said it was likely to “severely disrupt” operations on seven Shell platforms in the North Sea – Shearwater, Gannet, Nelson, Curlew, Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo and Brent Charlie.

    Oh dear


    I would be quite happy for Scottish Independence, even though I am an English socialist and would prefer Scottish and English solidarity under a socialist government (Corbyn or Corbyn/SNP, whatever it takes).

    However I would issue a warning to Scotland. True independence cannot be attained unless a country has its own sovereign currency issue. It must have its own central bank, and issue it own currency. Just look what has happened in the eurozone – they are effectively borrowing a foreign currency, and that is why they have a debt crisis and deflation.

    Watch Bernie Sanders economist (Stephanie Kelton), and read the “billyblog” – why I would vote no, but with anger.

  • Peter A Bell

    There’s a wee problem with all of this. Nobody has suggested that we “await the outcome of Brexit negotiations”. In fact, if you actually listen to what Nicola Sturgeon says, she is signalling quite clearly that this cannot happen.

    But it’s not as simple as some seem to imagine. If the Scottish Government is seen to be too explicitly using Brexit to lever #indyref2 this will alienated a lot of people in the EU. People whose goodwill we need.

    Sturgeon knows what she is doing. And she has some seriously sharp people advising here. Frankly, anybody who thinks that what we’re seeing from the SNP is “petrified stalling” just isn’t reading the situation correctly. Probably on account of some prejudice.

    Anyone who supposes that the SNP doesn’t do clever politics must have had their head up their arse for the past 10 years.

    • michael norton

      I say Ms. Nicola Sturgeon is a genius,
      one day she could be Queen of Scotland

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