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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  • Wilma Hughes

    This time when we have indyref2, our date of independence should be the date the result is announced, not some date months/years ahead. We can do the negotiations later. Otherwise the rUK can just procrastinate our independence date so we are too late for EU deadline. Can we not say after vote something like “result is YES, we now declare Scotland is an independent country the Treaty of Union dissolved from this date. We will begin negotiations immediately to separate our economy from rUK”.

    • yesindyref2

      I’ve been thinking about that Wilma, and there is merit in what you say. The EU has said it will talk to Scotland as an Independent country, so that would get that status sorted straight away. But there are all sorts of practical problems, like getting revenues and borrowing, currency, and debt and assets apportionemnt, so it would need to be a half-way house.

      Something like “Scotland is now an Independent country, but for the transitional period will continue to function as before until other arrangements are in place, and full conditions for our terminating the Treaty of Union are negotiated with the Government of the Rest of the United Kingdom”.

  • remain means remain

    There should be no reluctance from the SNP or any group in the Yes camp about indyref2 based on any fear of losing. Brexit, the unfulfilled Vow, Trident renewal, the further discrediting of fearmongering tactics in the EU referendum, the prospect of right wing Tory government, the inability of Scottish Labour to be a force in indyref2 and lots of young pro-indy voters joining the electorate since indyref1. All these factors mean that Yes will win indyref2. Green light.

    We’re staying in the EU. Scotland voted for it. We’re not being dragged out of the European Union.

    Hell No We Won’t Go.

    • Whatever (aka Alcyone): It's the Economy Stupid

      And what will you live on? Love, fresh air and whisky?

      Not one single person have I seen address this matter here comprehensively. Never.

      Has anybody got some per capita statistics etc combined with an understanding of the economy to support the theory of Scotland alone?

      Craig, perhaps you will focus one article on this to help us concentrate our minds?

      • remain means remain

        Scotland gets control of oil revenues for the first time with independence. Scotland’s economy is strong and is even stronger than the statistics which don’t take account of many Scottish exports that are shipped from English ports and are not classed by the UK government as Scottish. We stay in the single market and still trade with England.

        There are over 200 member states of the UN. Most of them would love to have half the natural resources and knowhow Scotland has. No one ever says these states must give up their independence and unite with a more populous neighbour. To have one set of realities for 200 countries and promote a different set of realities for Scotland is just a modus operandi for people with ulterior political motives.

          • Clark

            Nonsense. Oil price has been rising. Just watch it rise again as Indyref2 is announced, just like it fell as soon as the No result was announced.

          • Pastels

            Clark’s right, and as the oil price rises then the oil of Scotland’s West coast becomes an increasingly profitable proposition.

          • Pastels

            Why all the concern / scaremongering about a newly Independent Scotland balancing the books. England hasn’t balanced her books for years, and is about to spend billions it doesn’t have on Trident renewal. Scotland will be better off away from a country determined to be armed to the teeth at a cost it’s people cannot afford.

          • fred

            Yes, since the indi referendum the price of oil has risen from $100 a barrel to $47 a barrel.

          • DM

            [Mods: caught in spam filter]


            You’re sarcastic comparison of “since the indi referendum the price of oil has risen from $100 a barrel to $47 a barrel” is seriously flawed. You cannot compare those 2 figures and the drop in global oil price as a serious attempt to denounce North Sea oil revenues in an independent Scotland, although desperately many still wrongly use that oil drop as a reason not to go for independence.

            The UK govt charges a range of different taxes on North Sea oil production. On average, the UK charges the oil companies 70% on their production which goes directly to the British Exchequer ($70) from which Scotland is allocated an 8.4% population share.

            Scotland as part of UK with oil at $100 per barrel.
            Scotland’s 8.4% population share of the UK’s $70 take is $5.88 (this from your $100 per barrel example).

            An independent Scotland with oil at $47 per barrel.
            Assuming an independent Scotland charges the same level of tax as the former UK (ie average 70%), then oil revenues directly to the Scottish govt would be 70% of $47………which works out to $32.90.

            If you want a straightforward comparison then according to my abacus $32.90 (independent Scotland with full control of taxes and crude at $47) is an awful lot more than £5.88 (the share given to Scotland by a benevolent British govt with crude at $100).

            If you want a real eye-opener how ridiculous it is to compare $100 (pre-Indy and Scotland inside UK) to $47 (your price and an independent Scotland), try this.

            Crude could fall as low as $8.50 per barrel and an independent Scotland would STILL be getting more revenue from North Sea oil production than they currently get from the British govt. 70% of $8.50……that’s $5.95.

            Worth thinking about!

          • Kempe

            ” Crude could fall as low as $8.50 per barrel and an independent Scotland would STILL be getting more revenue from North Sea oil production than they currently get from the British govt. 70% of $8.50……that’s $5.95. ”

            No it wouldn’t because the cost of extraction would be far more. Even at $50 North Sea operators are struggling which is why tens of thousands have been laid off and some offshore workers are preparing to go on strike because they don’t like the idea of a 30% pay cut.

          • michael norton

            Oil is 47$/barrel, it has not moved over the last quarter
            but it will, downwards.

            Islamic Terror France
            Turkey Coup
            Brazil collapse
            Venezuela collapse
            Iran now back to near on full pumping capacity

          • DM

            Thanks Kempe
            “No it wouldn’t because the cost of extraction would be far more……….”

            The point I was making in my comment was in response to the ridiculous and often repeated claim heard on TV and read persistently in newspapers, where the argument for Scotland’s non-independence is compared at $100 inside the UK to $47 (or whatever the current low figure is) as an independent Scotland…….the two figures are completely unrelated but none of our publishers/broadcasters bother to explain how those two figures compare when all the facts are taken into consideration. Facts like the circumstances or the arithmetic or the taxing to give us an accurate comparison between a dependent Scotland or an independent Scotland. ie, they do not bother to break down their soundbites or screenshots and present balanced fact and figures.

            “Crude could fall as low as $8.50 per barrel”,,,,,,,,,,I didnt say it “would”. The point I was making here is that an interpretation can be made. When you analyse it and add in some known facts (average 70% tax) it puts fred’s sarcastic comment of $100 and $47 example into sharp perspective.

            There is no doubt that the North Sea oil industry is in a mess due to the price of global crude and perhaps extraction would at the moment, cost more, but oil companies are canny beasts. They may be tightening their belts and laying workers off in these difficult times but they’re not leaving the North Sea in any great numbers. The oil industry fluctuates up as well as down and has done for as long as oil has been extracted. The oil companies know this and they’re mostly weathering the storm.

            With Brexit and Scotland voting to stay in EU, the country will have some very serious thinking to do but until we are all presented with the facts and a balanced breakdown of figures in all likely situations, then we are all whatever side of the debate, just grasping at straws.

  • MJ

    “Scotland cannot await the outcome of Brexit negotiations”

    I would have thought that Scots need to be fully aware of the terms of EU membership before any referendum can take place, otherwise they won’t know what they’re voting for.

    A proportion of Scots who voted to remain will have done so on the assumption that they would be remaining in a UK that was also remaining in the EU. The prospect of Scotland in the EU but the UK out is a radically different landscape, one where Scotland must meet its own budgetary contributions and have to join the euro. Many Scots may find themselves having second thoughts.

    • Alex Birnie

      One fait accompli at a time, please. Were we “fully aware” of the terms of remaining in the UK at the time of the Indy referendum? History is flux. We can’t have certainty on anything with regard to politics. The snake-oil salesmen have had their chance. Nobody can be “fully aware” of the consequences of any decisions we make, but if we don’t have a referendum soon, we will be ipso facto accepting whatever Westminster decides is best for us. The fundamental question is still unanswered – Is Scotland better off with Scots making their own decisions, than it would be by allowing Westminster to decide for us. In this sense, nothing has changed. Everything else has, and we need to decide now, not after the Tories have engineered a solution that suits them and their friends.

      • MJ

        If Ms Sturgeon were unable to answer basic questions regarding the cost of EU membership and the currency on the grounds that history is flux and everything is unknowable (even though the EU will have informed her of these very things) then you may find you have a fight on your hands.

          • michael norton

            Oil now just below 47$/barrel – barely any real change for the last four months,
            however the world might be tilting into recession or worse.
            but I agree Alex Birnie
            BRING IT ON.

    • MBC

      Just like the English needed to be fully aware of what Brexit would actually mean?

      FFS They just took a leap off a cliff in the dark without a parachute.

      Pot. Kettle. Black.

    • yesindyref2

      Sweden joined the EU in 1995 and signed up to join the euro, but received the standard derogation to allow it time to meet the entery requirements for EMU, which then has to run successfully for 2 years before admittance to the eurozone. There is no time limit on the derogation.

      21 years later Sweden is still using the krona and, for instance, its central bank does not have the legislative powers as required by the EU,passed, to quailfy for entry to the euro.

      • yesindyref2

        Patience David, the dance continues until the only option left is Indy Ref 2, so that it will be clear to those that voted Remain that the only chance to stay in the EU is to vote YES in Indy Ref 2. Don’t worry, Sturgeon has it all under control, you’ll get your chance to vote YES soon enough.

  • fred

    The EU referendum was a UK wide referendum, the majority in the UK voted for Brexit so those of us who voted against don’t get what we wanted. That’s called democracy, the minority don’t get what they want for the sate of a civilised workable and fair system of government.

    The Scottish independence referendum was a Scotland wide referendum, the people voted to remain part of the UK. Had they voted to leave the Nationalists wouldn’t have allowed those parts of Scotland who voted to remain to stay part of the UK while the others left. All of Scotland would have left.

    The Nationalists are behaving like spoilt children having a tantrum when they don’t get what they want.

    • MBC

      Look, the people are not always wise. They can by whipped into fury by demagogues. That is the one flaw in democracy, and why we need a free press which is not corrupt. Remember Socrates. Voting in Hitler was democracy too. England has f****d up massively. The campaign was bogus. No Brexit plan or prospectus was ever offered. The people were fooled. The EU became the scapegoat for legitimate grievances that had very little to do with the EU but were largely the result of the policies of neoliberal governments since 1979. There is no moral reason or intellectual case for accepting such an outcome.

      • fred

        Nobody said democracy was a perfect system, just that it is the best system we have.

        I prefer it to a system where the people go out and vote then the Nationalists ignore the result and just do what they want.

        Is that how things would work in an independent Scotland? The people vote then the Nationalists decide they were too stupid to decide what they wanted?

        • MBC

          Scotland voted Remain. That’s democracy. England is denying us our democratic will. The UK is not a democratic entity.

          • fred

            But it was a UK wide referendum not a Scottish referendum.

            It could have been decided beforehand that every region had to agree but it wasn’t. You can’t change the rules after the fact to suite yourself.

            Northern Ireland and central London voted remain as well, it was a very close result almost half the people in the UK voted remain.

            1.6 million Scots said they wanted to remain part of Europe but 2 million Scots said they wanted to remain part of the UK.

          • fred

            I don’t think Northern Ireland would appreciate you calling them a region of England.

            Scotland, like England, is a region of the UK. The referendum was a UK referendum.

            It’s simple enough.

          • Resident Dissident

            Yorkshire together with Northumberland, Durham and much of what is now Southern Scotland including Edinburgh was part of a nation called Northumbria well before Scotland came into existence. Those such as Alex Birnie and Clark who want to link nationality to some sort of ethnicity rather than it juts being where you happen to live might wish to bear this in mind – otherwise Iogically I could use my Yorkshire ethnicity to claim Edinburgh and tell the Picts to sod off back to the Highlands.

          • MBC

            They were never early modern kingdoms with evolved institutions. They were never states. Northern Ireland has never been a state either.

          • Resident Dissident

            Clearly they were not modern but they did have evolved institutions – kings and earls, church synods, distinct culture and dialects, and certainly way ahead of the Picts at that time. How else would you define a state?

        • Alex Birnie

          Nice try, Fred – but no coconut. The Nationalists “ignored the result”? By doing what, Fred? What did the Nationalists “do” to ignore the result? If you mean that they should have packed up and gone away as a political party and stopped trying to PERSUADE Scots that independence was a worth cause, then of course, by that lunatic interpretation, they are guilty of “ignoring the result”. They carried on governing Scotland in a reasobly calm way. When it came to the 2015 election, did they jump on the 56 out of 59 MP’s as a mandate for independence? No! When they won the 2016 Holyrood election, did they use that as a mandate for independence? No! Did they declare independence after Brexit? No! Even now, the SNP aren’t declaring independence. They are trying to find a way through this mess that your Tories have created. Once all possible options have been exhausted, will they declare independence, in light of the EU referendum result in Scotland? No!!! Even then, they will ASK the Scottish people in another referendum, which path THEYwant to choose. You and your undemocratic ilk want to prevent them from asking the Scottish people for their opinion. When it comes to talking about democracy, you’ve a brass neck, son!

      • David

        er listen to what you wrote: ‘nothing to do with the EU’

        -mass immigration pushing down wages and pushing out school places (remain us all what happened to the SNP schools pledge?)

        -distant unaccountable democracy -how would this change staying in the EU?

      • michael norton

        I hope the people have not been fooled.
        I’ve just seen St.Nige saying he doesn’t trust Mrs.May and even though he is stepping away from the leadership of U.K.I.P. he will be watching Therasa like a hawk. He is not leaving politics but he will have more time to think and speak out.

        I voted to leave the hated E.U.
        most people I know voted to leave and most voted to leave with a real passion, none of them have changed their minds, they the people will turn very nasty if Therasa back-tracks on Brexit.
        She will only be kept as leader if she gets a LEAVE soon.
        Not in ten years but in two and a bit.

    • Alex Birnie

      Bollocks, you just stated the facts! Your twisted version of the “facts”, while ignoring the real facts as they have happened is much further from the truth than my TV allegory. As to the “threat” that you have inferred? Give yourself a shake, man!

      As usual, you miss out the important phrase – “but we Scots aren’t violent people, and all we are asking is that we be allowed to consult on a course of action”.

      But you don’t really like that idea, do you, Fred? Democracy only suits you when you get the answer YOU want. It is absolutely ridiculous to pretend that circumstances haven’t changed since Sept 2014, and Fascists like yourself are shit scared of asking the question again, in the light of these changes. If there has been no change in circumstances, which your posts imply, then the worst that could happen for your agenda is confirmation of the 2014 result.

      But you know fine what the result of a second Indy ref is likely to be, don’t you, Fred – and that’s why you are so set against another plebiscite.

      • fred

        But I didn’t get the result I wanted in the European referendum. Unlike some Scots Nationalists not a million miles away I campaigned for remain, I argued for remain on this very blog and I voted to remain in Europe.

        You must learn to stop judging others by your own standards, some of us have principles.

      • Alex Birnie

        What is your objection to a second referendum on independence, Fred? Is it your contention that nothing has changed since Sept 2014? Do you believe that your viewpoint is still shared by the majority of Scots?

      • fred

        It was stated before the referendum that it was once in a generation at least.

        You can’t have referendums for major constitutional changes every time there is some change in circumstances.

        You can’t keep holding referendums till you get the result you want either, that is not democracy.

        After the Nationalists lost another referendum what would their next excuse to hold another referendum be?

      • Alex Birnie

        The folk in Scotland voted in the Indy ref to stay in the UK, because they were under the mistaken assumption that the UK was governed by sentient beings. Now that particular assumption has been blown to smithereens by the the exposition of the snake pit that is the Tory party, many of them have realised their mistake. What you are asserting is that, because AS made a remark designed to reinforce the importance of the referendum, every single citizen should be prevented from expressing their opinion again – in their lifetime. You know full well that your pathetic attempts to wrap yourself in the flag of democracy are futile, Fred. Bend some mythical “rule” about “once in a political lifetime” (which doesn’t exist in any rule book – anywhere) and allow the people to have their say again? – or stick your head in the sand and say “No matter how badly you were lead astray by Better Together (aka the MSM), and no matter how much the political landscape has changed, you’re not allowed to change your mind”. Just how deep does your arrogance go, Fred?

      • Republicofscotland

        The Tories have done more to boost Scottish independence in the last few weeks, than the SNP could’ve done in a decade, thank you.

        The vanity of the Tories has led to a Brexit vote, which has left the UK on the verge of a break up.

        We’re now in a position with regards to the EU that no one really knows what’s going to happen next. I would call that a great big bloody change in circumstances, unless of course you’re someone still clinging to the idea that everything will be alright and the UK will just continue as it is, it won’t.

        There’s only one Tory MP in Scotland and every region of Scotland voted to remain in the EU yet here we are, on the edge of the precipice of being dragged out on a Tory whim.

        Just imagine what a unfettered (from EU from human rights)Tory government will do to the poorer areas of the UK in the future, if we allow them to drag Scotland out of the EU. May not only looks like Thatcher but is far right winged like Thatcher.

        Finally do we in Scotland really want Boris Johnson representing us around the world? No I didn’t think so.

    • Republicofscotland

      The EU referendum was a concoction dreamt up by squabbling Tories, and the result will affect us all.

      I recall during the 2014 independence referendum Westminster scrutinising the White Paper which gave minute details of an independent Scotland economy for the near future. The SNP were professional and prepared in their manner.

      Fast forward to Brexit and not one bumbling jackass at Westminster has a clue what would happen after a no vote, no contigency plans were thought of never mind put in place. The punchinello’s running Britian, realised that they were way out their depth and they began resigning.

      Now tell what kind of idiotic public would want to be ruled by Westminster, you aside Fred.

      Sturgeon must call for indyref 2, sooner than later.

      • michael norton

        Yoy Scots are only going to burn your fingers.
        Look at France, Italy, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and of course take a special look at Greece.
        They are all close to collapse, what currency are most addicted to:
        Banks in Spain, Germany, Italy and France are on the verge of collapse.
        The E.U. Eurozone is on the verge of collapse.

    • Resident Dissident

      Anyone living in Scotland is entitled to express their views and participate in Scottish elections and referenda – I fail to see why Fred’s country of birth should have any bearing on those rights whatsoever. Imagine how you would respond if English nationalists such as Farage and his ilk were to behave in such a manner to those who were not born in England. You and Alex Birnie owe Fred an apology.

    • Republicofscotland


      IFS figures from March, the IFS like the LSE, and the Treasury adopt figures to suit a purpose. Namely that, they show the Scottish economy in a bad light.

      However we’ll say for example, that the figures are correct they are of course projections, what do countries do when they need capital? That’s right they borrow, Scotland would be no different from any other small nation, they’d borrow.

      However borrowing sensibly isn’t something consecutive Westminster governments have been good at, with an overall debt of £1.5 trillion quid, now hanging over Westminster’s coffers, and Moodys and Standard & Poors down grading London to basket case, one shouldn’t call the kettle black.

    • yesindyref2

      @David UK a “military export machine”. 2014 Exports – £4.17 bn, Imports – £1.32 bn, less than £3 billion nett export for the whole UK, compared to £3.85 billion for whisky alone, mostly from Scotland.

  • MBC

    I agree with these thoughts Craig. Time for civic Scotland and the Yes movement to get our asses into gear. And not wait around for the SNP to launch an indy campaign.

    The choice is simple: do Scots want to belong to a big economic union of 500 million people, the largest trading block in the world, when everybody else in the world is joining, not leaving, trading blocks, or a small union of 65 million people headed in an isolationist direction with no plan?

    Where would the average Scot feel most secure?

    The British Empire, is finally, absolutely over. UK will be diminished in global status if it leaves EU.

  • Mark Golding

    Well, in simple terms an independent Scotland would need to service its own sovereign debt and to manage its spending, borrowing and taxation in such a way as to win and retain the confidence of global lenders that its debt burden is manageable.

    Negotiations to reduce the UK debt burden for Scotland’s folk must be in good time. It goes without saying an independent Scotland recognises the economic importance of the single market and the need of Scottish business to remain part of it.

    Scotland has a great tradition for innovation that is key to its independence as is early negotiations for membership of multilateral organizations.

  • Seydlitz

    Do you really think that Scottish independence will give the Scottish government complete freedom to proceed with the policies that go against the international capitalist design.The SNP has comply with the laws of global capitalism or Scotland will attacked by all the means,such as the currant oil price war being waged against Russia.

  • Ian Fairbairn

    Could someone please explain this to me (an Englishman – but with no axe to grind re. secession). How is the SNP’s desire for Scotland to leave the UK in order to achieve sovereignty and independence at all compatible with a desire to remain within the EU – a larger political union – Scotland’s presence within which negating sovereignty and independence?

    I am genuinely perplexed by this.

    • remain means remain

      Because we live in an interdependent world. And neither the SNP or the Yes movement are fanatical and want 100% sovereignty. It’s the crazy, xenophobic Little Englander Brexiteers that want 100% sovereignty.

      • Alan

        “Because we live in an interdependent world. And neither the SNP or the Yes movement are fanatical and want 100% sovereignty. It’s the crazy, xenophobic Little Englander Brexiteers that want 100% sovereignty.”

        Nothing xenophobic about you though, eh?

        The European Union is now officially a house divided. It is not clear how long it can stand, and IMHO Scotland is welcome to cling on to the sinking ship. Don’t come crying to us when things go wrong, cos we’ll remember the constant insults from racists like you.

        • remain means remain

          I’m aware that millions of English people voted Remain. I’m aware also that not all Brexiteers are English. Also, not all Brexiteers are xenophobic. Nevertheless xenophobia in England was surely a major driver in the Leave campaign.

    • Ian Fairbairn

      There is one thing an independent Scotland will need and that is their own currency. Of course, within the EU they would need to use the Euro and that way disaster lies for Scotland.

      Look at how the Euro has worked out for Greece, Portugal and even Italy. That is the factor that Salmon before her and now Sturgeon seem oblivious to – and with potentially crippling consequences for an independent Scotland.

      • MJ

        Now you’re being a party-pooper, mentioning Scotland, Greece and the euro in the same sentence. Sensible warnings are not welcome here.

        • Whatever (aka Alcyone): It's the Economy Stupid

          NOBODY will address the financial and economic issues!

          I think I shall go read the New Scientist on some latest about quantum mechanics. At least I might find some LOGIC there!

          • Alex Birnie

            Tell you what, once the Treasury release the base data upon which they produce their “figures”, we can have a rational debate on the financial implications of independence for Scotland. Until that time, you are asking us to discuss this issue on the basis of (let’s be charitable here) questionable figures. You’re asking us to trust the Treasury for Pete’s sake! – the same treasury that tried to dock £7 billion off Scotland’s budget quite recently! I’m no economist, and in the absence of “real” figures, I go on external facts. Fact number one – Tories don’t “do” charity. Fact number two – Tories are telling us that they “subsidise” Scotland. Those two facts raise my hackles of suspicion. There are two other facts that DO make sense – Fact one – Tories don’t “do” charity. Fact two – Tories plead with us Scots not to “break up the Union”. Now THOSE two facts make sense!

        • Neil Anderson

          Oh dear, the old “Greece without the sunshine” thing raises it’s moronic head again. How sad.

          And “Of course, within the EU they would need to use the Euro..”. No, they wouldn’t.

          • Ian Fairbairn

            I think you will find they will need to use the Euro – all new member states do. If they can negotiate that – then that would be great for them, but, I doubt they will get far with that.

          • MBC

            We wouldn’t be a new member state if we became independent before Brexit. We would be rUK. The successor state as England will have seceded.

      • remain means remain

        One of the main benefits of the Euro is that it cushions the EU from the economic shocks of periodic hikes in oil prices. But the EU also knows that an independent and EU member state Scotland would be able to increase it’s EU contributions when the price of oil is high.

        The EU needs success stories like any other organisation – and needs one now particularly – so Scotland leaving the UK to stay in the EU would be just the ticket. Therefore, for that reason and the aforementioned reason about oil, it’s unlikely that Scotland will be made to adopt the euro if it doesn’t suit Scotland to do so.

          • Whatever (aka Alcyone): It's the Economy Dumbo!

            MJ, these are not dreamers you’re dealing with here, just deluded…it’s fashionable.

          • Republicofscotland

            It will keep using the pound, until it decides otherwise, just like Ireland, who then introduced the Punt, then the Euro.

        • Republicofscotland

          Sweden has been promising to join the Euro for 20 years, yet the Swedish show no signs of dumping the Krona any time soon.

          The you’ll need to use the Euro right away is nothing but a myth.

          • Republicofscotland

            Scotland will use the pound, until it decides otherwise, no Tory Chancellor would risk not letting Scotland use it. To do so would harm cross border trade and revenue levels, it makes economic sense on both sides of the border.

    • MBC

      They are different types of union Ian. Despite what the Brexiteers say, EU is an economic union but UK is a political union in which Scots are a permanent minority and we have suffer having decisions and governments imposed on us that we did not vote for, which are imposed on us by the majority. We have no constitutional status as a nation – the ‘United Kingdom’ is a chimera, and always has been. To just give one example: any country of the EU can veto treaty decisions including new entrants. No matter its size. Britain always had the power to refuse entry to Turkey, for instance, a point Cameron struggled to make, being drowned out by a barrage of media drivel. The EU works by consensus. The treaties represent agreements that all have come to.

      But the UK is not democratic in that way – the nations are not equal. So when Nicola Sturgeon suggested to David Cameron that there should be a triple lock on the EU referendum – that all the constituent nations also had to vote by a majority for the decision to carry – she was politely told to get lost.

      It would never occur to the English population to consult Scotland and obtain our prior agreement on any major matter, on renewing Trident for instance.

      We just have to suck it up that we have nuclear weapons stationed 35 miles from Glasgow at Faslane. We don’t want them and nobody asked us.

      This is the clearest illustration I can give as to how they are totally different constitutional arrangements.

      • michael norton

        If Scots are in a minority of influence, why are so many United Kingdom Prime ministers either Scottish, have Scottish ancestry or were born in Scotland or speak Scots Gaelic or their grandfathers did.
        We’ve been slathered with Scottish Prime ministers, nobody gives a shit they were Scottish because it is the same country, if they came from Wales, nobody would give a shit, if they came from the Falkland Islands or Gibralta, nobody would give a shit because it is the same country.

        • MBC

          That’s constitutionally irrelevant. They are not prime ministers of Scotland and Scotland as a nation has no parity in major decisions in the UK.

  • geo

    Theresa May spoke about health inequalities – comparisons of life expectancies and life free of disabilities. She wants to close the gap in life expectancies between the rich and the poor. Poverty is at the root of health inequalities.

    Last year, expert evidence was given to the (Scottish) Health Committee which was conducting a “scoping” hearing into health inequalities. The remedy to health inequalities is the redistribution of wealth,income and power. To do that most effectively, a Scottish government of any hue needs to have control of the economy and welfare policies – all of it.

    Theresa May should know that – or she needs to be told. I suspect she means to do for the poor in the UK as much as Cameron/Osborne.

    We can campaign for both devo max and independence?

    • remain means remain

      The Spanish Constitution requires all of Spain to vote in a referendum to allow any constituent part of Spain to secede.

      There is no such requirement in the UK which is why the UK government signed the Edinburgh Agreement to have indyref1 in 2014.

      Despite the best efforts of the British mainstream media to misreport and spin, the EU state governments and EU officials have made it clear that if Scotland votes to leave the UK before Brexit then we can stay in the EU.

      • MBC

        I think an independent Scotland within the EU has considerable attractions all round.

        It has already been noted the extent to which the English and Scottish economies are integrated. There are English firms which trade in Scotland and vice versa. 48% of England also voted Remain – they wanted to retain EU rights. That’s a huge minority. Nearly half the country has been booted out by the misguided other half!

        English businesses with Scottish subsidiaries who want to retain problem free access to the EU (and not suffer years of indecision or protracted negotiations) could relocate to Scotland.

        Ditto research projects to Scottish universities.

        Ditto English residents with a claim to Scottish nationality.

        That would be a huge boost to Scotland’s economy and provide a safety valve to the disenfranchised Remainers of England.

        It’s a huge opportunity. Huge.

        • Republicofscotland

          Outside the EU Scotland would lose millions in farm subsides, scientific projects, the Erasmus project, university grants, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

          If it wasn’t for the EU the Large Hadron Collider may never have been built, and the “God” particle wouldn’t have been discovered.

          It’s a magnificent achievement of nations working together in unison to better understand the cosmos.

          • YouKnowMyName

            Oops, LHC not directly funded by the EC, it cost around €4B, of which the Commissions’ Seventh Framework (competitive science funding) program paid only around €30M. Most CERN funding comes from its own ‘member states’ direct pledges as it was one of the first post-war multi-community developments, starting around 3 years earlier than the treaty of Rome and the birth of the ‘complicated’ EU institutions.

            The EU had basically f*ck all directly to do with building either the interconnecting storage rings, the PS, the AA, LEAR, ACOL, the SPS, LEP or indeed the LHC etc. However the EU is (trying) to fund the Caderache fusion experiment ITER, sigh.

            When I worked there, sometimes in the ring 130 meters below St. Genis, it was a very impressive collaboration of nations as you said, often you’d get Abdus Salaam, Sam Ting or Victor Weisskopf in the queue ahead of you for coffee ( double ristrette ) One of the main reasons for the success of CERN was that the scientists kept a tight rein on the administrators, planned well, implemented well, got great students including some amazing Scots (my favorite who’s name I can’t mention but she’s now a multi-millionaire entrepreneur back in Caledonia) and we had freedom to try and do things. My mate Tim wrote a small program on his Compaq286 PC to help keep track of his documents, he wrote this in a superset of SGML that he called HTML or hypertext. He annoyed CERN at the time with his later developments, quite a bit, but they got over it!

            As for Scotland in this declared UK exit condition, it’s up to the people to decide – but it would be great if they actually really understood what the pros & cons are/were. As ‘brexit’ round 1 has happened and we are now close to a 50:50 likely possibility to implement article 50 & UK leave in a few years, the subsequent or parallel implementation by the Scottish nation of independence & joining the EU would currently seem to be 95% unlikely, 5% likely. The SNP could do worse than get a military/university game-theory approach going, to maximise Scottish survival & development, whilst I hope England is doing the same. Sometimes you can get surprising choices/options/results from game theory. The best approach to take is unlikely to be the same for each UK nation!

  • Eric Smiff

    The idea that Murdoch’s SNP are fundamentally different in character from any other government is a fantasy latched on to by artists and other dafties. They are increasingly regarded here in Scotland as corrupt, control freaks.

    In reality there was a 55%-45% vote against independence and Scotland will never be allowed to become a member of the EU, with or without independence. It isn’t only the Spanish who would veto it.

    • remain means remain

      No Spanish Prime Minister or Spanish Foreign Minster has ever stated that Spain would veto Scotland as an EU member state. They might not entirely like the idea but for economic, political and diplomatic reasons there would be no opposition. Fishing is one of the major components of the Spanish economy and if Scotland is out the EU then the Spanish fishing fleet is out of Scottish waters.

        • remain means remain

          Many poorer coastal areas of Spain rely on fishing. Also the important Spanish tourist industry would struggle if there was less seafood available. Spain’s fishing grounds were seriously overfished even before Spain joined the EU and so Scottish waters are necessary to them.

          • MJ

            The Spanish can still have their fish, they’ll just have to pay for it rather than hoovering it up for nothing out of UK waters.

      • Eric Smiff

        Scottish independence: Spain blocks Alex Salmond’s hopes for EU transition

        No automatic welcome for independent Scotland, says Mariano Rajoy, who expects UK to take same stance on Catalonia. Alex Salmond’s plans for an independent Scotland to smoothly join the European Union have been dealt a painful blow after the Scottish first minister’s proposals were dismissed by Spain’s prime minister. Mariano Rajoy said his government believed an independent Scotland could only apply to join the EU from outside the organisation as a new state, as he warned against regions of Europe embarking on “solo adventures in an uncertain future”.

        His intervention confirms long-held suspicions that the Madrid government will resist the Scottish government’s plans because of its rejection of Catalonian independence, which has seen large marches in Barcelona in favour of secession.

        • MBC

          That’s a risk which we have to consider. But he can’t refuse our entry whilst we are already in. That’s why we have to declare independence before Brexit is concluded.

      • yesindyref2

        Scotland voted 62% in favour of reamian in the EU, and not one of the 32 unitary authorities voted to leave, they all voted to Remain.

    • Salford Lad

      I can understand Scotland wishing to become an Independent Sovereign state, with control of its laws ,economy and currency issuance.
      I can not understand Scots wishing to join the EU and then giving up all those hard won freedoms ,especially if they join the failed Euro currency union.
      The above attachment by Prof.James Petras may assist in explaining some of the issues.

      • MBC

        See my post above. They are two fundamentally different unions. The British union is political but has never given parity to Scotland as a nation or kingdom in a so-called United Kingdom. Next week when a major decision is taken to renew Trident Scottish objection will simply be over-ruled and ignored. We will have to suffer nuclear submarines and weapons 35 miles from the major Scottish city of Glasgow though a majority in Scotland does not want that.

        In the EU each nation has a veto over major decisions. The UK could veto Turkey’s entry. That’s why treaties take so long to work out. The EU works by consensus. The UK never has.

        • remain means remain

          You’re right.

          EU consensus

          UK diktat

          Independence in Europe to get our country back!

    • Alan

      “The idea that Murdoch’s SNP are fundamentally different in character from any other government is a fantasy latched on to by artists and other dafties. They are increasingly regarded here in Scotland as corrupt, control freaks.”

      You only go into government if you are a control freak. Why would any normal person want the hassle of appearing to please everybody, all of the time, while really doing your best to please yourself? Normal people just aren’t built that way.

      The fools that trust Sturgeon are just as stupid as the fools that trusted Blair.

  • Loony

    These are strange days – not least for the all consuming, full spectrum delusion that seems to exist.

    The EU is finished. It is dying. It is consuming itself and Greece will not satisfy its demands for sacrifice. Italy. Spain and Portugal are all on the menu. Even this will not be sufficient.

    Merkel wants the world to come to Europe – Hungary and Poland are racists. Poland and the Baltic countries don’t want immigrants but they want the rest of Europe to perish in the snow fields of Russia.

    Unless things change, and change quickly France is heading for Civil War. Trump will likely be elected POTUS and the chances are he will let Europe sink or swim. No more Uncle Sam to legitimize European idiocy.

    If despite all this Scotland votes for independence then they should erect a statue of Jim Jones in every City, town and village.Instead of free school milk all Scottish schoolchildren should be supplied with limitless free kool aid. – They will surely need it..

    • Courtenay Barnett


      Home truths:-

      1. Western Europe has a longer tradition of accepting immigrants and having interactions therewith than does the Eastern European countries.
      2. Eastern Europe is more insular than the Western European EU countries.
      3. Eastern Europe is not as affluent as the Western EU countries and faces economic and financial challenges as do certain Southern European countries.
      4. The EU decision-making processes are autocratic and do not reflect the democratic wishes of the member states. Brussels is lacking in democratic accountability.
      5. Political, cultural and economic EU convergence remains as much a dream as a monumental challenge for the existing EU countries ( e.g. Denmark and the UK do not want to participate on economic integration – to the point where the UK has ‘Brexited’).
      Question: How to the EU member states face the financial crisis in a globalized world?
      And – ultimately – do you want 28 or so little guys facing the world – or – one big guy?
      You decide – discuss.

      • Whatever (aka Alcyone): It's the Economy Dumbo!

        One Big Guy with an United States of Europe Army?

      • Loony

        It is true that Western Europe has a tradition of accepting immigrants. It is also true that Western Europe has zero experience of accepting immigrants on the scale of that currently in progress.

        Vernon Bogdanor (not exactly a foaming right wing racist) estimates that the migration currently in progress is orders of magnitude higher than anything seen previously (I cannot remember exact numbers). Bogdanor is also on record as accepting that the most accurate estimation of future demography was supplied by Enoch Powell in the mid 1960’s.

        Is it not odd that no-one is capable of disagreeing with Powell’s projections when they are verifiable by reference to math – but the rest of what he said can be dismissed as the ramblings of a crazed racist. Like I said delusion is all pervading and all encompassing.

        • michael norton

          In the sixties Enoch gave a speech in which he said
          “Rivers of blood” (talking about immigration)

          he ended his political career in Ulster.
          He was finished in England because what he espoused seemed ludicrous, horrible, racist but
          very, very unlikely.

          However, if he had given that speech in more recent times in FRANCE

          some would have thought, you know what that racist plonker Enoch, he just might have been on to something.

          Over 6,000,000 North African Muslims now reside in FRANCE.
          Over the last few years the horror has been meted out by Muslims to the french.

  • Ben Monad

    Five years ago when I first found this blog, it was a place to discuss World events.

    Timing is everything…..

  • Republicofscotland

    I was wondering if Sturgeon was waiting to hear what Theresa May had to say on Scotland and its future outside the EU, before she and the party pushed ahead looking to impliment indyref 2. Those who backed independence the first time around, are hoping Sturgeon will get the ball rolling sooner than later.

    If independence is to be obtained, I and many others hope Sturgeon, doesn’t settle for a poor comprise with Westminster, and its bottomless barrel of false promises. She must announce it early enough to allow the whole movement time to persuade soft no voters, and disillusioned other party members to be converted to the cause.

    Theresa May is trying to persuade Sturgeon to hold off on indyref 2, possibly by promising this or that after/during Brexit has been negotiated. It’s a dangerous route for Sturgeon to take, to believe a right wing Tory government, with a history of failures and austerity under its belt, that promises made now will be delivered at a later date, the Vow springs to mind.

    I see Cyprus has been quoted by the press as a possible route. Article 2 of the Protocol of Accession, which allows Green Line Regulation to be implimented, allowing free crossing of goods and people between, a area of a member state, where the acquis applies.

    I and many others however prefer independence, hopefully Sturgeon won’t dilly dally too long.

    • YouKnowMyName

      Yes but Cyprus has minefields and opposing fighter jets cruising along the “green border” I’d prefer the Swiss EU borders model which just have discrete pneumatic tank-traps in all road choke points (on Helvetian territory) and a mild possibility of a control, if the Zoll can be bothered. When Yasser Arafat visited Geneva (long time before the polonium) the Swiss actually controlled their borders for a week, seriously with night-vis, and found *many* things going on that they didn’t know about, and they mostly know everything, or thought they did. On the other hand, It would be a nice Thatcherite (maybe Mayite?) project to dig the impressive new Brittania-lite/Caledonia ditch to give recent English graduates something to do, in a couple o years!

    • Ben Monad

      Pence has reversed himself since courting VEEP. Now he thinks it is fine to have a moratorium on immigration from conflict zones. It seems the mentally compromised are the tail wagging the muslim dog.

      We MUST tar all with the same brush.

  • yesindyref2

    Yes Craig, and a timely article too. Perhaps this is the most important part: “that in the first case Scotland’s continuing membership cannot be subject to single state veto, whereas a Scotland which is rejoining could.”.

    I’ve looked through the Articles a bit, and there is a mechanism where if (paraphrasing), relatively small changes to the Articles are put forward, the Council of Ministers can vote by possibly a qualifying majority, that those changes be voted on by – a qualifying majority. So the trick is indeed to have the changes small enough to make that desirable for the Council. (Scotland’s different requirements can be put forward then via protocols).

    Now the thing is, taking the Spain answer, this would mean that Spain could happily vote against Scotland to maintain its staunch unshakeable position over Catalan, while not actually preventing Scotland’s membership. And arguably this is precisely what Spain would want to do.

  • DavidW

    There is a big risk I can see in having a referendum before the UK outcome is known. Namely that the UK could then announce it will accept a Norway style deal with full access to the single market. UKIP will be annoyed, but Scotland will then be used as the excuse.

    Full membership of the EEA will be good enough for many people, and the indy campaign loses any opportunity to poach jobs and investment from England.

    If it becomes clear that the UK will be out the single market; then it won’t happen immediately. There could still be time to hold a snap referendum, or Scotland could be put in some sort of holding zone .

    • MBC

      There are so many unknowns. We don’t know if UK will be OFFERED an EEA membership, let alone accept it. Much greater certainty of outcome if we come out of UK before UK exits EU.

    • fred

      “There is a big risk I can see in having a referendum before the UK outcome is known. Namely that the UK could then announce it will accept a Norway style deal with full access to the single market.”

      The UK could do a deal with Norway and Iceland to form a separate Nordic economic block. Scotland has more in common with them than they do with Spain and Portugal. Other Northern European countries could see this as a better option than one giant Europe and decide to join in, Denmark the Faroe Islands and Greenland maybe. It could cover quite a large area of the globe eventually.

      • MBC

        Norway would not accept this. Dream on. They are unlikely to want England and Wales, a country of nearly 60 million people, in an organisation they would numerically dominate. They are not stupid.

    • Republicofscotland

      You forget, Norway has a £830bn oil fund to fall back on. Consecutive incompetent Westminster governments didn’t have the foresight to do the same.

      They squandered billions on god knows what, Scotland must hold its indyref 2 as soon as possible. Westminster has housed failed government after failed government, intent on wars and lining the pockets of themselves and their corporate backers. Don’t even get me started on the undemocratic House of Lords.

      • Loony

        Norway has an oil fund because it has oil and a population of 5 million.

        Unlike the UK Norway has not squandered its oil revenue on prosecuting an economic war on its working classes.

      • YouKnowMyName

        Thatcher allegedly pumped out the Scottish oil in a (successful) attempt to destabilize the economy of the Soviet Union, allegedly. What with Brown selling all the kingdoms’ gold at the bottom of the market too, it’s almost as tho someone was telling us to do this!

        The ‘incompetent’ west minster gvnmnt agents have all happily retired with their own individual (pension etc) funds intact. . .

  • Tony M

    Spring 2017, no way, I was hoping for the 1st of September or thereabouts this year.

    • Tony M

      Though of course the longer the yoons have to continue discrediting themselves and looking utterly ridiculous and desperate losers on the wrong side of history, the better, and the media especially the BBC can continue their slide through this protracted national disgrace and laughing-stock stage to the only place they can go now, complete oblivion. Jackie Bird & Co can go count their dirty millions stashed in the Isle of Man.

  • ben

    Sturgeon has completely abandoned the single reason her party did so well in the ’15.. they won on an independence ticket.. pure and simple. its a real shame to watch the inevitable backwards goose stepping in the face of all this attention they’re now getting.. i do hope she pushes for it.. i don’t think she will.. would the party revolt? time for a vote of no confidence? they seem to be all the rage..

  • defo

    I’ve yet to hear any EU politician making negative noises on Scotland remaining, quite the opposite in fact.
    You’ll have read this Craig ?

    Yes, a lot will need negotiating, but all we will need to hear (for campaigning purposes) post article 50 is Yes from the rest of the EU.
    For obvious reasons, Scotland has a very strong hand to play.

    You singularly fail to give any explanation as to why it would be “a great many decades” before we go for it again.
    A few years of Cruella & BoJo will strengthen our numbers, & the near certainty of another Tory win at the next GE will boost us further still. We haven’t even played out the Trident farce yet.

  • bevin

    “Look, the people are not always wise. They can by whipped into fury by demagogues. That is the one flaw in democracy, and why we need a free press which is not corrupt. Remember Socrates. Voting in Hitler was democracy too…”

    Thus spake MBC. And what he said includes an appalling lie.

    The only election Hitler ever won was after he had been handed power by the elitist coterie, surrounding President Hindenburg who had actually defeated Hitler, very convincingly, in the previous Presidential Election.

    Before Hitler was “elected,” as MBC puts it, the Trade Unions has been banned, their funds confiscated and the Communist Party had been put into Concentration Camps, together with the socialist in the SPD.
    What you are making is a fascist argument: the problem with democracy is not that the people make mistakes, which of course they do, but that elites, whose power is derived from the enormous wealth that they have stolen from the rest of the community, impose their interests on government.

    So far as the economic practicality of Scots Independence is concerned there is no reason to believe that Scots society would not be able to feed, clothe, shelter and amuse itself without any particular problems.
    What it would find difficult would be to reproduce, in miniature, the sort of class ridden exploitative society which is the current UK. Apart from all else this would involve, politically, the immediate submission of the majority of the population to a ruling class that would insist on their agreeing to remain an exploited, inferior proletariat, offering in return the music hall business of kilted, tartan, ‘none like us’ culture.
    It is hard to believe that the working class of Scotland would not insist on independence meaning real democracy and a share for all in both the wealth anf government of the country.

    As to the EU, does anyone imagine that the EU would not insist upon Scotland signing up to its neo-liberal principles? Principles which positively ban member nations from practising even moderately socialist policies and subjecting capitalist corporations to stringent and full regulation.

    There is a danger of the Independence question becoming a grudge match in which the object of empowering and enhancing the lives of the plain people of Scotland, for generations to come, is lost in the excitement of giving Westminster a black eye. Independence can only have on honest meaning which is popular democracy.
    If you mix the Red and Blue of competing Toryisms together you come very close to designing a tartan. The SNP strikes me-at a great distance-as being a bit Tory and a bit NewLabour, a lot Chamber of Commerce and not much else.

    • Tony M

      I don’t think the disconnect between the party elite and the mass of the membership has occurred as it has in the Labour party for example most alarmingly. I don’t see a preponderance of lawyers and PPE born-to-rule types in elected positions. I see principled people from a cross section of Scottish society and a spread of rural and city/urban dwellers and generations. Localism and direct-democracy seem to the fore and should remain so. The politicians take their cue from the people as to what our best interests are, who are the country.

      • bevin

        Regarding the SNP’s membership I gladly take your word for it.

        The present state of the Labour Party ‘machine’ however is so dreadful that no functioning organisation should be compared with it.

  • Tom

    I agree about the referendum. I can’t see the EU negotiating with a Scotland that is still part of the UK – I don’t think they would want to set that precedent. Whether Scotland would be allowed to remain, rather than leaving first and then rejoining, I doubt but it’s worth a try. Either way, it’s important that the Scottish government makes a statement of intent.

    • MBC

      We would be allowed to remain if we became independent before Brexit concludes, because we will not actually have ever left. This is the two year time frame after Article 50 is launched that Craig is on about.

  • Velofello

    I’ve ploughed my way through all the comments, and boy there are some humdingers.

    My contribution,my caution is, from many years of experience is, Perfidious Albion.

    • Anon1

      They talk about sovereignty yet want to throw themselves into the entirely undemocratic and unaccountable EU, in which they will have fuck all say about how they govern themselves, and in which their voice will be tiny compared to their present favourable situation within the UK.

      Hatred of the Unglesh must be the motivation.

      • MBC

        The EU isn’t undemocratic. Each nation has its own commissioner at the EC regardless of size. The UK is undemocratic. It’s the UK that has forced Trident on Scotland against our wishes and against our intetest. It is the UK that is dragging us out of the EU when we voted Remain. It is the UK that forces Tory neoliberal policies on us for 40 years that we didn’t vote for. It is the UK that holds 70% of our tax revenues.

        • MJ

          “The EU isn’t undemocratic. Each nation has its own commissioner at the EC regardless of size”

          But those commissioners are not elected ergo the EU is undemocratic.

          • Anon1

            Don’t even bother. The stupidity of the “Independence in the EU” position has been pointed out a thousand times. It’s all about hating the Unglesh. There is no other explanation for such idiocy.

          • MBC

            Each nation has the same degree of representation on the commission, which proposes laws and the elected parliamentarians are free to reject or accept them.

        • Anon1


          You voted to remain part of the UK and the EU referendum was a UK wide decision.

          So stop crying about being “dragged” out of the EU and “forced” to accept policies from Westminster you voted to accept.

          You are a region of the UK with a population less that of Yorkshire. Nobody in England cares what you think except that they wish you had voted Yes.

          • MBC

            Those 55% who voted to retain the union did so on the basis that Scotland and the UK would remain in the EU. The fact that they were sold a pup invalidates the result. It also shows that Scotland is not safe within the UK, where our national interests can be undermined by UK and our democratic will can be ignored.

          • glenn_uk

            Those 55% who voted to retain the union did so on the basis that Scotland and the UK would remain in the EU.

            All of them? How could you possibly know that?

      • YouKnowMyName

        EU is more democratic than say, Bulgaria or Makedonia. The Council is simply the 28 nations’ ministers with some staff, and a president to lead the agenda. The council president is ‘voted’ for, supported by a beauty contest amongst the candidates from the 28 MS.

        The European citizens get to directly elect their MEPs, who form the European Parliament.

        The Commission (that everyone hates) are not elected, but the commissioners are nominated by the elected governments in 28 member states. They are accountable!, some have resigned, some have been pushed, and occasionally they have all had to resign (depending on the magnitude of the problem) The Commission also has a staff , smaller than Glasgow Council, and the Commission takes a long-term view – annoying many governments who just wing everything following the media interest and or their short-term electoral cycles.

        If Scotland can find its niche, trigger independent or regional accession at the right time, it would be a medium power state, with a combined population equal to approx Malta + Latvia + Lithuania + Estonia!

        • Anon1

          I had huge fun in the run up to the EU referendum asking remainiacs to name their MEP. Not one managed to do so. Did they know the difference between the EU Parliament and Commission? Nope. Like all weaklings they just possessed this vague feeling that they were better off being ruled by something they didn’t know about or really didn’t care to know about. The sort of people who would have rolled over to the Nazis. Thank god they’re still in a minority. Just.

  • John Walsh

    Don’t fall for the Oil price argument .If it is so worthless let Holyrood collect corp tax and the revenue. Thought not.The point of the 2014 White Paper is not the Bible it can and should be tweaked by expert advise and input from new evidence. But the bones are there. The expansion of the Scottish economy would be remarkable if we are the gateway to EU for the rUK.Finance passporting from banks and the city of London will dwarf the OIL income. No language barriers, cheap real estate, and a ready to go attitude is all here.
    WM didn’t have a plan for BREXIT, FFS they don’t even have enough negotiators for THAT! 300 or so short, so they would implode if they had to negotiate a Scottish/ rUK position at the same time.Thankfully HR civil servants already drew up the draft papers . WM has the time problem . The clock is ticking on BREXIT.

  • Paul

    Craig, I can understand why Scots would want to be independent of Westminster control, but presuming you gain your independence (which though I am south of the border am not against), what I cannot understand is why you would then want to surrender that independence to the undemocratic control of the Germano-French-Brussels machine?

    Presuming that you were to join the EU after independence, it may be that Scotland would be forced to take the Euro and thus be tied into the European stability mechanism, the associated GDP deficit reduction targets and also have no control over the issuance of debt/bonds in a currency out with your means to control (as opposed to issuing debt in a currency which you control meaning that repayment of that debt could never be an issue). In addition to which the neo-liberal policies of the transfer of public assets/services into private hands and the austerity economic policies which are hard wired into the European treatises since Mastricht.

    It seems to me that we only need to look at the way the Greeks have been treated by the IMF and ECB, and that the Greek’s publicly owned assets (e.g. ports etc) have been disposed of to German and Chinese corporations at knock down prices and disadvantageous terms, to begin to question what Scotland could gain from joining this organisation.

    It strikes me that this could well be a case of ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’?

    • Alan

      Craig, I can understand why Scots would want to be independent of Westminster control, but presuming you gain your independence (which though I am south of the border am not against), what I cannot understand is why you would then want to surrender that independence to the undemocratic control of the Germano-French-Brussels machine?

      Because he’s a Federalist, which is just a fancy term for imperialism in another form.

      • Alan

        ‘Because he’s a Federalist, which is just a fancy term for imperialism in another form.’

        I’ll elaborate, because I feel like it. If you’re an empire, you need some religious dogma such as “Manifest Destiny” to enable you to crap all over “3rd World nations” because, after all, they are just “heathens”, “miserable sinners” etc, etc.

        If you are a federation of, say 10 countries, you can call yourself “The International Community” and get away with crapping all over “3rd World nations” without the religious dogma.

        Of course, not CM is going to tell you this isn’t true, but you can still bet the hell it is.

    • fred

      The Scots don’t want to be independent of Westminster, the Nationalists want to be independent of Westminster. The Nationalists are not Scotland, they do not speak for Scotland, that’s just a quirk of the Nationalist brain that deludes them into thinking they are the country when in fact they are just individuals same as everyone else. They hijack the national flag and claim it as their own when the fact is it belongs to everyone.

      We had a referendum, Scotland decided it wants to remain part of the UK.

      • Paul

        I accept that Scotland voted to remain part of the UK, however it seems that 62% of the voters in the recent ‘Remain/Leave the EU’ referendum, voted to remain. So it seems that Scotland’s First Minister has some sort of popular mandate to try to keep Scotland in the EU. My main question would be why would that be. Is it just a means to justify a second independence for Sotland plebiscite?

        Maybe the question is purely an academic one; as ultimately with the recent events in Turkey and Nice, along with the rise in popularity of Marine Le Pen in France and her aims for a Frexit, that the EU in its present form might have disintegrated by the time Scotland achieves independence/completes negotiations to join the EU?

        • fred

          Well no. Take a look at this post I made before the referendum.

          “I voted No in the Scottish referendum and I will be voting Remain tomorrow. I hereby do NOT authorise Nicola Sturgeon to use my vote as an indication I want another independence referendum, I’m sure I speak for all who voted No in 2014 and Remain in 2016 when I say that.”

          I was one of that 62% and I explicitly did not want my vote to give Nicola an excuse for another referendum and I am far from alone in that. The vote was about membership of the EU not Scottish independence, the Nationalists do not have a mandate.

          • Rob Royston

            I just cancelled your vote out. I voted YES and then I voted LEAVE because I don’t want Scotland in the EU. It appears that most Scots went along with Nicola Sturgeon and voted REMAIN so I now have to support the democratic will of the Scots.

          • defo

            “I voted No in the Scottish referendum and I will be voting Remain tomorrow. I hereby do NOT authorise Nicola Sturgeon to use my vote as an indication I want another independence referendum, I’m sure I speak for all who voted No in 2014 and Remain in 2016 when I say that.”

            Wow. Get you. You speak for yourself Fred. Nobody else.

            e.g. Europhiles votes No 2014, scared by Project Fear that Indy Scotland would be shut out of the EU by other carpet bagging, arrogant cunts like Barroso. (Didn’t he do well !)
            Same peeps voted Remain.
            And you can logically assume which way many, most probably will vote Indyref2.

            How many europhobes voted No 2014, with EU ref in mind as the deciding factor ? (Esp. as it was only officially on the Tory manifesto post Sept. 18th 2014 )

            Which way will Indyref 1 No voting EU students etc. go come Indyref 2 ? (they were denied a voice in 2016 by other xenophobic Little Englanders, picking and choosing who could vote)

    • MBC

      I’ve replied to this three times on this thread; they are two different types of union. The UK is political, the EU is economic. In the EU each nation has parity on the EU commission; no such parity amongst constituent nations exists in the UK. It is not a federal system. Scotland’s consent was not sought for Trident at Faslane (we don’t want it) and we are being dragged out of the EU against our will. Two give just two examples of how as a nation we are treated in the EU. Cameron refused Sturgeon’s request for a triple lock; that each constituent nation ought to agree to Brexit, not just a simple majority, when England dominates. That is why the EU is far more democratic for us Scots than the UK.

  • Anon1

    OT but sad to hear that Pakistani model Qandeel Baloch has been strangled to death by her own brother in an apparent “honour” killing. What hope is there for this death cult of Islam in the modern world?

    • Alan

      I posted that a couple of hours ago in “Theresa May, Your New Islamophobic Prime Minister?” Hey we mustn’t be “Islamaphobic” but “Misogyny” is OK…well according to CM. Like I said before, may the poor girl rest in peace, but somehow I think her name will be dragged through the mud by “The Righteous”

    • bevin

      What hope is there for sensible discourse while opportunists, use every snippet and factoid in order to justify a campaign of unreasoning hatred disguised as concern for others?
      This has absolutely nothing to do with Islam; but a great deal to do with imperialist sponsorship of the wahhabi parody of religion in order to secure cannon fodder for militias employed to attack the empire and its Israeli base’s critics.

      • Anon1

        “Nothing to do with Islam” (NTDWI). It’s become a joke in its own right, rather like “Religion of Peace” (RoP).

        “Snippets and factoids” – The unending slew of hatred, violence and intolerance emanating from the Islamic world. Variously denied, excused and supported by the left.

        • Tom

          I think every group of people has bad apples. I’m sure there were many more people mown down and killed by drink-drivers in France last year than killed by Muslims – but no one is suggesting all people who drink alcohol are evil.
          So things need to be kept in perspective – rather playing into the hands of bigots who hate all Muslims or fascists whose foreign-policy agenda is to cause misery in the Middle East by projecting their own wickedness on to Muslims.

          • Whatever (aka Alcyone): End Every Cliche

            Beyond ridiculous Tom, you are trying to justify this brutal killing done with total intent. I suggest you seriously look at yourself and your apparently highly limited understanding of the meaning of LIFE itself. Don’t waste your Sunday!

      • Alan

        A 26year old murdered by her brother and they call it “an honour killing”.

        Popular social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch has been killed in Multan, becoming the latest victim in the spate of “honour killings” that plague the country.

        The 26-year-old, who is popular for posting risque videos and statements on Facebook, was killed by her brother, Regional Police Officer Sultan Azam said on Saturday.

        Where is the “Honour” in that Bevin?

      • Alan

        1. We recognise that women are specially oppressed as a sex, that they face oppression as women as well as due to their class position. We call this oppression sexism. We oppose sexism wherever it exists on principle and in practice.

        2.1 The questions of whether women have always been oppressed in some form or not and how the oppression of women as a sex first began are still unanswered and, ultimately, impossible to verify. It’s generally accepted that in hunter/gatherer societies the status of women was relatively high and that women’s social position deteriorated with the development of class society. It is not necessary, however, to prove, that in some past era women enjoyed equal status to that of men in order to believe that in the future women can live as equals to men.

        2.2 The nature of women’s oppression has changed as societies have developed. For example, the oppression of women that might have existed in some pre-class societies assumed a fundamentally new character with the development of class society. Just as the oppression of women in feudal societies changed its character with the development of capitalism. Where women’s oppression has existed in different societies it has always had a material basis.

        2.3 We reject the idea that women are in any way inferior to men or that women are biologically predisposed to assume certain roles in society. Likewise we believe that men are not inherently sexist . Sexism, racism etc are not genetic traits but, rather, are formed by social existence, upbringing and education.

  • K Crosby

    The Snats are looking like the Syriza Candidate Craig, snouts in the institutional trough and in no hurry to move over….

  • kashmiri

    Yes, and that’s actually May’s game. She expects IndyRef2 to take place, upon which, presenting the masses the choice between Brexit and Breakup, she will “make a painful decision” to “save the Union” and keep the UK in the EU. Recall my words in a year’s time.

    • YouKnowMyName

      That’s always an option, but remember that Britain has never yet invaded Luxembourg, so a small war somewhere could be the ‘urgent need’ to un-brexit.

      I do guess that the current odds of actually leaving have increased from zero a month ago to exactly fifty:fifty now, I guess they will drift towards ‘stay’ the longer it takes! I do think the Commish also haven’t got much of a clue what to do, apart from thefact that most of them are on hols until September, there’s also the fact that until recently the Commission internal group that was studying/coordinating/avoiding brexit was called TFUK ( task force u k ) and I think we are now well and tfukked!

      • Alan

        ‘Britain has never yet invaded Luxembourg’

        WTF would Britain want to invade Luxembourg?

        • YouKnowMyName

          I think the Daily Mail recently published a (very) long list of all the countries that England has invaded, over the centuries. Tragically, Luxembourg was not on this list. In case a serious Bremain Wag-the-dog scenario was needed, then why not invade wet Luxy. It has VAT free gold, cheap petrol, and is where JCJ comes from.

          equally WTF would Britain want to bomb syria for, it is small, far-away and of little (direct) interest

          OK, found the source article , a bit of churnalism from 4 years ago , I’m sure that the DM refreshed it recently

          • Alan

            ‘equally WTF would Britain want to bomb syria for, it is small, far-away and of little (direct) interest’


            ‘During the 1960s, along socialist lines, the government nationalized most major enterprises and adopted economic policies designed to address regional and class disparities.’

            Well we know from our own experience of Jeremy Corbyn what is going to happen when a country gets socialist ideals; they get stamped on, from a great height, by the forces of capitalism.

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