High Time for Scottish Independence! 250

There appears no avoiding a second Scottish Independence Referendum, unless either Nicola Sturgeon or Theresa May backs down to a humiliating degree. I have been studying in detail the Scottish government’s proposals for Scotland’s future relationship with the EU within the UK after Brexit. Their aim is for Scotland to remain in the European Economic Area as the rest of the UK leaves it (a key marker of hard Brexit). It is worth noting that if the UK went for continued single market membership (soft Brexit) almost all the Scottish government paper would fall.

Theresa May has now rejected these proposals out of hand. This is scarcely surprising, as the Scottish government’s proposals would have involved giving Scotland new powers which are normal attributes of a nation state. In particular, treaty making is a sovereign power – even in proper Federal systems, California or Ontario do not make trade agreements with foreign states as the Scottish government proposal specifically states that Scotland must be able to do (para 187). The paper lists powers currently held in Brussels which fall within devolved competence and should come back to Holyrood, and then others in the category of “citizens rights” which are currently reserved but the Scottish government wish to have devolved to Holyrood. Then there is a third list of powers which would be required by the Scottish parliament to enable Scotland to meet the obligations of remaining within the European Economic Area if the rest of the UK is not in it.

These new powers are, in addition to trade treaty making:

a) import and export control
b) immigration
c) competition, product standards and international property
d) company law and insolvency
e) social security, including to enable reciprocal arrangements with other states
f) professional regulation
g) energy regulation
h) financial services, communications, postal services and currently reserved areas of transport

Simply put, Scotland would need to be able to function as though it were a full sovereign state in every area covered by the European Economic Area agreements, so that there would be no difference to the other members than if they were dealing with another fully sovereign state.

Personally I do not believe the Sturgeon proposals are diplomatically achievable. The argument is made at para 136 that the pending Faroe Islands discussions with the EU on joining EFTA are a precedent for the EU reaching agreement with an entity which is not a sovereign state, with a state as its sponsor. But the difference is of course that the Faroes is an autonomous dependency of an EU member state – Denmark – not of a non EU member state. As in the “Greenland option”, there is no precedent for a territory being in either the EU, EEA or EFTA while the metropolitan is out. Treaties are between states, and while there are plenty of examples of treaties which exclude dependencies of varying status, I cannot think of a single one in the economic sphere which includes the minor and excludes the metropolitan. I do not think it could be done.

At para 123 the Scottish Government acknowledges that its proposals will require other EU states to be “flexible and innovative”. That is an understatement. What the Scottish government seeks to achieve is incredibly difficult, I would say impossible.

To give just one example of the difficulties that would arise, look at the practical shipment of goods, from the Scottish government proposal:

Imports from the European Single Market
153. Goods entering the UK from the European Single Market would be subject to the import regulations appropriate to either jurisdiction (Scotland or the remainder of the UK). The appropriate regulations would be determined by the point at which the goods are to be sold.
154. If the point of sale is Scotland, then there will be no tariff payable due to our EEA membership. If the goods are to be sold in the remainder of the UK they will be subject to whatever regulations apply and tariff is payable under the remainder of the UK’s arrangements with the single market and/or EFTA states. To the extent that any import from the single market is not covered by Scotland’s EEA membership then the relevant regulations and tariff under Scottish and/or rUK law (depending on the devolution settlement in place) will apply.
155. When a consignment contains goods bound for sale in both Scotland and the remainder of the UK, if there is no difference in the treatment of that good (for example, if it is tariff-free) between Scotland and the remainder of the UK, then no additional process is required. Where there is a difference, on entering the UK the point of sale for the relevant proportion of the goods will need to be declared and the relevant tariff paid and regulations followed. If the point of sale is in the remainder of the UK, then the UK-wide regulations and any UK tariff would apply.
Exports to the European Single Market
156. Goods and services could also continue to be exported from Scotland and the UK under different conditions when accessing the European Single Market. Goods and services produced in Scotland, and complying with all relevant EU regulations, would be exported freely to the European Single Market, whilst those from elsewhere in the UK would be required to comply with the terms of the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU.

Agreeing this with the UK government is going to be difficult enough, when it gives firms an obvious incentive to relocate to Scotland. There are all sorts of workarounds which companies will try, such as partial assembling or packaging in Scotland. We might find those Nissans have their wheels and wing mirrors put on here. But then not only have the arrangements to be agreed with the UK, all the other EEA members have to agree to set up and run a system to differentiate between Scottish (still overwhelmingly through English ports) and English exports, and ensure themselves no corporate cheating is involved.


I warned from the start that this exercise was not in the realms of practical possibility. If Nicola’s aim was to prove that Scotland is viewed with contempt by Westminster, and has no choice except hard Brexit or Independence, then that has now been resoundingly achieved and we can move quickly on to another referendum in 2017.

But I do not like this approach. Rather than a joyous uphill march to the fantastic possibilities of unlocking the potential to construct a new state for this wonderful nation, it paints Independence as a dire necessity because nothing else works and everything is going to pieces. Independence as a little lifeboat in freezing mountainous seas as the UK Titanic plummets beneath the waves.

My criticism of the last official referendum campaign was that it was exceptionally cautious. The motto seemed to be “Vote for Independence and Nothing will Change!”. You will keep the Queen, keep the Pound, keep NATO, nothing will be any different. That is hardly a rallying cry. This time the motto seems to be “Vote for Independence and We May Be Slightly Less Doomed”.

Frankly I have had enough of this havering. Impossible proposals for Scotland to remain first in the EU, and then a fallback to the EEA, as the UK exits. A “national conversation” as a blatant ploy to keep the SNP troops quiet and believing they are doing something. It is time to re-invoke the energy that burst through from the people in the last referendum campaign and moved us up from 32% to 46% support. The demand for a more egalitarian society that rejects neo-liberalism at home and neo-conservatism abroad. For an open, outward looking country, harnessing its extraordinary resources of renewable energy and an amazingly talented and educated population. A chance to ditch the baggage of the UK’s past and build on our dreams.

Let’s get back to that. Some of us never stopped campaigning for Independence. It is time for the SNP to make the leap of faith and come back into the fray of a full on Independence campaign. Enough of the EU related sophistry. Let’s free this country.


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250 thoughts on “High Time for Scottish Independence!

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  • Calgacus

    Craig, I agree with everything you say, you are a great loss to the SNP.
    Please consider forming a Scottish Republican Party.

    • lysias

      I guess a federation with Ireland would have to be republican. (Although the romantic in me is most tempted by the idea of a Stuart restoration — the royal House of Liechtenstein being the current heirs of the Stuart claim to the British throne.)

  • Republicofscotland

    Reading the comments of press columnists, pro-indy, most feel that Thersa May will reject Nicola Sturgeon’s proposals. I doubt Theresa May will want to see Scotland, ergo Holyrood, (which Westminster and to their shame Holyrood’s unionist parties, claim is one of the most devolved parliaments in the world) as devolved as the mighty Faroe Isles.

    The FM according to press reports has given Theresa May a three months deadline, to respond to the proposals. Personally I think she’s (Sturgeon) wasting her time, but I suppose she must be seen to be doing everything in her power, to give Westminster the benefit of the doubt.

    In my opinion, I think indyref 2 seems the most likely coure of action.

  • Ben

    Bigger fish in a smaller pond could bring some benefits in the form of a more decentralized body of government with more local understanding and empathy. But do People know what they want?

    Is it better to oversimplify a thematic campaign with sound-byte slogans or break down the complexities so voters with primers on HOW it will work?

    Zig Ziglar famous salesman once said “People don’t care what you know until they know you care”.

    Trump didn’t explain nothin’ But People still think he cares.

  • Republicofscotland

    I must add, I very much doubt that immigration will be devolved to Holyrood, and reading (again) the plight of hard working individuals, who’ve decided to make Scotland their home, only to have the goal post shifted at the last minute, ( by the shameless Home Office, and in particular Robert Goodwill a misnomer) leads me to believe independence, is the only way forward.




    I agree. When first broached the idea of independence for Scotland did not resonate with me – not much to gain by it was my initial impression.

    But the contempt for the Scots evinced by the establishment during and since the referendum campaign makes it seem like the only dignified way forward. The fact that Westminster is so opposed to it makes it seem like Scotland would gain far more than it lost, and will lose a lot of useless baggage into the bargain.

    I hope you are right an 2017 sees another and this time fair indyref.

  • William wallace

    If this os the case. Then let clueless sturgeon aka the riddler call it anytime soon. The people said no in 2014 and were denied the right of that vote. Do you ghink we will miss this time when the snp will be finished when they are routed.. sore alba. Greece without the sun. 29 state federal indy run from brussels with 25% trade. Go ahead fools call a ref now..

      • Shatnersrug

        Hey Morag, don’t be like that – poor old Wallace works his butt off with the tourists outside the royal mile Tartan museum. He doesn’t have time for a spellcheck.

    • Peter

      Abs. right William Wallace. Who are the voters in Alba? Most have not even Scottish roots. How about the millions real Scots living oversea. Forget this whole mad cap idea of independence.

  • Komodo

    It is time to re-invoke the energy that burst through from the people in the last referendum campaign and moved us up from 32% to 46% support.

    How? What advantages will accrue to the 54%? That’s your target audience, not the already converted. Well, not all the already converted, some of whom arer having massive second thoughts and others of whom – the genuine democrats – accept the result of the referendum even though they regret it. I would suggest that the ‘how?’ would be best answered by demonstrating that Scotland is being better run than the rest of the UK , and that co-operation between the various factions of the independence lobby is constructive. The only people in that lobby with any actual power are SNP members. That’s who their constituencies voted for, not you.

    You’ve played the nationalist card. Unfortunately the ace in that suite is the probability that a majority of Scots regard themselves as UK citizens first and Scottish second. Without playing a trump based on xenophobia, that hand’s lost. In fact you have asked not to be dealt that trump.

    The way forward is to do what any successful insurgency does – with or without violence, and, to be clear, without violence is vastly preferable. It is to drill down into the communities and be seen actively to be making a positive difference in local, practical matters – mitigating the injustices deriving from the UK’s mechanistic economic policy and soulless leaders. 46% is not enough popularity, and you need to turn another 8% even to be in with a chance of independence. SNP may say feisty, patriotic, egalitarian, etc. But it doesn’t say socially beneficial and interactive. Time it did. Perhaps you can teach it how to.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Scots regard themselves as UK citizens first and Scottish second. ”



      I know you don’t live in Scotland, and haven’t done so for sometime now. So tell me what are you basing your above statement on?

      Incidently a poll, from What Scotland Thinks, last year, shows that more thsn 62% of Scots feel Scottish and not British.


      As for reaching the magical 51% or so of Scots to gain independence, there’s no big mystery, the secret lies in converting soft no voters to yes voters.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        That was then. This is a bit nearer now.


        I’ll stand by my assertion, based, certainly, on my three decades in Scotland, but uncoloured by the rather transitory flush of enthusiasm for independence which was, as much as the Brexit vote, a cry of ‘fuck this for a lark’.

        In any case, it’s a peripheral issue.
        Even if 100% of Scots had gone full metal braveheart and claimed not to be British….you still only got 46% of them, and the numbers are falling, not rising.

        Paradoxically, if you can bring yourself to entertain the possibility that pro-independence has passed its peak (your 46% most likely included most of what are now ‘soft noes’, who have reconsidered the matter since) and examine the reasons for this, you may be on a safer course than believing your own propaganda. Which my own time in the SNP forced me to realise is something the SNP repeatedly does, to its own detriment.

        The current sales pitch is that the UK is crap, and that an independent Scotland would be better. I think what the punters are waiting for is some evidence for the latter part of the message. ‘Let’s do it, and you’ll see’ is no different to ‘jam tomorrow’, and the electorate may not be quite stupid enough to buy that any more.

        I still wish you well, but I really wish your analytical skills were better.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Scots regard themselves as UK citizens first and Scottish second. ”



          The link that you provided, is not a reply to your assertion above, no analysis is required for that. Your link only states how some Scots would vote, in a independence referendum.

          Incidently I recall when the first indyref was proposed, that the percentage of those for independence was pretty low as well. In the end the Yes camp, was only 6% shy.

          No doubt though, the Little Englander attitude, and we’re British, and proud of our forthcoming splendid isolation, has grown on you.

          As for believing our own propaganda, its good to see you have a sense of humour, Westminster, along with their mouthpiece the BBC are the masters of propaganda.

      • Habbabkuk

        RoS, thank you for the information:


        I know you don’t live in Scotland, and haven’t done so for sometime now.”

        Would you now like to confirm that you are a Scot living in Scotland and tell us where you live in Scotland (the area would suffice) and how long you’ve lived there?

        Just to establish your credentials do to speak – gander/goose as it were.


    • morag

      It’ll be the job of every member of the yes groups to go out and talk to family, friends, workmates. Just as was done prior to the first Indyref with great results. Though this time will be different arguments!

      British first eh? Sorry, you are kidding, aren’t you?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        OK, different arguments. What are they? And have they been costed, and do they have any hope of being funded? Are they even 5% better than the last arguments? Let’s have some critical thinking here. Yes, you need to talk to your potential constituency, but you’ll only get that 46% again, if that. You need to be a positive and visible force for good in the community and make that part of the nationalist brand. Though I don’t advocate going as far as PIRA did and kneecapping your local drug dealers, the basic principle is there.

        • fred

          By arguments she means lies.

          Tell the politically aware on the internet about whisky export duty and they will know you’re bullshitting. If they find friends, family and workmates they know don’t take an interest they can tell them anything they want and they will believe it. Inflame the tribal instincts with Nationalist lies and they will vote Yes this time..

  • My Cocaine

    Rarely do I agree with Craig Murray, but on this, we are in complete agreement.

    There is too much beating around the bush from the SNP and the landscape will never be better.

    The Tories have their hands full with Brexit. Labour are a complete shambles, hopelessly divided. Once a key pillar of Unionism in Scotland, they are now utterly irrelevant in Scottish politics and have been swept from the board.

    The SNP have been gifted that rare occurrence in politics that only happens once a century – a chance to rectify a major loss, a chance to rectify the failure of 2014. For 70 years, the SNP have campaigned for Scottish independence, but presented with two golden chances, 2014, and now the present, they have developed stage fright.

    If not now, when?

    • William wallace

      Call it so the people can speak again. With the same voice. You know it.s a no.. pipe dreaming freedumbers with nothing that stacks up as per usual. Make scotland look very foolish don.t you think. ???? Dumb left 2014 . Dumber to follow…

  • Phil the ex-frog

    “demand for a more egalitarian society that rejects neo-liberalism at home and neo-conservatism abroad”

    You are a fantasist if you think there will ever be a consensus amongst European governments for changing the fabric of the EU.

  • MJ

    I think the idea was that the SNP would call another referendum if there was a substantial change of circumstances and if it thought that it would win (ie consistent polling of 60%+ in favour).

    Anyone who assumed that the two would go together will be disappointed. The Brexit result has certainly delivered the substantial change of circumstances but when it comes to popular support – oh dear. The appetite for independence is largely unchanged. You really need to have a quiet word with your own countryfolk.

  • Dave

    If as you say their proposals are “impossible” it just shows what a world of make believe the SNP live in, particularly as “independence in EU” isn’t independence, its “devolution in EU” as opposed to “devolution in UK” and why another non-independence referendum would be lost too.

    • Muscleguy

      The proportion and nature of powers reserved to London and Brussels are light years apart. We gain hugely in the powers department by ditching the London Union and keeping the Brussels one. Not to mention Scotland’s input to the EU goes up significantly. A seat at the council of ministers with voting rights. The right to nominate a Commissioner, more MEP’s as an independent state. All gains from now. And you can bet we will be much more engaged Europeans than the UK ever were.

      • bevin

        “..We gain hugely in the powers department by ditching the London Union and keeping the Brussels one. Not to mention Scotland’s input to the EU goes up significantly. A seat at the council of ministers with voting rights. The right to nominate a Commissioner, more MEP’s as an independent state. All gains from now. ..”
        Plus a share, with Ireland, in that valuable English language franchise-Scotland will be the boice of the world langauge in europee.
        And all these ‘gains’ are solely for the benefit of the political class, just as the ‘gains’ of 1707 were. The people will gain nothing save the proximity of powerful people- A Parcel of Rogues- pursuing the interests of foreigners.

        • michael norton

          and there you have nailed it.
          The benefits will go to the high ups in the SNP

          to the extreme detriment of the working class Scots.

          Fiddle, fiddle, fix, fix, graft, graft and GRASP all the money they can ring out of everyone they can.

          • michael norton

            MSPs will spend £1.75m replacing the lighting in Holyrood’s debating chamber, even though the chamber has not been built that long.
            Building estimate £40m
            final cost £414.4m

  • fred

    Yes Elsie’s wish list is totally unachievable and what is more she known damn well it is unachievable because her hand picked panel of experts told her it is unachievable but she just ignored them and went ahead with it anyway.

    If she is to cite the Faroe Islands as precedent she should really have informed people that they applied to join EFTA over 10 years ago and the application is still ongoing.


    Scotland is deteriorating under SNP miss management, health, education, policing, transport. Sturgeon’s own constituency is a rat infested hell hole. Time to cut out the Fantasy Island politics and concentrate on the things that matter.

    • Republicofscotland


      Labour the Tories and the Libdems, branch offices in Scotland are nothing more now than, than partie’s of protest, at the behest of their Westminster masters.

      They’re an embarrassment to Scotland, they’re traitors and Judases working for the benefit of a foreign government, Rennie, Dugdale and Davidson are a disgrace.

  • nickj

    *the* critical issue for a sovereign nation is that it has it’s own central bank, issues it’s own currency and contracts external debt in that currency under it’s own law. if you don’t believe me, look at Greece.

    you’re not going to get that from the EU.

  • M Day

    To hell with a referendum. I think England should simply ask the Scots to leave and good riddance. Don’t given them a choice…

    • Anon1

      The only way the Scotch are going to get their independence is if the question is put to the English. And a resounding “Fuck Off Scotland” is returned.

      Kind of ironic really .

      • Shatnersrug

        This is very tedious Anon1, the term as you well know is Scot. Why must you be insulting? I hate this silly divisiveness, I can’t help bring British – I’m am neither just English nor Scots. These are sad times to me.

    • K Crosby

      ~~~~~To hell with a referendum. I think England should simply ask the Scots to leave and good riddance. Don’t given them a choice….~~~~~

      They’ve got to take Liverpool with them.

    • michael norton

      Mad Alex Salmond called for Mr Trump to be banned from the United Kingdom
      ahead of his victory in the US presidential election

      Shall we ask Mad Alex, do you think if The Donald wants to visit his homeland next year you should still ban him,
      simple question, using small words.

  • Anon1

    Craig is a disaster for Scotch independence. If he had his way there would be a second indyref called now and the nationalists would lose again, sealing the matter dead for decades like that sarcophagus they put over Chernobyl on the telly last night.

    Craig must surely be working for the other side such is the brazen stupidity of his ‘suggestions’. For this reason, among many others, it is hardly surprising that the SNP wouldn’t have him anywhere near their party.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Craig is a disaster for Scotch independence. ”


      Says the racist bigot, with a Islamophobic complex. I understand Craig lets people like you rant their UKIP-esque drivel in here, so you don’t confront some innocent taxpaying Muslim couple in a carpark, somewhere in England, with your odious rantings and ravings.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    High Time for English Independence – and you Scottish can rebuild Hadrian’s Wall. Us English will even pay you in Groats to do it.

    Meanwhile I just read this by Filip Kovacevic. It is an exceptionally good and accurate analysis of geopolitical events from a French point of view. About 10-15 years ago I met an English guy who joined the French Foreign Legion – He had the bullet wounds to prove it. He opened his shirt at a party in our kitchen. He had the same first name as me. His girlfriend had the same first name as my wife (pretty girl, blonde, but a bit of a nutter – most of the blokes liked her – most of the women hated her – cos she flirted a lot).

    Such is Life



  • nick gethins

    Craig, you are a huge asset to the movement. Without a collectivist, egalitarian , thinking Scotland which you expose there is no point to our movement. Regardless of the flaws of the SNP, Scotland and the wider world need this movement. Craig Murray is worthy president of Scotland.

    • Anon1

      “Without a collectivist, egalitarian , thinking Scotland which you expose there is no point to our movement. ”

      Lol. You’re going nowhere with this twaddle.

    • fred

      At the last referendum the Nationalists made the rules, the Nationalists chose the time, the Nationalists chose who was eligible to vote including giving children the vote. The entire referendum was controlled by the Nationalist government.

      If there were another referendum it obviously would be the Unionists turn to choose the timing and who would be eligible to vote, the nationalists have had their turn.

      • Republicofscotland

        Except the media, Westminster, the Treasury, the MoD, the EU ambassadors who were constantly hounded by David Cameron to say Scotland wouldn’t be allowed in the EU.

        Not forgetting the barefaced lies told by BT, over pensions, mobile phone charges, atracks from outerspace, the prompting of Z- list celebrities to speak up for the union, the Orange Order, who gave anyone who favoured independence abuse or a going over.

        Yes apart from the above and many more things Ive forgotten the SNP had a say on somethings.

      • Rob Royston

        “The entire referendum was controlled by the Nationalist government.”
        Read what the report says. The extra postal votes were allegedly printed and the votes cast in London, then posted in Scotland. The real Postal Vote turnout was over 100%.

        • fred

          The report says the Nationalists are still in denial.

          The facts show that 28 out of 32 constituencies voted to remain part of the UK.

          • Rob Royston

            After the vote cheating, the Vow and after all the pensioners had been phoned and told they would lose their pensions.

          • fred

            The amazing thing is if you had posted something comparatively rational, such as that America started an earthquake off the coast of China, your post would have been deleted.

          • Republicofscotland

            So tell me Fred, what barefaced lies will the unionists and Gordon Brown, offer Scots this time to stay in the union ?

    • Macky

      Not at all surprising that Trump will continue the US policy of being a foe to the Palestinians and a staunch friend to the Israelis, this is the US after all; remember how Obama entered the Whitehouse, by stating that Israel had a right to defend itself during the actual mass murdering spree of Cast Lead.

      I don’t think “Trump enablers” had any allusions iro US/Israel, but were gambling that there will be less chance of WW3 under him than HRC.

      • Shatnersrug

        That’s right Macky, it’s part of “the Washington Consensus” and if you don’t believe and espouse it then you won’t work in Washington for very long – it’s a filter.

        I see the new Washington Consensus includes any criticism of the Israeli government as “anti-semitism” and I see as of the 12th of December Tazer-May accepted That rule for the government. I really find it deeply disturbing that governments would bend that far over for another state. I mean Autrailia are our allies, but we don’t call criticism of their government racism do we? Mind you we don’t let anyone with a dual British austrailian passport into the upper echelons of government like we do with Israelis.

  • lysias

    I’ll try that again.

    According to Tagesspiegel, suspected Berlin truck driver Anis Amri shows up on security video from a mosque in the Berlin neighborhood of Moabit hours after his atrocity. So he didn’t leave Berlin immediately. Very likely he is still there.

  • RobG

    I’ve no idea about what’s occurred on this board, but I seem to be allowed to comment again: ain’t that nice.

    For the record, I won’t be commenting again, unless we are rapidly swirling down the plug hole of a 1984 dystopian hell.


    Also note that I’m shortly going to be doing a piece on the disappearance of Assange and the CIA take-over of Wikileaks; so you might as well ban me again before anyone can read this message.

    And of course, let’s not mention Pizzagate, because the rape and murder of children is not high on the list of priorities.

    If there is a God in heaven, you people are all going to be hanged.

    And yes, we are coming for you.

    • michael norton

      Rob G

      apparently the suspect of the Berlin massacre has been on his holidays in Savoie?

  • Loony

    Substantially the only independent countries in the world are Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Syria. Scotland can’t really be Russia or China because it lacks the necessary natural resources and industrial base.

    That leaves North Korea, Iran. Cuba and Syria – which one of those is the preferred model for an independent Scotland? Maybe the Scottish population might be interested in some guidance.

    Or could it be that no-one, least of all Scottish Nationalists, have any interest at all in Scottish independence and you just want to spit at English whilst bending the knee to the hegemonic power.

    • mauisurfer

      Perhaps a better model to consider would be New Zealand. Seems to get along OK with the same size population as Scotland. And manages to do so without nuclear weapons! And not even a member of EU!

      • fred

        “New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy,[59] although its constitution is not codified.[60] Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand and the head of state.[61] The Queen is represented by the Governor-General, whom she appoints on the advice of the Prime Minister.[62][63] The Governor-General can exercise the Crown’s prerogative powers, such as reviewing cases of injustice and making appointments of ministers, ambassadors and other key public officials,[64] and in rare situations, the reserve powers (e.g. the power to dissolve Parliament or refuse the Royal Assent of a bill into law).[65] The powers of the Queen and the Governor-General are limited by constitutional constraints and they cannot normally be exercised without the advice of ministers.”


      • Loony

        True – but NZ is a member of the nefarious “Five Eyes” group – one of the ways in which the US exerts hegemonic control.

        • mauisurfer

          true NZ is part of 5 eyes
          but NZ decided to do that, whereas Scots never decided to be home for trident nuclear missiles
          NZ could decide tomorrow to be done with 5 eyes,
          can Scotland decide to be rid of nukes?

      • Loony

        You should make more of an effort to keep up with current events.

        There is a war raging in Syria – it is rarely out of the news. Combatants include proxy forces of Saudi, Qatar and the US/UK. The aim is to overthrow the Assad regime. The hegemonic power intends that Syria suffer the same fate as Libya and Iraq.

        Syrians are paying a blood price in defense of their independence. The US well understands that Syria could not resist the “shock and awe” power of the assault being waged against it – but they also understand that the Russians can and will resist. Syria is exactly what independence looks like.

        The example of Syria perfectly illustrates why Scottish independence is such a joke – aint no one in Scotland willing to pay such a price, Furthermore no-one intends that Scotland be independent. Sure the English are a bit dodgy but as far as Scotland is concerned they do not really compete with the nefarious means and intent of the EU and the US. Anyone interested in independence would be looking to free Scotland from the domination of these 2 entities. That they are doing the opposite tells you all you need to know about Scottish independence.

  • David

    Craig, you and I are ready now to go to the polling station and mark our X against YES. I think what we are unfortunately witnessing are different approaches to getting enough of the waverers and the doubters and the fearful to cross the line. I want to remain European and in the EU but my priority is independence for Scotland, where the people of Scotland make these decisions. My yes vote already accepts that a new, independent, Scotland has the right to decide on Scotland’s status in Europe. I just hope the independence supporting Brexit voters are smart enough to come to the same sensible conclusion.

  • Resident Dissident

    There is a precedent, Canada was granted the power to enter into treaties in 1867 but it did not obtain full sovereignty until 1982.


    That said all this really just points to the need for a second referendum on the UK’s relationship with the EU. Apart from mouthing “inanities” such as “Brexit means Brexit” and a “Red, White and Blue Brexit” no one, and especially the Brexiteers, have set out to the electorate what Brexit will entail – including what happens to Scotland and Northern Ireland. When they eventually get around to working around what is actually being offered then and only then can the electorate make a sensible decision.

  • Sam

    Craig, I love your optimism and enthusiasm for what a truly independent Scotland can achieve. I fear that Brexit has hijacked the debate. By making remaining in the EU/EEA the raison d’etre for independence, the SNP are being incredibly short sighted, and will back themselves into a corner into which they won’t escape.

    Brexit will not be played out against a static backdrop. The EU, and the eurozone in particular, could easily go into crisis which could tear the whole project apart. Another Eurozone crisis, a major rift between Germany and the southern European states, the rise of right-wing and anti EU parties in many countries will change the dynamic. There is a very real chance of a major war between the world’s superpowers. In that climate, many countries may choose protectionism, and the domestic support of their industries. The EEA may look considerably different.

    Voting for independence, to modify your analogy, as a way to jump from one sinking ship to another, is a lost cause. The SNP will inevitably back away from independence in the face of global economic uncertainty. If they then try to suppress support for independence, there is a chance that campaign for independence becomes nationalistic in character.

    There is an urgent need to look at a truly radical picture of economic independence, and investigate which policies can be pursued with or without membership of the EEA, and with or without formal independence from the UK. The most important of these is the issuance of currency. If the Scottish government could issue a parallel, debt free, currency, to stimulate investment in infrastructure, then it could begin to build real independence right now.

    I’m no expert, but there have been many local currency experiments which have had minor success, which suggests there is no legal impediment to this. All that would be needed is to maintain confidence in the currency, meaning it could only be issued within strict limits, starting from a very modest and experimental base.

    It’s these kind of initiatives which will dictate whether Scotland can become independent from the broken machine of neoliberalism. A vote for independence without the a sufficiently radical economic framework, is not a vote for independence at all.

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