Game changer on indyref 2 if First Minister gets green light for an independent Scotland in EU

Regardless of its convenience in assisting the SNP’s separatist  ambitions, if Scotland’s First Minister can get a verifiable green light for Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU, that has to be a game changer for attitudes to voting for Scottish independence.

With England and Wales definitely outside the EU, Scotland’s position would be hugely advantaged in economic terms.

Professor Michael Dougan, Dean of the Law Faculty at Liverpool University, is a long term expert researcher in EU Law and specific matters relevant to membership of that union. He made clear in his lecture to university staff on the Brexit campaign, Project Leave: dishonesty on an industrial scale – that the UK actually has had little means of earning from the common market other than effectively selling access to that market to non-European based businesses who set up in Britain for that purpose alone.

The UK, outside the EU, may no longer have that access to sell – and Scotland has the opportunity to take over the role.

The impact on inward investment, inward migration, jobs and – of necessity, infrastructure and services, could be a powerful positive for the Scottish economy, particularly with the North Sea not again earning for the exchequer as it has done in the past.

This is only one of the major economic benefits to be gained, amongst advantages of many other kinds, for example:

  • being beneficiary of a proportion of the financial services sector departure from a City of London outside the EU. This would be of substantial benefit to the Scottish economy and to the wider influence of Scotland. It would never be of the scale of full replacement of the City of London operations that the helplessly inflationary Alex Salmond is now touting [Frankfurt and Paris have a superior case and superior clout from their current positions]; but what could usefully be brought north in this sector would be very worth having;
  • continued access to the significant EU funding for collaborative academic research on scientific and environmental  topics – from which Argyll’s Scottish Association for Marine Science [SAMS} is a substantial beneficiary;
  • relative freedom of movement to work and live across the EU for residents of Scotland;
  • the retention of all of the valuable heritage of EU legislation around employment and worker’s right;
  • access to European universities for our young folk;
  • the continued force of the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • European passports – and it may seem trivial, but for all of us the thought of joining the Non-EU queues at passport control on entry points to any EU member state is a daunting nuisance.

In the event of Nicola Sturgeon getting credible, open and verifiable assurances of continuing or fast tracked EU membership for an independent Scotland, we would recommend a Yes vote in any indyref 2.

On the UDI dilemma of an indyref 2

The UK Government is saying that it will not consent to a second independence referendum for Scotland in this generation.

With the power to enable referenda reserved to Westminster as indeed, constitutionally, in a union, it must be – would the issues then become:

  • whether the Scottish Parliament might unilaterally go ahead and hold such a referendum without the enabling legal consent of the UK Government?;
  • whether such a DIY referendum could be considered legal in the given circumstances?;
  • and – a big one – whether a potentially positive conclusion to such a referendum would then have the legal status of a unilateral declaration of independence [UDI]?

In this last instance, if the answer is ‘Yes’ – the economic argument would have to stack up the loss to Scotland of all or many of the ‘share out’ rights that would accrue from a Yes vote achieved in a referendum consented by the UK Government – against the benefits of EU membership, with the attendant risks of that membership, given the less than politically secure position of the EU – and of the less than financially secure position of its currency, the Euro and the Eurozone.

This scenario needs serious work from genuinely independent economists [of which Professor Anton Muscatelli is not one and, for the time being anyway, of which the academic researchers at the Institute of Fiscal Studies remain the gold standard] and constitutional lawyers.

There is no doubt whatsoever that any Scottish membership would have the adoption of the euro as a condition of membership; nor that, for a Scotland outside the umbrella of the UK, using the euro would be its second best sheltered option to using the pound.

Additional possibilities

The First Minister – as she is exploring – might make compact with Gibraltar and/or with Northern Ireland, as a means of presenting to the EU the potential membership of a larger remnant of the former UK.

While this may seem an attractive ploy in many ways, it has inherent pitfalls, among which would be:

  • ensuring the deployment of the Spain veto [and it only takes one] of any proposed Scottish membership of the EU. Spain’s deep concern about the encouragement to the Basque separatists that would ensue from a continuing or fast tracked membership for a newly independent Scotland would  be aggravated by the continuing impossibility of taking the territory of Gibraltar. Ms Sturgeon might well try to play a cynical political game with Gibraltar as pawn – offering the Rock Scotland’s support in its current parlous predicament, while trading abandonment of such support with Spain in exchange for an assurance that it would not veto any Scottish application.
  • becoming embroiled in ‘the Irish question’ – the reunification issue – of which anyone with any sense would steer well clear.

To us, this picture looks as if the best option for Scotland wold be a solo approach to the EU on the basis of its preparedness to accept an independent Scotland that has been part of a previous membership and has made its wish to remains so an electoral formality.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • How can she get a green light? She has no authority to negotiate on behalf of the UK (which Scotland it).

    The motion today I believe is incompetent – parliament approved the Scottish Government to do something it has not power to do – that power is reserved to Westminster.

    Nicola Sturgeon can speak to whoever she wishes, have all sorts of left wing Europhiles whisper sweet nothings into her ears – but it’s all hearsay. Nothing will be committed to paper and nothing she hears that she likes will have any constitutional or legal standing.

    I would also add that the EU will not offer any formal view on this – and the reason I know that is because the SNP made this clear during indyref as a stick to beat Westminster with – any request would have to come from the member state – the UK.

    This is nothing more than window dressing, however I’m sure many will disagree with me. All I would say is this – watch the wording. All Nicola Sturgeon’s allies will say that they ‘will welcome an application from an independent Scotland’ – an application from an independent Scotland.
    Her campaign for indy2 is dead before it started – people will see soon enough.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 7

    JB June 28, 2016 9:59 pm Reply
    • I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot in the weeks and months ahead of what political scientists in the field of international relations call “paradiplomacy”.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

      jake June 29, 2016 9:58 am Reply
    • I reckon your thoughts are pre 2014.
      Things have moved on
      I recommend it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

      A.Salmon June 29, 2016 6:23 pm Reply
  • Well, it may seem that she’s pushing the envelope a bit, but she is better being prepared.
    Brexit has caused a massive upheaval that could spread out in all directions.
    The English people have blown the Establishment’s Project Europe into smithereens. Either that or it’s all part of a huge coup that is still in progress. Is it a coincidence that the Blairites are making their move against Corbyn with the Chilcot Report due next week?
    We should be with the English people in their struggle to win our united countries back from these thieves. Many in Europe are ready to fight the same battle and we should be with them all until we have the Europe that we all need, a lot of it exists already, we just need to wrest control back to the ballot boxes. Life is too important to be decided by the moneylenders.
    Coincidentally, yesterday I saw a ship going down the Minch that was sailing from Archangel to Turkey. I don’t know what she was carrying but today I read that Turkey has apologised to Russia for shooting down their aircraft and they have entered into trade partnership again. There are even some who are suggesting that the shooting down was staged to give Russia an excuse to get their SS-400’s into Syria.
    There’s a lot of changes happening in the World and Europeans need to begin looking after themselves again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    Murdoch MacKenzie June 28, 2016 11:20 pm Reply
    • ‘…the Establishment’s Project Europe…’ – you don’t half talk some mindless guff sometimes, MM.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

      Robert Wakeham June 29, 2016 11:50 am Reply

        Then there was Maastricht and Lisbon, all very democratic of course. Don’t mention the rape of Greece, all very legal of course.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

        Murdoch MacKenzie June 29, 2016 7:02 pm Reply
        • Sorry, comrade MM, I’m not inclined to follow the ‘RT’ angle of what goes on – anywhere.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

          Robert Wakeham June 29, 2016 8:12 pm Reply
      • It always has been the establishments project Europe Murdoch is right what is the surprise in that .Thirty eight percent of the Scottish people voted to leave by any stretch of the imagination a substantial minority including SNP members like Jim Sillars .In the last week Nicola Sturgeon,Kezia Dugdale,Ruth Davidson William Rennie and Patrick Harvie all part of the political establishment in Scotland have had nothing to say to the thirty eight percent of us many who are their voters who voted to leave the European Union .

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

        Alastair MacGregor July 1, 2016 11:24 pm Reply
    • And another thing, MM – ‘these thieves’ – you need to wake up, the chief ‘thief’ is Boris Johnson.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

      Robert Wakeham June 29, 2016 2:04 pm Reply
      • Boris is just another “useful idiot”. I read a tweet on the night of the referendum from a guy who met him on the tube and he said Boris had told him that they had lost. He was in deep shock the next morning when Cameron left him holding the baby.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

        Murdoch MacKenzie June 29, 2016 6:49 pm Reply
        • The ‘useful idiot’ carefully cultivates this image – and if he really did think that the vote would be ‘stay’, it would support the theory currently doing the rounds that his intention was to be seen as the plucky little defender of our sovereignty, defeated by the dark pro-EU forces and thus deserving of a tide of sympathy – and the job of running the country should Cameron sink.
          This theory might be supported by the deafening post-result silence of his fellow-travellers Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

          Robert Wakeham June 29, 2016 8:33 pm Reply
    • Life is indeed too important to be left to the moneylenders … problem is that that the moneylenders now have a lot of seats in all the institutions which govern us from local level upwards. Leave isn’t going to be an escape from them, either, as a close look at its leadership will confirm.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Arthur Blue July 1, 2016 10:10 pm Reply
  • UDI works provided that sufficient states recognise the country as a state. UK constitutional arrangements are of little consequence if other countries recognise Scotland as a state.

    If the EU agree to welcome Scotland as a member then the UK would be in an impossible position to try and block Scottish independence. The RUK’s international reputation would be far worse that it suffered after Suez

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

    Graeme McCormick June 28, 2016 11:43 pm Reply
    • It’s possible. The EU is taking a hard line over England’s Brexit – “get on with it then” – but might be prepared to be more flexible in Scotland’s case. Ms Sturgeon may receive little more than sympathy at Brussels, at least until the fog clears, but she does have one or two bargaining chips, and isn’t constantly trumpeting her distrust of the EU.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      Arthur Blue July 1, 2016 10:04 pm Reply
  • It would also boost the fortunes of ports on the west and east side of the country if a ‘Northern Arc’ within the EU is retained between Northern Ireland and continental Europe. International commercial traffic would avoid two sets of customs checks and cost-absorbing time waiting at borders to exit EU, then re-enter.
    We forget the documentation and delay that getting into and out of the UK used to involve and that free access to the European Market / free movement of people has effectively removed. Today there is far more traffic moment between the regions so it would be far worse than before. Cairnryan to Rosyth could become a very attractive land-bridge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    Jerry McIver June 29, 2016 7:32 am Reply
    • Interesting perspective.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      newsroom June 29, 2016 11:04 am Reply
    • Could it revive the Scapa based Container transhipment super port? Not forgetting Prestwick being developed as a freight Hub.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Murdoch MacKenzie July 1, 2016 10:38 pm Reply
      • Who knows, Murdoch … who knows. Depends a lot on how the projects are taken forward, by whom, and who is listening. But both ideas have possibilities of development.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Arthur Blue July 2, 2016 10:57 am Reply
  • The argument that the SNP have been articulating is that Brexit represents a significant material change to the circumstances that pertained at the Indy referendum and this is justification for Indy2 if the further condition of public support can be demonstrated.
    Were Scottish independence therefore to be on the cards, the case could be made that THIS represents a significant material change to the circumstances that pertained during the UK referendum on EU membership, thus paving the way and providing justification for a further EU membership referendum. Were a well timed general election to called one of the parties, ( or perhaps a new left/right coalition party) could make this case central to their platform, make it explicit in their manifesto and should they win on that basis claim the mandate of the people to hold an EURef2.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

    jake June 29, 2016 9:49 am Reply
  • JP Morgan fully expect Scotland to be Independent with own currency,before RUK leaves EU. Latest.
    Many financial Institutions eyeing Edinburgh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

    A.Salmon June 29, 2016 4:53 pm Reply
    • AS, you don’t seem to understand that this is a company advising their clients and that advice could trigger funds and investment t fleeing Scotland.
      Companies and investors look for stability and growth potential, Sturgeon isn’t sending out that message.
      The SNP have over the last four years played political games a d seem to have forgotten that they are here to govern,they maybe crowing on the top of the dung heap but our MP’S seem to have forgotten about those who didn’t vote and why.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

      Richard June 29, 2016 8:43 pm Reply
      • The Union is Dead,deceased,expired,popped its clogs.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

        A.Salmon June 29, 2016 8:53 pm Reply
  • Reports from Brussels seem quite certain about France and Spain blocking any thought of discussions with Scotland before the UK leaves the UK. It has always been fairly obvious that Spain would oppose it because of its own regions.

    The EU also has more important problems in negotiating conditions for access to the UK market after the UK leaves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

    Lundavra June 29, 2016 6:32 pm Reply
    • I’m actually glad about that. I was never in favour of a Federal UK.
      Now,I’m sorry to spoil your day,but that means Independence,for which I have advocated since I was old enough to hold a Saltire.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

      A.Salmon June 29, 2016 8:31 pm Reply
      • Then you must be hoping Nicola Sturgeon pulls the trigger on indyref2 – why wait? You’ll never know the full position on EU membership until we are independent, so why waste time?

        Call an independence referendum now. Burn the previous White Paper and do not write another one. Be clear – Scotland will leave the UK and also be out side the EU. An application will be made to the EU and judged by the EU on its merit, with absolutely clarity that the position on currency, borders, sovereignty and defence will be decided by the EU and not Scotland.

        As long as they are honest with the facts, which everyone wants, then why not?

        Let’s compound uncertainty with more uncertainty. Let’s be an outward looking nation that turns it’s back on it’s closest neighbour and ally and looks to a political construct that serves only itself. Let’s turn our back on a country with which we have the strongest cultural, economic and social ties with for countries which, whilst we have a lot in common and good relations, we don’t share borders, currency or even language.

        It’s pretty clear that indyref2 is not going to be on the cards – Nicola Sturgeon is not that daft (yes, even I am saying that), and I am getting a strong sense that many of the previous Yes voters are fairly luke warm, if not against, the idea of an early referendum.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

        JB June 29, 2016 9:42 pm Reply
        • Surely, Spain’s paranoia about Catalan devolution leading to independence – and outrage at the status of Gibraltar – ensures that they’ll veto accceptance of an independent Scotland into the EU fold until the end of the time.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

          Robert Wakeham June 29, 2016 10:15 pm Reply
          • Frankly, I don’t think any country would actually veto an application for Scotland – provided Scotland was independent from Westminster. We just could not expect any ‘special treatment’ – not just because of Spain, but simply that it’s that type of deal that causes so much friction within the EU already.

            So with the Euro etc, would a Scotland that has jsut voted to leave the UK (that was devolving powers) really want to sign up to the EU to immediately hand those powers back – and more? I just can’t see it Robert.

            Currently the SNP MPs in Westminster wield an inordinate amount of power and have the ability to influence decisions and direction of parliament, able to thwart the Tories in much of their ambition. That’s a fact the SNP will rarely admit but it is true.

            Aside from the relative impotence of MEPs, would 6 MEPs out of 751 be capable of protecting Scotland’s interests?

            We are much better in the UK, and with a strong representation at Westminster – the likes of which we’ve never had before.

            Absolutely ironically – we’ve never been better represented or more listened to at Westminster since the SNP got their landslide. Yet another campaign point for an indy ref – we’ve never been better represented but would give it al up to be under represented in the EU.

            I’ve got to say – I’ve never felt as confident that a second indy referendum could be more winnable by the Remain side. I know that sounds bonkers in the current climate, but hopefully I’ve explained well enough to make people realise.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

            JB June 29, 2016 10:47 pm
  • Bad day for the SNP. France and Spain don’t want Scotland in the EU and the SNP have been refused recognition as the official opposition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    Malcolm Kirk June 29, 2016 6:53 pm Reply
    • If Carlberg did Bad Days,England would probably ……………..!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

      A.Salmon June 29, 2016 7:24 pm Reply
    • Surprised at the attitude of France (I thought the ‘Auld Alliance’ to be a two-way perception) – maybe some of their overseas Departments are less than appreciative of being part of France.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      Robert Wakeham June 29, 2016 10:22 pm Reply
      • France have their own worries – Brittany has long wanted independence but there are also parts of Catalonia and the ‘Basque country’ in France. Several other areas of metropolitan France that could be a problem.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

        Lundavra June 29, 2016 10:29 pm Reply
    • Oh more lies.

      EU will do a deal.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      No Cheese Here July 4, 2016 10:18 pm Reply
  • I have been rather bemused and amused at Sturgeon’s headless chicken impression these past few days – while she and the SNP have been demonstrating their clear lack of understanding of the rules and membership of the EU and the definition of democracy, the Conservatives in Westminster have been getting on with the job in hand and calmly carrying on with business as usual. I do so love the stiff upper lip of the British.

    Sturgeon’s panic in recent days has confirmed one thing and one thing only to the watching world, an independent Scotland can not exsist or survive without being financially propped up by one union or another! But worse still – Sturgeon and the SNP are prepared to sell Scotland and the notion of decency and democracy down the pan in orderto get her own way. The EU know this and the last thing they are interested in is yet another small country requiring financial support and hanging on to the coat tails of the EU gravy train!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

    Sian Laidlaw June 29, 2016 9:41 pm Reply
    • The media spin on this is interesting – whilst they are asking where the government is and thinking Sturgeon is the one with a plan, the opposite is most likely true.

      A host of UK civil servants will be working every hour they can to get this thing underway. I believe Cameron is deliberately taking his time to let the markets settle, to let all the initial hot air, grievance and spin calm down before starting to make announcements, a little at a time. EU leaders will have time to listen to their parliaments and industry leaders and agree what they need to protect during Brexit before everyone gets together in autumn to kick the process off in earnest.

      The government will only have the bare bones of a plan given that no-one expected this, but as the market shock was always going to be a given – having a ready made plan on the day of the result would have made not a jot of a difference. The only way is up – with a few bumps along the road.

      As I write, we hear of the Kiwis making an offer of their negotiators to boost our resource. The Germans will be keen to ensure a minimal impact on trade (we are Mercedes second biggest consumer of passenger cars after Germany with growth figures double that of Germany). The Nordic countries will be happy that Britain wants to discuss freedom of movement of people, since they seek the same but as not as belligerent.

      If anything, the only group not at the party to this change are the EU themselves – most of them appear to think ‘more Europe’ is the solution, and blissfully unaware that closer union is the very thing that will destroy the EU. They will get there eventually – I hope. If not, then Britain was just ahead of the game – but didn’t quite know it at the time.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

      JB June 29, 2016 9:59 pm Reply
      • Well reasoned, but I just hope that Boris isn’t involved in the game – or Andrea, or Michael, or Jacob, or Bernard.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        Robert Wakeham June 29, 2016 10:08 pm Reply
    • Another cap doffing post!
      Pathetic,gutless and downright obnoxious!
      Meanwhile down south,no government,no leadership,no hope!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

      A.Salmon June 29, 2016 10:34 pm Reply
  • The elephant in the room – it’s still there. Which currency? Who will be Guarantor of last resort for government / bank debt? If Scotland is so fed up with what England is up to (understandable reaction – the chaos in Westminster is beyond parody) then surely Scotland cannot rely on B of E as Central Bank, because the priorities set for England will be at odds with what Scotland wants… Setting up a new / independent Central Bank is no simple task – there is years of work there….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

    IslandDweller June 30, 2016 7:43 am Reply
    • There you go then. Jobs for all the computer whizz kids from Dundee.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      Murdoch MacKenzie June 30, 2016 9:57 am Reply
    • RIGHT in ONE !!!

      Brexit’s implications /outcomes per se do not make a whit of difference to the Indy/EU reality for Scotland, with or without Westminster ‘approval’.

      (1) Scotland has to address/resolve/put in place all the currency- banking institution,as above, BEFORE Scotland can make a credible application to join the EU

      (2) Prior to any application to join the EU Scottish Govt would have to implement a draconian budget deficit reduction progamme to meet EU entry criteria, which would make current so called austerity appear luxuriantly decadent.

      (3) Immigration . If there is NO agreement on immigration between the EU and UK in any subsequent agreement between the UK and EU then tangible border controls between any Indy Scotland and rUK will be the inevitable consequence

      (4)Nicola S with her negative comments re a Norway /EU arrangement has already indicated her awareness of its implications and consequences. Amusingly the LEAVE campaign, which conveniently forgot to voters that the Norway/EU deal conceded to the free movement of labour, now appears to have dropped it as an option! Norway has significant immigration tensions.

      FUK(Federal UK) is a logical option to be addressed . FUK would does not come with currency /banking issues of Independence .

      Lots to play for. Its gonna take many years to resolve. Any possible IndyRef(2) is no closer than it was before the EU referendum.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

      Scotnat June 30, 2016 10:18 am Reply
      • Do you want a Straw to grasp?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

        A.Salmon June 30, 2016 8:18 pm Reply
  • Slightly amusing when people suggest comments made by the EU on Brexit should be interpreted as being fluid, yet comments made by the EU on Scotland are definitive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    John M June 30, 2016 10:44 am Reply
    • There are pretty clear rules and criteria on EU membership that are widely available for you to peruse. There are virtually none on leaving…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

      JB June 30, 2016 11:39 am Reply
      • “Scotland is not leaving” quote Angus Robertson.
        Neither am I!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

        A.Salmon June 30, 2016 8:17 pm Reply
  • I had an email back from one of my MSPs today which more of less confirms that Nicola Sturgeon is simply grandstanding – he doesn’t say that in so many words but the information provided confirms..

    Her meeting with Juncker was nothing more than a nice chit chat – it could have been done at far less expense to the tax payer via conference call.

    It’s interesting that her meeting was with Juncker – he is half way out the door only saved by the German government if the German press are to be believed. It’s no co-incidence that Donald Tusk would have nothing to do with Sturgeon. Not only is it inappropriate, but he’s got far bigger issues (aside from avoiding trial in his own country)

    With TTIP about to collapse, other EU countries having serious doubts about the whole project, Turkey an ever increasing issue, I get the real sense that Britain has no idea just what a clever move it has made. I’m well aware that saying such a thing at this moment sounds mad, but if you strip away all the spin, useless information, petty politicking and look at this from a UK/EU/US/Middle East perspective, you start to realise that not only are people sick of it all, but grand plans from grand leaders are simply too grand and unworkable. A United States of Europe is a step too far – but that step has been taken.

    Indy2 could never look a more remote possibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    JB June 30, 2016 7:20 pm Reply
    • Jamie, put on BBC2 and you may discover why yes, your comment does sound mad.

      Sometimes the common good is more important than any ideological notion of economic gain.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

      John M June 30, 2016 7:46 pm Reply
      • I don’t have a television John – can you give me the precis?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

        JB June 30, 2016 7:51 pm Reply
        • It’s televising a memorial service for the centenary of the battle of the Somme

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

          John M June 30, 2016 7:53 pm Reply
          • I’ve been John – Thiepval, Bapaume, Arras, Courcelette, Amien, La Boiselle, Lochnagar… My great grandfather fought in the Somme and lived to tell the tale and what a tale that was.

            I know what you are getting at but the issues across Europe are far bigger than Britain.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

            JB June 30, 2016 8:09 pm
          • Totally. And that’s exactly why we shouldn’t of turned our backs and walked away.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

            John M June 30, 2016 8:16 pm
    • You seem to be in the Westminster Know!
      I’d phone Carney now and tell him to relax and have a couple of pints if,what you say,is true.
      In the meantime,the rest of us who are not of a ” Happy Disposition” can discuss what the best way forward for Scotland is,as our nearest and dearest seem to have lost the will to think rationally !!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

      A.Salmon June 30, 2016 8:14 pm Reply
  • ‘aside from avoiding trial in his own country’ – just Tusk, or Juncker as well?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Robert Wakeham June 30, 2016 7:43 pm Reply

      Anything you want to share on Juncker?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      JB June 30, 2016 7:48 pm Reply
      • Just that – as both a former Minister of Finance and a former Prime Minister of Luxembourg – this gentleman cannot fail to be up to his neck in the protection of the very opaque financial activities in Luxembourg that enables companies to use it as a giant money laundering machine to avoid paying taxes in places like the UK.
        For further details contact Andrea Leadsom, one of the contenders for leadership of the Conservative Party and expert in that branch of the financial services industry.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

        Robert Wakeham July 1, 2016 12:26 am Reply
  • We – “we” can be debated – have got ourselves into a situation of – let’s say – extreme volatility. I can’t even say ” I told you so ” because although I did believe that the Brexit coalition would eventually break I never even dreamt that everything would implode quite so spectacularly. We are actually quite lucky here in Scotland in that we have a First Minister who has kept calm and held her options open. Ruth Davidson has also had the sense – so far – to keep out of the English Tory bloodletting.
    Brussels has duly noted Nicola Sturgeon’s declaration of intent but quite obviously cannot give any guarantees until the UK situation becomes clearer, which will not be until we have have had a general election, raising the further question of whether the current government are capable of organising an election, or the Labour opposition of fighting it.
    But a Scotland within the EU – hopefully and necessarily a better EU – is possible, though to avoid a hard border there would have to be compromises on currency, migration issues, and the like, which all came up in the independence debate. The big difference now is that staying with the RUK cannot really be presented as the safe option.
    Perhaps Leave’s choice of the Dam Busters March was appropriate, though they may have bust their own dam while standing below it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

    Arthur Blue July 1, 2016 10:29 am Reply
  • It is one week after Brexit result , and still no commitment from NS to holding Indyref(2). She is now having to live her worst nitemare. What is the point in her waiting to see what deal UK negotiates with the EU. That implies such a deal may be acceptable to Scotland, in which case why would Scotland still vote to join the EU in any Indy ref(2)?

    Of greater relevance is, notwithstanding the mood music she attempted to orchestrate in Brusseles this week, her own Scottish Govt Comm confirmed:-

    (1)she cant expect EU to negotiate with Scotland until Scotland is Independent.

    (2) she cant expect the opt-outs UK currently has

    (3)she will have to solve the currency issue or accept the Euro, as a sterling union with rUk will not be acceptable a/o work.

    But her biggest headache is now the immigration issue , or in EU speak the free movement of labour.

    Unless any UK deal with the EU on restrictions to the free movement of labour(if there ever is one) is an agreed opt-out, for an Independent Scotland’s successful application to join the EU, then NS will be trying to sell a dodgy dossier for Independence, which may imply border controls at the Scottish Border, with Gretna Green, as a consequence,becoming the new Calais Jungle .

    This, and the currency problem, will ensure Indy ref(2) will be a long time coming,if ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    Scotnat July 1, 2016 11:14 am Reply
    • One week after the referendum and people are still trying to come to terms with the outcome, hardly surprising Sturgeon hasn’t called indyref2.

      I’m certainly no lover of the SNP and voted No in ’14, however we are in a completely different situation now, so don’t quite understand all the indignation from commentators on Sturgeon’s actions. Their manifesto clearly stated any material change could trigger a 2nd indyref. We have a significant material change.

      (1) no, but she can hold informal talks
      (2) certainly not all of them, as JB previously suggested possibly would be able to keep opt out from schengen
      (3) put it out there, accept the Euro.

      Why would Scotland want to have restrictions on freedom of movement. We need more inward migration not less.

      As you say, the deal breaker will be the need for a hard border between Scotland and England, which in part will only be answered when we have a better idea of any agreements made by leave and EU.

      Whichever way we go life in Scotland is going to be pretty crap for the next decade or so. Will Scotland be in a better position in ten years time as part of the UK in isolation or as an independent country which is part of the EU. Neither are attractive options, which one would give the best outcome for Scotland though?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

      John M July 1, 2016 1:00 pm Reply
    • Pretendy Scotnat. Brexit britnat. Nitemare? Are you a yank having a nightmare?
      Brussels. Not Brusselles. Is your spellcheck not working?

      Always an immigration issue for the britnats. Will there be a hard border into uk via ROI? Celtic solution. RoI, NI and Scotland want to remain in the Eu. The britnats can go the road of Mone. Bye.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

      No Cheese Here July 2, 2016 2:11 am Reply
  • Are you not forgetting something?

    What happened to the 9% deficit or has the EU given up the rule about a limit of 3% of GDP?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    JimB July 1, 2016 10:27 pm Reply
  • This seems to be a blue on blue,with a hint of unionist red on here.
    I’ll leave you guys to it.
    In the meantime,don’t mind me. I’m preparing for Scottish Independence!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    A.Salmon July 1, 2016 10:27 pm Reply
    • I’ll leave you guys to it. I’ll hold you to that.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      JB July 2, 2016 12:17 am Reply
  • As a Sixty something person,I can say without fear of contradiction that this is the worst political storm ever to hit,in my lifetime.
    Given the dearth of dross ready to take over from the Dross that caused the upheaval,wouldn’t it be prudent now just to let Sturgeon run the whole of the British Isles as the Toronto Morning Star have advised today?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    A.Salmon July 5, 2016 11:02 am Reply
    • NS and SNP might want to prove herself/themselves in Scotland first….

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Karl Hughes July 5, 2016 5:33 pm Reply
    • AS – is it just remotely possible that the Toronto Morning Star is privy to a confidential ‘if only’ musing from the obviously competent and straight Canadian who governs the Bank of England and who was so very clearly ‘not amused’ by his attempted rubbishing, pre-referendum vote, by that creepy senior Conservative politician the Hon Bernard Jenkin MP?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Robert Wakeham July 5, 2016 7:41 pm Reply
    • By doing what – covering up trying to control Child Abuse inquiries and putting money before people? By being more interested in the interests of EU nationals here than Scots living in the EU? – note there is not a single word about those people by the SNP. OR by presiding over an increasing number of infrastructure projects going over budget and running behind schedule? Or do you mean the type of government that takes 9 years to ‘discover’ that teacher workloads are too high?

      Don’t make me laugh. Sturgeon talks the talk – a good one at that, but is completely incompetent.

      I had confirmation last week from two sources that Sturgeon has absolutely no authority to do anything other than have polite conversations with other EU leaders – she has zero authority to agree or authorise any course of action with the EU.

      Don’t be fooled – every day the SNP are shown up to be completely second rate in government. Too many people have their fingers in their ears sadly but the only people to suffer are Scots.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      JB July 5, 2016 7:49 pm Reply
  • You have got to be joking A. Salmon. That would be an even bigger nightmare than what we already have!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    'Felicity' July 5, 2016 2:56 pm Reply
    • Resistance is futile.
      You shall be assimilated!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      A.Salmon July 5, 2016 7:42 pm Reply

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