Confidence trickster Theresa May is attempting to lure Nicola Sturgeon into blocking a second referendum on independence.
Given the historically contemptuous attitude by unionist parties towards Scotland, it will shock very few that Theresa May is laying a devious political trap for Scotland’s First Minister by offering to include her in all aspects of the ‘Brexit’ negotiation process.
The Tories have created a beast South of the border by stoking the fires of populist ignorance and exploiting their fears. Brexit is therefore about English nationalism and an isolated right-wing future. This is the price Scotland remaining in the UK will pay for the Tory referendum promise used to get a Westminster majority. This is the madness of Brexit.
I suspected during their divisive pre-Brexit referendum in-fighting that the Tories would show a united front much quicker than the Labour party and sure enough, following their farcical elimination process we got the inevitable right-wing austerity & class supporting anti-Scot to rule over us. They then quickly returned to their default position of highly organised treachery and cunning with Scotland as usual being the prime target.
May committed to the Scottish Government they would be centrally involved in all aspects of the UK exit negotiation process. Nicola Sturgeons ideas would be considered. May told the Guardian
“I’ve been very clear with the first minister today that I want the Scottish Government to be fully engaged in our discussions,” she said, “and I will listen to any options they bring forward … I won’t be triggering article 50 until I think that we have a UK approach and objectives for negotiations.”
At the same time Nicola Sturgeon made clear she wanted to be involved in all aspects of negotiation and declared she had a duty to examine all options and If all proves impossible then we need the option of independence on the table.
All very cosy then, especially with a backdrop of prominent Tories such as Mundell, Davidson and even May herself stating they would not attempt to block a 2nd Scottish referendum on independence. Besides, if Scottish Government decides to have an independence referendum to protect our EU place and access to the single market meaning goods, services and people can cross boundaries, it would be inconceivable that any UK government would stand in the way of democratic will.
So what is the danger here? Being involved in ALL aspects of the process means also being involved as part of the team that decides on the wording, timing and therefore submission to enact article 50. Herein lies the danger. The First Minister is very keen in making clear Scotland is being dragged out of Europe against its will. If she is to be part of the team that is ultimately responsible for that act then she can no longer make this claim.
The first Minister must not put pen to paper as part of the UK representatives that will enact article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This is a trap and one that would block a second independence referendum.
The SNP should get involved but only after the Tories enact article 50 all by themselves. As Nicola Sturgeon rightly says, we are in unchartered territory and she has a responsibility to explore all opportunities offered in the Brexit process. In the same way as the SNP instigated a fracking moratorium, it is all about due diligence. But also, just like the moratorium, there is something of an inevitability about the outcome. This is because the only realistic way to exit Brexit is by exiting the UK.
Withdrawal from the EU is irreversible for the UK. If Scotland remains part of an inward looking UK that leaves, do not be under any illusion, the UK is out forever and us with it. Not only that, we inflict upon ourselves an extreme right-wing Tory future, where even more so, Scotland’s voice will be ignored by WM on all of the major issues that are supposed to be indicative of countries will.
It’s true to say that Scotland has dual conflicting mandates. Like it or not 55% of the Scottish electorate voted to remain under the control of another country on 2014. Rather more wisely, 62% of Scots voted to remain in the EU yet will be dragged out against our will in a democratically unacceptable situation. These 2 things are not compatible.
The pre-EU referendum UK does not exist. The only way to square the circle is with indyref2 and the electorate can decide if the change of circumstances regarding Scotland’s position in the EU will change the nation’s position on self-governance. It is a shame we cannot have it in Germany where 71% support Scottish independence, as do 67% of Danes, 66% of Fins, 66% of Swedes and 61% of the French. However, in a background if Scotland having said yes to the EU, human rights, free movement, immigration and peace, this a referendum is likely to provide a different outcome.
The circumstances around Scotland’s relationship to the rest of the UK are very different from 2014 when Scots were unequivocally told that a vote for independence would jeopardise our place in the EU. A government that Scotland did not elect held a referendum Scotland didn’t want which will remove Scotland from the EU against our will and leave us exposed to a right-wing Theresa May who no one voted for.
I have no doubt Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish government are far too astute to fall for Theresa May’s trap. So we’re going to do it again, this time with more MPs, a 3rd SNP term in Government, substantially more party members, two truthful newspapers and the shambles of Brexit.
It’s time to negotiate the Tory traps and fix the democratic deficit in Scotland once and for all and then perhaps we can actually expand our economy, tackle austerity, have a sane foreign policy and take our place in Europe and the wider world as a normal country.