OK! So sometimes there are things that politicians say that just have to be commented on, not because they are any good but because they show staggering hypocrisy.
When I read this tweet on Willies twitter feed today, I nearly pebble-dashed my PC screen with my cup of coffee. So let’s break it down shall we?
It can be summed up in two parts:
1. “Nicola Sturgeon is threatening the prospect of another unwanted independence referendum when she should be focused on securing a people’s vote on Brexit.”
Basically what he is saying here is that Nicola Sturgeon, who is First Minister of Scotland, should not be concentrating on a second referendum for Scotland. Instead she should be concentrating on a Second independence referendum for England. I of course use the term England to mean that it is them who decided to leave the EU, not Scotland! We voted overwhelmingly to remain. So any vote would be one to have England be able to think again, not Scotland because the result would be the same here.
But integral to the inalienable right to vote is the right to change ones mind which is why the SNP supported the idea of a peoples vote in the first place. So a little bit of hypocrisy from Mr. Rennie on this one.
But he goes on, which leads us to part two of the tweet:
2. The SNP need to learn the lessons of Brexit. Breaking up is hard to do.
No Willie! It isn’t!
The only reason that Brexit has been so hard to accomplish is that the Tories at Westminster have put party before country. It’s their red lines and appeasing of their own rebels that has caused so much turmoil. It is their failure to listen to the other parties, delivering a Tory Brexit, not a nationwide Brexit including the devolved administrations. They want their cake and to eat it and the EU can’t allow that on the simple fact that giving the UK everything it wants would undermine the single market. If they gave a deal to the UK then everyone would want one and the single market would become meaningless.
But Scottish Independence is completely different from leaving the EU. Firstly, we’re not bartering for access to a single market bloc of 27 countries. We are going for independence from the UK. We have stated publicly as an entire movement we will seek no hard border between us and the rest of the UK. We have stated publicly that we want to run all of our own affairs.
This means several things. Firstly, on economic policy, banking, law, services etc, we’re repatriating the lot from Westminster. When it comes to the national debt of the UK, a reasonable offer has been made, we’ll take 8.4% of the shared assets in return for assuming 8.4% of the UK’s national debt. The UK has no leverage on this point because they have stated publicly, in writing no less to the markets, that the UK assume all responsibility for debt issued under the UK. That means that if the UK doesn’t give us our fair share, we don’t give them anything towards THEIR debts. Which means we start at the same financial position regardless even if we have to borrow to set up an independent Scotland.
As for natural resources, well they are a matter of international law, specifically the United Nations Constitution on Law of the Sea which defines exclusive economic zones.
Any trade deal that the UK wants to negotiate with Scotland is up to them but if he seriously thinks that England, Wales and Northern Ireland wont want to trade with Scotland he’s zipped up the back.
There is a very big reason for this. Scotland intends to stay in the EU. That means the deal that the UK is trying to negotiate with the EU will also apply to Scotland if we are a member. That and the fact that as a member of the EU any future relationship with the rUK would be dictated by Scotland, just like Ireland is getting a say on the EU side at the minute. If the UK decides to take punitive steps towards Scotland, they jeopardise their future relations with the EU and they would be punished by the EU for any action they may try to take against Scotland as part of the EU.
Scotland leaving the UK is therefore not a serious issue, because we want to do everything ourselves. As for our negotiations to stay in the EU, well we are already on the same page as the EU because we are already in the EU. Only the finer points need negotiating. If the UK play silly sods with us then they do it at their own peril because it won’t be just Scotland they are negotiating with, it will be Scotland with the backing of the 27 other nations currently sticking it to the UK in the Brexit negotiations. Their deal with Scotland will be subject to the will of the European Union and it will be on par with the deal they negotiate with the EU!