So before I start on this blog post, let me make something clear. This is a post about why I believe we have made a collective error in judgement by ‘resetting’ the legislative plan for Indyref2.
My thoughts are that I fear Nicola Sturgeon putting the legislative process to rest for a while regards Indyref2 is costing Scotland the opportunity to leave the UK behind financially post Brexit.
Scotland stands to gain so much by being independent (or at least recognised for having voted that way by the EU) before the UK officially leaves the EU.
If Scotland pushes ahead with an advisory referendum without a Section 30 order being granted by Westminster and votes for independence prior to the 2 year deadline coming to pass, the businesses looking to relocate may very well turn their eyes north.
It would also surely force the negotiations between the UK and the EU to become that little bit ‘muddier’, but not at the expense of Scotland.
Scotland is part of the British Isles, so moving is easy(ish) for businesses wishing to relocate, it has a highly educated workforce, excellent infrastructure and speaks English. It is genuinely the best place to go if companies are looking to shift from a post Brexit rUK. You could argue Dublin would be easy too, but for the sake of logistics, the M6 is easier than the Irish Channel.
Brexit, well an rUK Brexit, really is a huge financial opportunity for Scotland.
Theresa May said that ‘now was not the time’ for a second vote. Frankly, it has nothing to do with her or the UK Government. The Scottish people are sovereign, they are above the Scottish and UK Parliaments and it is they who decide what happens here. The problem facing the Scottish Government is that both referendums, Indyref1 and Brexit, are incompatible. Both go against each other in the way in which the Scottish Government should interpret the will of the people, however, there is no escaping one simple fact, Brexit is being forced on Scotland.
By resetting the plan for Indyref2, i suspect the Scottish Government have backed themselves into a corner. The three unionist parties during GE17 gained/held their votes on the back of ‘Stop Indyref2’ and Brexit. Nicola then effectively stopped Indyref2 – Now the problem for her is when to call it? How can she possibly garnish public support for a second referendum without any legitimate way of measuring public opinion? Brexit was that way of measuring public opinion!
In my opinion, Nicola should have held her nerve and not succumbed to the unionist media after the General Election. This is, in my opinion, another example of Scotland appearing to cower away with its tail between its legs. People will say it is not and it is simply the Scottish Government trying to appease both sides but if this were reality, Nicola could have easily said that everything is still on track for Indyref2 and given the Brexit vote, it is only right that in the event of Independence we will immediately hold an EU referendum in Scotland prior to committing to anything regards EU membership – but the SNP believes in EU membership for Scotland.
So could Scotland pass legislation and hold an advisory referendum. I believe so, and if one were held today i believe we would be over 50% Yes to leave the UK.
If Westminster were to not recognise the legitimacy of the referendum, the Scottish Government could surely appeal to the Supreme Court on the basis that Brexit happened because the people of the UK voted that way in an advisory referendum, so why should a Scottish advisory referendum be ignored?
Surely the Brexit referendum is the precedent here?
Many will not agree with my next sentence but that’s the beauty of debate, its optional, however, I believe that Nicola should, in the SNP’s autumn relaunch exercise her original plans for a second referendum prior to the 2 year deadline and announce a date for a second independence referendum.
I feel that achieving independence post Brexit will be harder. There is the risk that people will become used to a post Brexit UK and on top of that, do we really believe that Theresa May will suddenly change her tune regards a second vote? I suspect that the British media will hype up the need to make referendums illegal post Brexit, or potentially have the percentage required for constitutional change to be higher than 50%.
The media are trying their hardest to paint Brexit as a pretty fantasy that Scotland will ‘bask’ in. But many of us suspect different. The issue is whether or not Scotland falls for the rhetoric – Again!
Come on Nicola, I am sure you will have at least 45% of Scotland behind you. Set a date…let’s get it going!