It pains me to say it but if Scotland doesn’t hold some form of vote for its independence between 1st March and 30th April 2019, it will not gain independence democratically.
The month leading up to Brexit day and the month post Brexit day are critical to swing enough voters to back Yes.
It’s critical because that will be the time where people will feel the effects and have a heightened state of lost control.
In the month leading to Brexit day, reality will start to set in. Remain voters will be at an all-time low as they see the impending no-deal materialise. The month leading to Brexit day will tell everyone all they need to know about what the terms of the deal will be and whether or not there will be any extension.
In the month post Brexit day, the people of the UK, Remainers and Leavers alike will feel the effects of food shortages, medicine shortages, price hikes, no free movement, Northern Irelands GFA in the balance and businesses folding. It will be enough to make people pay attention to an escape route.
The problem with leaving a vote (and I use that word very loosely) any time outwith 1st March 2019 – 30th April 2019 is that people just don’t care. At least, not enough people.
Post 30th April 2019, once high prices become normalised and emergency supplies bring back a balance to the UK food and medicine industry from the USA, people will begin to lose interest and political fatigue will set in. The national interest mantra will be hightened and will mould attention away from Scotland in the EU and more to the UK out of the EU. The word Opportunity will become main stay.
Pre 1st March 2019, we just won’t potentially know the full terms of Brexit. It would also allow the UK Government the opportunity to call a snap General Election prior to Brexit Day, thus removing the wind from the independence referendums sails.
My opinion, for what’s its worth and I hope Nicola reads this, she should announce at the SNP Conference something similar to the following statement:
“The Scottish people elected a majority of pro-independence MSPs to Holyrood on a manifesto pledge to legislate to allow them another referendum on Scottish Independence.
With a little over 150 days until the United Kingdom crashes out of the European Union without a deal, putting jobs at risk, medical supplies, food and businesses, as the First Minister of Scotland, I am announcing that the Scottish Parliament will restart the legislative process to hold another independence referendum to protect Scotland’s place in Europe when the full effects of Brexit are known and being felt”.
This is all she needs to say.
She doesn’t need to give a date, or seek permission from Theresa May via a section 30, she needs to force the UK Government to respond.
Their response will of course be hollow soundbites, but starting the legislative motions to hold a referendum will force Whitehall to consider their options.
Politics is based on probability.
Probability of seperation is reduced when the First Minister doesn’t act. Probability of seperation increases when she does. The probability changes affects daily policy making and future plans.
If she is fully committed to delivering Scottish independence, she needs to start unlocking the stalemate and the potential to actually win a vote and force Westminster to move their pieces.
I’m not overly confident that SNP voters will remain loyal to the SNP if they allow Scotland to be pulled out of the EU against it’s will when Scotland explicitly voted for them to not do so.
It’s a dangerous game Nicola is playing and unless she increases the probability of an independence referendum, thus altering the mindset of Whitehall and Scotland, she runs the risk of damaging Scotland further when the damage was fully preventable.
She must use the mandate and use it soon!