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Brexit Together

As the indomitable Mash has it ‘British pride has been restored by grovelling to a Japanese car company’.

It’s a unique twist to the Northern Powerhouse strategy and one hailed all-round but which only brings a sense of powerlessness to a government immersed in clueless drift. This is Porkbarrel Politics. But if the north of England has had a boost (of sorts) other areas of the United Kingdom are looking on in dismay.

David Mundell, fresh from his great achievements this week, has announced – prior to negotiations or discussion – that “Scotland will leave the Single Market.” Speaking to a Scottish parliamentary committee at Westminster looking at the implications of Brexit he said: “If we are leaving the EU, we are leaving the single market.”

He went on to say that he believed Britain could retain tariff- and barrier-free access to the single market.

Elisabeth O’Leary from Reuters notes that: “The implications of Britain’s EU exit for its access to the bloc’s 500 million-consumer single market remain unclear.”

Yeah but.

But who cares eh? As our Governor General said quite clearly on STV on the 24th October:

“It doesn’t matter what the people of Scotland want”.

A R.E.S.P.E.C.T. agenda has quickly and quietly shifted to a C.O.N.T.E.M.P.T. agenda.

Still if you think you are ill-served by your leaders, spare a thought for the Northern Irish. As Brian Feeney writes in the Irish Times: “Her peasant-like forelock-tugging obeisance to the British government is guaranteed to do the prospects of prosperity for people here a lot of harm.”

Feeney, in a damning article (‘We have a major problem with Arlene Foster’)  quotes Tory Remain supporter Nick Herbert MP:

“Brexit fundamentalism, or giving themselves up to a romanticised 1950s vision of Britain, a country of imperialist chauvinism”.

This summons the idea that we’ve got the scale wrong. The choices aren’t between a Hard and Soft Brexit but far wider. We are bidden to believe by liberal dreamers and delusionists that it will never happen, that there might even be – beyond soft – a sort of flacid Brexit, where nothing really happens and we all discuss it forever until it goes away, or whereby it happens but doesn’t really mean anything.

This is the sort of Quangle Wangle gibberish spouted by Boris Johnson and David Mundell, in which we’ll leave all the institutions but retain all of the benefits. And meanwhile the media cheers every ‘ news’ story with a side-serving of ‘see it’s not so bad after all!’, seemingly incapable of noticing that it hasn’t happened yet (!) At the other end, in the real world,  a sort of Titanium Brexit is emerging.

Back in the land of the Crumpetty Tree, Theresa May spouts that:

“Working together, the nations of the United Kingdom will make a success of leaving the European Union – and we will further strengthen our own unique and enduring union as we do so.”

Remember folks, it doesn’t matter how you vote and it doesn’t matter what you want.

Still, he’s better than Arlene isn’t he?

 

Comments (61)

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  1. William Ross says:

    Mike

    Lets remember that on 23 June 62% of the Scottish people voted for the UNITED KINGDOM to remain in the EU. As an SNP supporter and Yes voter, I voted Leave, as did between 35 to 40% of all Yessers. There was no Scottish question on the ballot.
    What a Leave vote meant is crystal clear: an end to EU law, the end of free movement of people and the end to our contributions to Brussels. It is obvious that we are leaving the Single Market.

    I fully agree with you that Nicola has a mandate to trigger an new Indyref if she can get the Green s to agree. However, that is our only route to undo the 23 June vote. We did vote on 18 Sept 2014 to remain in the UK. The EU vote was a UK-wide vote.

    I fear that any new Indyref will be lost, for the following reasons. 1. Not many unionists are willing to ditch the UK for the EU. 2. Economic times are much worse now. 3. Many Yessers ( like me) will not be willing to swap Westminster for Brussels. 4. Our terms of entry to the EU will be totally uncertain until Brexit is over, by which time we will be out.

    1. MBC says:

      Sensible points, but why did a sensible guy like you vote Leave?

    2. c rober says:

      But the wealth of those that voted in 2014 to remain part of the UK , well without any improvement than the status qou , ie more money in their pocket , well they will demand exit – Unionist or not , pound , Scottish or otherwise , in their pocket is what drives their voting.

      The downturn of oil in Aberdeen , the exodus of the workers , has left those that now feel shortchanged for the “UK is the only way to protect your jobs” , this wasnt the fault of the EU , this was the fault of the markets and of course Westminster that they voted to keep as their masters.

      The other affluents , or effluents depending on what side of the McNasty fence one is one , those in East Renfrewshire , Edingurgh suburbs and the like , well they wanted to keep their status qou also – keeping their income , and at the expense of others. Well its now ironic that they too may have seen the light on the Westminster promises , the broken “vow” – in that inflation rising is hitting them in the pocket , just wait until its on the mortgage too.

      But as for supplying a mandate , well that is easy enough come the council elections next MAY , but would the SNP put their money where their mouth is , and stand on a single issue – Vote SNP for a referndum – by the back door with two fingers to Westminster. This is something that cannot prevent a deal , where both London and Sunderland have all but received , and of course the ones where NI and Wales too are promised – including already things like corporation tax , which isnt devolved to Scotland though , despite being mooted in the “vow”.

      The other option , just like Brexit , but better , is to put on the table all of the options , from currency to any trade deals and importantly conditions on memberships that result from it.

      I prefer the Nordic option , each keeping their currency , and the levers. Those nations still manage to do well for their deals , which would only be bettered through a soft union vs ROTW , EU and UK. But for that we need the documents on the table before Indy II , or we can once again expect failure.

  2. Mach1 says:

    Brexit has redefined the democratic deficit. Now the unionist argument is that the British people have spoken so no need to listen to the Scots, Northern Irish or our Irish neighbours. Except this does not wash. Anti-indy voters in 2014 were told they would remain in two unions. Next time they will be asked to vote for European stability at the risk of redefining our relationship with the rump UK. This offers a chance to give Scotland a voice on the world stage. Vote yes to indyref2 and aid the anti-Brexit forces UK-wide. You know it makes sense.
    With regard to Arlene, I read a Private Eye piece about her that raises big concerns. Check it out.

    1. c rober says:

      But NI has had its deal , so will continue as a toll unit for Ireland. Wales too in advance with its corporation tax , denied for Scotland , hardly surprising , try phoning anything in Wales and not hearing a Welsh accent. The downward voting for Plaid – SNP would do well to take note.

      London of course will be getting a super deal of its own , protecting the wealthy , Scotland not even back of the queue…. so something that may well become capital come indy II.

  3. Darby O'Gill says:

    The vote for Scotland to leave or remain in the EU was constitutional and binding. The vote for the UK to leave or remain in the EU was simply advisory and requires to be homologated by Parliament before it becomes binding. It is surely outwith the power of an (unelected) Prime Minister to use the Royal Prerogative in this way. Even the invasion of Iraq had to undergo this process.

    1. c rober says:

      Which is probably why the MPS are still trying to find a get out clause , overuling the mandate of their electorate , and seeing unemployment and possibly a General election as that cost.

  4. bringiton says:

    England’s Tories,having cut off our feet,are now trying to sell the “You won’t have to clip your toe nails any more” line as being a great benefit to us.
    Perhaps for some.

  5. William Ross says:

    I was just waiting for Mac1`s argument but it is also a myth. The EU argument in the 2014 referendum was that if we voted “Yes” we would face an exit from the EU. That was a sound observation. The EU is all about power not law and we could not have prevailed against RUK, France and Spain. But there was no promise by Better Together that there would never be a UK-wide EU referendum if our vote in 2014 was “No”. Far from it, Cameron gave his Bloomberg speech in 2013 and an EU referendum was Tory policy since 2013. If the Tories won the 2015 (UK) general election there would be an EU referendum; that we knew. Check out the Rev`s piece on Wings over Scotland on 19 Sept. Best to stop peddling myths.

    Parliament put the issue of the EU in the people`s hands. To try to avoid this through votes by Remainers in the Commons or Lords would be utterly reckless. It is not happening.

    1. MBC says:

      I’m not aware that the EU made any such pronouncement about us having to re-apply to join the EU if we voted to leave Britain. Barrosa did, but he did so in a personal capacity, from a Spanish perspective, not as the official view of the EU, though naturally he was perceived that way. The EU repeatedly said the the indyref was a matter for the Scottish people and refused to be drawn further. Better stop peddling that myth.

      1. Crubag says:

        Yes, but it’s a political club, and states can use their veto power when they haven’t given it away – as Canada found out.

        For indy Scotland it matters a lot less as we could make something like EFTA/EEA work for us. The UK or even England is just too big for that structure.

      2. c rober says:

        Barroso , Portuguese , but I get your point – acting on Spanish interest – ie catalan prevention.

        JFI – he is despised by the very people he once represented. Portugal is just now waking up to its not the EU fault , but the elected politicians , so much so you can read abou ex presidents being in the pokey for corruption. And this in a Socialist country that keeps electing in millionaire politicians – and only throwing to the wolves any , from mayors up , that have the least dirty hands.

        Just like Greece they have an overweight debt to gdp ratio , and questionable accountancy for acceptance to the EU – where they committed protectionist acts and ignored multiple EU mandates on taxation. Of course they are back to two months holidays for civil servants , which is a vote winner in country of back handers and everyone has a family member in the trough , , as well as contracts , and are currently courting oil and chinese money of rinvestment with terrible deals for the taxpayer… ie 10 cents on a barrel of oil for the state coffers , or ten years of tax free for Chinese business or property investment.

        1. Interpolar says:

          But what Canada also found is that the veto of a single state can be negotiated away with patience. Fear Rojoy we must not. However, let us marvel at Wallonia and its population of similar proportions to Scotland’s!

          Also, name one Western European State that has not been able to join if it has wanted to. If Scotland wishes to join/remain in the EU, it will not be EU that will stop it.

  6. Crubag says:

    I notice the Scottish Government are conspicous by their absence from this article…

    I think in reality the SNP command have made their calculations – with whatever cross-bearings they’ve actually gotten from the national (mostly party) survey – and concluded Brexit isn’t relevant to the timing of indy2.

    I think they will have recognised that the EU just isn’t popular enough, or even economically stable enough, to make that the main plank of a second referendum.

    But Sturgeon should avoid making Brown’s mistake with his early election that never was, and come out and say “not now” – that way you get credit for at least being decisive. With the Brown route you can end up looking like an opportunist who isn’t sure what an opportunity looks like.

  7. Thrawn says:

    So Bella and SNP loathe with a passion the idea of leaving one single market but would be quite happy for Scotland to leave another far more important one.

    Oops silly me…there i go again…expecting logical rigour and intellectual coherence from nationalists

    1. tartanfever says:

      It’s a bizarre argument that we must remain loyal to a UK market that’s just about to fall off the cliff edge.

      The reality is of course, that while we do ‘export’ mostly to the UK (how do you export within your own country ?) most of those goods are then exported out of the UK – so much so that HMRC decline to give us those figures but only admit that this is the case.

      The sensible thing therefore, is cut out the middleman (the UK) and export directly from and Independent Scotland. Much better for business.

    2. c rober says:

      But was the “market” not the same reasoning why the wealthy signed up in 1706 , fearing its loss and tarrifs?

      1. MBC says:

        Yes, it was the cross-border trade in highland black cattle that did for us in 1706 during the union negotiations. Our foreign trade was at that time blocked by England’s imperial continental wars, notably the War of the Spanish Succession, which eventually ended in 1712. Our ships faced seizure by the French and their allies during the hostilities. The French had the most powerful navy in the world at that point, bigger than the Royal Navy. In that context the cross-border trade with England which had flourished since 1603 assumed a greater importance. In 1705 the English passed the Aliens Act, which intended to make Scots aliens in England by Christmas 1706 unless we agreed to the union. Despite this threat, which would have had dire economic consequences, given that foreign trade was also blocked, there were a lot of commissioners (Scots MPs) prepared to tough it out rather than give up our parliament. They reasoned that the war wouldn’t last for ever. Neither would Louis XIV, the main belligerent. He was a very old man by that stage and had no sons living. His nearest heir was a grandson who was a child. They figured that French power might shortly be less threatening, and anyway, in peacetime the French were well inclined towards the Scots. In fact Scots remained naturalised Frenchmen throughout the 18th century because of the Auld Alliance. The Black family of wine merchants, based in Bordeaux, were a prime example of Scots who settled in Bordeaux who traded wine between Scotland and France. The French imported Scots salmon.

  8. William Ross says:

    Thrawn

    As an SNP Leaver I envisage a later independent Scotland outside the EU having tariff free access to RUK plus free movement of people ( like the Irish Republic). I would also envisage us adopting the terms of any FTA which the UK will negotiate with the EU post Brexit. We might also join EFTA ( as RUK may do before us)

    1. MBC says:

      I don’t think you were ever an SNP Leaver, sorry. Nobody who supports Scottish independence would ever believe that the UK would allow an independent Scotland tariff free access to England and Wales, however mutually desirable that would be. They will do their absolute damndest to ensure we never leave by threatening and binding us in whatever way they can. Politically they have nothing to gain from Scotland. It’s becoming quite obvious that Brexit means that the spoils will go to the Leavers, the sweetheart deal with Nissan in Sunderland, a reward for voting Leave. A soft border in Northern Ireland, a sop to unionists there, who voted loyally for Leave in greater numbers than the nationalists. In Scotland the Brexit policy is to break and crush us until such times as we see sense and start voting for Ruth Davidson like sensible chaps. Until then, no jam. It’s a brutal coercive message.

      1. MBC says:

        … Besides which, just look at what tariff free trading with England has done for Ireland! Having an unfavourable balance of trade with England was what stuffed us in 1706, is stuffing Ireland now, and will stuff us in Scotland until we get out of this accursed and demeaning union.

      2. Thrawn says:

        I presume you would recommend to “BUILD THAT WALL!!”…and completely isolate ourselves from those english bastards.

        Good luck with that one on the doorsteps…

    2. Thrawn says:

      Well William…I’m a Unionist Remainer (making both of us rare I think…lol)

      I’m pretty sure the UK would “envisage” an equally rosy scenario to its Brexit negotiations… unfortunately the UK and Scotland can envisage what they want…actually getting it from negotiations is another matter.

      Nevertheless although I disagree with you on independence at least your view of an independent Scotlands future relationship with post Brexit rUK and EU has some logic…I wonder why it is not shared by your leaders or the editors of Bella? Perhaps because it doesn’t fit in with their narrative of racist little englanders depriving poor little Scotland of ever holidaying in Majorca again

      1. c rober says:

        Scotland has no car makers , so the eu will want a deal – seeing as how France and Germany have state ownership into thiers – and as a by product eurpean wide employment. The other option being chinese , japanese or korean taking up the slack , something that the EU would not want to see. Where this is important is that the asian market is a Scottish market already , and increasing for its exports.

        Scotland supplies most of its fish to the markets of France and the Med , so I doubt they would look further afield – even with Spanish trawlers around Scotland , whom would be ejected. Spanish Trawlers by the way have no interest in EU legislation , borders , just ask Portugal about daily incursions into its sea borders. Scottish Whisky is dominated by which company again ? Diageo , an Anglo Irish co , whom would be very hard hit by any unfair trade agreement with England , and of course meaning the indpendents also are lesserly protected as a result – until they buy them up.

        The same goes for England , without the EU , would still mean exports from Scotland and to Scotland regardless – while our nation being smaller has a higher export per capita to England , English imports , especially food would see two markets with problems and a need for negotiating trade deals , however I doubt the Scots would be keen to see another 1706 and being held over the barrel unlubed.

        Of course there would still be a matter of tolling the m6 , like the french do , psuedo taxing the free trade.

        Scottish ports , export routes other than Heathrow and LSE super ports , formerly Clyde port are mostly owned privately by an English company. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peel_Group , so would have something to say about using the ports for exports to prevent tarrifs.

        Of course this kind of leaves farming , Scotland having been expressly seasonal , with beef , lamb , pork and poultry , as well as dairy. Scottish Dairy is pretty much German now , lamb still at low prices with wool being worth less to throw away than it costs to shear , Beef being sowed up by the likes of McDonalds and poultry for the large part now predominately pre packed from the Nederlands. While England has increased its pork farming , Scotland has not in the same manner , and China is the worlds biggest importer of pork.

        I see no barrier to trade , if it is fair , unlike the act of union as a trade agreement.

        However this is different today in England , where they demand the benefits of free trade – without the conditions. The EU will not stand for that , and its that same deal that has led to the prevention of french import blockades , removing the beef , butter mountains once seen through subs , and the milk lakes once poured down the drain to keep prices higher – again enabled through subs , defeating the capitalist and darwinian theory from seeing its proper end.

        Scotland however will agree to the same conditions as its members in any trade deals , including free movement , after all we need people , and will need people more so in the future when the pensioner bubble inflates.

        Those jobs will need filled , the care needs and pensions need funded by taxation – and this is where Westminster and the Daily Heil readers cannot get it into their head , that they need to look at the age increase in Japan , Lithuania , Italy , which will be a bigger problem than even the financial crisis.

      2. Pilrig says:

        Racist little Englanders ? Come off it ! Now if you had written Brexit turkeys voting for Christmas. I also wonder where the money in austerity UK is coming from for all the future Brexit sweetheart deals ?

  9. Jim Daly says:

    William – if you were a Yesser in 2014, you were voting for an independent Scotland within the EU. The SNP were very clear on wanting to be part of the EU in 2014. If it was good enough in 2014, why not now?

    Voting down Independence in order to keep out of the EU is like opting for a stay in Barlinnie instead of community service. The economic, political and media dominance of the EU is far less than that of Westminister and it would be far easier to remove ourselves from it in the future, if that was what we wanted.

    Mike – in fairness to wee Davey, in context what he meant was ‘the SNP will force an indyref2, no matter what the people of Scotland want’.

    This time he said it but didn’t mean it, in contrast to every other time he opens his mouth, when he means it but doesn’t say it!

  10. William Ross says:

    Jim

    Don`t be in any doubt that I was a Yesser in 2014 and also in 1974!

    There was no ballot question re the EU in 2014 but the likelihood is that we would have exited the EU had the vote been Yes.

    If it were genuine independence that was on offer, or even genuine independence with the Scottish government supporting subsequent EU membership subject to an another referendum then I have no problem. But what is now being offered is the choice of two unions. If I HAVE to choose a Union, then I choose Westminster.

    1. c rober says:

      But what of another Union of equal partners , a Nordic one , keeping currency and levers?

      OR no union and individual negotiations for trade. Somehow we have it already with the wider world for trade , of course where it goes through Westminster – tax skimmed.

    2. Pilrig says:

      Yesser in 1974 ?

  11. tartanfever says:

    So the ‘UK’s’ (Japan/Asia) car industry currently accounts for a paltry 0.8% of UK GDP.

    They’ve secured a secret deal that in effect will see Scottish taxpayers paying to keep jobs in Sunderland, who voted to leave, through some sordid deal that will see Nissan incur no further costs than they currently are when Brexit finally happens. If tariffs are put in place post Brexit, Nissan will have to be compensated out of our pocket.

    What promises will then be made to City of London, which accounts for 25% of the UK’s GDP ? No corporation tax ( seriously being suggested by many top tories, including Fox). More deregulation ? Casino banking gone wild ? Just how low will the Tories stoop to keep foreign banks European operations based in London ?

    What is becoming increasingly clear is that while people may pretend they live in a democracy and their vote drives the direction of the country, big business rule the roost and be exempt from such folly as people voting.

    1. c rober says:

      What doesnt get mentioned in the media is that NISSAN is part owned by an EU company – Renault , so does anyone within it think that they would like to see thier profits drop?

      Which makes the irony of Sunderland voting leave absurd on more than just one level , but somehow they are rewarded. We also forget about the farming regions , whom want to leave , but want Westminster to fund the lost EU funding.

      Then we have the fishing regions , voting to leave , where most of its cash is from exports – to well you guessed it the EU.

      Banking well the 25 percent of GDP , second only to Scotland regionally , well you know for sure this secondary banking bailout will happen – as for Scotland , well… if it cant even get corporation tax when the Welsh did pre brexti vote?

      1. Interpolar says:

        Sunderland is not being rewarded, their
        Brexit stupidity is merely being mitigated. Sunderland does not come out ahead, but everyone else is paying for it.
        Essentially, May and her merry men are stemming the political fallout for now through manoeuvres like this, but it will be interesting to see how markets respond as more businesses queue up behind Nissan with cupped hands.

  12. William Ross says:

    I just see MBC`s note. I am an SNP Leaver all right, just like 450,000 others. You say that RUK would cut us no slack. Well look at the agreement they did with Eire which had just fought them in a brutal dirty war pre 1922. I like the English and find them reasonable people. I am just a bit more optimistic about the other inhabitants of this Island.

    1. MBC says:

      Get a grip. It’s not ‘the English people’ we would be dealing with, it’s the last crazy redoubt of the British Empire in the form of the hubristic Tory government we’d be dealing with, and they intend to crush us, just because they can, and because it’s a kind of ‘final solution’ to the Scottish problem, to just slowly reduce and reduce and reduce and diminish us until we shrink to nothing. Managed decline. Benign neglect. Or in common parlance, they don’t give a f***. Once we had 72 MPs, now we will have 53. Once we were 20% of the UK population (in 1707) now we are 8.3%. We are the last colony. They don’t care about us, the Scots, Cameron made that quite clear, when he said he didn’t care about Scotland because ‘we only have one MP up there’. They care about our oil, our resources, and our territory. We are 32% of the territory of the UK and 90% of the UK’s coastline. They care about that because they have Trident here and they want the base at Faslane just as they want whatever else can enrich them or extend their state power. It’s called imperialism.

      Sorry but you are very naïve.

  13. Jim Daly says:

    William – I wasn’t doubting that you were a Yesser – no reason to – but the wisdom of you changing your mind now.

    If indyref2 is declared (personally I think Sturgeon has so painted herself into a corner on this one that she has to go for it now), it will be a grim fight and we will need every vote we can get.

    There is no such thing as total freedom, as the Brexiters who are trying to appease Nissan are finding out right now, especially for small country next to a big one that considers the small country to be its property.

    But we will have far more freedom out of the UK. For one thing, nobody will ever again be able to force us to leave an organization we voted to stay within, or make us stay in, if we choose to leave.

  14. Willie says:

    Voting really counts for nothing. It is a sham. Blair talked about the Chattering Classes. He got it right.

  15. Juteman says:

    What if Scotland has a referendum on staying in the EU, and not an independence referendum? Forget all that pish about needing Westminsters consent.
    As an equal partner in the Treaty of Union, couldn’t we then simply dissolve the Union if a vote to stay in the EU was the result?

    1. Interpolar says:

      It would have to be framed differently, after all, we’ve just had one sich referendum with a fairly conclusive result in Scotland. It would have to be a stay in the EU, divorce from UK package. But that would risk losing the Indy Leavers.

  16. Jim Daly says:

    Juteman – but isn’t that we we just voted for? And we are being told to forget how we voted and suck it up.

    I think it has to be Monte Carlo or bust.

  17. William Ross says:

    Jim

    Like you I think that Nicola has dug herself in too deep on Indyref 2 and I think that she must at least try for it. This is very regrettable. To make sense it must be triggered quickly. To be honest I think you would have problems with a vote before Brexit. If we were trying to remain in the EU ( and surely that would be the point) I don’t know how you could be clear enough about terms as the EU could not negotiate with Scotland as a sovereign state before we become independent, and in fact Scotland could not be more than a presumptively seperatist province before independence. The EU could not negotiate with the UK and Scotland simultaneously.

    I focused a lot on the EU before the EU Referendum. What I found horrified me. To me Scotland is a country and so is the UK, or at least it is a country of countries. The EU on the other hand is a hopeless three legged dog which tries to be a virtual new country but is actually a “big pretendy” country. The powerful Commission is unelected and alone initiates legislation, the Parliament represents no-one because no “European” people exist, freedom of movement over half a billion people is fatal to any meaningful national sovereignty, the currency is a disaster, austerity and unemployment are devastating Southern Europe. The EU with its anthem, Central Bank and citizenship is not ” 28 countries getting together to share sovereignty” In order to survive, the failing EU must further centralise with tax and budget harmonisation , and development of a defence capability.

    ” You can check out any time you like but you can never leave” Remember what they did to Dutch, French, Greek and Irish democracy. ” There is no democracy against the EU treaties” —-Jean Claude Juncker — unelected Euro-Tory.

    I do not want any of this. Sorry.

    Willie says voting counts for nothing. Remember that every smart kid including the markets were trumpeting the victory of Remain until the people of Sunderland spoke. No, the system is not rigged, but the peoples will must be respected.

    1. Interpolar says:

      But the European Commission IS elected. Its members are nominated by member state governments and confirmed by the European Parliament, in which you have a number of MEPs representing you (I hope you voted).

      If you mean not elected as in no direct vote for its members, then this is true for the UK government, and even the SG!

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Exactly Interpolar, of course William Ross’s “focusing a lot on the EU” probably didn’t stretch to much by his posts – possibly reading the Daily Mail or something similar? – which are factually wrong on more than the point you rightly make.

        “You can check out any time you like but you can never leave” says William Ross, as if to imply that member state are unable to leave the EU, despite the fact that Britain just did vote to leave the EU and will leave the EU…. How do you explain that then William Ross?

        And when William Ross talks about “what the EU did to Irish, French and Greek democracy” what does he actually mean? He is presumably referring to the fact that the European Constitution had to be abandoned after referendums in France and the Netherlands voted it down, finally being replaced by the Lisbon Treaty, which was a much poorer deal for EU citizens in terms of their constitutional rights, and much worse for us all because it would have increased the power of the parliament, which, contrary to what William Ross, actually does represent people and can be very useful….

        …or did William not catch Alyn Smith’s intervention in the European Parliament after the Brexit vote, which was headline news right across Europe?

        As for free movement, Scotland has a static population and needs immigration!!!

        I could go on…

        1. c rober says:

          There is no doubt that the big two have benefited the most from the EU , France and Spain , but its up to the members politicians internally to direct the masses on whether it is still a valid option locally. This is what those non EURO dollar states was worried about , and kept the same kind of membership the Uk has pre hard brexit. This prevented mass buy ups of industry and banking , or nationalised industry on the cheap.

          Germany , state investment super banks , bought up just about every car maker in Europe , part state owned. France bought up the one that was left – Dacia , where there was probably deals done outside of the EU chambers between them.

          Of course this was far easier with a shared currency across all of the regions – meaning no currency exchange barriers , tarrifs or preventative legislation. Germany and France both retain their state electricity , post , rail and other major employers – while complaining that others dont have open markets if its state owned , RBS anyone?

          So the UK did sell out its electorate , keen to see the profits and wealth creation for the few in the sell off and privatization of tax payer owned industry… hardly the EU fault , there was always the option of saying nein.

          Germany also has as a result the biggest exposure to debt in the region , so when the IMF does bailouts – it simply goes in one door and back to Germany.

          Sure the EU isnt perfect , but without horse trading among the minors then the unfair advantages , real or perceived , cannot be tackled. Germany would no want to see the EU fail until its debts are paid back , France would not like to see its currency convenience for trade likewise disappear.

  18. Jim Daly says:

    William – you have hit the nail on the head with the many, many faults of the EU, but everything has to be considered relative to our own position.

    An Independent Scotland could follow the path of Sweden and retain its own currency with lip service to eventual convergence. National sovereignty is challenged by the EU, but the EU’s own strategy is now under threat and has led to various retrenchments. And as Alyn Smith, said, the EU ‘needs a success story’. It has the far right in France and other countries breathing down its neck. Additionally, it is very much in its interests to make entry easy for Scotland (a mere ratification of an existing state of affairs) and exit tough on the rUK.

    What is there to stop us having a referendum about staying in the EU in the future if the people of Scotland no longer have faith in it? The answer is nothing, our fate is back in our own hands. As things stand at the moment, these decisions are not in our hands.

  19. john young says:

    Why does Scotland have 50% of it,s population that have no pride in their country that do not really consider themselves Scots,every country I know of bursts with pride at the mention of their country,even those that are dirt poor?it is an anomaly how do other countries vie us,can,t work it out.

    1. MBC says:

      Because they’re comfortable. And complacent.

      1. c rober says:

        Comfortable , complacent , controlled.

        1. Graeme Purves says:

          I don’t think so. Most of the ‘No’ voters I canvassed during the independence referendum sounded anything but comfortable. They often seemed troubled and fearful.

          1. Frank says:

            It’s shite being Scottish as Irivne Welsh once put it…

            to be honest I’m ambivalent about Scottishness and I have no real sense of pride in the country either, I’m not even sure what that means -but I believe that independence is the best way forward. You can support independence without buying into the nationalist hills and glens whae’s like us crap that goes with it.

          2. Graeme Purves says:

            ‘Except it doesn’t go with it!

  20. William Ross says:

    Just to pick up a few points before this correspondence closes:

    1. The UK is leaving the EU therefore countries can leave? Yes, but this is the first time ever that a country has voted to leave and we are only really able to leave because we retained our currency and rejected Schengen. The UK is also powerful. A Leave mechanism ( Article 50) only appeared for the first time in the Lisbon Treaty.

    2. But the Commission “IS” elected? Well it depends what you mean. The President emerges from smoke-filled rooms of the Council and State Parliaments and he/she then chooses the slate of 28 Commissioners. This slate is then confirmed by the European Parliament. The European Parliament, which is merely a collection of national constituencies is dominated by European-wide parties whom no-one has heard of like the ruling European People`s Party
    ( Tories). The Parliament can only throw out the Commission en bloc. The Parliament represents a non-existent country. This democracy means nothing to Mrs MacTavish in the Falkirk Tesco. She has never heard of the EPP. The ability of the SNP to choose the Commission is non-existent.
    We cannot change the EU government. What would the American colonists have made of that?

    Which one of the fake Euro -parties does the SNP belong to?

    The House of Lords is far more democratic. Most of its members are actually nominated by the government of a real country which Mrs Tavish can at least understand, even if she votes SNP.
    By the way, I am no defender of the Lords. If it tries to block Brexit it should be abolished.

    3. Scotland needs immigrants. Yes, I agree. I have done something about it because my wife is an immigrant and my son was borne abroad. However, we need to have OUR immigration policy and not the uncontrollable free movement ranging over an entire continent. Free movement of people inside the EU is not principally about enhancing trade but is an effort to create the big ” pretendy” country. If you are trying to create a United States of Europe you MUST have free movement. I want independence and sovereignty NOT another Union.

    4. Jim: you think that after we vote to “remain” in the EU we can decide to come out or not. Theoretically you are right, but once in a small country like Scotland will caught in the Euro-web forever. We will be delighting in issuing our new Euro passports and sending Nicola to attend the Council of Ministers Meanwhile, even if we are not in the Euro ( a big “if”) we will face tax and budget harmonisation. Independence will be more apparent than real. Ask Portugal or Greece.

    5. Alyn Smith was not speaking for me in the European Parliament.

    1. Redgauntlet says:

      William:

      1) Membership of the EU is not obligatory. Anybody can leave – Greenland left, Britain is going to leave, Greece was close to being kicked out of the Euro, which would almost certainly have meant leaving the EU.

      You can criticize the EU for many things, but this notion that it is some kind of conspiracy and has an agenda to rule the world is nonsense and I am afraid the British public have been brainwashed to believe fairy tales. National sovereignty resides in national parliaments. Nobody in Europe has ever questioned that…

      Even talking about “Europe” as they never fail to do in Britain, is a huge simplification. The 28 members states all have different positions on lots of different issues. The way it is portrayed by people like yourself, there is Britain and then this uniform block called the EU which is homogeneous and dictatorial. I live in Europe, and nobody here sees it that way. Because EU membership is not a political football here. It’s a no-brainer.

      2) The President of the Commission is appointed according to the following procedures. The head of states of the EU members states – all of whom have been elected in their own countries – “put forward a nominee for the post of President, taking account of the latest European elections. This proposal is then put before Parliament which must approve or veto the appointment. If an absolute majority of MEPs support the nominee, he/she is elected…”..

      …nothing to do with smoke filled rooms….

      And the commissioners the President appoints are PROPOSED BY THE 28 NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS themselves! Unless the President has a specific issue with any of the candidates proposed, he will appoint them.

      3) You talk of parliaments and countries, but this is a very narrow way of understanding democracy. Democracy was first formulated in City States, not countries. Aristotle talks of a Demos. That there are common European issues which need debating at a European level seems beyond all dispute, and if there are common issues, then the European Demos should have somewhere to debate those issues.

      Alyn Smith may not have represented you, William, fair enough, but he did represent the majority of Scottish voters at the EU referendum, who voted by 62% to remain. His voice echoed right across the continent and as a Scot in Europe, I welcomed it.

      4) Re Immigration. Why has Scotland not been overrun by immigrants by now according to you? Why do we have a static population? We have had free movement for decades! It’s all just a tabloid myth….

  21. Craig Miller says:

    I truly believe that if the current right wingers in the SNP were to hand down from above the dictum that “white is black” otherwise intelligent and well informed Independentistas would start bleating the mantra on cue…. A secret police man suddenly out of seeming nowhere announced that NATO…. fuckin
    repeat for the hard of thinking….. NATO…. was the overwhelming priority for a party whose unspoken disdain for these organized resources rapists was unspoken because it didn’t need to be, anyone who gets into bed with NATO will never claim integrity in my face …. Riddled with infiltators… Never trusting them again

    1. Craig Miller says:

      Ha ha ha you elected him Deputy…. He certainly fooled you

      1. Donnie MacLachlan says:

        Speaking of Deputy, where is she?

        That’ll be involving herself in other countries affairs, deserting the day job and spending money donated by labour donors.

        He who ha ha ha last, ha ha ha the longest!

  22. Frank says:

    What amazes me about the SNP is the lack of any dissent whatsoever. Take for instance the policy of a third run way whereby narrow minded economic nationalists say, stuff Londoners, screw the environment so long as Scotland is better economically better off. I wonder if the so called ‘left’ say Mhari Black, Tommy Shepherd….(can’t name any others on the left) will find it within themselves to rebel against the party line.

    1. c rober says:

      Ah even with the token veneer minority employment in the SNP being socialist , it still offers the only socialist option in Scotland – as long as Slab is still NuLabour core and anti home rule.

      However the SNP would find a reason to remove the whip from those critical of the perty , but if you read the party handbook you would see that criticism of the party is banned – seems its mair Mcommunist than Scotialist.

    2. I’m fairly amazed too, it’s one of the worst decisions from the SNP Ive witnessed

  23. Maria F says:

    Ruth Davidson’s and specially Mudell’s actions and words are loud and clear:

    The only way Scotland can hope to have a hint of democracy and fairness is to exit this toxic, unequal and suffocating 4-country Union.

    It didn’t matter an iota what the people of Scotland voted during the GE. We are lumbered with a government Scotland did not chose but was chosen by our more populated neighbour, so for the unionists that is enough to justify it. And as the cherry on the cake we get this half backed Secretary that is not even considered good enough by his own party to be included in all the negotiations affecting Scotland. Only the best for Scotland.

    It doesn’t matter and never will what Scottish MPs vote at Westminster because the MPs from our neighbour country will always trump their vote. And that is the way it is we like it or not. The Turing bill was a good example.

    Then worse even. Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU and yet, Scotland’s vote, according to Mr Mundell, counts less than that of England and therefore will be dragged against its will out of the EU just because our neighbour country has decided it has had enough of the EU. It doesn’t matter that it is going to sink Scotland down into misery, greatly affecting it economically and socially. No, that doesn’t matter an iota to Mr Mundell, because the only thing that matters to him is to deliver orders from his party. To me the most sickening part of it all is the way he says it. it almost feels to me like he finds pleasure in telling the people of his own country that they will suffer just because England wants it. So, just how much more humiliation has Scotland to go through? Are the unionist politicians ever going to stop humiliating Scotland?

    I often wonder, what on earth do we need completely useless politicians like Ruth Davidson and Mr Mundell for, when instead of busting their backsides negotiating hard with their own party HQ to act in the interests of Scotland, the country they represent, or even just making an attempt to protect Scotland’s interests and Scotland’s democratic rights within this suffocating union, they simply act like guard dogs barking ferociously and biting hard on their very own people so they can get a pat on the back from the country next door. But I can see it clear now. They are not useful to us, they are useful to the unionist parties: by using Mundell as the useful idiot to deliver the damning news to Scotland and as the punchbag in front line to receive the wrath of the people of Scotland, May doesn’t can disassociate herself of it. It is not longer May’s fault. It is now Mundell’s fault but that is fine, because he is disposable.

    Nauseating doesn’t even begin to describe it, actually.

    Now, Mr Mundell, what if the Scottish people say stuff Brexit? You want to go? Off yo go, then. But we are staying put. We are not going anywhere. Then what?

  24. Lochside says:

    300 years of oppressive imperialism. Suppression of our languages, Scots and Gaelic, beaten out of our children. Forced emigration, depopulation of our highland areas, and concentration of impoverished working people into the worst slums in Western Europe in our central belt. Land ownership usurped by false and greedy aristocracy and robber barons. Our sovereignty traduced and diminished until unrecognisable to ourselves and not even recognised internationally by everybody else. Our young men disproportionately slaughtered in Empire ventures and world wars. In the 20th century, our industries deliberately run down and destroyed, our natural resources plundered and stolen from us and our pleas for equity of distribution sneered at and ignored. Even our seas taken by stealth and all down in collaboration with our traitorous leaders. Democracy and even our people’s voice shouted down and suffocated by a hegemonic imperialistic media led by and orchestrated by the BBC.

    England has truly ‘catched us fast’….and yet some ‘Scots’would prefer ‘leaving’with this loathsome grasping imperialist blot on the world stage rather than stay with the EU? …I say to those people..join the rest of the economic selfish bastards and brainwashed slaves that comprise the Scotbuts and admit the truth, that you are nothing but Uncle Toms, spineless serfs trailing in the wake of your masters. You are not even on your knees. You are prone in supplication, prostrate before the despicable and unspeakable scum that claim to rule us….. and I pity you in your self imposed mental surrender to the New England emerging like an ugly excrescence from the chrysalis of Brexit.

    1. c rober says:

      I am beginning to think that no union will aid Scotland , and I am pro EU. Hence my jumping ship to create an equal union of non EU members recently , with each their own currency and levers , that can have added weight vs any other union in trade deals , be that union one or more including the UK , EU , TTIP and so on as a result – and free from international private central banking.

      My view is that Scottish Labour has failed the Scots , and will never be of any value in/to Scotland until it changes . But it is still needed as the opposition , or we have the rise of Tory Scotland as a result…. and as we know there it is a unionist party.

      Scotland needs another voice , considering that anyone that challenges the SNP are brushed aside as Snp badders , then whom ELSE will police it? Certainly not the Snp members , if they are party mandated to never speak out in the membership conditions , and of course the self regulating now in action in Holyrood.

      Slab has baggage , of this I have no doubt , but they have to admit failure to remove that baggage as a weapon to prove SNP supply is better than under Slab – when it ran as a branch office.

      The great plan of UK wide workers solidarity , via a national Labour party hasnt worked in that time for Scotland , other than the occasional incidence to have UK Nulabour elected , then conveniently forget Scotland other than a token knobbled parliament.

      However at the council level there is resistance to the greater party English led Labour mandate of unionist mandates , local politics still is working , but we will have to wait and see if this is still the case next May.If the SNP wished to destroy even the last of the red Labour men and women left , then they would stand ONLY in those elections on an indy ref II mandate – sending a final shockwave to labour , and of course establish a mandate to take to Westminster before BREXIT.

      Slab has had near 100 years to improve Scotland since Hardie , yet has not , choosing to nobble a parliamentary supply it begrudgingly granted , then watering down further improvements during the VOW in return for pieces of silver , then it has the audacity to complain about the SNP in 10 years of power , through a system they implemented to prevent a single party in power , in its failures which are a direct result of Nulabour – ie underinvestment , privitisaion , lack of industry and so on?

      Yet still SLAB leaders are protected , to rule and ignore those that reject them at the polls , evading change and accountability through the likes of the DHondt BY standing in the list system , this is something that needs to change for SCOTLAND .

      Leaders of any party should be so as a direct result of the ward they represent electing them , proving supply , then through its other elected members again proving supply of their stewarding , thus confidence in their leaders that their electorate is best served by them.

      While I am also most vociferous of the SNP blame game , from them at least , then we cannot expect a magic wand without A) Currency B)Indy C)Infrastructure investment D)Reduction in home expenditure and E) Renationalisation , at least of energy supply. Other than currency these are or were ALSO SLAB polcies , where INDY was home rule , so why then do they not choose autonomy as the the way to supply these to the electorate?

      Slab has lost the Unionist vote , it has went to Bufalo girl and Mundel , it has lost the socialist vote , it has went to the Scotialist , it has lost the worker vote , and has no power to give working benefits aka tax credits outside of Westminster.

      The last thing it has left is the local vote…. and if SNP stand on one mandate in May , then there will be long queues at the job centre for the local politician to reconnect with the electorate and reflect on the leadership and what led them there.

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