On a lunatic morning when Michael Howard appears to be suggesting War with Spain to Keep The Buggers Off Our Rock, when Simon Heffer seems to be suggesting the return of the Groat as negotiable currency and it was announced that we are going to spend £500m of turning our passports Back to British Blue, an even wilder thought is occurring to me.
I was listening to Mike Russell and Jackson Carlaw as they talked about the Scotland Act and negotiating how we might go about creating a common legal and fiscal framework for the European Laws and Regulations as they appertain to devolved areas like fishing and farming…
And it occurred to me…Are these areas not exactly the same areas, in terms of trade and labour standards, as would need to be negotiated between a separated Scotland and England? Is not a degree of agreement between sovereign nations (such as will now have to happen in an offshore version of the EU) in order to pass the Great Repeal Bill and give it legislative consent not a more or less exact duplicate of the kind of negotiations that would have to happen post Independence? Isn’t Brexit once more shooting the Unionist fox?
During the last referendum campaign, over and over again, angry demands were made of “Yes” about exactly these issues. How will you trade? What will be the rules? What will be the common framework? We were assured again and again that it was quite impossible for Scotland to arrive at any kind of reasonably negotiated position with regard to the rest of the UK.
Now it seems, in order to arrive at a settlement for Brexit, we’re going to have to come to an agreement anyway…and surely no one is going to seriously suggest that the agreement we come to as four polities in order to facilitate Brexit is going then to be torn up?
The free trade framework that the UK government aspires to create within the UK and then with the EU will HAVE to include Scotland on both counts.
So this morning, not only did the Unionist case lose the argument of the “Spanish Veto”…It also lost the argument on trade.
There’s really only Trident and blue passports left.
Tick, as they say, tock