SNP’s EU proposals would mean de facto Scottish independence

Sturgeon puts May between a rock and a hard place


Make no mistake about it, the Scottish government’s proposals for Scotland’s relationship with the EU post-Brexit are less a pragmatic set of ideas and more a back door to Scottish independence.

While peppered with reminders that Holyrood’s preference is either for the UK to remain in the EU or ideally for an independent Scotland to remain in the EU, today’s document seeks to address the challenge of the UK leaving the single market.

The Scottish government proposes therefore a way of keeping Scotland in the single market with all the necessities for freedom of movement that go with it, even if the UK leaves.

Whatever the SNP’s views might be, this would inevitably lead to a harder border between Scotland and the rest of the UK to prevent those allowed in Scotland under free movement entering the UK.

The borders with Scotland would represent the point at which different standards for goods would be felt and seen. Ministers at Holyrood also propose that the Scottish government be given the power to negotiate international agreements.

If this doesn’t look like the emergence of a sovereign, independent Scotland, I’m not sure what would.

Officially, Theresa May has pledged to look carefully at the proposal, but the reality is that she is between a rock and a hard place.

In the unlikely event of her agreeing to the demands, she will be giving the green light for Scotland being to do whatever it wants on the international stage.

Alternatively, if the PM rejects it she plays into the arms of the SNP and others who argue that she is disrespecting the wishes of the people of Scotland to remain in the EU.

This then takes us back to the idea of a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Over the weekend the former SNP leader and First Minister, Alex Salmond, argued that a second independence vote could be won. This was despite polling by YouGov for the Times having seen support for independence fall from 46 per cent in August to 44 per cent in November.

As with much about Brexit, we end the year with high levels of uncertainty about the way forward.

Question marks hang over whether Nicola Sturgeon would take the plunge and seek a vote on independence any time in the near future. I’m not holding my breath on this though.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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6 Responses to “SNP’s EU proposals would mean de facto Scottish independence”

  1. Jimmy Glesga

    Crap indeed the Scottish voted to stay in the Union and the British voted to get out of the EU gravy trainl

  2. Mike

    England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland didn’t have separate votes, there was one vote held by the United Kingdom and we voted OUT. Sturgeon can bluster all she wants but knows full well that Scotland would become the Greece of the north without the financial support of the rest of the UK if it became independent. With regard to Scottish voices not being heard this too is utter garbage. Scotland is well represented at Westminster; some would say over-represented, and it is Westminster that has the competency of negotiating national treaties. It is a sad commentary of today’s attitudes that it now seems you can’t lose a referendum or an election with good grace.

  3. Alasdair Macdonald

    Let’s ignore the two trolls in the preceding comments.

    “Whatever the SNP’s views might be, this would inevitably lead to a harder border between Scotland and the rest of the UK to prevent those allowed in Scotland under free movement entering the UK.”

    Since Mr Jacobs states this as an unchallengeable fact, perhaps he could explain how it would be compatible with no hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.

  4. Alex from Carlisle

    Any deal that allows this to Scotland whilst also continuing the Barnett Formula is grossly unfair to the English and shouldn’t even be considered by Mrs May. Have Indyref2 and the Scots can put their money where their mouth is.

  5. Jimmy Glesga

    A. MacTonald is the troll. A hard border between NI and ROI is practicable and no doubt preferable to the Unionists if the EU and anti Brits play their hand.

Comments are closed.