Bespoke in the wheel

I keep seeing phrases like “even if the UK opts out” and continue to be totally perplexed by them. What can giving up membership of the EU possibly mean other than opting out of everything that membership of the EU entails? There is no doubt about what Brexit means. It means the UK exiting the EU.

To whatever extent ‘bespoke’ membership of the EU is possible, that is what the UK had. The UK already had more opt-outs than any other member. The UK already enjoyed privileged access to the single market and other benefits of EU membership on terms that were more favourable than those enjoyed by any other member state. That is what the UK is giving up.

The EU referendum wasn’t about choosing some even more advantageous arrangement. No such arrangement was on offer. The referendum was a straight take-it-or-leave-it choice between the ‘bespoke’ deal that the UK had, and no deal at all. Voters in England and Wales opted for the latter – no deal at all. Scotland and Northern Ireland wanted to keep what we had, but we we’ve been told that, in the British state, the wishes of our people count for nothing.

There is no question of the UK opting in or out of anything. The UK has opted out. The notion that the UK Government can define the referendum result in any way it wants, and have the EU accept that definition, is pure fantasy. There is only one default position. The UK gets nothing. It gets nothing, because it chose to give up everything.

If that is the case, I hear you ask, what is the point of the proposals for a special Brexit deal for Scotland that are to be published by the Scottish Government next Tuesday? Has it not just been made clear that, being part of the, Scotland already had as ‘bespoke’ a deal as the rest of the EU was prepared to allow? Has it not been stressed that, being thirled to the British state, Scotland gets nothing because the UK chose on our behalf to give up everything?

All fair questions. But this is politics. While the UK Government can simply disregard the wishes of Scottish voters – because that’s the power we handed to the Westminster elite by voting No in 2014 – the Scottish Government is duty bound to respect the wishes of Scotland’s people. The Scottish Government is mandated by the people of Scotland. It has no obligation to anyone other than the people of Scotland.

What this means is that Nicola Sturgeon has to be seen to make every effort to secure for the people of Scotland whatever it is that they have voted for. They voted to continue with membership of the EU. Nicola Sturgeon has to try to make that happen. Even if it’s impossible, she has to try. She is duty-bound to try.

It will be interesting to see how the First Minister proposes to honour the democratic will of Scotland’s people. But far more interesting still will be the reaction to these proposals from various quarters. The response from the UK Government and the British media is likely to be predictably negative and dismissive. The response from the EU will doubtless be open to diverse interpretations depending on prejudices. But what I will be watching most closely is the way the proposals are greeted by various parts of the independence movement.

This will be something of a test for the Yes campaign. And I have lately been entertaining serious doubts about the ability/willingness of certain individuals and groups to subordinate narrow political agendas to the greater cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.

Views: 3134

Many thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to make a donation.
Your generosity is quite extraordinary, and very much appreciated.
All monies received are used in furtherance of the campaign
to restore Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.
Please use the button below or click here.

Please follow and like us 🙂

3 thoughts on “Bespoke in the wheel

  1. bringiton

    What the Britnats and in particular the Brexiteers don’t seem to realise is that Westminster,having signalled their intent to withdraw from the European project,the institutions of the EU have no need to show any flexibility towards the UK.
    The EU may turn a blind eye to practices in other EU states which flaunt regulations but these countries haven’t announced their intent to exit and the hope is that they will come into line in the longer term.
    Exit means exit,not retaining a bit of this or that depending on what Westminster thinks is in it’s best interests.
    Westminster has also made clear that as far as Scotland goes,we voted 2 years ago to do as we are told by London so will be ignored.
    Those Scots who support Scottish independence but only if we are not part of the EU should take note that the EU is acting in a far more democratic manner than Westminster ever will and has fully respected the right of UK voters to make their own minds up about membership and is willing to implement that decision without prejudice.
    Compare that with how London acted during our referendum and they must see that getting out from under London rule has to be our top priority because without that,nothing else is possible.

  2. Proud Cybernat

    The EU evidently would very much like resource-rich Scotland to remain part of the EU. They know there is little they can do to prevent exit by England/Wales (with N.I. being a big question mark).

    Now, if I were one of the EU 27 wanting to keep Scotland in (and not too unhappy that Enlgand wanted out), what do you do?

    You make sure that the terms of EXIT are harder than mohs 10. The EU should offer ‘Britain’ precisely hee-haw upon leaving and they should do it pronto i.e. as soon as A50 is triggered by May. All the special privileges the UK had will be gone when we leave. Everything. The Four Freedoms, the four cornerstones of the EU foundation, must prevail.

    So, the EU 27 make it as hard an exit as hard can be. And in so doing that the EU 27 will effectively ensure that a ‘material change’ for Scotland has most definitely occurred which will assuredly permit Scotland’s First Minister to go to the people of Scotland with IndyRef#2, that now clearly and unequivocally being the ONLY way possible to retain our EU membership/citizenship.

    In short, the trigger for IndyRef#2 is largely in the hands of the EU. And I am fairly certain they realise that. England and Wales are gone but make BREXIT VERY HARD and the EU will have a better chance of at least retaining Scotland (should we return a YES result in the inevitable IndyRef#2).

    The EU 27 have May/UK over a barrel.

  3. Clydebuilt

    “even if the UK opts out”….. That’s THEM, softening up Levers for Brexit not happening.

    Are the Blue Tories going to see the City of London badly damaged by a hard Brexit, to satisfy the wishes of Northern English voters, who don’t even vote Tory.

    Hard Brexit, “Brexit Means Brexit” are words designed to bring Ukipper’s back into the Tory fold.

    May’s just waiting for the Courts to save her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook Auto Publish Powered By :