An excellent analysis of our post-Brexit predicament from Gordon Macintyre-Kemp. Insofar as analysis is possible or meaningful with so many imponderables looming over the situation.
Not the least of these uncertainties is the attitude that the UK Government will take to Scotland. We do not yet know to what extent the British establishment will permit our elected representatives to be involved in the negotiations with the EU which will kick off when and if Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is invoked. We don’t know whether, or to what extent, Scotland’s interests will be reflected in those negotiations. We certainly don’t know whether a right-wing British administration will sanction the parallel negotiations between the Scottish Government and the EU that we require in order to ensure that Scotland’s relationship with Europe is protected; and that the democratic will of Scotland’s people is respected.
Let’s face it, we have little cause to be hopeful. If the past is to be our guide, then even very recent history suggests that it would be folly to rely on the goodwill of the Westminster elite – or, for that matter, their proxies in Scotland. Events of the past decade alone must lead us to suppose that the needs, aspirations and priorities of Scotland’s people will barely compete with the imperative to preserve the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state.
Our best – perhaps our only – hope in all of this is Nicola Sturgeon. As Gordon Macintyre-Kemp says, the First Minister has a plan. It will, of necessity, be a flexible plan in order to manage the complex permutations of eventualities that will confront Sturgeon and her team. But at least it’s a plan. And it requires that the rest of us do something that does not come easily. We have to trust our politicians.
We have to put our faith in Nicola Sturgeon and her plan to a degree that, for many, will run counter to their instincts. We must make it clear that we stand behind our government as they strive to ensure that Scotland has a voice in the Brexit negotiations. A voice powerful enough to be heard across Europe and beyond. A voice too powerful to be sidelined by the British establishment. The voice of a united Scotland.
Lending such complete support to Nicola Sturgeon will, of course, be particularly problematic for those who owe some loyalty to a political party other than the SNP. It will be a greater challenge for those who voted No in the first Scottish independence referendum. It will pose additional difficulties for those who voted Leave in the EU referendum. To all of these, I say only this. What we are talking about here is not unthinking, mindless support for a party or a personality. It is not the fate of Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP that hangs in the balance. Or, if it is, this pales into insignificance next to the fundamental democratic principle which is at stake.
I would submit that standing as one with the First Minister at this time is a pragmatic choice. It is the rational option. It is the course of action which ultimately best serves all of Scotland’s people.Views: 2022
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