That Scotland could remain a member of the EU after Brexit is rather obvious. Two things we know about the EU are that it is expansionist and pragmatic. Look at all the opt-outs it was prepared to allow just to keep the UK as a (nominal) member.
The question is not whether Scotland can remain part of the EU, as voters have clearly determined that it should, but how far the British state is prepared to go to ensure that Scotland is dragged out of the EU despite the democratically expressed will of the Scottish electorate. Is it realistic to expect that the UK Government will cooperate with a process which enables Scotland to be a successor state? Or do all the signals coming from Theresa May’s administration suggest that they are more disposed to resorting to extreme measures to ensure that Scotland remains in thrall to the ruling elites of the British state?
A second independence referendum is essential. The people of Scotland must be allowed to choose between being part of an increasingly authoritarian, elitist, insular British state; or being an independent nation able to freely negotiate the terms on which we engage with the world.
The timing of that referendum is crucial. The EU will be amenable to treating Scotland as the independent successor state only if it is clear that the Scottish Government has explored every option for staying in the EU as part of the UK. Nicola Sturgeon must avoid even the perception that Brexit is being used primarily to leverage independence. Our friends in Europe must be in no doubt that preserving our relationship is the first priority. The referendum can only be called when it becomes absolutely clear, as it surely will, that the UK government is not prepared to offer any concessions.
What of our relationship with the rest of the UK (rUK) post-Brexit? That is something that is being decided in London, not Edinburgh. Amid all the uncertainty unleashed by the EU referendum and its farcical aftermath, the attitude of the British establishment to Scotland is one of the few things that leave little room for speculation. Scotland is regarded as the property of the British state. Property that is valuable, but not valued. Property to be jealously grasped, but granted no respect.
Scotland’s needs, priorities and aspirations must be stifled in order to preserve the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. In “One Nation Britain”, Scotland will be obliged to conform. We will be made to fit the economically destructive and socially corrosive model which has become ‘the only way’, according to the British political elite. A model from which we have been at least somewhat protected by the Scottish Parliament; successive SNP governments; and institutions which are at least administratively independent of the British state, even if under the heel of its ultimate economic dominion.
If #indyref2 comes too early, we risk losing the goodwill of our friends in the EU. Too late, and we risk being yoked to the British state by measures which effectively close off the democratic route to restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.Views: 2716
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