I hear the suggestion that the SNP should “commit to a second EU referendum in the event of Scotland becoming independent” and I immediately deploy that most basic and essential tool of political analysis, the question, “Why?”. Why would the SNP do that?

They have no mandate for such a commitment. Not only has Scotland just voted on the matter of EU membership, returning a decisive majority for remaining in the EU, but the party has just won two elections on manifestos that explicitly stated a commitment to remaining in the EU. Why would the SNP turn its back on this commitment now? What message would this send to our friends in Europe? What would it say about the party’s respect for the will of the people?

What the SNP cannot do, of course, is rule out a referendum on EU membership post-independence. It is absolutely implicit in the very concept of independence that it involves the power to freely negotiate the terms on which Scotland associates with other nations. Just as it is absolutely implicit in the concept of democracy that the people are the ultimate arbiters of those terms.

But it is not for the SNP, or any other party, to impose a referendum on the people. The way it works is that people must first campaign to win support for the holding of a referendum. Only once a significant level of public demand has been convincingly established does it become necessary for the government to respond to that demand.

The onus is on the Leavers to establish a persuasive case that another vote on EU membership is justified. It is not for the SNP, or any other party, to simply assume that the case has been made. Especially when there is such abundant solid evidence to the contrary in the form of recent polls.

That campaign for a referendum on Scotland’s membership of the EU can only sensibly take place in the context of an already independent Scotland where all decisions are ultimately a matter for the people of Scotland and where there can be no direct interference from the British state. We cannot have that campaign now, when it would necessarily involve British political parties which won’t even exist post-independence.

Why would we allow parties that are avowedly committed to denying Scotland’s independence (and even our right of self-determination) be part of a process that is relevant only to an independent Scotland?

Rather than pandering to the foolishness of individuals making a vote for independence conditional on something that can only be decided after independence, we would be better occupied challenging such folly.

Why would the SNP commit to a referendum on EU membership after independence? Why would the SNP allow itself to be herded by UKIP in the way that Cameron’s Tories were? Why would we allow the issue of EU membership to muddy the waters of the coming #indyref2 campaign when that matter has been decisively dealt with already?

The bottom line is that Yes/Leavers must make up their minds NOW whether they want decisions relating to such issues made in Scotland and by Scotland, or whether they want to join with British nationalists in handing that power to the Westminster elite – to do with as they please.

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11 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Dan Huil

    First things first: an end to the union with England. If there are Scots out there who would sacrifice Scotland’s independence just because they’re feart of the EU, and would thus vote for three more centuries of Westminster misrule, well… to put it politely they are a disgrace to Scotland.

  2. twathater

    I agree wholeheartedly with Dan and Peter, is this just another ploy to muddy the water,get minds focused on diversions, we have already voted decisively to remain within the EU. I personally have thoughts either way , BUT and it is a big BUT independence takes precedence over all the false pronouncements made by the BT corrupt self absorbed cabal.

    I am totally sickened by the Westminster denigration of our country and countrymen/women , we are a proud people and country and the attitude and derision displayed in the HOC toward our representatives , yes our representatives , is plain for the world to see .

    We are ignored ,berated, and vilified by a ignorant self obsessed herd of animals , we have never been equal or partners as is currently being evidenced, and anyone who imagines that this will change in the future is seriously deluded

    I seriously ask the Scottish people, why would you want to put up with this , do you have so little self RESPECT, this is akin to an abusive marriage where one partner mentally and financially continously debases the other.
    If it were a member of your family or a friend who was suffering this, would you advise, keep taking the abuse in the forlorn hope that it would get better , or would you advise getting out of the relationship and make a new start into the future , I know what I want

    INDEPENDENCE to stop the abuse

  3. DRDWoodward

    Absolute twaddle!
    The vote, in the Scottish perspective was not that decisive.
    A significant proportion of that Scottish ‘remain’ vote comprised of tactical votes.
    There will be a constitutional requirement to revisit the EU question once we are independent.
    As it is … thankfully .. we wont be in the EU and I suspect once we get a few yours of independence under our belts … and the EU continues to disintegrate as the failed project it has become … the majority of Scots wont feel the need to cede sovereignty again to a distant, foreign , unrepresentative power.

  4. James robb

    This issue is a unionist ruse to split the independence movement.
    By allowing the unionists to set the agenda as we are now doing we are preventing the issues of why we should be an independent country from coming to the fore. The unionists are at the moment attacking the idea of independence and Indy movement is doing the defending.
    It’s about time the indie movement went on the attack and forced the unionists to defend the union.
    The EU situation is only one issue in the wider argument for independence

  5. twathater

    @ DRD Woodward Absolute twaddle

    Were you commenting on my (twathater) comment or the article

    The vote, in the Scottish perspective was not that decisive .62% remain 38% leave what is not decisive about that , if we had that result for independence in 2014 i would have been ecstatic

    A significant proportion of that Scottish ‘remain’ vote comprised of tactical votes.
    Can you provide evidence for this

    If you were responding to my comment is it also ” absolute twaddle” in relation to my assertion that Scotland and the Scots are treated abysmally

  6. Dan Huil

    Haven’t britnats continually told us an independent Scotland would not be allowed in the EU – Spanish veto etc etc. According to britnats the EU is therefore not an issue.

  7. Andy McKirdy

    62%, 56 out of 59 at the General election and 3rd Holyrood win in a row with 1/4 million more people voting for them. The SNP have all the mandates they need for everything in my opinion including the dissolution of the Act of Union( since it’s an economic and political union of 2 Kingdoms and the Government of one of those 2 Kingdoms with the above mandates doesn’t want to be part of it anymore).
    On the subject of Yes voters going to No, they really must be total imbeciles!!!! Name one thing that Westminster has done since 2014 that has been in the interests of their northern colony??? They no longer even disguise their utter contempt for us. It will be a given too that the above demographic’s knowledge of anything the EU does will be courtesy of the MSM agenda of all EU THINGS BAD, which comprises 1) the EU want to Rule us, 2) Their human rights act is only for protecting terrorists, 3) They cause all the immigration and of course they make us have straight bananas and use kilo’s and meters!!!!
    Get a F**kin grip people and find things out for your selves, then consider a Tory Westminster ruling us forever free from any curbs to their excesses by EU regulations.
    The basic principle is the same and is unchanging; ONLY when Scotland has full independence will we have any say on any issue, it’s not rocket science, although maybe to the NO’s and particularly the YES to NO’s it’s like adding 1+1 and not being able to get 2!!!!

  8. Wilma Watts

    I talked to a Yes voter who admitted he would vote No if it meant staying in the EU. It took me several days to work out his logic. I realised he must have voted Yes because the propaganda at the time said just that. If you vote Yes you will be outside the EU and won’t get back in, only by voting No are you guaranteed a place in Europe. So his priority was getting out of the EU not Independece.

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