Hypocrisy in a not-so-independent Scotland


Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is making great strides to sabotage the likelihood of the United Kingdom exiting the European Union by suggesting she has a veto on when and how it should happen, and by threatening another Scottish Independence Referendum. Here’s why that shouldn’t happen…

A Poll across different European countries has shown strong support for an “Independent” Scotland to join EU. The formal YouGov question asked “Would you endorse or reject Scotland joining the EU if it became separate from Great Britain?” The results show that 71% in Germany, 61% in France, 67% in Denmark have said they endorse.

With 41% in the UK agreeing and 29% opting against, with 30% saying they are unsure, this goes to show how split the indecision is closer to home, much more so than abroad. Opinion is also high across Europe that Scotland will vote to divorce from the UK.

With all the talk of a second Scottish Independence Referendum in the wake of the Brexit vote, in which some Scottish leaders claim their country didn’t vote to leave, we need to bear in mind the results from the original referendum only two years ago. With 84.6% of the country who were eligible to vote doing so the turnout was incredible, being the highest in the UK since the introduction of universal suffrage. Of those people, 55.3% opted for Scotland to remain in the UK- that is 2,001,926 people.

Obviously this issue meant a huge amount to the people of the country to lead to such a high turnout, and having taken into account what that result means- to remain part of the United Kingdom and the democratic process that it follows, while accepting the rising tide of Euroscepticism which had been growing throughout the rest of the UK for many years.

In the Brexit vote, turnout was also quite good at 67%. Of those people 62% voted to Remain, which is 1,661,191 people. What we can gather from that is that many more people voted in favour of Scotland staying in the United Kingdom under the circumstances mentioned before, than voted to remain in the European Union. The political union between them, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is more important than whether they were part of the EU. However, Nicola Sturgeon and the illiberal minions calling for this second referendum want Scotland to be conducted as an Orthocracy, in which the will of the people is only met when they come to the correct decisions in accordance with the political elite.

As part of negotiations for the original referendum, the Scottish nation called for much more power to be handed to the country through devolution. Were they to re-join the EU having left the UK it would go to totally undermine those actions. As I alluded to in another article regarding Northern Ireland, “The support for devolved powers here in the UK elates me. Their support to then undermine those powers in the EU eludes me.” So Scotland must decide what it wants – more power, or less. The former they will find by remaining in the UK, whereas the latter will be waiting for them in Brussels.

Also, regarding similarities to Northern Ireland, the Remain side used scare tactics of a hard border and border controls with a military presence separating Northern Ireland from the Republic further eventually following Brexit. Why would people who posed that as a reason for remaining in the EU then go on to campaign for Scotland to leave the EU if the exact same circumstance is going to come about? This just goes to illustrate further the hypocrisy that exists among this elite, as seen in the diagram provided.map

The UK is already making huge strides in looking outward towards the rest of the world for further trade and investment. Already Australia and New Zealand have been calling for a Free Trade Agreement and Common Travel Area to be established with a post-Brexit Britain, with Canada being a possible addition to that, as well as the USA putting us back to the front of the queue for deals.

Meanwhile, Scotland will have less influence in the world being a small state in a failing EU trading with itself, it will miss out on the trade relations the UK will continue growing. In a nation spending £90bn a year on working age benefits alone, Scotland needs to be at the forefront of this new economic revolution and revive its economy for the good of its people, not just creating a plush environment for its politicians and bureaucrats.

Dan is is the Conservatives for Liberty Northern Ireland Policy Analyst. Follow him on Twitter: @danieljgavigan

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The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty