I posted on this site, after the Scottish Independence Referendum and UK’s 2015 General Election that Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon should ‘wind her neck in’. That she had a sense of her own and her country’s importance to the United Kingdom which is far in excess of reality.
Before we go on, let’s just recap a few numbers.
Scotland’s economy is less than 10% of the UK’s total. Same applies to population and, given the last fact, the number of MPs that Scotland sends to Westminster. The most telling fact though is that absent fiscal transfers from the rest of the UK – which really means from England – then Scotland would be running a deficit around 10% of GDP.
A couple of other numbers. Turnout in the Scottish Independence Referendum was 85% and the 2 million who voted for Scotland to remain as part of the United Kingdom represented 55% of the total. The turnout in Scotland, for the EU Referendum was 67% and 1.66 million (62%) voted to Remain.
In case you are feeling swamped with numbers, let me re-cap. More people in Scotland could be bothered to vote in the IndyRef and the number of people voting to remain in the United Kingdom outnumbered those who voted to remain in the EU.
Somehow though, Sturgeon and her SNP fanatics think that they have a mandate to negotiate for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom and remain in the European Union.
I know! Your head is now swimming.
What kind of independence would Scotland have, tying itself into the European Union?
Where is the so-called mandate for ignoring the result of a United Kingdom-wide referendum? Last time I looked, there was a simple enough question on the EU Referendum ballot – Leave or Remain were the choices. There was nothing about Leave , Remain or, if we don’t like the answer, we can break-up the United Kingdom. Zero. Same question was asked and answered by more than 33.5 million people across the United Kingdom and the result was a resounding 52% in favour of Leave. Oh and as a further point, Scotland had the lowest EU Referendum turnout among the regions of the United Kingdom. Hardly a ringing endorsement for Scotland's membership of the EU.
This didn’t stop the ever pushy Sturgeon though. Straightaway she is mouthing off about the probable/possible need for a new Scottish Independence Referendum (IndyRef 2). You will note the slight hesitancy – I will come back to that.
In the days immediately following the EU referendum, Sturgeon flew to Brussels and met with the leaders of some European countries. Not all of them because many couldn’t fit her into their schedule – or couldn’t be bothered. She came away from Brussels with something of a ‘flea in her ear’. As could have been predicted before she even began the air-miles collecting trip, Spain stated that they would veto any application from Scotland, while Scotland remained part of the UK. To say that she came away empty-handed is incorrect. She was told, very, very clearly, that while Scotland remained a member of the United Kingdom, the EU would not even discuss Scottish membership of the EU. Not even going to get on the agenda.
Couldn’t be clearer. Of course, that doesn’t stop Sturgeon and her SNP StormTroopers from claiming that exit from the United Kingdom and entry into the European Union is a straightforward and realistic option.
You must judge for yourself if these people are self-deluded fools or outright liars.
If you live in Scotland though, you might consider launching a claim, on behalf of the Scottish taxpayer, against Sturgeon for a gross waste of taxpayer funds and dereliction of duty. If you are the UK Attorney-General, you might also consider charges.
Why? Well. Foreign affairs are not a devolved responsibility. In other words, Sturgeon had absolutely no business in going to Brussels at the expense of the Scottish parliament. I would posit that in doing so, she was pursuing an exclusively political and solely SNP policy. It is not the business of the Scottish Government to undertake any foreign negotiations. I suppose a ‘blind eye’ was turned regarding the Edinburgh Zoo pandas but that is a long way from seeking to undermine the position of the United Kingdom, of which Scotland remains a constituent member. Not sure if it would count as treasonous but imagine the situation if the UK actually was at war with the EU – would anyone tolerate Sturgeon’s opportunistic behaviour?
All of that aside, for a moment.
There is another reason why Scotland wouldn’t be allowed to join the EU. Their deficit, at around 10% of GDP, is way above the maximum 3% allowed by the EU. In order to meet the requirements, Scotland would have to undertake massive cuts. We’re not talking about austerity or austerity plus. No, these cuts would be austerity on steroids at a dosage level that would make a Russian athlete blush. Public sector employment in Scotland, accounts for 21% of the workforce. Obviously that is where these cuts would be made. One has to seriously question the capacity of the private sector, to accommodate or grow to do so, such an influx of workers.
Then, assuming that there is anything left of the economy, the Scots would, on joining the European Union have to join the Euro – assuming that failing and flailing currency is still around. Think about that. 70% of all of Scotland’s export, excluding oil and gas, are sent to the rest of the United Kingdom. If for no other reason, Scotland and its ‘gobby’ First Minister, should be fully behind the United Kingdom getting the best and lowest or tariff free trade terms as part of the renegotiations which will soon commence. Scotland’s non-state economy will be subject to those tariffs, if Sturgeon gets her way, and they will also have to trade, with their overwhelmingly largest market, in a currency requiring foreign exchange.
I believe that the issue of Scottish Independence is effectively dead. The message maybe hasn’t got through to the SNP leadership yet, but the Scottish people are not stupid. Given the 2014 vote again, I am very confident they would vote to remain in the United Kingdom by an even larger margin.
I say the message maybe hasn’t got through to the SNP yet. Really though, I think they do understand the position. I believe that they are using the EU Referendum as a smokescreen or a so-called ‘false flag’ to hide their inadequacy and mis-management of those areas for which the Scottish parliament does have responsibility – Education, Health and Policing, for example. In all three areas, the Holyrood parliament is failing and failing the people of Scotland, very badly. The Scottish Oil & Gas industry is in dire straits and the Scottish parliament has no real policy to aid this vital industry. Heavens! Even though fracking in Scotland, might provide some relief, the parliament has not made a decision on this and is seen to not support it.
So given the above, why am I so worked-up about this?
Well it is because the government in Westminster is pandering to the SNP. The SNP now think that they have a veto over Brexit. They need to be told, very, very firmly, that while they, along with all other parties and other relevant constituencies in the United Kingdom, will be consulted, the decision will be made whether they agree with it or not. Theresa May’s government, govern for the benefit of all of the United Kingdom and the UK, as a whole, voted for Brexit. Theresa May has said ‘Brexit means Brexit’. She has appointed a Cabinet to implement this and the so-called Brexit minister – David Davis –a well qualified minister, is very capable individual and he should stick resolutely to his brief and get it done.
So, Theresa May. Please use every opportunity to keep Nicola Sturgeon in her place. Maybe also have a word with the Attorney General?
Nicola Sturgeon – do your job! That means staying in Scotland and focussing on housing, education, policing, NHS Scotland and the oil and gas industry. That is what you and your party were elected to do. That and that’s all.