Posted on July 16th, 2016
by Rab Bruce’s Spider
There are growing calls on social media for Nicola Sturgeon to launch her promised summer campaign for Scottish independence. However, those calling for this are probably going to be disappointed.
The problem is that, since Nicola Sturgeon made this promise, there has been a material change in circumstances. There is obviously a risk in delaying because the Unionist media and politicians have already begun Project Fear to persuade people that independence is a bad idea. The longer the SNP allow this to continue unchallenged, the more harm it will do.
But there are some excellent reasons why we should not rush into calling another IndieRef at the moment.
First of all, the main reason many people are now waking up to the positive case for independence is the Brexit referendum result. The promise that only a No vote in the IndieRef could secure our place in the EU has, like virtually every other Better Together claim, been proven to be a lie and this one seems to have been the final straw for many people.
The problem the SNP face here is that, until Article 50 is invoked, the UK is not certain to leave the EU and Theresa May is already soft-pedalling on that front. I am sure she will be compelled to formally issue the required proclamation eventually but she may yet harbour thoughts of persuading the Westminster Parliament that it should not be done notwithstanding the Brexit vote.
If Article 50 is not triggered, the main reason for calling a second Scottish IndieRef falls away, leaving the SNP open to accusations of making a knee jerk reaction and hurrying towards a referendum without good cause.
The second reason is that Nicola Sturgeon has established a group of experts to examine the various options open to Scotland. If she were to call for an IndieRef before that group had reported – and it has met only once so far – this would also leave her open to accusations of exploiting an uncertain situation with no Plan A, let alone a Plan B. The fact that the Tories went into the Brexit Referendum without a plan A is immaterial because we all know it is only Scotland that will ever be held to account for such things.
So, until we have a clear idea of what the UK is going to do and until Scotland has a clearly defined plan of how our EU membership can be retained, don’t expect any progress on a second IndieRef.
Be patient; it will come.