Posted on November 4th, 2016
by Rab Bruce’s Spider
The Court ruling on the need for Parliament to approve the triggering of article 50 has created quite a stir. Brexiteers are furious that, having taken back control from the EU and placed sovereignty in the hands of Parliament, it is now necessary for Parliament to exercise that sovereignty.
The Right Wing Press has gone into full-blown Fascist mode, virtually calling for the overthrow of democratic institutions such as Courts which have the temerity to pass judgement in accordance with current UK law.
These are dangerous times since, judging by their comments, there is clearly a group of Westminster politicians who would be quite happy to see the UK become a totalitarian state. Never has there been such a feeling amongst Yessers that Scotland needs to break away from this dysfunctional State.
And yet the court ruling has also caused concern in the Yes community because there is a feeling that Westminster might vote not to invoke Article 50, thus leaving the UK within the EU and removing the reason for holding another IndieRef. Goodness only knows what sort of response that will bring from the frothing tabloids, but, while it remains likely that Theresa May will force Brexit through in order to maintain her grip on power, the Court ruling means that the UK remaining in the EU has become more of a possibility.
So how should Scotland react if there is a chance of Westminster voting on Brexit?
There really is only one answer. Scottish MPs must vote to remain part of the EU. That was the clear will of the majority of Scottish voters. While the three Unionist MPs may ignore that and vote to keep the Brexiteers happy, the SNP MPs do not really have any viable choice even if it takes IndieRef2 off the table for several more years.
But let’s not be downhearted at this prospect. For one thing, negotiating another IndieRef while Brexit discussions are taking place is going to be very problematic. Given that the outcome of Brexit negotiations may not be known until very late in the process, arranging, campaigning for, and holding an IndieRef will be logistically difficult. If the actual date of independence in the event of a Yes majority were to be after the date the UK leaves the EU, Scotland will be in a state of limbo which may last anything from days up to years.
Of course, one would hope that the Scottish government is fully cognisant of these issues and will attempt to arrange things so that there is either a smooth transition or a period of agreed semi-membership of the EU while the formalities are dealt with, but there is no doubt it will present some practical issues.
More importantly, though, let’s not forget that this is dependent on Yes winning the next IndieRef, and the truth is that this is by no means certain. You can guarantee that the full force of establishment propaganda will be unleashed by the media, led by the BBC, because The UK is terrified of the double blow to its prestige and its finances should it lose its grip on Scotland. This relentless campaign will have an effect because we must not lose sight of the fact that there are still an awful lot of people who feel so attached to the UK they would prefer to sink into Third World poverty as long as they are allowed to wave their Union Flags. There are also a great many who will remain too afraid of change to take that final step towards becoming a normal country. So the likelihood is that a Yes win would be by the slimmest of majorities, which is not a healthy position to start from. Sadly, the Brexit fiasco has probably come a bit too soon for the Yes movement, so having an enforced delay might be no bad thing.
On the other hand, there are concerns about delaying too long. Yes, the time will allow for a younger, more informed generation to vote, and it will also allow more time for Westminster and the media to demonstrate their contempt for Scotland. The more they treat Scotland like a colonial asset, the more the desire to break away will grow.
But the longer it takes, the more time Westminster has to strip Scotland of its wealth. Our heavy industry has already all but vanished, our Renewables industry is being penalised, our coal power stations are being closed, our Government’s annual cash handout is being squeezed, pressure is building to allow fracking, jobs are being transferred to England, military bases are being shut down, our Universities are being penalised by the removal of Post-Study Work Visas, and Austerity economics still holds sway, forcing ever more people into poverty.
So there is a very difficult balancing act to be achieved here. The timing of the next IndieRef must be spot on. If we lose the next one, we really will have lost our chance for a generation.
So, while Brexit will no doubt have more shocks and surprises in store, and it may yet lead to Scottish independence, let’s not be too upset if the UK decides to remain in the EU for the time being. That’s what the majority of scots voted for, after all.
There might even be an unexpected silver lining. Imagine the furore from the London media if it is the votes of SNP MPs which keeps the UK inside the EU. We may find that the Brexiteers will be so desperate to have their way, they’ll demand that England leaves the UK.
We can but hope.