Posted on July 11th, 2016
by Rab Bruce’s Spider
So Devo Max or possibly a Federal UK is back on the agenda. At least, it is if you listen to the Unionist media which is pushing the idea for all it is worth. Funny how it is always promised whenever the UK State is threatened by breakup but somehow never actually seems to be delivered.
There are many who still see a Federal solution as the best option for the UK but it certainly isn’t the best option for Scotland. For a start, even assuming each of the four nations had its own Parliament with a central UK Parliament responsible for foreign affairs, defence and an overarching responsibility for the economy, does anyone seriously think that these things can be left with Westminster? A seemingly endless procession of foreign wars have destabilised the global political situation but the UK is determined to keep bombing people who can’t fight back except through acts of terrorism. We’ve angered our fellow EU members and the value of sterling is plummeting. What sort of argument does any of that give for allowing Westminster to control Scotland’s place in the world?
The other big flaw in the latest push for Federalism is that it completely and wilfully ignores the biggest issue in UK politics just now. With Brexit very much on the cards, massive constitutional change resulting in a Federal UK will still not keep Scotland in the EU. If Scotland remains in the UK, it will be forced out of the EU. Presumably the Unionists promoting the latest version of Devo Max are either so stupid they haven’t realised this or, more likely, they genuinely believe that we are so stupid we won’t notice.
The only way this suggestion could have any merit is if the UK Parliament refused to invoke Article 50 and the UK remained in the EU. That seems increasingly unlikely as it would undoubtedly create yet another political crisis in England but even if it does happen, a Scotland which remains in the UK would have no guarantees that the same Brexit scenario would not arise again. There is also the distinct possibility that a UK which remains in the EU would suddenly decide that there is no real call for a Federal solution to its problems after all.
But Federalism isn’t the solution anyway. The time for that is long past. There is only one viable solution and we all know what it is.