by Rab Bruce’s Spider

It seems almost inevitable that we are heading for the hardest of hard Brexits with no deal agreed between the UK and the EU. There is always a slim hope that something dramatic will happen and the UK’s triggering of Article 50 will be revoked, but I am not confident about this at all. Theresa May seems intent on crashing out of the EU no matter the consequences. All her talk of renegotiating or tweaking her deal is just so much camouflage. The EU have made it clear that there will be no further negotiations, and her constant delays and obfuscations seem designed only to run down the ticking clock until there is nothing left but to crash out of the EU.

The big worry is why she appears to be oblivious to those consequences. The situation in Ireland will become extremely serious, with Scotland not far behind in the constitutional arena.

It cannot be that May and her colleagues are oblivious to what might happen in Ireland and Scotland. The break-up of their precious Union seems almost inevitable if they continue down the path of constantly delaying debates and refusing to discuss the issues in a sensible manner. Time is rapidly running out, and the choices are now very stark.

So the question is why are they doing this? Are they prepared to risk an outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland? Are they prepared to see a united Ireland and an independent Scotland? Are they prepared to see Wales agitate for independence as well?

It is easy to take the view that the Tories are so incompetent that they have no plans beyond how to remain in power for another day, but can we ignore the other possibility? Perhaps the abolition of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly are top of their list of actions to be taken post-Brexit. Perhaps the troops who are on standby to ensure there is no outbreak of civil disobedience when food and medicines run out have also been making contingency plans to keep Northern Ireland and Scotland in the UK by dint of military occupation.

OK, that’s a very pessimistic view, but history shows that Westminster is only too ready to deploy troops to get its own way, and the fact that Theresa May is charging towards a hard Brexit with apparently no concern about the break-up of the UK does make me worry.

I sincerely hope the current fiasco is due to the Tories’ utter incompetence, but let’s hope Nicola Sturgeon has planned for every eventuality because we need to escape this madness.