Firstly I should mention that I am originally from Scotland, my family are from Scotland and I went to school and Uni in Scotland. I moved to England in my mid 20’s. For fun I support Scotland when they play England and England when England play anyone else – and I see myself firmly as British.
While I agree that at some point in the future it ‘might’ be in Scotland’s interest to have another referendum, I don’t think that time is now or anytime soon.
But let’s make one thing clear, Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want an independence referendum now either, she knows she would lose. But she knows as well that after Brexit the SNP will become increasingly irrelevant.
The mood in Scotland at the moment is one of general unity. 2 years ago Scotland resoundingly voted to remain in the UK and the Brexit vote showed a high proportion of Scots keen to stay in the EU i.e.not be independent!!
Nicola Sturgeon knows she would lose a referendum in 2018 and she knew Theresa May wouldn’t allow one – so what is she doing?
She’s setting the framework for a possible future vote and trying to stay relevant.
While I did originally disagree with devolution it does in some ways remove many of the arguments that can be laid at Westminster’s feet to justify independence. The state of education, the NHS, emergency services etc all now lie with the devolved governments.
So the SNP only really have one approach and that is to make Westminster look like it doesn’t listen to Scotland on the bigger issues- “Westminster doesn’t care about Scotland’s voice on the big issues”, “it isn’t listening to the voice of the Scottish people”, “they don’t care about the Scottish people” – the irony being that devolution was because the Scots complained about Westminster being too involved!!
And what have we seen in the last couple of months?? 2 ginormous demands that Theresa May would have had to have had a lobotomy to agree with –
1. Scotland keeps access to the single market after Brexit???…..presented as a ‘formal’ document with genuinely ‘sensible’ proposals….give me a break.
And Nicola Sturgeon knew this would not be allowed, could not be allowed. It was an impossible demand presented as a ‘sensible’ and ‘genuine’ request. And when Theresa May sensibly refused…….the painfully transparent rehearsed response “WESTMINSTER ARE NOT LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF SCOTLAND!!!”
2. An IndyRef right in the middle of Brexit negotiations…..what?? If by some miracle Theresa May had allowed this Nicola Sturgeon hoped to pick up the vote of some desperate remainers although they should know that despite all of Sturgeons bluster and endless phony trips to the EU she would never actually allow Scotland to join the EU in any capacity.
Even if Theresa May desperately wanted Scotland to have another referendum it would be nonsensical to slap one right in the middle of the Brexit negotiations that are going to require the entire Government and Parliament focus over the next few years.
And Nicola Sturgeon knows this and she’s done it deliberately to try to make Westminster look intransigent. Unfortunately her strategy has back fired not least because of its transparency, anyone with half a brain can see how irrational and increasingly desperate her demands are.
And Nicola Sturgeon is desperate with good reason – Post Brexit Scotland will in fact be Independent in everything but name. With its current devolution Scotland will be almost entirely responsible for its own future – Westminster will still manage our mutual Army and defense but what else will Scotland be subservient to? A few laws that affect us all that we all vote on…OK, anything else?
Ukip have struggled to remain relevant after the Brexit vote, after all, UK independence was their only real goal.
Can the same be said for the SNP? After Brexit Scotland will have more ‘independence’ than it has had for years and it could be sensibly argued that any more would be well……..irrelevant.