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Scotland’s former First Minister Alex Salmond and (then) Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in 2007, at the launch of Choosing Scotland’s Future – a White Paper on a possible independence referendum. Picture by The Scottish Government.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has commented on several occasions in recent weeks on the subject of a second Scottish independence referendum. She first warned that she was not “bluffing” about calling another referendum, should the United Kingdom also leave the European single market. She then ruled out holding such a vote in 2017, effectively holding the threat of it over the British government as it moves ahead with Brexit.

There’s nothing wrong with many in Scotland, as in other European regions like Catalonia, wishing for independence. Indeed, notions of sovereignty, identity, and more representative democracy were all integral to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU). Where such movements lose coherence, however, is in their insistence on remaining in the EU.


Many, many laws pertaining to the UK, including Scotland, originate in Brussels. Though the exact proportion of British laws stemming from the EU is hotly contested, it is likely quite large, with some estimates ranging up to 62%. What is more important, however, is how significant some of the EU’s competencies are. An “independent” Scotland within the EU would face the same quotas on its fisheries, abide by the same agricultural policy, honour the same trade deals signed devised in Brussels, and have absolutely no control over its borders. Its government also intends to continue using the British pound as its currency. In this sense, the stated intention of being “in the driving seat of [Scotland’s] own destiny and to shape [its] own future” loses its meaning. Without full control over essential areas like borders and monetary policy, a nation is not independent.

Moreover, the EU has always made clear that to secede from a member state is to secede from the Union. As such, Scotland deciding to leave the UK in order to retain its EU membership is not only impossible, but dangerously misleading to Scots.

Beyond the glaring incoherence of the Scottish government’s position, Scots have already decided on the matter of independence, and it is irresponsible for the Scottish government to use the threat of a future referendum as a political shuttlecock. It is common practice to hold referenda once in a generation, especially if their results are as decisive as the last time Scots were consulted, in 2014 (55% in favour of remaining in the UK). Sturgeon’s postponed threat of another Scottish vote depending on how “hard” Brexit ends up being is more of a bargaining chip than a true expression of Scotland’s will. This cynical approach to politics serves no one. Scots wishing to remain in the UK are under constant threat of a second referendum, while Scots wishing for independence are being manipulated for narrow political gains.

The desire for independence is unambiguously good. All willing nations deserve to gain their sovereignty, including most recently the United Kingdom. The Scottish government’s position rejecting Westminster while embracing Brussels does not reflect a genuine yearning for independence. Rather, it smacks of political opportunism. The people of Scotland –both for and against independence– deserve better.

5 thoughts on “Independence or incoherence? Why the Scottish government is misleading Scots”

  1. As I recall, being Scottish and mixing with people from all walks of life, I have no recollection of the Scottish people ever calling for a Scottish Parliament. This was Politically motivated by Blair at the behest of the EU. Bearing in mind, the EU needed to break up the UK into Regions in order to make it more controllable as an EU State. The UK was designated into 12 States. Scotland was one, N. Ireland two and Wales three. This left England to be broken up into 9 States making a total of 12 States in Europe. This was followed by the so called Police Commissioner Elections and the Mayoral Elections, giving off the pretence that we were still part of a Democracy. They tried to get the people in the North of England to vote to become a Region, but they voted against being Regionalised. This devolution was done under the guise of giving power back to the people. Instead, many people saw it as electing more and more Political opportunists to join the State gravy train and create more State Control over their lives and pick their pockets of their hard earned wages. Many people believed that the Government was in Westminster and were unaware at that time that all the changes emanated from the real government in Brussels who were gearing up for their ‘ever closer union’ with their Political Agenda and full integration into the EU Supranational State. Another Red Flag re the EU, was when Blair tried to do away with our Jury System to comply with EU Law. Lucky this was rejected by the House of Lords. His revenge, in order to discredit the House of Lords, was to fill it with Europhiles, in order that the Lords would never be able to oppose any opposition to EU changes to British Law.

    (To clarify, the following was written by Mark Leonard, co-founder and Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the first pan -European Think Tank.)
    “Europe’s power is easy to miss. Like an invisible hand, it operates through the shell of traditional Political Institutions. The British House of Commons, British Law Courts and British Civil Servants are still here, but they have all become Agents of the European Union, implementing European Law. This is no accident”.
    That explains Blair’s actions in trying to do away with the British Jury System and other proposals. At the time, nobody was aware that this was all part of the EU Political Agenda. Now we know.

    The Labour Government was also devious when they allowed Scotland to have a Devolved Parliament. This was to have a safe retreat for their own Politicians where they could go and lick their wounds, when the majority in England voted for a Conservative Government. They devised a voting system where no party would have a majority in the Scottish Parliament. Unfortunately, Labour had majority control and as per usual, the people lost all faith in them. This was what gave the SNP the opportunity to come to the fore, all be it that they were the Tartan version of Labour. To turn people off the SNP, Labour had called them the “Scottish Tories” although they more Left than Labour. Combined with Westminster imposing EU Laws and Dictates on the nation, people were becoming disenchanted with the Politicians and did not turn out to vote, causing very low voting turnouts.The ranks of the SNP are made up of the Hard Left disenchanted Labour and opportunist nonentities of those wanting to climb the Political Ladder.

    People forget that Salmond was expelled from the SNP as he was showing his extreme Left ideology and was making the SNP unelectable. He was then taken back in and quietened his rhetoric down to make him more acceptable. Sturgeon was hand picked by him to be his heir and he groomed her to be the next Leader. In order to make her more acceptable to voters, she had a full makeover from Marxist Activist to looking more feminine. Her rise to power has been politically stage managed to fool people into voting for her. Her only answer to the woes of why Scotland is still struggling economically, is to blame it on Westminster and she needs Scotland to be Independent. She has failed to use the Powers that has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, as they would alienate voters. She has bribed many of her rump voters with Free Prescriptions which is money which could be better spent on the failing NHS and is happy to splash out Taxpayers money on Free Tuition for EU Citizens. She so hates the word “British” that she is going to abolish the British Transport Police and integrate them into Police Scotland, another failed SNP Political venture.

    Scotland cannot move on and prosper like the rest of the UK as the SNP are damaging the economy with their incessant calls for IndiRef2. Sometimes one would wonder if the woman has an IQ below remedial and is incapable of understanding Constitutional matters, that a NO Vote to Independence, means NO and a UK Vote on LEAVE, means the UK LEAVES. Is she mentally challenged, or does she think that the Scottish people are mentally challenged? People are now rather embarrassed to say that they had voted for her, but will not make that mistake again. While Nicola and her cronies ride off into oblivion with their Gold Plated State Funded Pensions and join the new members of the Political Wealthy Elite, the yet unborn Taxpayers will be footing the bill. While the rest of us have to fund our own Pensions, we are also compelled to fund the Political Elites’ Pensions.

    What the SNP has in common with the EU is, as Political and State control expands, the State then has absolute power. This is why Sturgeon wishes to keep Scotland in the EU.

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