Monday, January 16, 2017

Scottish Government don't blink on single market membership : independence referendum becomes even more likely

When the news broke on Saturday night that Theresa May was preparing to pull the UK out of the single market and the customs union, I suggested that this was the moment of truth for an independence referendum, and that we'd find out everything we need to know by watching for whether Nicola Sturgeon abandoned her red line that Scotland had to remain a full part of the single market.  We didn't have to wait long for our answer.  The SNP's immediate response was to post a short article on their website explaining the fundamental difference between membership of the single market and mere "access" to it.  That's absolutely fascinating, because if the London commentariat's pet theory that Nicola Sturgeon is bluffing about a second indyref is correct, you'd have expected the SNP to do the complete opposite - they'd have probably started muddying the waters between 'access' and 'membership' in the hope of selling a lesser compromise to the party rank-and-file.  The course they've actually charted leaves no easy means of escaping an indyref - and that appears to be a feature, not a bug.

So is there any lingering possibility that a referendum might still not happen?  Yes, but that outcome is looking less and less plausible.  It seems to me there are only three conceivable ways in which a independence vote might be averted -

a) The advance briefing of Theresa May's speech tomorrow might not match the eventual content, in which case there may still be an outside chance of the UK remaining in the single market.

b) EU leaders might do a highly improbable U-turn and drop free movement of people as a precondition for continued single market membership.

c) Theresa May might do a highly improbable U-turn and agree to consider special status for Scotland within Europe after all.

Of those, only a) seems remotely credible.  In which case, an independence referendum might start to look all-but-inevitable as early as tomorrow.

85 comments:

  1. The stakes are surely getting higher. If we go for Indyref2 now and lose (even by the shortest whisker), successive WM governments will bury Scotland alive. This time is really is do or die.

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    1. Or fail to rise to the challenge of even holding indyref2. May has confirmed her stance - a hard brexit. So far it's just standard response from the SNP.

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  2. There are dozens of other scenarios which are possible,but looking less and less likely.We're getting down to the nitty gritty.
    Theresa May can only deliver a Hard Brexit.An announcement this week will allow financial markets to adjust to that now,rather than during negotiations after article 50 has been signed.
    Will the EU offer its Scottish citizens an alternative to Hard Brexit? Would Theresa May support it?

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  4. if the eu position is out of the single market, it strikes me as a very binary option, question, why will it take 2 years to negotiate this, and i it doesnt tae 2 years, is this 2 year period a limit but that the uk could be out and negotiations finished much sooner? ie, the 2 year window from pressing the a50 button to actually leaving, within which we can have indyref2, might actually be a much smaller window?
    sc

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    1. Read Article 50 itself. The two years is a maximum limit on those negotiations - which could take as little as a day, IF both sides agree.

      If neither can agree on a deal or an extension of negotiations, the two years is a hard limit that kicks Britain out.

      However, they can agree to extend negotiations. I'm sure I saw news recently floating the idea that the EU could extend the Article 50 negotiations to allow Scotland time to make an attempt at inheriting continuing EU membership.

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    2. Guy Verhofstad gave clear indication there would be an extension for Scotland to stay in the EU no specific was given as to the single market.
      There has NEVER been a formal motion from Spain or Belgium against Scotland being an independent part of the EU.
      No matter what the mass media says there has been NO motion from any other country against Scotland's participation and remaining in the EU as full member.

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    3. That's something I've been thinking about, Alan. If a hard brexit could theoretically happen in a much shorter time frame than the two year maximum; should the indyref 2 legislation be ready to go before article 50 is triggered?

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    4. agreed, thats the point i was making, we may not have 2 years b4 we are out of the eu, indyref2 would be fought on the basis of re joining
      sc

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    5. The problem with an instant or walk away without an agreement Brexit is that it kills the economy. A huge amount of the validation system for exports for things like food safety, airline safety, technical standards etc. etc. etc. Are pan EU ones, the regulators are EU wide. If we leave without a negotiated continuing membership of these bodies then we cannot export anything, planes will no longer fly, Eurostar may have to stop, the ferries too. That a lot of these bodies are physically located in the UK makes no difference. We could stretch things out while we tried to set up our own bodies AND get EVERYONE else in the world to agree to them. But the EU would know we were doing it.

      The UK has no credible nuclear option in the talks because of this. They cannot threaten to walk out. Don't think the EU would play ball in the interests of stability. They have weathered French farmer strikes closing the channel. They will let us stew in isolation for as long as it took to get Westminster crawling back begging for a resumption or just as punishment.

      The world is very, very much more complex than a lot of people, Leavers in particular think.

      This pan EU feature of regulators also makes Scotland post a Yes vote having such a nuclear option. If we vote Yes to stay in the EU then we get covered by those regulators. Yes would be a vote for stability.

      Remember that when out canvassing in IndyRef2.

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    6. China, Saudi Arabia and Brazil aren't members of any EU institutions or signed up for EU style regulation. Yet we still buy and sell things from / to them. Planes still fly between these countries and ours. You display a woeful misunderstanding of trade. The penalty for leaving the EU without a deal is the reintroduction of tarriffs in line with WTO rules. That might mean a 10% increase in the price of certain things in the shops and make it a bit more difficult for us to sell things. That's it. Trade continues. Planes still fly :0)

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  5. The leopard hasn't changed it's spots and Westminster still thinks it rules the world.
    No prospect whatsoever of Scotland being treated with respect and consideration and Hamond's threats to the EU have now shown Europeans how they do business.
    Do as we say,or else.
    I think May's speech this week may be related to an expected unfavourable outcome from the Supreme court and her reported insistence of one nation/country suggests they also expect to be told that Scots must have a say in the outcome of A50.
    The only plan appears to be becoming part of Trumpland after exiting the EU.
    I am sure this will go down well with a majority of Scots...that will be right!

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  6. I'd say that hard Brexit is inevitable. I can't envisage any political force or event that can stop this now. Worse still, those much-discussed transitional deals look less likely than ever. The UK Government simply isn't prepared to maintain either the 4 freedoms or the rules and regulations that would be necessary for temporary membership. They don't seem to understand that all trade deals require costs, harmonisation rules and supranational courts.

    I can't see any of the EU 27 relenting. They have been utterly consistent in their position.

    Brexit lies is at the extreme end of the consequences of power imbalance in the UK. It's kind of now or never for indyref2, I think.


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  7. We should declare that the Scottish people will have a referendum to choose between independence or the UK with its Brexit deal, whenever the details of that deal are known.
    That will force Scotland into the middle of the negotiation.

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  8. Not read anything from Scottish Skier for a while? Hope he/she is OK!

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    1. I was thinking the same thing. What has happened to him I wonder?

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  9. One other thing I was going to mention was with regard to Hammond's threats to reduce corporation tax.
    My understanding was that Westminster has encouraged multinational corporations to pay their taxes in various offshore tax havens anyway so pay almost nothing to the London treasury anyway.
    How do you reduce zero tax and if all he is saying is that he will compete with other banana republics for this income then good luck with that.
    Perhaps I am missing the point.

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  10. James. There is a 4th way: London may simply refuse to grant the Sect 30 order necessary to make the referendum legal

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    1. Good luck to them if they try that.

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    2. Professor Robert Black disagrees with you that a Section 30 order would be necessary to make a consultative referendum legal, depending on the wording of the question.

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    3. That was before the previous Sect 30 order amended the Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998. Sect 5A now reads:

      (1) Paragraph 1 does not reserve a referendum on the independence of Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom if the following requirements are met.

      (2) The date of the poll at the referendum must not be the date of the poll at any other referendum held under provision made by the Parliament.

      (3) The date of the poll at the referendum must be no later than 31st December 2014.

      (4) There must be only one ballot paper at the referendum, and the ballot paper must give the voter a choice between only two responses

      Whether Prof. Black's view was correct prior to the previous Sect 30, an IndyRef is now clearly beyond legislative competence (unless the three conditions are met; one of which is no longer possible).

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    4. Here is Professor Black's response to that.

      https://twitter.com/rblackqc/status/821047734811688960

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    5. Absolutely, Rolfe, the opinion of Professor Black I was referring to was expressed AFTER the last Section 30, not before.

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    6. Britain is a unitary state, with an uppity regional administration that held a secession referendum and lost it two years ago. If May refuses permission for a referendum, there will be no referendum. There will also be no international support for it. Any challenge at the UN can presumably be vetoed by the UK govt - a 'big five' power.

      But all this supposes that Holyrood has formally requested a referendum and has been denied one. At this moment in time, we aren't even at the request stage - even though Theresa May has driven a truck through Sturgeon's red lines.

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  11. I'd be most convinced of a) happening as well. Reasonably time-worn tactic to leak something bad, then announce something that isn't 'so bad' so as people feel grateful that 'it could have been worse'.

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  12. barnet formula,federal union will be toast(but who believes it anyway)

    scottish unionist parties will turn more unionist ( : > (

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  13. Westminster's arrogance and ignorance towards Scotland [and the EU] continues to grow. Scotland and England are two very different nations; it's just that Westminster doesn't realize it, yet.

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  15. Certain people could stop all of this tomorrow if they wanted. Imagine Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown, Jim Wallace or Ming Campbell came out and said they'd campaign for Independence in the event of a hard Brexit with withdrawal from ECHR. The Tories would know there was no chance of winning a second referendum. Where exactly are they? What do they have to say about this? Why are they so silent, when we know they are all consummate Europhiles? It cannot not have crossed their minds that the UK is going in a direction that they simply cannot endorse.

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    1. I know eh, all silent - at what point do their principles trump the union? Can't see Flipper ever changing sides. At least Henry McLeish is firmly on the Yes side now (allegedly)..surely there must be more to follow.

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    2. I think what they endorse is their income.

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    3. You massively overestimate the influence of Jim Wallace. And significantly overestimate the influence of the others.

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  16. I agree with keaton, we significantly overestimate the influence of theses people, but it would be good to have them onboard. I think we need the snp in indyref2 to offer a manifesto which appeals to the greatest number of voters vis a vis the EU, eg a holding pen EFTA/EEA application with the promise of an EUREF2 in the 2nd half of the 1st independent holyrood session offering just the options of greater EU integration. I think this will entice the yes/leave voters back to vote yes and ensure an indyref2 yes victory
    sc

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  17. Anon, nothing Darling or Brown has said in recent weeks gives me any belief that they would even consider backing indy:

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/darling-claims-sturgeon-is-bluffing-with-indyref2-bid-1-4265829

    http://labourlist.org/2016/12/gordon-brown-labour-steers-a-path-between-snps-demand-for-all-out-independence-and-tories-hard-brexit/

    Sure, they're all big Europhiles. Darling & Brown were also big socialists, once upon a time. Wallace & Campbell were once Liberals, back in the good old days. All have campaigned for democratic reform & power to the people, only to mysteriously abandon those causes when a little bit of ermine or money goes their way.

    They'll just remain silent, like they did during their last Parliament as MPs, watching the Tories slash and cut and burn, while still pretending they're fighting them. They won't speak up for the Remain voters any more than they stuck up for their own voters.

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  18. Sounded like a blink on the news to me. Membership of the single market morphed into "a good deal for Scotland".

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  19. Has anyone considered arguing to use credit negotiations as opportunity for England to just end the Scotland question for generations by forging an independence deal that keeps it part of whatever for military , the queen etc but gives real local power over? They clearly don't really like Scots, it takes like 12 years in London til they whore themselves out. Sell it as positive to the Tories...just get rid of Scotland.

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    1. Brexit. Not credit. They seem to be willing to re do everything.

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  20. Glasgow Working ClassJanuary 16, 2017 at 7:11 PM

    The feudal landowners and speculative class joined the Union 1707. The present day middle class Nat sis who have been bumping their gums for indepence this past few decades are now deviating, shiting themselves and having second thoughts about independence. Amazing how a few bob in their pockets changes the mind.

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    1. Cuckservative piss boysJanuary 16, 2017 at 7:36 PM

      To GOVE is to stare vacantly, or ‘to look about like a simpleton’.

      (Westmoreland & Cumberland Dialects, 1839)

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2January 16, 2017 at 7:49 PM

      You have practised then?

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    3. Theresa Trump and the BrexitearsJanuary 16, 2017 at 7:52 PM

      She is a former millionaire Banker
      Her husband is a £1.3 Trillion hedge fund manager

      Anyone expecting Mother Theresa may be disappointed.

      Delete
  21. Glasgow Working Class 2January 16, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    As Labour shrinks, so their message reduces.
    Pro nukes.
    Anti immigration.
    Pro House of Lords.
    Anti Europe.

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  22. Glasgow Working Class 2January 16, 2017 at 8:39 PM

    Looks like the loser Nat sis are reverting back to their impersonator and fash shite...Love that fash. At least have a referendum about having a referendum. Yer underwear must be
    boufin ya shitebags.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2January 16, 2017 at 9:17 PM

      Hiv the bottle tae use yer ain name ya cowardly tory pisslicker. Go on dae it prick.

      Delete
    2. "Waah! Waah! I can dish it out but can't take a slagging in return!

      Waaaaaaahhhh!"

      Delete
  23. They are creeping up Trumps golden arse. I think Teresa and her gang have decided where they want to go. The EU is not their direction of travel.

    We have to decide if we are part of Europe - as we have been for 1500 years - or just a region of greater England.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2January 16, 2017 at 9:37 PM

      You joke Jocks will be crawlin tae the Yanks fur work. Wee kim Yung Eck wis right up the Tonalds erse not sae lang ago... Cannae wait fur wee Knickerless tae gie the Tonald a State visit....Maybe the Tonald will get a sniff at her drawers.

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    2. Bumblefuck tories for FarageJanuary 16, 2017 at 9:40 PM

      Trump doesn't give a flying fuck how hard the UKIP wing of the tories try to suck up to him.

      When Gove was grovelling to try and curry favour Trump hilariously made a point of praising Farage and chastising Gove and the tories for not behaving more like Farage and lavishing him with praise.

      Trump knows that the tories will be easy pickings for the buffoon Farage once the split and the backstabbing for position begin again in earnest.

      Talking to Gove proves as much since who the fuck trusts Gove inside the tory party after his treachery against Boris? Nobody.

      It's also not really about UKIP for Farage any more than it was about the GOP for Trump. They will serve as a vehicle for Farage when the time is right as the GOP did for Trump. Their fortunes until that point simply don't matter too much.

      Westminster politics will be dominated by the tories trying and failing to outkip the kippers (yet again) as the tory split over Brexit ensures chaos for years ahead.

      Once the gloves come off over the tory party Brexit split - and whether they seriously want to be kippers in all but name - those tory leadership hopefuls (and their supporters) who fucked it up last time will be stirring the pot furiously as they brief the press to undermine Theresa May almost as much as Farage will be doing.

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    3. Glasgow Working Class 2January 16, 2017 at 10:01 PM

      Whit the fook are you rabbiting aboot. You fash are supposed to want a referendum and you have abandoned it ya shitebags. Forget about Gove, Farage and Trump.

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    4. The poster above is a far-right racist tory sockpuppetJanuary 16, 2017 at 11:49 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

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  24. Glasgow Working Class 2January 16, 2017 at 11:13 PM

    Nat sis gone tae sleep tae think again. Whit a bunch a cowards that wantad tae run a nation and then renage on having a referendum. Words evade me on such scum. Up yer kilts fash. Just disappear quietly.

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    1. The poster above is a far-right racist tory sockpuppetJanuary 16, 2017 at 11:49 PM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working Class 2January 17, 2017 at 12:38 AM

      The person infatuated by the dead is back with the old shite and nothing to offer. Get a job in a morgue you perv.

      Delete
    3. "Waah! Waah! I can dish it out but can't take a slagging in return!

      Waaaaaaahhhh!"

      Delete
  25. Bumblefuck Tories for UKIPJanuary 16, 2017 at 11:50 PM

    Trump doesn't give a flying fuck how hard the UKIP wing of the tories try to suck up to him.

    When Gove was grovelling to try and curry favour Trump hilariously made a point of praising Farage and chastising Gove and the tories for not behaving more like Farage and lavishing him with praise.

    Trump knows that the tories will be easy pickings for the buffoon Farage once the split and the backstabbing for position begin again in earnest.

    Talking to Gove proves as much since who the fuck trusts Gove inside the tory party after his treachery against Boris? Nobody.

    It's also not really about UKIP for Farage any more than it was about the GOP for Trump. They will serve as a vehicle for Farage when the time is right as the GOP did for Trump. Their fortunes until that point simply don't matter too much.

    Westminster politics will be dominated by the tories trying and failing to outkip the kippers (yet again) as the tory split over Brexit ensures chaos for years ahead.

    Once the gloves come off over the tory party Brexit split - and whether they seriously want to be kippers in all but name - those tory leadership hopefuls (and their supporters) who fucked it up last time will be stirring the pot furiously as they brief the press to undermine Theresa May almost as much as Farage will be doing.

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    1. Ah, perhaps you think the Queen gives a fuck about her subjects?

      Whatever Trump thinks of them will not stop the creeps sucking his nutsack. The king is dead, god save the king!

      They have no shame the British ruling class. They were saluting Herr Schicklgruber 80 years ago, and they know the Saudis are dropping cluster bombs on children today. They look after themselves alone.

      And they ARE creeping up Trumps arse.

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    2. Bumblefuck tories for FarageJanuary 17, 2017 at 12:24 AM

      Farage is Trump's pet. He wants his kipper pissboy to be the one doing his bidding since he clearly doesn't trust the tories and May.

      The British establishment matters as little to Trump as the U.S. establishment did. They can certainly try to suck up to Trump but he's hardly going to trust them or put his faith in the same fools who thought having David Cameron as the voice of remain for Brexit was a good idea. They are wasting their time so let them make a fool of themselves.

      Trump is every bit the buffoon Farage is and his Presidency will be comically bad if not ruinous. However, any tory that thinks Trump is dumb enough to hand a split tory party the moon on a stick over Brexit to save their skin is a naive and gullible simpleton.

      It's blatantly obvious Trump would rather see Farage in charge rather than the UK establishment. Even if that's a pipe dream it won't stop Trump using Farage and tory disunity to bend them over backwards to get what HE wants over trade deals, not them.

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    3. Trump values free trade but only - and sensibly - with nations of a similar living standard (such as the United Kingdom). The EEC was basically that, before it went mental and admitted everyone and his dog.

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  26. Glasgow Working Class 2January 17, 2017 at 12:44 AM

    Jock Nat sis have abandoned themselves and the so called indyref mark 2... And have decided to continue talking shite...Position normal... Carry on humiliating yerselfs fash...

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    1. The poster above is a far-right racist tory sockpuppetJanuary 17, 2017 at 12:52 AM

      The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor

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    2. It's just JK Plagiarist's other account. The one she uses when McColm's being Spanner.

      Delete
    3. Flash the Jocks have abandoned indyref 2 we have only 12 hours 10 mins to save Scotland....

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    4. Eat your cereal.

      Delete
  27. English fur Jock IndependenceJanuary 17, 2017 at 2:01 AM

    We are here to help.

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  28. Theresa May's 12 point Brexit plan in detailJanuary 17, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    Step 1 : Collect EU underpants
    Step 2 : ???
    Step 3 : ???
    Step 4 : ???
    Step 5 : ???
    Step 6 : ???
    Step 7 : ???
    Step 8 : ???
    Step 9 : ???
    Step 10 : ???
    Step 11 : ???
    Step 12 : Profit

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2January 17, 2017 at 1:12 PM

      Step 13, more profit and spending on public services. No more Nat si cuts.

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    2. #impotentrage #snivellingyoon

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    3. Impotentrage? You got your arse handed to you in 2014 and are being withdrawn from the EU by a tory government whose permission you need to seek for a 2nd referendum. Impotence? The SNP wrote the book on it.

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    4. #impotentrage #snivellingyoon

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    5. #evenmoreclosertoanindependencereferendumnoevenmorecloserthanthatlol

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    6. #impotentrage #hystericalyoon

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    7. #subjugatedpeasantwithnocountry

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    8. #impotentrage #hystericalyoon

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  29. James may have missed a fourth senario which is that the Supreme Court rules that the Scottish people have to agree to being taken out of the EU. We can then block Brexit and Farage and his cronies can start campaigning to have Scotland kicked out of the UK. P.S. I am also going to win the lottery this weekend!

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  30. I can see Verhofstadt in the first session looking around at the UK delegation and pointedly asking where the representatives of the Devolved nations are.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2January 17, 2017 at 12:42 PM

      It is a British delegation and it was a British referendum thicko. Ye cannae even run the NHS or Edjikation up here and you expect Jock Nat sis to be on the delegation.

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    2. Don't you have Tory boots to lick?

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    3. Education is in an especially poor state but that's deliberate, of course.

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  31. So it's a hard brexit then - fast and clean. A bold and brave decision by our Prime Minister that will pay off in the long run.

    Can we now expect Strugglin to demand an independence referendum? Her red line has been crossed. What's she going to do about it? More waffle or an equally bold and brave decision?

    Aldo

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    1. A bold and brave decision by our Prime Minister that will pay off in the long run.January 17, 2017 at 6:38 PM

      "The undecideds and the bottlers will put it in the back of the net for 'remain'. I'm sure Cameron also has a few tricks up his sleeve to deploy in the dying days of the campaign."

      Aldo

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2January 17, 2017 at 7:41 PM

      She is a mouthy shitbag and will not call a referendum. Herman the Nazi German Gestapo will not subsidise Scotland so the gobshit is fooked.

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    3. Yes, dearie. Eat your cereal, there's a good little operative.

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    4. I suspect you are right GWC but time will tell. All I'm seeing so far is stuff about indyref2 being more likely. The SNP have an asymptotic relationship with indy2 - we move forever closer but never quite reach it.

      Theresa May showed courage today. We await the SNP response.

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    5. The copy and paste troll strikes again I see - he's a dedicated little bastard isn't he? But I don't think a supporter of Scottish independence should be pulling anyone up on dud predictions :0)

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