Friday, November 2, 2018

If a so-called People's Vote actually happened, what would be the consequences for independence?

After the events of a few months ago, it's refreshing to be able to get back to actually agreeing with Pete Wishart about something, and I do agree with him that there are dangers attached to the SNP's recent change of heart about a so-called "People's Vote". In fact I think what troubled me the most was Nicola Sturgeon's enthusiastic embrace of the dubious term "People's Vote", because in spite of her caveat that she would be seeking assurances that Scotland's voice would be respected in a second referendum, she also made clear that her support for a referendum was unconditional. It's obvious that the desired assurances will not be forthcoming and that any second referendum that could possibly command a majority in the House of Commons would be a straightforward UK-wide vote, exactly like the one that was held in June 2016. If it went ahead, what sort of hostage to fortune would we have just given? How could we denounce a second vote that overturned Scotland's wishes as a democratic outrage if the First Minister had warmly described the process in advance as a "People's Vote"?

There's also the problem of a precedent being set for Scottish independence: if the Leave vote of 2016 doesn't actually lead to Britain leaving the European Union because it's overturned by a second referendum before the result is implemented, why couldn't unionists attempt the same stunt after a future Yes vote in Scotland? However, as I pointed out to Labour MP Paul Sweeney recently, the precedent can't be set simply by SNP support for a referendum - it can only be set if a referendum is actually held, and it probably won't be, partly because of Labour's own stance. And there's the rub: the logic of the SNP's new strategy surely hinges entirely on the assumption that they are supporting something that will never come to pass. Which is fine, and probably justified, but it's a bit of a high-wire act all the same.

Peter Curran asked on Twitter recently what would happen to the plans for an indyref if the SNP's best efforts succeeded, and Britain remained in the EU, or there was an extremely soft Brexit. And the answer can only be that an indyref would be off the table at that point, because there would be no chance of success - Remain supporters in Scotland would breathe the biggest sigh of relief on record, look back on the chaos of the last two years, and refuse to countenance any constitutional upheaval (such as independence) for many, many years to come. But if a Hard Brexit actually happens, the opposite applies - independence in Europe will start to look like the antidote to the chaos.

During the 2016 EU referendum, the SNP leadership were often accused of secretly wanting a Leave vote to further the cause of independence. That was almost certainly an unjust charge - my impression is that they genuinely wanted the peace and quiet of a Remain vote, and would afterwards have looked to build towards an indyref at some point in the 2021-26 parliament. But once the Leave vote happened, it's probably fair to say that any potential overturning of that result started to look inconsistent with keeping the flame of independence burning bright. So, on paper, the SNP are now campaigning for something that is the polar opposite of being in their own best interests.

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48 comments:

  1. The so called independence vote is turning into a we want to be run by the EU vote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its desperate need for human contact.
      So sad.
      So very funny.

      Delete
  2. So maybe you have to WIN two votes make huge changes...not a bad idea actually. Wasn't England a more polite place when the Lord's could slow things down and get poor legislation rewritten? I may be wrong ! Anyhow, it might make it easier to get the first vote passed! ( just vote yes this time ! Then if there are problems you can just fix it next vote!).

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  3. James I used to worry about our tactics with regard to securing independence but now I am much more relaxed about the whole thing. Independence is not something we should be trying to 'slip past' the public but something we should be proudly championing. We must try to stop fretting so much and get on with the real task of convincing enough of the other 55% that independence is the best way forward for Scotland to secure our aim. Its less than 5% we need - we just have to get on with the task at hand.

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  4. Agreed that this could be a risky position for the FM.
    However there won't be a euroref2.
    Scotland has to cover every possible option, but any new referendum would exclude remaining in the EU as an option. Meanwhile the Scots fishermen are watching the weasel Tories, and even Mundell is sweating.
    Also this position on another euref will not risk a rerun of a successful Indyref2. When the 'union' crumbles it will be gone like snaw aff a dyke.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. The Constitutional Unit has written a good analysis of potential timetables, and there isn't enough time, unless an extension to A50.

      I can't see support for extending A50 to rerun the referendum. Tories will unite against that, fearing more divisions. They are fairly perky atm, and this PV nonsense is a good distraction for their detractors, hence their relative silence.

      I suspect SNP know this, and they are just doing some consistent posturing on EU.

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    2. Mister Beaujangles. Dance.

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    3. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its desperate need for human contact.
      So sad.
      So very funny.

      Delete
    4. Your getting on my wick prick.

      Delete
    5. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      I think I made it cry again.
      So very funny.

      Delete
    6. Arnold N Gravity-PantsNovember 11, 2018 at 7:17 PM

      Jump into the fruit basket, swifty!

      Delete
    7. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its bizarre self-created Polari.
      I think I made it cry again.
      So very funny.

      Delete
  5. First off there is no guarantee that the EU would accept the withdrawal of the article 50 letter, given the bad feeling that Westminister has created.
    Second a 'people's vote' (actually the 3rd EU referendum, 1975,2016,..)
    probably would not contain option to remain in CU and SM.
    This allows SG to proceed to Indyref2/parliamentary mandate with knowledge that precedence now allows a 2nd referendum with short space of time (now 2 years).
    Third and the most important reason. The English political elite totally own Brexit. If it is not fully carried through successfully and seen to be successful then the English political elite lose what little credibility they still have.

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  6. The next independence referendum will be the confirmatory referendum.

    In 2014 the people of Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom, the next independence referendum will be confirmation or rejection of the 2014 decision.

    The next independence referendum will be based on whether the United Kingdom delivered on all the promises made to win the 2014 referendum.

    The next independence referendum will be based on whether the people of Scotland got the 'deal' the voted for.

    The next independence referendum will confirm if we're still as gullible as we were in 2014.

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  7. Whether Scotland is independent or not, we will be much worse off if the UK is out of the EU. Brexit has wider ramifications, just as the invasion of Iraq did, for international stability and the rule of law. Fascists at home and abroad have already taken a great deal of heart from the 2016 vote. The SNP's stance is consistent with how one would hope an independent Scotland would act. You simply can't be in favour of reason and evidence and a tolerant society and not oppose Brexit.

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    Replies
    1. Sher Shon Shez,

      Let's take the two cases apart, shall we?

      If Scotland accepts the UK majority it will simply be an arm of England, tied perhaps to an aggressive and foolishly aggressive, murderous and internationally unfriendly nation as it's identity. I'm not at all sure that I want to be the tail wagged by that particular dog.

      On the other hand, is it not in Scotland's interests, as you eloquently put it,

      ". The SNP's stance is consistent with how one would hope an independent Scotland would act. You simply can't be in favour of reason and evidence and a tolerant society and not oppose Brexit."

      I would completely agree with the statement in the above paragraph, but I don't see that as associated with your idea that

      "Whether Scotland is independent or not, we will be much worse off if the UK is out of the EU. Brexit has wider ramifications..."

      It may be true, it may be the lesser of two evils, it may be actually false. What evidence do you bring to the table?

      I see none here at the moment.

      Delete
    2. The fascists are the SNP who do not accept the referendum results.

      Delete
    3. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its desperate need for human contact.
      So sad.
      So very funny.

      Delete
    4. douglas clark,

      Like anyone else, I can't provide evidence of something which hasn't yet happened. That doesn't mean (obviously) that all outcomes are equally likely.

      Only the terminally deluded believe that Brexit will be good for the UK economy. The poorer areas of England which voted Leave will be hit hardest. When their situation worsens, people tend to move to the extremes. Do we really want an even more rabidly right-wing country with a broken economy parked on our southern border? And who will that encourage in the wider world?

      By opposing Brexit, we prove that Scotland is not an arm, nor a tail, nor any other appendage of England. We assert Scotland's identity.

      Delete
    5. I see what you're doing there. You're doing that fun thing that Sean Connery does with his "s" sounds. I thought maybe you were Chinese or something like that at first, but I was thinking about it when I went to bed and dreamed the answer. When I was younger I dreamed how to play the piccolo too. You'll laugh at this but I also dreamed that if I painted my school recorder with gold paint it would turn into a flute!

      Delete
    6. Alexis Morell-Carrington-Colby-Dexter-RowanNovember 10, 2018 at 11:10 PM

      I met him in Portofino in Series 7. Lovely seafood trattoria. Just mention my name, darling. Adolfo will seat you by the window.

      Delete
    7. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its bizarre self-created Polari.
      I think I made it cry again.
      So very funny.

      Delete
  8. This "People's Vote" thing won't take place, but if it did it could prove quite useful for the independence movement and a step towards IndyRef2. If it were to take place and Scotland and NI again vote to Remain while England (and Wales) confirm their Leave choice, that will be a useful lesson for the slow learners in Scotland that we can not decide our future within the UK. I think the whole thing is a wasteful sideshow, but I'm trying to find a positive side to it.

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  9. I think the SNP could not avoid supporting EUref2, simply as it was both the right thing to do, and popular with the Scottish public. I don't think it will happen. Therefore--a lot of merde will hit the fan. Hard Brexit? Perhaps not, but expect a few cans kicked down the road. In the customs union, but not permanent--fishing sold out--again! N Ireland will be majority Republican in a few years (demographics and outward migration). A border poll will be a mighty close thing after a dud Brexit. Then Scotlands turn. There is no way a government in London could veto Scots having a say in their own future after N Ireland had just done the same. I expect a vote in 2024.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its desperate need for human contact.
      So sad.
      So very funny.

      Delete
    2. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its desperate need for human contact.
      So sad.
      So very funny.

      Delete
  10. Iain T,

    You are now nominated as "my favorite optimist!" Where I can see downsides you do not!

    In my imagination, we win another independence poll 90 to 10. That would be unduly pessimistic for Iain T. Frankly I salute your optomism!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Douglas Clark -
      No bright spark.
      Less bite more bark
      Than a half-dead shark.

      Delete
    2. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its bizarre self-created Polari.
      I think I made it cry again.
      So very funny.

      Delete
  11. I love optimism but please don't salute my indefatigability. Too much like Galloway. Might I be the cat?

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  12. If Ireland can be partitioned, then the UK can be too. After all, Ireland is an ancient country; the UK by contrast is a very young union (from 1921 in current form). An immeadiate solution (to keep everyone happy) therefore would be Scotland stays, as does N. Ireland. Only England and Wales leave the EU. Partitioning the latter two further would also be acceptable, at least if they support the partitioning of Ireland. If Ireland can be partitioned (based on people's voting patterns), so can England and Wales. Only racist scum could suggest otherwise.

    If this isn't acceptable, the UK needs to let go of northern Ireland immeadiately, as it remaining part of the UK union is based solely on the above premise.

    This is why N. Ireland won't be leaving the EU / single market. It's an abomination and any attempt to breach the UN peace agreement should be (and you can bet your bottom Euro will be) met with severe, economy crippling sanctions on a pariah state UK. No other country globally thinks the partitioning of Ireland is ok. Not even the USA under Trump (with it's big Irish lobby); the USA brokered the deal and USA Irish funded the fight against English occupation of the province.

    Brexit cannot proceed meaningfully without breaking the UK.

    My feeling is we are heading to a fudge with Corybn standing shoulder to shoulder with the Tories, voting for their 'all but still in' brexit bill. Britnats unite to maintain the status quo.

    That will not solve the problem though and UKIP will be back with a vengance. England needs to fall flat on it's face I suspect before it finally accepts brexit is a pipe dream and in the post empire world it is just 'little England'; another European state.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scotland & NI cannot remain as part of the EU with only England and Wales leaving as they are not member states. They can of course hold referendums to join Ireland / become independent but those will not be held before the UK leaves the EU so they will be both leaving the EU at the end of March.

      As you rightly say the UK will remain in the customs Union at the very least, there is no parliamentary Majority for anything else. SNP MP's can of course vote to take Scotland out of the CU by following Reece Mogg and Boris through the no lobbies when the vote to accept the Brexit deal comes to parliament.

      Of course the UK cannot give back NI, as per the GFA only the people if Ireland can decide, giving back NI would break this agreement.

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    2. If England+/-Wales went independent / ended the UK and left the EU, Scotland would become an independent country without any need for a referendum.

      Likewise, N. Ireland would find itself 'independent' too. It and Scotland could then seek to be in the EU if they wished; N. Ireland most likely via reunification.

      The people of the rUK have as much right to decide if they want to kick N. Ireland out of the UK as the people of N. Ireland have the right to leave. So, the rUK walking away from N.I. would not break the peace agreement with Ireland, it would only break the union agreement with N. Irish unionists.

      Delete
    3. Celia Rodina Arthur Whyte-SempleNovember 4, 2018 at 7:32 PM

      I am unstoppable.

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    4. You are a fantasist. NI is British. The only time there was a Ireland was under the British. The threat of a bum boy Catholic run Ireland caused the partition. And the North were historically proven to be right.

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    5. But England is not going to go independent, there is zero support for it. Very strange thought process.

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    6. If it wasn't for the DUP propping up May, N. Ireland would already have been dumped by the English Brexiters. The border in the Irish sea is being pencilled in as we speak. If Corbyn stands with May, the bill passes without the DUP. Hell, May even sold the N. Irish unionsists down river alread by agreeing to the backstop before the furious DUP had her backtracking (apparently).

      Polling shows the Engish will happily dump the religious nutter 'drain on the English purse' N. Irish as a price worth paying for their independence (=brexit). They're ok with the 'scrounging jocks' Scotland leaving too. If it turned out that Scotland was huge spanner in the brexit works like N. Ireland is, I think you'd find the English brexiters moving quickly to dump us. Remember, we live the high life on benefits paid for by them right?

      Certainly, don't mistake an Englishman for a Brit. They're not the same thing. In England, the British voted Remain; it was the English that voted leave. You get English nationalists in England and they're just as much of a force as Scottish nationalists. It's just they're used to getting what they want as England dominates the union. If N. Ireland or Scotland are presenting legal spanners in their brexit works, the union will start to annoy them a lot.

      The brits could contend with Scottish nationalism, but they're fighting on two fronts now and English nationalism is a force they are really struggling to contain. It's just too big.

      This is why the Scottish government need to block brexit legisation / new trade deal laws at every turn. As many court cases as possible. Anything that makes UK trade deals open to challenge as they don't seem to apply UK wide. Put the UK in a weak trade deal position again and again. Irish are using this approach to great effect; reunificaiton is racing towards us now, and once the dominos start toppling...


      This is why I keep telling Scottish unionists that they're wasting their time fighting battles in Scotland. England is now where the union is really starting to crumble. EVEL was first, now Brexit.

      Delete
    7. The voice of an expert anti British pro sell out Scotland to the EU Blackpool Rock erse licker

      Delete
    8. I agree Scottish and English nationalists are two peas in the same pod:
      Dissolve the UK union / Dissolve the EU Union
      Scotland pays more to Westminster than it gets back / the UK pays more to Brussels than gets back
      Scotland should make its laws not Westminster / England should make its own laws not Brussels.
      The list goes on and on.
      The DUP has screwed them both too, without them we would be heading towards a hard Brexit and Scotland towards Independence. But now we are going to get the softest of Brexits with the UK at in the CU at the very least. Its no coincidence that both the Scottish and English nationalists are the ones that both need a hard brexit/no deal.

      This will leave the English and Scottish nationalist with nothing to do but watch people breath a sigh of releaf and not want to see another referendum for the foreseeable future. The meltdown in the English and Scottish Nationalist communities is going to be a sight to behold as they watch their dreams disappear.

      Delete
    9. Jack The Hat McVitieNovember 8, 2018 at 7:34 AM

      Have you ever skied down the Campsie Fells in the snow? I have. But I don't need to boast about it in messages to people's websites.

      Delete
    10. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its desperate need for human contact.
      So sad.
      So very funny.

      Delete
  13. I'd start getting used to the union jack without the red saltire.

    Unionists used to make up 3/4 of the N. Irish population. They just lost their majorities at both MP and devolved level. Truly historic. The demographics have catholics overtaking protestants, with polls showing reumnification highly likely if brexit goes ahead, particularly a hard brexit.

    It's only going one way and England getting itself a bum trade deal just for the sake of N. Ireland when the latter is going to return to Ireland in 5-10 years or so anyway just makes no sense. The DUP are going to get shafted. Corbyn the English nationalist will likely provide the votes needed for this.

    Aye. Corbyn's not a britnat. That's a big reason why Scottish Labour hate him; he's not a stong unionist, but an Englishman. Hell, it's Labour - notably Corbyn - who've always backed Northern Irish reunification. Why wouldn't hey support May brexit deal that pushed things in that direction while keeping some ties with the EU?

    So, away and buy some white enamel for the apron on the mini roof. Folk will laugh at you if it still has the Irish saltire. Keep some for covering the navy blue up next.

    English nationalism has been rising alongside Scottish nationalism. In N. Ireland, reunificaiton has been creeping closer. These things don't happen in isolation. The brits are fighting on all fronts now.

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    Replies
    1. You are fighting on one front or is it your back. The Brits have won on all fronts and are now to rectify their indulgence with the EU gravy train.

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    2. But your fighting on your back with your legs in the air again.

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    3. Legs open in the air is desirable for any real Scotsman.

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    4. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its unrequited love for Yaxley-Lennon.
      Poor, miserable, incoherent Cordelia and its desperate need for human contact.
      Still, always fun watching it scream to itself.

      Delete
  14. It's English nationalism trashing devolution and the peace process, not British unionism. English nationalism is trashing these without thinking nor caring of the consequences because they are getting in the way of brexit and deep down, it doesn't much care for British unionism.


    This is why Scottish British unionists like Murray Foote and the Big Yin are changing sides.

    ReplyDelete