Brexit Day blues

There’s a belief amongst sections of the independence movement that after Brexit happens Scotland will lose its ability to hold an independence referendum and so we need to hold an independence referendum before March 2019, otherwise we’ll never be able to hold one at all. In a similar vein there are those who assert that after Brexit, the UK would never recognise the outcome of an indy vote, and so we need to have one before 29 March 2019 otherwise Westminster would keep Scotland a part of the UK even if a majority of the Scottish electorate has voted for independence.

I’m not sure where these ideas of Brexit Day blues for independence come from, but the good news is that they are not true. Categorically. Definitely. Absolutely. Not true. Brexit destroys many things, but it doesn’t destroy Scotland’s hopes of independence.

The EU was not and never was a guarantor of a Scottish independence referendum, and the UK’s membership of the EU has no bearing on Scotland’s ability to hold one. Scotland will no more or less be able to hold an independence referendum after March 2019 than it is able to hold one before that date. Formally leaving the EU makes no difference in that respect. Our ability to have a vote on the future of Scotland as a country is not conditional on the EU membership of the UK.

Just ask the Catalans. The EU (in)famously does not get involved in the internal constitutional politics of member states. Catalonia is unable to hold an independence referendum that is recognised by Spain or by the rest of the EU because the Spanish constitution prohibits it. The EU does not get involved and does not insist to Spain that it must permit a Catalan referendum. As far as the EU is concerned, the workings of the Spanish constitution are a matter for Spain.

Equally, as far as the EU is concerned, the internal constitutional arrangements of the UK are a matter for the UK. That is true both before and after Brexit Day. There is no constitutional bar on Scotland holding an independence referendum, and that fact remains true after Brexit Day just like it’s true at the moment. The EU can neither take legal steps against the UK to ensure that a referendum is held, nor take legal steps to prevent one. That will still be the case after Brexit Day. The ability to hold a referendum in Scotland rests upon the internal constitutional set up of the UK, and that does not change once the UK has left the EU. The truth is that the UK Government has as much of a legal and political ability to resist a vote on independence right now as it does after 29 March 2019.

Part of the confusion comes from the Westminster power grab. The Westminster parliament is using Brexit as an excuse to strip Holyrood of powers, and there is a natural fear amongst many that this power grab will extend to stripping Holyrood of the right to hold a vote on Scotland’s future. However the power grab is happening because of the nature of devolution, leaving the EU merely provides the Conservatives with a convenient excuse. The legal right for Westminster to do so was always there, the Conservatives are simply availing themselves of the political opportunity.

It’s called “devolution” because Westminster always intended and believed that any powers exercised by Holyrood remained powers possessed by Westminster. “A power devolved is a power retained”, in formula of the 1990s when devolution was being planned by the then Labour government. Right now, as a part of the EU, the British Government has an absolute legal right to abolish Holyrood, to strip it of any power it wants, and if it did so the EU would not get involved.

Whatever happens with Brexit, Scotland will always be able to hold a vote on its future. The Scottish Parliament can hold a consultative referendum without Westminster’s permission. That won’t change after Brexit. Pro-independence parties in Scotland will always be able to turn any future Scottish elections into a plebiscite election on independence, without Westminster’s permission. That won’t change after Brexit either. In fact, even if the British Government abolished Holyrood entirely, Scotland’s pro indy parties would still be able to convert a Westminster General Election in Scotland into a plebiscite election. All this means that before or after Brexit the Scottish Government will still be able to exert the same pressure on the British Government and to make the same arguments to press it into granting a Section 30 order, by threatening it with either a consultative referendum or a plebiscite election.

The big difference is that the political landscape will have changed after Brexit. Then the SNP and the Greens will be able to say clearly and without any contradiction that Scotland has been taken out of the EU against its will, and so the condition in the SNP mandate of 2016 has been fulfilled. Brexit strengthens the political argument for a referendum in Scotland, it doesn’t weaken or destroy it. It doesn’t strengthen the hand of Theresa May.

Here’s the thing – if the legal window for holding a referendum closed definitively on Brexit Day in March 2019, there is no way that the Scottish Government would contemplate allowing that date to pass without holding a referendum. However it seems more likely than not that the Scottish Government is going to do precisely that, and that Scotland won’t be having a referendum or a vote until sometime in summer or autumn next year at the earliest, after Brexit Day in other words.

If the lawyers and legal advisors of the Scottish Government had informed the Scottish Government that there was going to be no legal way to have a vote after Brexit day, you can be certain that Nicola Sturgeon would already have informed everyone about a date for a vote. She hasn’t, and the mood music is definitely playing a song of delay. That can only mean that there is no such legal advice, and there is no legal prohibition on a referendum after Brexit Day. The fact that Nicola Sturgeon is clearly contemplating holding a vote after 29 March 2019 means that she doesn’t believe that the political window for holding a referendum closes on Brexit Day either.

Then there are those who say that even if there was a vote after Brexit Day, the British Government wouldn’t recognise a Yes vote when it happened. Now, I bow to no-one in my low opinion of British Governments. They don’t call it Perfidious Albion for nothing. However when there is a Yes vote for independence, especially a vote which the anti-independence parties have participated in, the political realities will mean that the British Government of the day will have no option but to recognise it.

Following a Yes vote, the British Government will be under political pressure from a Scottish Government which has just won a democratic mandate for independence. It will be under political pressure from the powerful English nationalist faction of the Conservative party which will fancy its chances of increasing its power and influence in a UK without Scotland. It will be under political pressure to recognise the democratic legitimacy of a vote which the anti-independence parties will have participated in. And most importantly of all it will under political pressure from the international community. The EU will not interfere before there’s a Yes vote, but once there is, and especially given the context of a Scottish independence vote held against the background of a UK which has just left the EU, a Scotland which is markedly more pro-European in its attitudes and outlook, the EU will then speak up far more vigorously on Scotland’s behalf.

Personally, I would like an early referendum. I want to have a vote as soon as possible. I want Scotland to be independent sooner rather than later. However I understand the reasons for delaying until after March 2019, and am not scared of them. You shouldn’t be either. We have only one bullet, and we need to make it count. The closer that we get to firing that starting pistol, the harder it becomes not to lose our nerve. Brexit doesn’t spell the end of hopes for Scottish independence, it spells the end for hopes of the UK preventing it. Brexit doesn’t mean the destruction of Scotland’s path to independence. It means the UK will have destroyed itself. The real Brexit Day blues are for those who oppose Scottish independence.


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133 comments on “Brexit Day blues

  1. benmadigan says:

    Reassuring piece Paul – telling us all to support the SNP “Watch and Wait” policy.

    Unfortunately, i am not at all convinced by the arguments you outline in paragraph 13 – from “Following a Yes vote, the British Government will be under political pressure ,. . . . .” to ” the EU will then speak up far more vigorously on Scotland’s behalf”.

    They seem like the sorta wishful thinking I have heard so often on other political contexts.
    I don’t know what the SNP is going to decide, timing -wise.
    I realise the hopes of a nation ride on FM Sturgeon’s decision and I am sure she does too.
    No light responsibility

    But . .. as M Barnier says “Tick tock. Time is running out”
    I would not like to see Scotland wholly at the mercy of Westminster, come next April

  2. John Low says:

    OK. OK. I’ll breathe a little easier.
    Only comment against is that having a referendum right by Brexit day means that it can be framed as a choice between two changes. If it’s sooner or later then it becomes a choice between change as the status quo, and plenty of people will go ‘better the devil you know’ and plump for the status quo.

  3. Derick Tulloch says:

    Correct

  4. […] Wee Ginger Dug Brexit Day blues There’s a belief amongst sections of the independence movement that after Brexit […]

  5. Macart says:

    Just got back today myself and yeah, seems twatter and a few indy sites are getting more than a wee bit edgy and nervous. As for folk btl? Jings! 😮

    Hope you had a good weekend Paul.

    Aaaanyroads. Here’s the thing, and it’s as simple as you could ask for. The population of Scotland are the seat of power and permission (sovereignty) in Scotland. Our parliament and our representatives answer to the people. Not the crown. Not their own chambers. YOU!

    All that is and all that has ever been required to dissolve the treaty of union (that’s yer political onion), is a majority of the electorate of Scotland. That’s it. No clever legal cases. No loopholes. No cunning points of order. Merely a majority of Scottish citizens saying ‘HAW! THIS IS PURE PISH! WE’RE DONE PAL!’ Or words to that effect.

    Remember folks, the kingdoms were unified. A state construct was created to administer for both signatories. Our own parliament was adjourned (then recalled), but NEVER dissolved. Scotland has internationally and historically recognised borders. The countries, our churches, our legal systems have ALWAYS been separate entities.

    The only thing which supports the legislation of a central government is the will of one parliament and its establishment on one side and the compliance of the other sovereign power (THAT’S YOU). When you decide you’ve pretty much had enough of being pooped on from a great height? You can end it. All you require is formal political representation specifically mandated to carry out your wishes and hey presto!

    You’ve got the political representation. All you now require is three things. You need to empower that political representation to act on a specific mandate. Natch. You also need the will to empower that action and the belief you can do something better on the other side. I reckon you’re just about there on the one and I’ve always known you could achieve the other.

    As for the rest? See above the line. ALL OF THAT.

    • Neil Anderson says:

      You don’t often see the term “Natch” used much these days. I like it! It reminds me of a more innocent time, when the world was greener than today, people respected their elders, young folk had some respec…. (drifts off into a maudlin state of rosy-specced nostalgia..). Are you a child of the 70’s perchance?

      • Macart says:

        Sixties. (Dang it!) 🙂

        • diabloandco says:

          Remember that old saying Sam – ‘ if you can remember the 60’s you weren’t there”!

          I also have to say , as another child/young woman of the 60’s I seemed to have missed the ‘swinging ‘ bit – it passed me by with never a casual glance.

          Paul , you always succeed in crystallising things for me , blowing away the chaff – thanks.

  6. Tom Kelly says:

    I don’t believe “we have only one bullet” If we did, we fired it on 18th September 2014.

  7. Graeme Goodall says:

    Paul, my biggest fear is of what the British State is prepared to do to save itself from total implosion if Scotland is allowed to leave and take her wealth with her. When Brexit happens, then the British will almost certainly declare a state of emergency, which is plain to see as the outright chaos of this clusterfuck becomes a reality. A declaring of a state of emergency will then give legitimacy for the British Government to suspend the devolved Parliaments immediately and indefinitely, then create a central UK control under the guise of maintaining National security.
    Once Holyrood, and the SNP led Scottish Government have been neutered, then there will be no hope of any democratic referendum and the Independence cause will have been lost forever.
    To reinforce my fears, there has suddenly been established a new UK Office in Edinburgh run by none other than David Mundell. This UK Office has recruited thousands of Civil Servants from South of the border, but appears to as yet have to explainable purpose? Why such an office when we already have a fully functioning Parliament already, if not awaiting orders to take over once this Brit-State master plan has been put into effect after the 29th of March?
    I don’t need to tell you that the British have form in forced colonization, and it’s a desperate wounded animal at the moment that will sink to any depths to retain is grip on Scotland, especially now that many more Scots have woken up and Scotland will most certainly leave if it gets the chance to choose.

    • Derick Tulloch says:

      Graeme

      The UK Government office in Edinburgh is just one of 13 Hubs across the UK. Look up “UK civil service Hub programme”

      • Graeme Goodall says:

        I still don’t see why this ‘Hub’ is required in Edinburgh Derick. We have a fully functioning devolved Parliament. The timing of this move and the involvement of Mundell disturbs me.

    • Janet says:

      Correct. It’s the right wing wet dream. I’m expecting anything really, including draconian labour laws.

      Back to the 1850s with Brexit.

    • Holebender says:

      Unless they suspend democracy there will still be elections for Westminster. If your scenario comes to pass (which it won’t as devolution is recognised as the will of Scotland’s electorate) we only have to win a majority in a Westminster election to become independent. That was their rule before devolution so we must revert to that rule if devolution is abolished.

  8. Bill McLean says:

    I would never assume that the Westminster Government will allow Holyrood to exist one moment longer than the implementation of Brexit. The British are bullies and we are one of the few little places that they can still bully. I have little faith in their proclamations of their “fairness” either. They didn’t run huge areas of the world by being nice!

    • Kate McGarrigle says:

      There is also the danger of the UK using Scottish resources as bargaining chips for a deal with Europe.They think they own us after all.

      • Ziggy M says:

        “Bullies” If only it was that simple. It’s a hard core gangster state you guys are having to confront. These are the people who have not only owned over half your land for hundreds of years, but have destroyed your industries also.
        Then bailed themselves out after they screwed up. We are all still paying for it.
        They’re not going to give it up easily.

        • mogabee says:

          Outstanding film, watched it yesterday. I too wish we didn’t have to wait but there looks to be no clarity over how the UK will exit the EU, and therefore we have to wait until there is.

          I also think that the fact we are ‘partners’ in an international Treaty will ensure we can call upon others post indy to assist us through any negotiations.

          We see the uk now as they truly are, incompetent and fighting each other, too busy to direct all guns on us.(in a manner of speaking)!

          We are going and really there is no longer any point in the elites fighting that fact. Probably they’ll be looking to see if they can use it to their advantage, and we have to be aware of that.

        • fynesider2 says:

          Agreed.. outstanding film… left feeling v.downhearted tho… needed a lg G&T …!

        • grumpydubai says:

          Many thanks for this illuminating film.

          We certainly do need to be thinking about manning (and womanning) the barricades.

        • Morag says:

          Wow. I clicked on that, saw “! hour 18 minutes”, and thought, no way. I never watch hour-long YouTubes about anything. I let it run for a few seconds … and now, 1 hour and 18 minutes later, I’ve watched the lot. Mesmerising. Informative. Delivered through top quality production values. Thank you for that.

  9. Sal Clynder says:

    Agree with Graeme and Bill re Westminster declaring some sort of emergency post Brexit, and all the rest of their points.
    But it is not just politics. Brexit is currently damaging our economy and costing jobs. Wait and see how bad it can get and thousands more people and jobs may be sacrificed. For anyone over a certain age, the chances of being re-employed are very slim. Ask those already on the long term unemployed list because of Tory austerity.
    For anyone who is on long term medication or relatives of people who die because they can’t get medicine, wait and see may not be an option.
    For all the companies that might relocate to Scotland, once they move to Ireland or mainland Europe, will they really move again?
    For all the lost research funding and participation, the brain drain of scientists and medical staff, and hundreds of projects currently enjoying European funding, is wait and see a good option?
    I could go on, but better to leave it here……..!

    • mogabee says:

      I imagine all those scenarios you mention only happen if there is a cliff edge i.e. ‘hard brexit’.
      At the present time no-one has the slightest clue where BRexit is heading, so we have to hold our nerve as too many people are also waiting to see and don’t believe that it will be as bad as asserted.
      We need folk to understand the inevitable and then we can get their attention and bring them over to vote for indy.
      Us geeks are more than aware but sadly many are wearing blinkers and ear plugs over the issues.

  10. Monica Worley says:

    In addition to the issues you’ve mentioned, I want a vote before we leave the EU and I lose my EU citizenship. Before the EU citizens that live here and would vote for indy have all gone back to their previous homes. While the EU can still put Scotland in a ‘holding pen’. Before our laws and regulations are changed to be different from the EUs.

    • Derick Tulloch says:

      There is no “holding pen”

      The EU option for Scotland is join, not “remain”

      That’s fine. What matters is the single market. Which we can join in months via EFTA

      • Monica Worley says:

        Associate membership then. This has been talked about with the EU and they are willing to help – after we vote yes and if we are still in the EU.

  11. susan says:

    Nerve jangling indeed Paul. I just want out of this “union” asap.

  12. Neil Anderson says:

    Your article will add a spring to my step tomorrow morning Paul, as I sally forth to my daily toil!

    This is a great blog and this article is truly one to put heart into our movement. I cannot understand the doom and gloom predicted by a fair few here (haud oan, Ah’m furgettin this is Scotland..). Yes, the Brutish state is, well, brutish. And yes, we can expect real resistance from the thrashing dying beast. It may even get violent (where’s thon lassies fae George Square oan the 19th when ye need thum? Eh boys?), it most certainly will get messy.

    My advice would be (at the risk of being West coast macho); grow a pair. Did you think achieving our freedom from the most vile empirical state which has ever existed was going to be a breeze? Of course they’re going to try and hang on for grim death, because the grim death of their cherished entity is what is at stake.

    Just think how our victory will resound throughout the rest of history when we finally end the life of cruel Britannia (capitalised under duress).

    • Tol says:

      I really hope this is not the equivalent of:

      I don’t need to wear a seat belt – I’m a good driver….When your not even driving the car and the driver is a drunk psychopath.

      • weegingerdug says:

        That’s really not a good analogy at all. Unless you’re claiming that it’s the Scottish Government which is the drunk psychopath.

        • Tol says:

          Paul

          Just to clarify, I did mean Westminster as the driver. Perhaps it would have been better to word is as: “drunk and texting their stockbrokers to short the pound”.

          Paul – I truely hope you are correct. However, I still think there is a strong parallel in the analogy. To me your case appears to be overly confident of Scotland’s position and makes assumptions about Westminster of which it is not in control of.

          The future is not linear and all we can do is plot risks. We may not know exactly what events will unfold, but history is a good guide to the tools Westminster will use to protect its empire. The limit Westminster will go to will come down to how much negative reaction it can stomach (suppress). But recent history suggest it has a strong stomach.

          • weegingerdug says:

            I thought I was clear that it’s not my case. I specifically said that I personally would prefer a vote as soon as possible. However I really don’t think that it’s going to happen before the end of March.

  13. Thepnr says:

    Neither a state of emergency after Brexit nor Westminster taking a decision to close down Holyrood is anything to fear. Either of them are certain to bring about Independence for Scotland.

    A state of emergency because of food and medicine shortages will bring home pretty quickly to all the ditherers what a complete and utter castrofuck Brexit is and by then it will even have dawned on even the dimmest that Independence is our only hope.

    Closing Holyrood when a clear 90% of Scots are in favour of it and only 10% want it closed would be a monumentally BAADD decision by Westminster which again would guarantee a Yes win either in a referendum of if necessary an election as Paul has spelt out in the article.

    Unless there is another GE or a peoples vote then we will be OUT of the EU, that’s a fact and a referendum before then will change precisely nothing as we will still be out along with the rest of the UK until we are an Independent country that is given international recognition by the UN.

    The time for a vote will come and probably soon as in next year sometime and as far as I see it the Brexit mess unfolding between now and then can only increase support for Independence and give us an even better chance of victory. Winning is all that matters and is worth waiting for.

    • Andy says:

      Would we get recognition from the UN though? The UK has a veto on decisions made there, as does their big pal, the USA.

      • Thepnr says:

        Yes you’re right, any newly Independent country that wanted to become a member of the UN would first have to apply and before that application gets to the General Assembly it has to be approved by the security council and both the UK and USA have a veto.

        It is my view though that Independence gained through peaceful means and with a legitimate democratic vote winning, then the rump UK would look pretty stupid in attempting to veto any Scottish application. Anyway I’ve heard they might lose their seat on the Security Council when Scotland becomes Independent 🙂

  14. Lizzy55 says:

    I never thought that we did not have the right to hold another Indy ref. This was never the problem. The massive problem is what state our country will be left in once we leave the eu. I know if it’s a hard brexit or no deal I will have no job, like many other Scott’s in similar situations. Our economy will take a bigger dive than it did 10 years ago. We gave the snp a massive mandate to hold another Indy ref if the circumstances changed. We hit that change when we were told we were leave the eu against our will. The case should be made now before we leave the eu ……to leave this disastrous union. We don’t need a lesson in hardship, unemployment and austerity for the next umpteen years and that’s what we will get if Nicola dosnt get a move on and make the case for Indy before we leave. I would like to keep my job and I don’t want more austerity and all the hardship that comes with it, especially when we have a way out. If the snp think that making the Scottish people suffer just to show them how bad it can get under a Tory government and a hard brexit they will loose votes and the confidence of the country.

    • benmadigan says:

      thar’s a very important point you made Lizzy – I can imagine thusands of workers identify with your situation of losing your livelihood

    • Kate McGarrigle says:

      My worry is that i have seen no signs that the SNP is preparing for another referendum. A rise in support for independence will not happen in a vacuum and there are signs that even the grass roots movement is getting downhearted due to the lack of snp involvement. They have had since 2014 to prepare except they still do not seem to have a concrete plan for things like currency for example. It wouldn’t hurt if they outlined the dangers of Brexit and their plans for future independence and sent them to every household in Scotland. How else are the lies of the British media going to be counteracted?

    • Jeff White says:

      It doesn’t matter how bad it gets after brexit. As we have seen many times before, no matter how badly the people of this country get treated by government, people still vote for them. Exhibit A. the twelve tories voted in during the last election. We are a country of masochists and until that changes we we will be stuck with what we’ve got.
      I sincerely hope I’m wrong with everything I’ve written above.

  15. Christopher Bruce says:

    No Sir!

    Many of the facts you mention are true. But we do not expect the EU to act in this matter.

    This is not the problem.

    At some point, the legal protections afforded us by the very structure of EU law that the UK bought into, disappears like a puff of smoke at the end of the coming March.

    At that point, if it so chooses, WM can suspend the devolved parliaments, there are only two of them!

    It will do that, because ‘This will ensure a coherent handling of the Brexit matters, but all will be put back to normal in due course’

    But WGD, the risk is so much higher than that.

    At some point between now and then, WM might determine to do a runner. Settle for no deal, save on the repatriation and at that point cement their grip on Scottish resources.

    If there is the slightest possibility of any of these events occurring, then there is only one action possible, our referendum!

    But listen, we are running out of time to do that.

    You are long enough in the tooth to know that all this can happen.

    To summarise.

    I don’t expect the EU to act in our interest. I don’t expect them to act against us either.

    Up until March 2019 we are protected by EU human rights and the EC’s determination to support the scottish government that they played a major part in creating.

    1st April, will be all fools day when Scotland loses that protection and falls under the full control of a London based Conservative government.

    Show me where I’ve got it wrong.

    • weegingerdug says:

      You’ve got it wrong because, as I pointed out in the article, even IF Westminster abolished Holyrood, they can’t prevent pro-indy parties in Scotland turning a Westminster GE into a plebiscite election. The legal protections afforded to us by the EU don’t in any way guarantee or assist with bringing about a referendum. We are, much as you and I both hate the idea of it, already under the full control of a London based Conservative government. That’s precisely why we need independence and devolution was always a chimera.

      • chicmac says:

        I understand why any rational person might contend that but who is to say that a post Brexit UK Government will remain within the confines of rationality?

        It may yet be well below the horizon of expectation (we hope) but I do not think it is impossible now to envisage a future scenario where the UK Government declares members of any party standing on an independence ticket as being guilty of rebellion/treachery/sedition (take your pick) and locks up its candidates.

        All depends how far down the rogue state path the UK is willing to follow Trump’s US.

        • Kate McGarrigle says:

          I agree. You just have to watch the way the UK is breaking their own laws to fit their brexit agenda like for example with the Windrush scandal to realise that they will just make up laws to suit themselves. Also, the way they are trying to cheat the EU so they can have their cake and eat it is nothing short of scandalous. They are not to be trusted.

        • Tol says:

          @chicmac

          It won’t go that far…unless it has to. Westminster always gradates its response to meet the level of threat and the value of the “asset”.

          Even going with Weegingerdug’s fallback of YES using a Westminster GE. Its not like the UK establishment is against a bit of gerrymandering mixed with a bit of the re-occuring dark money. OR has ever engaged in immigration of non-aligned or insurgent populations. I doubt they would need to get their hands dirty through false-flag or undermining of key opposition members. I also doubt that they would need ever go so far as they have for other territories where the used the military or paras.

          I really hope Weegingerdug is correct, but I fear he is not. For every “Scotland is safe” scenario, each only needs to be tested against the UK’s own history and the potential of the new powers Westminster is amassing. (Don’t write off what a rampant Westminster could manipulate with the existing CRG: Act of Union Bill)

          In a period where Scotland is increasingly valuable to a globally isolationist Westminster, and where Westminster could re-write the ground rules is YES sure of any of those foundations.

          • Tol says:

            Forgot to add for any election Westminster controls, it only needs to:

            – Change the franchise of who can vote in Scottish electorates (worked well with Brexit); or
            – Change the validity test. (1979 referendum anyone?)

        • Aucheorn says:

          The Scottish Government will play by the rules.
          You can guarantee Westminster wont !
          How many times have they changed things and backdated the changes?
          Westminster doesn’t like something they’ll change it, ignore the Law.
          Get what you want by whatever means necessary.
          Ignore decency and everything else a civilised modern country should stand for.
          We are up against one of the most venal organisations in the world.

      • Christopher Bruce says:

        Thanks for replying.
        What GE?

        In the manner I described earlier, Henry VIII powers can put off any GE for ten years if they want.

        “Getting the UK back onto a normal footing'”, would be the excuse they’ll use to Invoke emergency powers.

        The tri-coloured tories all know the impact on their well being that the loss of Scottish resources would have, they would go along with it.

        Their distorted view will allow them to concede that “It will be in the best interests of the majority of Britons.” For them, this is democracy.

        I hold you in high esteem and simply could not contemplate you having to apologise to me in the coming April.

        But I remain you devoted follower.

  16. Dom says:

    Paul, you are so wrong about this. It’s Independence now or never (unless Brexit implodes).

    Anyone assuming that a post Brexit Westminster will permit democracy to continue as usual is in for a shock. Serious crimes were planned, and committed, in bringing the UK to the brink of economic collapse, all in the name of corporate tax-avoidance and personal profit. The instigators aren’t going to leave their getaway to luck either so they certainly won’t allow some pesky ‘regional’ vote to ‘spoil brexit’ by taking back half the booty they snatched during their carefully executed heist.

    A state of emergency is waiting in the wings and, if Brexit proceeds unhindered, democracy’s days in the UK are numbered.

    • weegingerdug says:

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I doubt there is anything I can say that would make you change your mind.

      I seriously doubt that this Scottish Government will deliver an indyref before March next year. So in the real world we need to plan for an indyref after March 2019 – although I suspect and hope it won’t be too long afterwards.

      Those instigators you speak of will be quite happy to wave goodbye to Scotland so that they can turn the rest of the UK into a tax haven.

      • Dom says:

        You’re right. You’d be hard pushed to change my mind but I am occasionally swayed.

        I’m really alarmed by the ‘apparent’ lack of urgency our Scottish Gov’t is displaying. I really hope it’s just an act, a charade to reassure WM that the native’s aren’t restless.

        The instigators have backers who are expecting a package. Intact.

        Have you seen the latest “Three men in a Pub”? It shows clearly how bad Brexit will be for ordinary people, the long term damage and just how culpable people like Fox, Mogg et al are for hiding its true impact.

  17. This was always going to be a tricky one, Paul.

    On 30th March next year I am no longer going to be welcome in Europe, against my express wishes to remain within the EU.

    Yet others who support Independence voted to Leave, while even others who voted No in 2014 voted to Remain within the EU.

    62% of this mixed bag of No/Yes citizens voted to remain.

    The change which provided the Scottish Parliament with a significant mandate for Indyref 2 specifically cited leaving the EU as a material change which would precipitate a Second Independence plebiscite.

    We only have a few weeks to ‘wait and see’ what Brexit will be forced upon us.
    They’ve pushed back the October cut off point to mid November.

    May is attending yet another Brussels dinner, where once again she will be ushered from the room after the pudding and coffees while the EU 27 ‘get on with the day job’ over the brandy and cigars.

    The Chequers Proposals were dead at birth.

    Theyt met to design a horse but came up with a camel instead.

    It is a mish-mash of wishful thinking, cherry picking and downright crazy nonsense which has already been dismissed as unworkable, and will be blocked by WM before it even reaches the negotiating table.
    Northern Ireland and Scotland barely get a mention.

    We are careering headlong towards the cliff edge, and No Deal/Blind Deal appear to be the only options left, unless there is a Tory leadership challenge or May calls yet another GE if Rees Mogg and Johnson block the Chequers Deal.

    In other words, by mid November at the latest, we shall know our fate.
    I don’t need to actually experience getting hit over the head with a 16 pound hammer to know that it hurts.

    I am positive that we will be forced out of the Single Market, the Customs Union, the jurisdiction of the ECJ and will be held virtual prisoner in my own country by dint of the ‘will’ of the English People.
    300,000 UK Nationals retired to the Costas will los all their rights as citizens of Europe, and up to a million UK workers employed in Europe will be treated in the same way that the WM Government is now treating the three million EU citizens working in the UK now, very badly indeed.

    Paul, you argue that we could use the next GE as a mandate for Independence.

    We had a snap GE last year, so under the five year rule, we wait until 2022?
    I’m not buying that, Paul.

    WM’s Power grab of the key devolved areas which should have returned to Scotland from Brussels next March is a timely reminder of just how perfidious Alba can be.

    The Vow, The Yoon loaded Smith Commission, EVEL, the fact that the Scottish Government has been locked out of any talks on Brexit for 27 months now, seems to question whether we can ‘trust’ an English Parliament to do ‘the right thing’ after March 2019.

    Even if the Scottish Parliament announced a vote on Self Determination tomorrow morning, the timetable would be such that an actual vote could not be held before early summer 2019 at the earliest.

    It would take that long to set the process in motion, and conduct a campaign.

    And that’s as far into the future that I am prepared to go.
    May or early June 2019.

    I will not live under the English Iron Heel for another four years while our economy crashes, 80,000 of my fellow citizens lose their jobs, and WM(this is what I mean by ‘English’) dismantles our hard won Government.

    We all know what the Supreme Court’s decision on the Power Grab is going to be, don’t we?

    Just read about Gove’s scant dismissal of Scottish Framers who saw £160 million in EU subsidies redirected to English Farmers. Gove’s response? ‘tough titties’.

    The tenuous Transition Period from April 2019 to December 2020 will not stop the Rape of Scotland from April onwards.

    Paul, I cannot share your confidence that England will ‘play with a straight bat’.

    My tuppence worth therefore is that we go now, not in some unspecified date in the dim and distant.

    I refuse to have my rights as a citizen of Scotland and Europe taken from me by a stall holder on Preston Market, who assured me on Radio 4 the other day that Britain will now be Great again.

    • Tol says:

      @JC

      We learn as babies not to touch hot things – from painful experience we can intuitively tell when things are going to be dangerous.

      It is time for Scotland to see through the fog of Westminster/BBC gas lighting and use its past experiences to realise the extent of danger ahead.

    • Douglas says:

      Much as I respect Paul, I agree with you Jack.

      There is no depth to which the British establishment will not sink and there is no power that they will not use.

      This rat has never been so comprehensively cornered by their own folly. .
      In the past there were always other projects or schemes to follow if the current wheeze wasn’t working.

      There is no subtlety, just bared teeth and a willingness to do anything.

      BTW ‘…how perfidious Alba can be.’ I think you meant Albion.

    • wm says:

      Jack, with them pushing back the date from October to November, could this not mean that they will not have time to reach a conclusion untill after the 29th of March, and that this date could be extended to later allowing time for Nicola to announce Indy2 by November to have Indy2 next May allowing us to EXIT the UK before their BREXIT.

  18. grizebard says:

    Ach, as others have said, much of what you write is true, Paul. It’s just that you spectacularly miss the very large elephant in the room wearing a large flashing neon sign: public opinion. In one of your recent blogs you correctly wrote that it’s the one thing which is paramount, not legalistic wrangling. Which is true. But what will happen to public opinion after the dirty deed is done and we let the shutters come down at the end of March? (In addition, that is, to casually losing @200k EU27 resident voters who would virtually all be guaranteed to vote “yes”.)

    If we let this pass, the great Scottish public will not rise up in affront, hold their arms to the skies and proclaim the SNP was right all along and how deluded they had been to believe in anything else, as you and some others seem to fondly assume. Instead they will shrug their shoulders in the same old passive way as always, sigh, then thoroughly resent any further mention of Brexit. “What’s done is done, stop crying over spilt milk and leave us alone – we have better things to do with our lives than all this never-ending political argy-bargy”. And the opportunity will be lost.

    The biggest affront delivered to our autonomy and rights ever, yet thanks to a squandered opportunity, people will instead heartily resent any further reference to Brexit of any kind, no matter what happens next. Who wants to be reminded of serious errors? Rubbing salt into old wounds? “Na-na-na, not listening. Old news. Get over it.” A categoric mistake, but we’ll get no thanks whatever for ever bringing it up thereafter.

    The biggest crisis the UK has had in a half-century, all thrown away for nothing, with the Tories back in the driving seat having weathered the storm, all thanks to our passivity. “One problem sorted, now we can pay full attention to thwarting the North British rebel scum.”

    Whatever happened to the maxim “never let a good crisis go to waste”?

    It’s not just plain bad psychology, it’s poor political judgment based on fatuous magic thinking. Still hoping that doing diddley-squat will somehow deliver us the 60% for free. (By recovering the anti-immigrant Leavers while still inspiring all those disillusioned Remain converts to yes? Ho hum.)

    Blues? No way. I’m hopping mad at how passive and reactionary so much indy thinking seems to be becoming these days, especially compared to March of last year. Never in the driving seat, always subject to events created by others, yet thinking everything is working out just dandy? A futile exercise in pusillanimous non-leadership. If we keep on like this, we’ll never even win another chance, let alone be willing to take it.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The shutters don’t come down at the end of March though. At the end of March, then all the things we’ve been warning about will have happened, and then, and only then, will we be able to say “Look what’s happened.” Which is a very different thing from saying something is going to happen. Warning of possible threats can be ignored. Threats can’t be ignored when it’s your job and your livelihood that’s on the line.

      I have never advocated waiting and doing nothing until 60% is magically achieved. If I believed that I wouldn’t be working my arse off for this movement.

      If I was able to make an indyref happen, I’d have done it already. But I don’t have that ability. We have to make the best out of what we have available. Magical thinking is wishing for an independence referendum that’s not going to happen before March.

      • Dom says:

        Magical thinking is accepting an independence decision is not possible before March.

        Magical thinking is believing Holyrood carries on as usual.

        Magical thinking is trusting WM.

        • weegingerdug says:

          Well if Nicola Sturgeon announces that she’s going to press for a referendum before March 2019, I will be delighted to have been proven wrong. But I really don’t think she’s going to.

          • robert harrison says:

            I think she was but the eu giving the UK that extra month has thrown a spanner in the plans she said that she’d not call it till the Brexit deal was clear which was originally October which the snp conference is around that time but now it’s end of November thanks a lot eu you idiots.

            • cameronmgb says:

              The SNP conference is within the first ten days of October. The EU summit was already slated to begin after that. Next month’s conference was NEVER going to be the launchpad.

    • Cubby says:

      Grizebard re the EU vote my understanding is that the Scotgov has a law underway to ensure their future voting rights. Hopefully I am correct but if not I am sure someone will correct me. On the assumption that a lot of them voted no last time I think it is reasonable to assume that a lot will now switch to yes. A significant vote swing.

  19. robert harrison says:

    Your logic makes sense as your basing it on there cowardice but they proven they need Scotland they know it deep down that’s why they keep saying take indyref2 of the table like broken records they would never reconise a yes win they’d be no different than Spain was when catalonia voted for independence as there desperation to bleed us dry will easily overide there cowardice.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      We are different from Catalonia. Catalonia is in Spain which had a written constitution that forbids parts of Spain from leaving.

      We have no written constitution but we have the Treaty of Union and we are recognised internationally as a separate State. We can legally leave and become independent if we follow the route I detail below in my comment.

      • robert harrison says:

        The English mps wont give a damn about that at all look at them they welched on the vow as soon as they got there no vote they wanting to not pay the eu bill they promised they’d pay when moving to the trade deal section deal there word is as useless as a chocolate fireguard no wait they more useless than that when it comes to promises they need our revenues without our money theyd be a dead civilisation already they will ignore the rules come the yes vote for as long as they can untill the likes of the un come down on them hard the English will refuse to reconise our independence.

  20. Stookie says:

    The FM stated there had to be “material change” for the next referendum to be called. That won’t be until we actually leave the EU so the next ref will be a date after end March 19. If she announces before that the Yoons will be all over her and we start on the back foot with them claiming she went back on her word and these indie agitators can’t be trusted

    • robert harrison says:

      Or we know if it’s a hard Brexit which won’t be clear now till near Christmas thanks to the eu giving those London wasters an extension.

  21. Andy Anderson says:

    The earliest we can have a referendum is Sept 19 with the campaign kicking off in April 19. If we go before then we may loose.

    We need to get the opinion polls over 55% by campaigning now. We need to wait until Brexit is clear. We need to wait and see what happens in the Commons in Jan/Feb 19 when they debate the EU Withdrawal Bill.

    We must keep the Heid.

    The ideal scenario is that Nicola demands a clause 30 order in March next year after the Commons shenanigans. If Westminster says no to this we hold it anyway. If a good and clear Yes majority we demand Westminster recognise it. If this fails we use the 2021 GE to get another majority this time of MP’s.

    If they say no here we declare UDI.

    We cannot easily go independent unless the EU, the UN and all countries see that we have followed a democratic path within the UK constitutional background. Failure to do this will destroy support and damage our standing in the World. We will get no help.

    • Andy, as you well know, we could not instigate a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

      We don’t have a remit which can in any way be considered ‘Uni-‘.
      Scotland’s citizens are a fragmented bunch; just like evry other country, we are the sum of our parts.

      55% voted No in 2014, and 38% voted Leave in 2016.

      It’s that pesky old democracy thing again.

      We do it through the ballot box. There is no alternative.

      Detachments of Marines would be despatched from Faslane to close down Holyrood if we try to do a Rhodesia.

      Talk of UDI is merely Jacobean romantic wishful thinking.
      You know that of course. I sense your frustration, impatience and anger.

      I argue that we cannot wait until Leave Day in March 2019 and thereafter announce Indyref 2, either on the 30th March 2019, or any other future date, be it at the end of the extremely tenuous ‘Transition period’ which will be thrown under the ‘bus along with the Chequers Proposals, or any date in between.
      WE are speeding towards No Deal, with no escape route.

      I shall be 75 going on 76 when the next UK GE falls due in 2022.

      I do this not for me, but my children and my children’s children, to come over all biblical about it.

      The ‘window of opportunity ‘ to use consultant speech, narrows by each passing day.
      We have sat on our hands for 27 months. There is no more time left.

      To consider ‘trusting’ Mundell, and Mum 2B ‘Saint’ Ruth Davidson, the reincarnated spirit of the Maid of Orleans, according to Andrew Marr, David Clegg, the Salmond witch hunter, and the Sunday Times, demonstrates a level of optimism that I could never share.
      They would close Holyrood tomorrow without even blinking.
      They don’t give a toss about any political ‘backlash’.
      It’s only the Sweaties after all. Scotland ceased to exist in 1707 according to the Grand Panjandrum Mundell.

      It reminds me of one of those B Western Pictures where the pastor in the fortified settlement besieged by a horde of Holywood’s wild eyed savage red savages leaves the compound holding his bible aloft to plead with the insurgents for mercy in the Name of His God; and gets cut to ribbons.

      Mundell, Davidson, Thomson, Kerr, Mountain, Leonard, Findlay, Gray, Kelly, Lamont, Rennie, Carmichael, and the rest of the Uncle and Aunt MacTams, ProudscotBut, Brit Nat Collaborators and Fifth Columnists Up Here, will happily ‘bayonet the wounded’ for their English Masters from sunset on the morning of the 30th March 2019.
      Of that I have no doubt.
      Margaret Curran may even dance a jig again.
      It will be George Square September 19th 2014 all over again, only much much worse.

  22. Macart says:

    For the removal of doubt. This is what we do know:

    FM’s Statement

    “It is now the will of Scotland’s democratically elected national parliament that discussions should begin with the UK Government to enable an independence referendum to be held. People should be given that choice once the details of the UK’s Brexit deal are clear – and the Prime Minister yesterday confirmed to me that she agrees this will be in 18 months to two years from now.

    “Today’s vote must now be respected. The mandate for a referendum is beyond question, and it would be democratically indefensible – and utterly unsustainable – to attempt to stand in the way of it.

    “We will now act on the mandate given to us by parliament by making a formal approach to the UK Government within the next few days, after Article 50 has been triggered.

    “This is, first and foremost, about giving the people of Scotland a choice on this country’s future.

    “We know that Brexit threatens a hugely damaging and uncertain future for Scotland, and it would not be right if the people of Scotland – having been told in 2014 that the only way to protect our place in Europe was to vote against independence – were denied a choice.

    “Every other nation in the EU will soon have a say on the terms of Brexit, and on how it impacts Scotland. The people of this nation cannot and must not be the only ones denied a say.

    “The Prime Minister says that now is not the time for a referendum. I agree with that, which is why I have indicated a timescale no earlier than 18 months from now, when the terms of Brexit are clear – something the PM has now indicated she agrees with. It is up to the UK Government to now make clear when they consider a referendum would be appropriate.

    “There is clear precedent for how the terms of a referendum made in Scotland can be agreed, and that precedent should be followed.

    “The people of Scotland are sovereign, and they will be given a choice on their own future.”

    In short? The details haven’t yet been finalised. The leaving date is not the date of finalisation. The end of the transition period is. (If there is, or is allowed to be a transition period that is.)

    The FM has been crystal clear on the circumstances since the beginning tbf. The population of Scotland will be given a choice, but when the details of Brexit outcomes are made clear.

    Doesn’t matter whether we personally like that or not. It’s not just about us. God, we’d have gone to ballot yesterday and been happy to do so. But this is about everyone’s lives in Scotland. Those that’d vote with us and those that’d normally vote against. You need to know what you’re voting for and against in any ballot. Voting blind by some folk is what got us into this shitstorm in the first place.

    I think Brexit of any stripe will be bad, catastrophic even. But I don’t know which scenario it’s going to be. A fair idea mind, but not the final deal. The FM gave her assurance that we would be given a choice when that detail was made public. That’s the fair and right thing to do by her office and her duty as a First Minister. (Though God knows, it can lead to severe IBS for the rest of us).

    Then there is strategy to consider, events overtaking strategy, public mood, the actions and intent of your opposition. A hundred things we have no knowledge of and even less access to.

    Worth a thought. 🙂

    • Not until we can see the whites of their eyes, Sam.
      It’s comin’ yet for a’ that.
      The lights are going out all over England and Wales as I type.

    • Anne Martin says:

      “Voting blind by some folk is what got us into this shitstorm in the first place.”

      You never said a truer word Sam. I’m just as frustrated as everyone else about this whole debacle, but I completely trust wee Nicola to do the right thing at the right time.

      • Macart says:

        Ayup. They can’t stop Brexit Anne. Would that they could. It’s a process instigated by a UK vote. What they can do is instigate a Scottish vote which has the potential to prevent Scotland from leaving the single market, CU and all the civil and human rights protections they afford. Only then, on the back of a result which instructs and empowers them to take such measures. This would then enable Scotgov to initiate the holding pen process highlighted by Mr Verhofstadt.

        It’s pretty much down to the people to prevent full on Brexit though. I’d say it’s not about avoiding damage at this point, but damage limitation and eventually (hopefully) damage reversal.

        But mainly, and only, Scotland’s electorate can prevent leaving the SM and CU and only Scotland’s electorate can empower and instruct Scotland’s government. If the people don’t give them permission, for whatever reason, then they can prevent nothing.

        Timing is going to be squeeky wossiname tight though.

  23. Jock G says:

    Becoming independent is largely a matter of (a) fact and (b) international recognition. International law often lags behind cold hard facts. Some countries become independent through peaceful democratic means (i.e. Norway from Sweden, Slovakia and the Czech republic) but many more have achieved independence in the face of opposition from others not least those they seek independence from and often when that parent state undergoes a moment of crisis.

    In terms of UK constitutional law there is ( and has never been) any established rules for how the end of the Anglo-Scottish Union may come about. Yes, the 2014 referendum was done with the agreement of Westminster and Holyrood but it is a bit of a nonsense to suggest that a vote can only happen when Westminster is gracious enough to allow a vote. Did the Baltic States ask Russia’s permission when they left the USSR? Westminster did not and I cannot stress the ‘NOT’ part strongly enough, agree to create Holyrood so as to facilitate a process whereby Scottish Independence can be achieved.

    Those of you old enough to have read Mrs Thatcher’s autobiography will recall that in the (very) few pages she devoted to Scotland she said that if the Scottish people wanted independence they could achieve this by electing a majority of SNP MP’s.

    The decision to be independent is one for the Scottish people alone. We will decide when to take the decision. When opponents of Scottish independence start talking about setting conditions for an independence vote (i.e. one requiring a majority based on a particular turnout, Vince Cable’s two referenda, the need to secure Westminster consent to a vote) its because they know that if a straightforward yes/no vote was held they would loose. Democracy only becomes something Unionists fear when they know they cannot win

    The increase in pro indy support that arose after the Brexit vote was not sustained because Brexit did not happen immediately. When it does happen it looks increasingly likely that it will be the car crash we all feared at which point support for Indy is likely to see a sustained increase. Many of those who voted no in 2014 see that the promises made to them have turned to ash and Westminster cannot be trusted to Act in our interests.

    Indyref2 will not be triggered by a debate about an obscure non existent law. It’s a matter of timing. Holding the vote when there is the best chance of securing the majority we need. At that point Westminster will have to decide whether it has the stomach and the physical means to try and control Scotland against the will of its people.

  24. Andy Anderson says:

    UDI can be done and would be internationally accepted if we win a clear referendum within Scotland and also have a clear majority at the 2021 GE.

    We could demonstrate that we have several votes for independence and that we revoke the Act of Union which is our constitutional right.

    The international community would accept this.

  25. paul mccormack says:

    I agree with much of the various hues of opinion above of WGD, Macart, Jack Collatin, Thepnr etc. and many others, only I too am wholly sceptical regarding how the British will administer any due process. That, I think, is wishful thinking. Some may view the following as dismal jimmyism at its worst, or at best real politik. Either way, I do expect pelters for some views. So be it. I’ve had it.

    In relation to political timing, I too believe that the SNP will not call any referendum prior to March 2019. Why should they, when Westminster will effectively more than do their work for them during that period? Let them (Westminster) do their worst seems to be their strategy for now. I also think it would be unwise politically and electorally to conflate any issues between Brexit and Independence, plus we will be out of the EU even if we have voted for independence in any case.

    After all, what is another 6 months in the bigger scheme of things when full Irish independence from the British state was only achieved and internationally recognised a full quarter of a century after 1922. Irrespective of a referendum or a GE plebiscite vote for independence, I believe that Scotland’s road to independence will likewise take many further years after that starting point.

    I believe that Thepnr has it when he/she writes ‘winning is all that matters and worth waiting for.’

    As for the British State, I believe they will do everything and anything in their power to prevent this secession from happening. There are no rules. The judiciary and the rule of law will be bought like any other. Capitalist ‘Democracy’ as we know is a sham; a smokescreen. Constitutional law and the ‘will of the Scottish people’ will be neither here nor there.

    Unfortunately, I see nothing to prevent the political will of Scotland being subjugated as in Catalonia. The EU as ‘friends’ will be irrelevant.

    I know this is all well pessimistic, but I am afraid to say that post-2014, Scotland was a cadaver and effectively ensured its place as North Britain. No more relevant politically within the UK (and from Westminster’s perspective) as any other English region. Just a local irritation to the powers that be.

    It will be a wholly different situation that Scotland will be in post-2019. The British will not relinquish power so easily and certainly not by ‘democracy’. Self-determination will go on.

    I believe that Westminster will only concede (yes, concede) Scotland to secede after it has proven to be unworkable and unsustainable and ungovernable to retain Scotland as part of the British State. This, I believe, will take many years and only then if the Scottish peoples have the continuing stomach for it. Thank God, for new generations and it is really only for their benefit that the independence movement acts as we do now.

    At my time of life, being the offspring of economic migrant forbears, (fortunate irony of ironies) like many others, I have cashed in my birthright (not my rules, and not done cynically) and now have dual nationality in order to remain an EU citizen in the meantime. This is done for practical family reasons.

    Who knows? But fuck them (the British State) anyway. Hell, bugger it, hit send.

    • My wife is Irish, Paul. I make the assumption, because of your surname, perhaps wrongly, but I make it anyway, that you have been successful in obtaining Irish citizenship because of your parents’ or grandparents’ nationality.

      I ‘joked’ in June 2016, that as my wife was Irish, I’d miss her when Homeland Security knocked on the door at 4 in the morning and herded her to the cattle boats moored in the Broomielaw to join the hordes of Irish living and working here, to be shipped to Dublin Port following Brexit.

      On the eve of Make Your Mind Up, England, there is still no solution to the Irish Border question, and Irish citizens despite the now defunct CTA being peddled as still possible after Brexit, will be treated in the same ‘hostile environment’ as other EU citizens working, settled, and raising UK born children here in Scotland.

      Perhaps they will be required by law to pin a shamrock on the backs of their jackets to distinguish them from true Scots stock?
      That worked during the Third Reich, didn’t it?
      However, I do not share your pessimism.

      We shall have a Referendum, and very soon now.

      I do not envisage a decade or two of English Rule which eventually collapses because Scotland somehow becomes an ungovernable burden on our neighbours to the South.

      The Brexshit is about to hit the fan big time in a matter of weeks.

      We no longer have ‘time to stand and stare’.

      • No sooner had I posted the above and I read WoS piece on the Irish Question.
        There won’t be decades of decay before the total collapse of the UK.
        It will happen in months.
        My wife will be a Furriner who will need to apply for ‘permission’ to stay in Scotland.
        And I will meekly stand by and let this happen? Not.

  26. Robert Galloway says:

    I will be on the Edinburgh march 6th October,keep me one Glaschu Gaelic map for £10, goes towards your blog. Wanted for a singer in Gaelic group. Rob.

  27. Luigi says:

    The timing of IndyRef 2 will be the most important (and difficult) decision Nicola Sturgeon will ever make. At present, the sensible strategy is to keep different options available for as long as possible, because once committed, that’s it. Don’t give the other side the luxury of out-maneuvering it early on. Keep em guessing. Look at what happened to Theresa May in her rush to sign Section 50 – no easy way out for her now.

    It’s frustrating, it’s nerve-wracking, but we have to hold the line for now. Still too much uncertainty. We have to wait, but my goodness we have to be vigilant at this time. Things can unravel fast and we must be ready to strike when the iron is hot. Not long now, methinks. 🙂

    What I would add is that folks should not think for one minute that it’s all quiet on the constitutional front. Big things are happening, critical manouvers are being made below the surface, out of public view. You better believe it. 🙂

    Personally, my instinct is to trust Nicola and her team (who know so much more than the rest of us about what is really happening) and leave them to decide. Unlike WM, the Scottish government actually knows what it is doing. 🙂

  28. One_Scot says:

    I could be wrong, but if a referendum was held after March 2019, would the 200 thousand or so EU nationals not lose the right to vote in the Independence referendum?

    • Jock G says:

      Since they got the vote last time it would be very hard to deny it to them this time around.

      • One_Scot says:

        Thanks, but what I mean is would they not lose rights as UK citizens after Brexit preventing them from voting in Scottish matters?

        • Jock G says:

          They are not and were not UK citizens. Their right to vote was as lawful residents of Scotland. Lawful residents from certain commonwealth countries also got the right to vote even thought they are not UK or EU citizens

      • Luigi says:

        Absolutely – they have continued to work hard, contribute to the Scottish economy and pay taxes.
        Why on earth should they be denied a vote just because Scotland is draggedpout of the EU against its expressed will?

        Of course, the British Nationalists will try that little trick, but it’s not up to them. Unlike Brexit, this will be OUR referendum. 🙂

    • Andrew Gallacher says:

      Just noticed your comment immediately after posting the same concern. We need those votes.

    • weegingerdug says:

      No. The franchise for the referendum will be decided by Holyrood, so it can still permit EU citizens to vote. 16 and 17 year olds get a vote too, but Westminster doesn’t allow them to vote in WM elections either.

  29. Andrew Gallacher says:

    My worry is that if we wait until after March 2019 the EU citizens who live in Scotland may lose their right to participate in the referendum. The majority of them would vote Yes in the next referendum and it’s a lot of potential voters to lose. Their support could be crucial in getting us over the line.

  30. Clapper57 says:

    If we trust Nicola , and I assume we all do if we support her party, then we need to have faith that she has a strategy. As our chosen FM in Scotland we need to abide by her , and her party’s , judgement as to when they are confident that a sufficient majority of people living in Scotland are truly convinced and ready to commit to vote in favour of an independent Scotland as opposed to remaining as a citizen within the UK post Brexit .

    Considering most people find it hard to form any real judgement on the constitution indeed on anything political , no thanks to the mixed and confusing messages presented by the media, it will perhaps take a sharp dose of reality a la Brexit style to finally convince people to choose an alternate path and future.

    One lives in hope….one has to….

  31. Daisy Walker says:

    We’re playing awfully fair aren’t we. But what if we walked a wee mile in the shoes of those in Unionist Power…

    An isolated, no deal brexit is actually quite attractive, if you have generations of wealth squirrelled away in tax havens…. no transition deal to threaten that one by jove.

    And if, if, you are in power, with the levers at your fingertips, then having control over some of the worlds largest gas and oil reserves in the waters of north north britain, means you’ve got lots of ready cash to keep yourselves loaded.

    Some sweetie money can be raised by selling off the NHS to pals in America, and long term investment wise there is Scotland’s potential for renewable energy 4 x that of its oil and gas, and water, lots of it.

    Under the circumstances they really, really cannot afford anything other than a no deal Brexit, and they really, really cannot afford to lose Scotland – we are the Cash Cow.

    So actively generating chaos, food riots, maybe a false flag incident (in Scotland of course) would provided just the right circumstances to implement a State of Emergency. And once you have that, you have no more Holyrood, and no opportunity to have a referendum… oh and the false flag incident…. implicate the SNP and then you can prohibit them… bang goes your option for making indy a GE issue.

    Under those circumstances…. wouldn’t it be nice to have full EU membership and the inconvenient scrutiny and accountability it provides.

    Right now, businesses and investment are going. They’ve left it as long as they can, and now they have to move. They are not kicking the can down the road, they have to plan ahead.

    Those job losses, will not be mentioned by the msm, or if they are, it will be the fault of the SNP. All the bad news is the fault of the SNP, and they’re not got good at rebuffing that narrative, or singing their own praises (of which they have many I might add).

    And on Brexit day, I lose the protection of Working Time Directive (a biggie for me as a shift worker… oh, and I’m old enough to remember working the shift patterns before it was implemented, excuse the French, but we were on our fucking knees they were so bad) Holidays with pay, Maternity Leave, Part Time Working, Paid Sick Leave, Health and Safety. Going, going, gone.

    But really this is a good thing, because Austerity – which has seen my workload double due to staff cut backs, cut GPD by 2%.

    WM Impact Analysis predicts (as do others) a soft Brexit will hit GPD by another 2%, a hard Brexit by 8% = 2.7 million job losses.

    None of our public services will survive that, but for those that remain in them, expect to work very long hours in the future.

    If we choose to wait beyond 29/3/19, lets at least be aware of the risks, the track record of our opponents and what they stand to lose if we win.

    And lets start now, shouting from the rooftops, what leaving the EU means – not to do so is not ‘keeping our powder dry’, not to do so is pulling our punches.

  32. Macart says:

    Worth reading:

    HERE
    and HERE

  33. Kenny says:

    Keep the faith everyone. Things could be worse – Imagine if you lived on the South side of Hadrian’s Wall. At least we have the opportunity to escape from English Rule which is more than our neighbours have.

    • Douglas says:

      There is a trickle of like minded English refugees heading north already.

      Wherever they were born, are philosophically Scots already; they just had the misfortune to be caught up in the madness down south.

      This flow will increase and should be made very welcome.

  34. Tatu3 says:

    If the SNP wait until after Brexit to do anything then I think there will be many people who will have lost faith in the SNP. We voted for them to stop Brexit happening to Scotland, not for us to sample it first and then maybe do something about it.
    Ms Sturgeon doesn’t necessarily need to announce a date right now, but I do believe the SNP should talk about independence more. The Tories in Scotland already think they (the SNP) talk of nothing else, so nothing to lose there.
    People need rousing, they need something/someone to get behind. They need to know that all the chat (on here and other blogs) and the marches is getting us somewhere.
    I understand we don’t have the media behind us like Catalonia, but in Catalonia their pro independence political party(ies?) stand up in front of the people and risk everything to shout Independence!
    Ours don’t.

  35. M biyd says:

    Interesting article in the guardian today about the Brexit negotiations and a leaked memo. My reading is that the impasse on the bespoke deal for Northern Ireland is English concerns re the implications for Scotlands place in the UK. The English it would seem are less concerned about civil war there than they are about Scotland leaving the UK.

  36. Iam Scott says:

    So the EU doesn’t recognise the Catalonia result because it’s an internal matter for Spain.

    But you expect the EU to recognise a Scottish vote when Scotland is no longer in the EU.

    I would suggest after Brexit, when we are longer EU citizens seeking protection, the EU will have no choice but to treat any Scottish vote for independence as an internal matter for the UK.

    It is only our current status as EU citizens and our vote to remain in the EU that allows the EU to get involved.

    Otherwise, it would be guilty of interfering in the politics of a third party state.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      They will not interfere and after 31 March 19 we will no longer be EU citizens.

      However they know very well what the situation is here by their own research and by the Scottish Government talking directly with them many times. They know that Scotland voted to stay in the EU in 1976, 2014 and 2016. The latter by a huge majority.

      If we have a referendum with a good YES majority and also if required get another in a subsequent UK GE (where independence is the only issue) then they and the international community will support us as we have demonstrated peaceful democracy. They also know we are a recognises State with a sovereign history. They know we are tied to England by Treaty. In that treaty we can leave if the majority agree.

      The EU has stated openly that if we were to do this we would still need to apply for EU membership. However we do follow EU rules and would be a full member within one year if this is the route we choose (or EFTA).

  37. denmylne says:

    i do not think there will be a scotref before 29th march either but we will know what brexit means before then. indeed, a GE in oct/nov could finally nail what brexit actually means once and for all. after which, i expect nicola to launch scotref and begin section 30 negotiations with WM. I dont know how WM will handle the S30 request but i doubt whether they do this before or after the 29th march will make much difference.

    you could argue that if the no deal brexiteers win the GE and take control of WM, these goons actually believe the scottish subsidy junky myth and the electoral arithmetic resulting from the approaching GE might make getting shot of scotland more desirable to them.

    either way, we are approaching the end game

    • In the unlikely event, as air stewards and stewardesses remind us on every flight, of WM calling an autumn UKGE, then it is surely sel evident that the pro self determination parties should include ‘Independence Now’ as the key plank in their manifesto.

      If you vote for us, then you are voting for Independent Scotland now.

      If they win a straight majority of the 59 seats, Robert’s your avuncular relative.

      Job’s a good ‘un, to quote our Lancastrian friends.

      WE have had 56 out of 59, and 35 out of 49 SNP MPs in the previous 2 counts.

      If the campaign centres on Independence, then the electorate can be left in no doubt.

      ‘Vote for me, and you are voting for an Independent Scotland within the EU’.

      There would surely be no need for a third confirmatory vote in the form of a Vince Cable Fabian tactic plebiscite.
      WE, the people, shall have decided.

      To borrow the quite insulting Brit Nat Meme:- ‘The People of Scotland’ will have decided on self determination at the ballot box.

      However, I doubt that the Blue Tories would risk a UK GE. They might lose.

  38. Thepnr says:

    I wish someone could explain to me how having a referendum before 29th March means Scotland are guaranteed to remain as members of the EU.

  39. Peter A Bell says:

    “Whatever happens with Brexit, Scotland will always be able to hold a vote on its future.”

    Woeful naivety. How can anybody who has come within an astronomical distance of Scotland’s politics have failed to notice the British state’s determination to prevent the people of Scotland from ever again exercising their democratic right of self-determination?

    How can anybody be unaware that locking Scotland into a political union is an absolute imperative for the British state?

    How can anyone imagine that delay is a consequence-free option?

    • M biyd says:

      Couldn’t agree more that’s why I handed back my snp membership and no more Pete Wishart banners in my garden. The more Sturgeon prevaricates the more i look like the village idiot with the Yes flag flying meaninglessly in my front garden.

      • Daisy Walker says:

        Keep it safe… be needed one day, hopefully soon. (The Yes Flag that is).

        Agree with you re PW. Will now be voting for him through gritted teeth.

      • AnnieM says:

        Well, if you’re going to throw your dummy out the pram like that, then you don’t really want Scottish independence because the SNP is not the independence movement.. Nicola is not prevaricating, she is being (as ever) the consumate politician and we are extremely lucky to have her.

        • M biyd says:

          It’s all relative… I think at the moment Ruth Davidson is the consumate politician successfully projecting failure as success and Nicola is too busy trying to prove administrative success in the face of Unioinist condemnation of alleged ‘politicised’ failur:. she can’t win this argument hence the imperative to set our own agenda including our choosing of the next ref.

    • Daisy Walker says:

      What I cannot understand is why the SNP would imagine that the public would blame Westminster for the job losses and austerity that Brexit will bring.

      You would think they would understand the game plan by now… all bad things Blame the SNP.

      And since the SNP is woefully inadequate at rebuffing this, has no policy for dealing with the BBC Bias, or the msn, and cannot even make best use of their office windows for getting information out. Why, oh why, would they even begin to think the disaster of Brexit will be something the voters will automatically attribute to WM.

      I joined the SNP because I thought (wrongly) that as an organised, experienced entity, they would be totally on the ball for getting Billboards out, and leaflets and posters and bumper stickers. I thought they would have a national policy, ‘corporate’ messages, an organised campaign whereby the message this quarter would be all about Scotland’s Economy, and next 1/4 all about Scotland’s NHS, etc. Saturate the market with one message, not wait to try and do it in a referendum or GE.

      I thought, money being tight, they would utilise their members, every members car being a mobile billboard in effect, that they would do what IndyPoster boy has done and put out their own posters in pdf home printable format and ask their members to print them off.

      That there would be T shirts and Mugs with graphic messages on it that told people instantly information that made Indy the only sensible choice. Instead we get balloons with ‘Stronger for Scotland’.

      I thought all of the above would be sensible, economic, legitimate, and entirely doable – even within the ‘hold, hold, hold’ policy of waiting to see the whites of Brexit’s eyes.

      I try really, really hard not to get disheartened and dissolutioned with the SNP. But the above policy (and it really must be called policy now) is not about keeping our powder dry, and appears more and more about pulling our punches.

      I take heart from the likes of Joanne Cherrie and Pippa Whitford, but from a Perth perspective… Rosanna Cunningham is the invisible woman, Pete Wishart advocates waiting till after the next GE!!! and John Swinney’s his mate.

      I was sadly not surprised by the poster above who is away out to deliver SNP leaflets and finds them to be very weak and watery in content.

      Best wishes to all.

      • I multiply your passion and fervour by two million, and counting, Daisy.
        We are unstoppable now.
        I take your point.
        Yet again John Swinney agreed to record an interview with Gordon Hang on a Minute for his Sunday Politics Ministry of Truth half hour Hate the SNP show,
        Then the Brewdog sits with the oily sneery David Clegg and failed Lib Dem MSP Margaret Smith and slags off the SNP.
        When will the SNP ever learn? Refuse to appear on the BBC Ministry of Truth Pacific Quay entirely.
        At the very least insist on appearing ‘live’ with the usual Brit Nat suspects.
        The Scotsman headlines today has removed any doubt that I should feel guilty about celebrating the death of the Scottish Dead Tree Scrolls.
        It will be hand to hand combat very soon now; of that I have no doubt.

    • Dom says:

      Indecision alone is having a massively detrimental impact on Scotland’s financial health.

      The downturn in the UK economy is apparent to us on a daily basis but is currently slowed by a short-term increase in international visitors due to Brexit’s failing pound.

      We have already made the hard decisions about our business’ future and I know we are not alone in developing forecast strategies. We’ve reluctantly had to give this an extra month to play out but then we can delay no further.

      Our major fork is: If the SNP haven’t, by the end of October 2018, taken a significant step towards securing Scottish Independence we will begin the process of closing down. Our business cannot afford to continue operating in a rapidly evaporating pool of opportunity. We cannot afford to continue to suck up increasing costs. We cannot commit dwindling funds to waiting (an indeterminate period) for a ‘rosy future’ or ‘certain bet’.

  40. Andy Anderson says:

    Well this article certainly got the comments flowing Paul. Sorry this is a wee bit of topic.

    A view of Brexit from the National’s website.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/16884059.all-brexit-outcomes-significant-cost-for-uk-economy-warns-christine-lagarde/

  41. Clapper57 says:

    I see Liam (leaving the EU will be easy) Fox is joining in on the ‘No deal Brexit’ will not be OUR fault. Check out any Indy websites post 2016 whose theme is about Brexit and you will see the many accurate predictions on ‘The blame game’ coming to pass.

    Not shocked or surprised are those of us who knew that even the most die hard Brexit pioneers would stoop to the depths of apportioning blame when the you know what hit the fan on their promises of how easy peasy a process this would be …..and how we would somehow just get the same deal we had…………for free !…..cause of who we are like.

    They are now setting the scene and writing the script and acting out a scenario that they knew would surely unfold….. hoping….. or rather knowing the deluded would then re-enact the same scene , repeat the same script and act out the same scenario that allows them to believe their vote to leave was the right one.

    Good versus evil…..the right side versus the wrong side and then the right decision versus the wrong decision….with of course the Brexit mob blindly adamant that they are the only ones who possess true ‘British’ patriotism unlike those treacherous Remoaners.

    Well we remainers and indeed Indy supporters are most fortunate to be blessed in that we are not oblivious to the reality of what was basically a doomed project perpetrated for fake and selfish reasons, the main objective probably being to lead to financial gain for the villains who orchestrated this mess , however there will most certainly be no financial gains for likes of us though.

    So whether it is Deal or no Deal matters not a jot to me, as luckily I live in Scotland and there is a more credible and workable option available……one that will rescue me and mine from the madness of the Brexit disease currently infesting those so badly afflicted that they are willing to still pursue this until eventually …………………….what ?

  42. Craig P says:

    So much angst about the timing of another referendum.

    It is already too late for the UK. People are panicking that the revocation of devolution, for example, will mean we never get independence. On the contrary. The more that outrageous events happen – Brexit, direct rule by Mundell, states of emergency – the quicker the UK’s end.

    Personally I don’t think we will get any of the lurid scenarios predicted. Just a steady erosion rights and dignity and a slow dawning of comprehension on the Scottish electorate.

    It’s going to take time and a few more kicks in the teeth before people get woke but it will happen. The lack of care or competence from the UK government, coupled with the increasing English nationalism of 85% of the UK electorate, make that inevitable.

  43. Iain McCord says:

    At the moment there’s a legal attack on Holyrood’s sovereignty pending action in the Supreme Court that might give Westminster carte blanc to simply veto any legislation brought forward for indyref2 even before a S30 becomes an issue.

    However there’s also a possibility that the S30 preventing legal challenges post referendum reasoning will be confirmed. Which then links to the lack of legal basis for Westminster’s claim of Parliamentary Supremacy.

    Not only that but when Westminster can roll out anything it wants to the entire UK the justification for EVEL is exposed as a sham. It puts Scotland’s MPs in a position of being unable to amend legislation that might subsequently be imposed on Scotland with only cursory reconsideration after being passed for England and Wales.

    Link that to Salmond being attacked then it seems waiting might be the best policy. Launching indyref2 while that’s pending might not be wise. Which might be part of the reason Salmond has chosen to go for broke now rather than wait for a time convenient to the UK Civil Service.

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