An open letter to Brexiteers from Scotland

Usually, this blog is written for a readership of Scottish independence supporters, a majority of whom support Scotland remaining within the EU, just as a majority of Scotland’s voters as a whole supported remaining within the EU. This article is different. It’s intended as an open letter to those, both within Scotland and elsewhere in the UK, who voted to leave the EU. The argument made in this article is not a intened as a warning, it’s not meant as a threat. It’s simply a statement of the consequences of what you voted for if you voted for the UK to leave the EU. You’ve also voted to end the United Kingdom.

Those of us in Scotland who voted remain, which is a large majority of the electorate, often hear leavers tell us that the UK voted as one country and so it shall leave as one country. That’s your problem right there. The UK is not one country. It consists of three countries and part of another. The UK is, as we’re always being told by Theresa May and other British nationalists, a precious union. It consists of Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. We’re not seeing much evidence of any awareness of that reality from those who are forcing Brexit upon Scotland.

One of those countries, Scotland, had an independence referendum in 2014 and voted to stay a part of the UK. But we didn’t vote against independence unconditionally. Scotland voted against independence because promises and commitments were made to Scotland by those proponents of the British state who campaigned to keep Scotland a part of the UK. We were promised that we’d be an equal partner in a family of nations. We were promised that we’d have stronger and better devolution. We were promised that Scotland would be respected. We were promised that the only way to ensure the stability of our democratic structures was to remain a part of the UK. We were promised that EU membership was only a possibility if we remained a part of the UK. Every single one of those promises and commitments lies broken and bleeding on the floor of the House of Commons.

Today, on What Would Have Been Brexit Day But Isn’t, as I watched the pro-Brexit protesters outside Westminster talking about their feelings of betrayal, about how the political class had let them down, about their loss of faith in British democracy, all I could think of was “Welcome to our world”. Because all the ills that you claim the EU inflicts on the UK, the UK has inflicted on Scotland, only ten times worse. You didn’t need to ask the EU for permission to have the referendum, yet Scotland is told it needs permission even to ask itself the question.

In Scotland, the majority of people look on the shambles of Brexit with horror, revulsion, and with growing anger. We hear plenty of talk of respecting the will of the 17.4 million. We hear nothing at all about respecting the views of a Scotland that voted to remain and which voted to remain in the EU by a considerably larger margin than it voted to remain a part of the UK. Scotland is only in this situation to begin with because in the independence referendum campaign of 2014 those who are driving Brexit promised the people of Scotland that they’d listen to us and respect us.

Brexit supporters talk a lot about respecting the will of the people, about how angered they are that politicians in Westminster are not listening to them and not fulfilling the promises they made. Your pleas and cries might have more understanding in Scotland if you had expressed similar outrage when the promises made to Scotland were so casually tossed aside. But you didn’t. The way in which the promises made to Scotland were traduced and contemptuously dismissed by the Conservative party passed unremarked amongst the great majority of Brexit’s supporters. The original project fear was the project fear that Scotland was subjected to in 2014, yet you sat in silence. So you will forgive us if our sympathy for your plight is limited.

Brexit has taught us in Scotland that we get what England votes for. It has taught us that in the eyes of the British establishment, the claim that this is a precious union is a hollow hypocrisy. It has exposed the so called union as a myth. Yet we have seen how that supposedly evil EU, that so-called monolithic bloc, has respected and listened to the concerns of Ireland. There is a nation in these islands which is an equal partner in a family of nations. But it’s not Scotland.

The scales have fallen from the eyes of many people in Scotland who voted against independence in 2014. A series of opinion polls have shown that a majority of the Scottish electorate believe that independence would be better than any form of Brexit. An opinion poll published just today has shown that amongst those undecided on the Scottish constitutional question, Brexit has caused 63% to believe that Brexit makes Scottish independence more likely, and 45% say that Brexit has changed their view on Scottish independence. The United Kingdom was already hanging on a shoogly peg. The shock of Brexit will make it fall.

One way or another, Scotland will have its say on its future. Realistically, if Scotland can only be kept in the UK because a British prime minister with little support in Scotland refuses to allow Scotland to have a vote, then the UK is already dead. However contrary to what you read in the British press, Scotland does not require the permission of a British prime minister in order to ask itself a question about its future. The legality of a consultative referendum under the auspices of Holyrood is yet to be tested in the courts. Remember that the EU referendum which you set such store by was itself a consultative referendum. And there is absolutely nothing to prevent Scotland’s political parties turning the next set of elections in Scotland into an effective referendum on Scotland’s future. We will have our say.

Do not stand in Scotland’s way. Do not force us to participate in your British nationalism. Otherwise you will yourselves to be acting exactly like that EU you claim to despise so much, imposing your will on another country and revealing Brexit as an epic exercise in hypocrisy.

So, to you British nationalists out there, you proponents of Brexit, you Brexiteers, you no-deal advocates, you leavers, I’ll leave you with this: you can have your Brexit, or you can have your United Kingdom. You can’t have both.

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59 comments on “An open letter to Brexiteers from Scotland

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug An open letter to Brexiteers from Scotland Usually, this blog is written for a readership of Scottish independence supporters, a […]

    • There are only two countries in the union, Scotland and England who signed the treaty. Either of these countries can repeal the said treaty if they wish.

      • Welsh Sion says:

        Cue, David Davis:

        You’re quite correct in stating that Scotland and England were the only signatories to the Treaties and subsequent Acts of Union between their two countries to form the first united kingdom, 1706-1707, William Purves. England signed on our behalf, having already made Wales ‘England’ for legal purposes in 1535-1542 (“The Laws in Wales Acts” aka “The Acts of Union between England and Wales”).

        These 16th century Acts were repealed by Westminster (before devolution) by virtue of the Welsh Language Act 1993, Schedule 2.

        I am happy to confirm therefore that my country is no longer in ‘union’ with England. I look forward to Scotland likewise taking its place outside its own ‘union’ with England, soon.

  2. Margaret Noakes says:

    Looking at the scenes outside Westminster today, it seems that Brexiters find it impossible to see anyone elses point of view.
    Scots have to put their own country first now.We cannot trust Westminster with our future.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Never could trust the southerners bunch of supremacist smegheads if England rots so what if it destroys itself though riots I certainly wouldn’t care one iota they did it to themselves as long as Scotland isn’t dragged into any more England messes I wouldn’t care trying to save the Englanders is useless and a waste of time.

  3. bringiton says:

    Absolutely Paul.
    Scotland is an internationally recognised polity and any attempts by the Westminster regime to block our fundamental rights to self determination will have consequences for them (trade deals etc).
    Section 30 reminds me of the WW11 British propaganda about Japanese pilots.
    They couldn’t fly because of they had poor eye sight.
    It was a lie but had effect because some people wanted to believe it.

    • Marconatrix says:

      Your last point is a good one. There seems to be something in human nature that makes us all ready to believe the things we’d like to be true. A trait easily exploited sadly.

  4. davy1600 says:

    Now is the time – now is the moment.


    • Welsh Sion says:

      Davy, I thought you might like this.

      15. (of 20.)

      Scots Wha Hae – Reprise

      Scots, wha hae wi’ Salmond bled,
      Scots, wham Sturgeon aften led,
      Welcome tae yer gory bed
      Or tae destiny.

      Now’s the day, an’ now’s the hour:
      Seize oor chance a’ last fir power.
      See the fearties start tae cower.
      Scotland will be free!

      Wha will be a low appeaser?
      Wha will bow tae Lunnon’s Th’resa?
      Wha sae base as be a greaser?
      Let him turn an’ flee.

      Wha fir Scotland’s Pride an’ Aw’
      Freedom’s sword will strongly draw?
      Bondsman stand or Freeman fa’:
      Let him follow me.

      By th’ oppressive woes and pains,
      Of oor sons in servile chains,
      We will drain oor dearest veins
      But we shall be free!

      Lay Westminster oh so low.
      Traitors fall – like every foe.
      Liberty’s oors wi’ every blow!
      Let us vote fir SNP!

      [With acknowledgements]

      Songs for the New Politics

  5. Robert Harrison says:

    I’ve seen this since I was 4 years old I’m now 33 I’m astonished it’s take most Scots nearly 30 years to notice what I’ve seen clear as day since the age of 4 all I can say is what took you so long.

    • jk scobie says:

      I am 64 snp since was allowed to vote and hope to see our country as it should be before I leave the planet

  6. chicmac says:

    Westminster has far more control over, far less respect for and far more interference in Scotland than the EU would if an independent Scotland were a member EU state.

    The two are not the same.

    • Welsh Sion says:

      EU is a true union where all voices are heard and compromises are the natural order of things. None of us in Scotland or Wales have the same equality of voices in the ‘Union’ of this Disunitedkingdumb. Nor is there compromise (nor has there ever been). What England says, goes. And what England choose, is invariably for the benefit of those in the south east of that country and within the great orbital. They have no knowledge nor wish to have (or have ever had) any knowledge or concern for those beyond these perimeters.

      Tros Gymru / For Scotland,

  7. Anne Martin says:

    That’s a blinder Paul. Very well said.

  8. Kenneth Matheson says:

    At 9 o’clock in the morning of 19th September 2014 following the Scottish Independence Referendum PM David Cameron stood in front of 10 Downing Street and made a statement. He said that he would be implementing English Votes for English Laws, (EVEL.) into the procedures at Westminster. By enacting that procedure he reinforced the fact that England is a separate country from Scotland and removed Scotland’s ability to vote on decisions that affect England.
    Fast forward to today and we have the Westminster government telling us that the EU referendum was a UK wide vote, we joined the EU as one country and we will leave as one country. How can we have joined as one country when clearly we are not as per David Cameron’s statement? How can you have a UK vote when Scotland is not allowed to vote on decisions that affect England? Has Westminster not realised yet that as the EU says, “you cannot cherry pick.”

  9. alanm says:

    “… if you voted for the UK to leave the EU. You’ve also voted to end the United Kingdom”

    That’s fine by me. I’ve voted SNP at every opportunity since 1974 and am a lifelong supporter of independence. That said, I’ve got no desire to swap London rule for Brussels rule thank you very much. Those Scots who voted remain simply voted for the status quo and more of the same.

    Looking back at the independence referendum in 2014, too many Scots took all the promises/vows made by the London establishment, Gordon Brown et al at face value. Perhaps we’re not as savvy as we think we are? Hopefully those who were taken for fools last time will know better next time.

    • Illy says:

      “I’ve got no desire to swap London rule for Brussels rule thank you very much.”

      Compare Ireland’s situation in the EU to Scotland’s in the UK.

      Ireland is smaller than Scotland, and is getting what it wants.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Now hold it I never voted remain on that what made me vote remain was realising if leave won all power would go to the English conservative party and that’s exactly why I voted remain to stop that outcome from happening yet England and Wales was to blind to notice that seems you have been as well because its happening as I predicted in the worst ever version of that outcome.

  10. Andy in Germany says:

    I often wonder if many English people dislike for the EU because they think the EU treats the UK, the way England treats Scotland, Wales and NI.

  11. velofello says:

    It took just one sentence from Chicmac to clearly describe the politics of our situation. Nice one.

  12. Absolutely the finest piece yet, WGD. Succinct, to the point and 100% accurate. Thank you!

  13. Terry callachan says:

    Is that an open letter to Scottish Brexiteers
    An open letter from Scotland to all Brexiteers

  14. Millsy says:

    What Brexit really needed is a meaningful vote , followed by a meaningful vote , followed by a meaningful vote , followed by a meaningful vote ….plus ca change plus ca la meme chose !

  15. Terry callachan says:

    You hit the spot nevertheless.
    It will be interesting to see what the British machine does when confronted with a minority support in Scotland.
    Will it hit out ?
    Will it’s followers within Scotland get their balaclavas on ?
    Will leuchars and other military bases be refilled with threats ?
    Will England accept its boundaries are those that encapsulate England ?
    The English people I’ve met this week are already looking at me as if I’m the enemy so I don’t hold out much hope for acceptance and cooperation.
    We will see !

    • Illy says:

      Well, any military assets inside Scottish borders when we go independent belong to Scotland, so if they start arming us (and disarming themselves) that’s all to the good, right?

      • Terry callachan says:

        No I disagree.The UK has HM Forces ,they answer to Westminster ,not to Scotland,so HM Forces based in Scotland will not be under control of the Scottish parliament when we declare independence.You have seen the way Westminster has communicated and behaved with the EU and you can be assured their behaviour will be worse when it is them being left by us,just recall the threats about sending warships to Gibraltar when Spain said it wanted that part of Spain returned to Spain’s control and look at the UK govt response to the courts when told to leave the chagos islands ,there is no fair and reasonable discussion with Westminster possible because it firmly believes that it is superior and has no moral compass to guide it in the correct direction so it turns easily to threatening behaviour.
        Scotland will see it when it declares independence.
        England’s Westminster will say it’s not the time and they will delay and faff whilst they try to extract as much from Scotland as they can before we shut the door.The EU will hopefully be of assistance if we declare Scottish independence soon after brexit.

  16. Daisy Walker says:

    Thank you for that, an fir aw.

    And this time oot!

    The English Nationalists can wrap it up in a Union Jack and stamp the word British on it for all they are worth.

    That games a bogey.

    I realise America is going through a difficult period, but I love those words,

    ‘we the people’

    and I am more than a little bit proud that there were a few Scots in the mak’in oh it.

    Time now, it just has tae be.

    • We the sovereign people of Scotland, request the Government of Scotland, to repeal the treaty of union between the countries of Scotland and England.


  18. James Galt says:

    And yet…..

    I was shoving SNP leaflets through doors when I was still in Primary School, before the UK or as it would have been called then, Great Britain, joined the EEC.

    The EU is doomed, it’s hastily corralled (in the the aftermath of the the USSR collapse) eastern half looks east where it’s real interests lie. Even the business interests of Germany look east though her bureaucracy remains a creature of the west. A divide is coming.

    Italy faces east, the southern economies ruined by the euro will join her.

    The EU is a busted flush, the SNP have made a monumental error.

    • weegingerdug says:

      And yet ….

      If you want Scotland out of the EU, that’s fine. But you need to do so on a basis of a mandate from the people of Scotland to do so. The point here is that the democratic will of Scotland is being ignored.

    • Terry callachan says:

      I do not agree with you, there is more evidence of the EU being a success than being a failure.Some people have not liked the idea of the EU from the start and are still saying the same stuff, that it’s going to collapse .No evidence of that ,in fact it’s still growing with new member applications.
      The EU keeps many countries around the table and that in itself prevents war, this is the most peaceful time that Europe has ever experienced long may it last.
      There are countries outside the EU that don’t want peace in Europe because it puts a damper on their ambitions to steal land and resources and threaten security if low quality trade deals are not signed, we have seen it all before ,the EU is still a bit of an experiment but so far it’s working ,by far the greatest and most valuable gain has been peace.
      The UK is corrupt more so than most ,it is leaving the EU so that those in the House of Lords can continue to avoid taxes and continue to bully small countries around the world into trade deals that keep them poor, the EU is too big to bully so the UK is moving on in search of new blood to suck , good riddance I say.
      Scotland I hope will escape the UK and initially be part of the EU until it decides what is the best way forward.
      You are wrong about some EU countries not benefiting from the EU, Greece Italy Spain Portugal have all gained from being in the EU ,yes there has been some upheaval and some,issues with currency but on the whole all of these countries have improved life for their people by being in the EU.
      People often cite Greece as an example of failure but the facts show otherwise, Greece demographically is hard work ,over 300 islands ,they had no state pensions for their people before the EU then tried to give everyone over 50 a pension and found that so many wanted it that the country couldn’t cope, it’s hard working in that heat when you are over 50 too many gave up work all at once.
      Then you also have the historical and massive problem of the rich and those in business hiding income and moving money out of the country to avoid paying tax so tax collection was very low indeed.
      The EU communicates very well and that encourages trade,the future will be good but that doesn’t mean easy.

  19. ScotsCanuck says:

    …. aii you say is true, Paul but I would advocate that now is the time for Nicola to strike while the iron is hot … either Westminster will issue a Section 30 Order for IndyRef2 or the SNP will declare the next GE a mandate for Independence … and as Maggie Thatcher stated, all we have to do is return a “majority” of Scottish MP’s to Westminster to fulfill our mandate to initiate the annulment of the Treaty of Union …. we have many friends in Europe and they will not accept any repressive actions by the duplicitous UK Government in respect to the Peoples of Scotland & her Government … Alyn’s speech to the European Parliament was a “blinder”.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      We don’t even need a section 30 to hold indyref2 Nicola can just go for it because a to keep up the union farce they have no right to stop it and be it makes them the hypocrites when they never had to ask the eu to hold there referendum in 2016.

  20. Wullie says:

    I don’t see much evidence of awareness that the EU has any understanding as to what the UK actually is. We joined the EU as the UK, we did not join as England yet appears to me that the EU are quite happy to ignore the two independent nation signatories and take the side of England as being the superior.
    Please keep a light on so that we can find our way home, Jesus h how I laughed at that, oh you will see a light al right its your country burning down.

  21. Reblogged this on It's shite being Scottish and commented:
    Some information for readers in England

  22. John McLeod says:

    I believe that the situation we are now in, around UK membership of the EU, is the result of decades of failure to engage in democratic dialogue. Ideally, that dialogue would allow all sides to be heard, as well as taking account of the underlying meaning and significance of differences. In relation to the EU, there is a lot of common ground in Scotland. We need to make sure that we continue to create the conditions for a common ground to exist, in relation not only to EU membership, but in respect of many other difficult issues as well. I worry that, although the Scottish Parliament was designed to promote dialogue and shared decision-making, it does not always operate like that. I worry that the mainstream media does not operate like that either. Brexit teaches us an important lesson – we need to keep working on improving our democratic structures, for example by experimenting with innovative ideas such as citizen assemblies..

  23. Macart says:

    The scenes in London yesterday should be considered a ‘heads up’ to be sure. A very, VERY, grumpy and societally fractured public looking for answers from a hopelessly divided government and opposition. Could reasonably be argued (and many have) that the actions and practices of Westminster’s political class over many decades and many campaigns have led to what we’re witnessing now.

    Definitely qualifies as a Who knew(?) moment. The questions and the grumpiness won’t end there either I’d say.

    • markrussell20085017 says:

      Indeed, Sam, the division in England has been growing by the day since the Brexit referendum. Remainers think that a second referendum will provide salvation, but there’s a strong possibility that the previous result would be repeated with a higher margin – even with ‘no deal’. And where does that leave us?

      Scotland has the answer. Membership of the UK AND the EU is simply incongruous. If it makes a decision now – Brexit is solved. England wants independence from the EU – and will have it – possibly in the next couple of weeks. Just get on with it – the support for Scottish independence south of the border has never been greater. Without the SNP block at Westminster, the deal will pass and the United Kingdom will leave the EU. Whether that includes Scotland is very much within your gift.

      • Macart says:

        Most people are aware that politics is a dirty game Mark, but I’m not entirely sure they grasped just how dirty it was.

        Seems a fair number of folk are waking up to this fact these days. Those bods in Westminster haven’t had their worst day yet in the limelight, and Karma can be a right wossiname when it comes around.

  24. Sheryl Hepworth says:

    Absolutely brilliant Paul!! This blog should be highlighted and spread, by all means possible, through out the whole of the 2 nations and Wales and NI.

  25. astytaylor says:

    The sooner Scotland goes independent, the better.

  26. […] via An open letter to Brexiteers from Scotland […]

  27. Graham Niven says:

    We hear a lot about the 17.5m who voted for Brexit but very little about the UK population in 2016 which was over 65m

    17.5m was less that a third of the population

    • Zbob says:

      And therein lies the greater problem of FPTP whatever the outcome of this fiasco, 2/3rds of the population will suffer the fate determined by the “winning” 1/3rd, the latter guided by sage headlines from the Repress and Fail etc. manipulated by politicians to advantage or vice versa, in turn manipulated by those with a financial spoke in this wheel.
      The eternal “British” problem of trying to placate the masses to the advantage of the few, Scotland should neither appreciate this nor bow to it…

  28. Andy Anderson says:

    Great Paul. copied this to everyone I know in England and all Scots Leave people.

  29. ebolainfo says:

    You lost me: “Scottish independence supporters, a majority of whom support Scotland remaining within the EU”
    You want independence but still want to be a supplicant of the EU superstate?
    Forgive my ignorance, but did you not marginally vote to stay wed to the UK. 55.3% was it?
    If I recall you even wanted to keep the pound, some independence!
    The EU is a corrupt corporatist project. The sooner we remove ourselves from it slimy embrace the better.
    I would prefer not to break up the UK but if that’s the price, so be it

    • weegingerdug says:

      If you don’t understand the difference between being a member of the EU and being a subordinate and permanent minority within the UK, you really ought to refrain from commenting on either. You’re only displaying your ignorance.

      Glad you’re happy for Scotland to go its own way though.

      • ebolainfo says:

        Amazing…you are a minority in the UK but you will trade that for an even more distant, smaller minority within the corrupt United Stated of Europe.
        Created by, expanded and maintained by deceit.
        I was hoping for some clarity. So far it is better to supplicant to the EU than Britain.
        It seems to me that Scottish EU supporters like English remainers, prize their payceck over their sovereignty. Happy wanne-be slaves!

        • weegingerdug says:

          Ireland – Scotland – which of those two has its interests and views listened to and respected during the Brexit process.

          Hint. It’s not Scotland.

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