Would Scotland REALLY want to rejoin the EU after Brexit?

Nicola Sturgeon is currently attempting to create the momentum for a second Scottish independence referendum  – alias “Indyref 2”. The 2014 referendum was described at the time as a “once in a generation” but Sturgeon said last Monday that because the UK voted to leave the EU but Scotland did not, there has been a “change in material circumstances” since 2014 that justifies a second vote. She wants to give Scottish voters the option “to follow the U.K. to a hard Brexit — or to become an independent country.”

“Scotland’s future will be decided not just by me, the Scottish government or the (Scottish National Party),” she said. “It will be decided by the people of Scotland. It will be Scotland’s choice. And I trust the people to make that choice.”

Some recent reports claim that the SNP’s plan for an independent Scotland now involve gaining access to the Single Market by rejoining EFTA rather than trying to rejoin the EU. No doubt we will know more after the party’s forthcoming spring conference this weekend, but given the activities of malign individuals like Tony Blair south of the Border,  it is hard to believe that all Scots – and the SNP leadership in particular – have thrown in the towel as far as membership of the EU is concerned.

Perhaps, however, reality is beginning to dawn on at least some pro-remain Scots that rejoining the EU would be on massively disadvantageous terms because the country would not benefit from the opt-outs which successive British Prime Ministers the UK fought for and which the whole UK currently enjoys.

Were Scotland to overcome concerns in Madrid, which is worried about the Catalan separatist movement, as a new state joining the EU, this would be its fate:-

(a) It would have to adopt  the euro currency  – although this can be deferred somewhat.
Furthermore, what currency would a newly independent Scotland use between leaving the UK and joining the EU? Would it use the euro unofficially like ( say) Montenegro?

What is more, to join the Eurozone,  Scotland’s top- heavy public sector would have to be pruned as vigorously as in the “club Med” countries like Greece where many unemployed people no longer have access to the NHS and long-term unemployed households are on income of only 8.40 euros per day

(b) Scotland would not have the derogations which the UK presently enjoys. For instance, VAT would have to be added to food, children’s clothes, books and house sales. The minimum rate would be 5 per cent. But much, much more would be required to make good the deficit left by the withdrawal of subsidies from England

(c) If there were a strong possibility of a yes vote, financial institutions, pension funds, mutual organisations,  charities and other investors with members and clients in England would have a duty of care to protect them from currency risks, possible exchange restrictions and seizure of money from bank accounts (as happened in Cyprus), as an independent government would quickly become financially desperate. This would undermine the position of the considerable Scottish financial,sector.

(d) Scottish energy policy has been based on selling overpriced “renewable” electricity to England and buying cheap, conventionally produced electricity in the other direction when the wind doesn’t blow.
With the discrediting of the global warming myth, Independence would give England an excellent opportunity to discontinue the arrangement.

(e) The unkindest cut of all. There are already excellent English and Welsh whisky brands which could quickly be expanded and much reduce England’s demand for Scotch whisky.

(f) The much smaller area of Scottish territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (Compared with those of the UK as a whole) would be shared among an unchanged number of EU trawlers, barred from English waters by Brexit.

All in all, the prospects for Scotland if it tries to re-join the EU do look bleak.  It is hard to say how widely these negative impacts are known among the Scottish population – or indeed, by Scotland’s politicians. As mentioned above, it is possible that the SNP’s recent talk of looking at EFTA rather than EU membership may be due to their recognition of  harsh reality of these disadvantages.

However, in the event of any attempt to whip up support for re-joining the EU by the SNP or anyone else, we believe the points set out above need to be widely publicised throughout Scotland. For anyone wishing to start the ball rolling, this helpful website gives a list of all Scottish newspapers, great and small.

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5 comments

  1. Adam HileyReply

    I don’t see the scots falling for Sturgeons dishonesty the EU is on its way out and a Federal Britain is a likely option so independence is unlikely

  2. Phil JonesReply

    As someone who lived through the period when Quebec politicians were endlessly threatening to take their province out of Canada, in my view Sturgeon is blowing in the wind. Scotland will never separate from the UK. In the early 1990s the Quebecois Party, whose main platform was to take Quebec out of Canada, had a very charismatic leader named Bouchard. And his party held almost all of the federal parliamentary seats of Quebec in the Canadian Parliament — just the same as Sturgeon and the SNP do now. Bouchard was a lot more charismatic than Sturgeon or Salmond before her. At one point just before a separation referendum in the autumn of 1995 the polls showed that about 55% of Quebecers were going to vote for separation. The night of the referendum the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation had a big needle on a dial that moved back and forth over the 50% mark. After every vote had been counted, 50.1% of Quebec’s voters had voted for Quebec to remain part of Canada. Then everything subsided. Quebecers calmed down. Presently a large majority of Quebecers are strongly against holding another referendum. I see absolutely no appetite in Scotland for another referendum. The Wee Krankie and a few other hot heads are the only ones still rattling away at a non-issue. Most Scots realize that healthcare, education and other major concerns are being totally ignored by Sturgeon and the MSP. If Scotland separated, Sturgeon has no idea what currency would be used and has been told on the Continent that Scotland would sit behind a long list of other nations trying to become EU provinces. Scottish people are not stupid. Sturgeon surely realizes that her big dream of Scotland changing from being a UK province to being an EU province will remain just that — a dream. Why the English media pay attention to her at all is because they want to sell more papers by publishing irritating headlines.

  3. Gordon WebsterReply

    As a Scot, living in Scotland, let me make things perfectly clear. The Scots voted in 2014 to remain in The United Kingdom. Nothing has changed. Mr Salmond put out a thick Manifesto called “Scotland’s Future,” in which he said that the vote would be “once in a generation.” We did not believe that for one second, since it was abundantly clear that Scotland would never have another chance to rejoin the The United Kingdom. We would not have the pound and, at the time, not being members of the European Union, we would not have the Euro. Nor would we have a Banker of First Resort, far less of Last Resort, since we would not have The Bank of England safety net. Effectively, Scotland would be on its own – as with Darien – with, as the article suggests, a top heavy Public Sector Workforce, a Socialist Government, and a massive Deficit. The Scots chose not to trust Mr Salmond, who lied about Brussels assurance regarding EU Membership, and about keeping the Pound. Quite simply, Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon lied, and lied consistently.
    As for the current situtaion, it is not the will of the Scottish People that there should be a second referendum. Being a Democratic People, we voted to remain British, and Britain voted to leave the EU. Incidentally, figures show that more People voted to Leave The EU than voted for The SNP at the last election, and an estimated one third of SNP Voters, and Activists voted to Leave the EU.
    Since last Wednesday, a Petition started by a Mr James Innes of Aberdeen, demanding that “No Second Referendum Be Allowed,” has reached 208,000 signatures, mostly Scots living in Scotland, and Scots living down South. Change.org has raised two Petitions, one calling for the Abolition of Holyrood and Devolution, and the second calling for Ms Sturgeon’s removal.
    The Scots have had just about enough of Ms Sturgeon using Independence as a smokescreen for the mess her Party has made of the Police, NHS, Transport, Roads, and of the Named Person For Every Child Fiasco. The Scots do not like being described by their own Elected Employees, as a Nation of Fat Drunks. We also notice, that Ms Sturgeon has ceased using the term “The Will of The Scottish People,” and now states “The Will of The Scottish Parliament,” cannot be ignored. The only Political Party which systematically ignores the Scots, is the Scottish National Party.
    Scotland is turning against this group of fanatics and we know, beyond all doubt, that they would lose a second referendum, so demand a third, and a fourth, at the slightest manufactured grievance.
    I watched a programme on St Patrick’s Day, about a guy travelling round Ireland, What did he discover? He discovered that Sectarian hatred is as rife as it ever was, with new “Peace Lines,” still being built in Belfast. In Drogheda, he discovered a deep hatred of Cromwell. Children throughout Ireland are taught that Cromwell ordered the murder of every man, woman and child in Drogheda. A, brave, local historian said that this was quite simply a lie, and that Cromwell had written ten times, that the people were “not to be touched,” and that it was to be “a battle between soldiers.” The telling comment from the Historian was “what would the people do without Cromwell, they would have no one to hate.” That, I suggest, is what The SNP are doing to Scotland. The are manufacturing old and new hatreds and grievances, to create a new Sectarianism. The Scots are friendly people, and they do not like what Ms Sturgeon is trying to do. She is manufacturing a Hate Figure, to project her grievances and hatred onto.
    I think you will find that the SNP are entering the Cresta Run of their Political Lives, and if most of those Petitioners vote against the SNP at the May Local Elections,they will find just how far their popularity has fallen. They have less than 25% of the total vote, and are NOT Scotland, and do NOT speak for Scotland.
    My views are the distillation of dozens of views taken from Social Media. I do hope that clarifies the situation, as the Scots see it.

  4. Petrina HoldsworthReply

    I liked Gordon Webster`s comment; I`m sure that dear Nicola and her party are not as popular as she would like to think.
    As Gordon said the Scots are not stupid and what she is offering is clearly stupid on many fronts.
    Her argument is based solely on emotion because the facts do not support Scottish isolation from the rest of the UK. Of course it suits the BBC endlessly to talk her up to feed into a sense of anxiety about Brexit but I believe that the majority of the viewers are now thoroughly fed up with seeing the silly woman on our screens and her appearances are now counter productive to the anti Brexit brigade.

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