Tick tick tick…… Tomorrow’s publication of the Scottish government paper “Scotland’s place in Europe” will surely set the cat amongst the pigeons as the full might of the combined forces of the Westminster elite, Unionist MSPs at Holyrood, Gordy Broon and Lord Darling of wherever the feck (a double act right up there with Cannon & Ball, but funny) the written and online Unionist press, and their broadcasting arm, the North Britain branch of the British Broadcasting Corporation, rise out of their pre-Christmas slumber to switch to all out anti-Scotland-remaining-in-the-EU without Big Brother propaganda mode.
They’ll have to be a bit cute though about how they do it because condemning proposals for Scotland to protect its place in Europe outright will result in only one outcome. If they are not careful, having left the Scottish government with no other alternative, a dismissal of Scotland’s proposals will ensure that there will be more than one future major event with great significance for the United Kingdom triggered by the end of March next year.
That being the case we’ll hear all sorts of double-speak, to play for time, and frighten the natives, from London politicians saying that they are willing to look into the proposals and give them due consideration one minute, and dropping in Project Fearty playbook standard phrases the next. Look out for Hard Borders featuring front and centre. We’ll hear all about fences, illegal immigrants, border crossings, granny no’ being able to pop up from Whitley Bay to see the grandweans without an Alsatian nosing though her handbag at Gretna, don’t endanger our family of nations, thumbs up for Team UK, all of that nonsense. They’ll have to blush a bit though if someone mentions how they intend to handle a border on the island of Ireland.
When the paper is published tomorrow Scotland, significantly, and transparently, will be the only part of the UK which will have actually produced some sort of plan about how it intends to handle Brexit, Westminster being so coy about the whole thing that the only major strategies they’ve adopted so far are “let’s pick out some new curtains for the Royal Yacht”, “ Brexit means Brexit” and “ It’s going to be a red, white and blue Brexit”, insightful stuff indeed.
We’re going to also hear, loudly and repetitively, how Scotland exploring options to protect itself is seriously undermining the UK’s double secret nudge nudge, wink wink, Brexit plan ( a plan which they don’t have). There will be hints that this fictitious beneficial new trading deal with former EU partners that they are trying to fool the UK general public with to stop them from cottoning on that their government haven’t a clue how it’s all going to end up ( if they want to know what will happen when they leave the EU they should ask the 27 other members, they’ve made their views pretty clear) is in serious danger of being compromised because of Scotland’s attitude.
As is their way when backed into a corner, we’ve seen it many times over the years in their relationship with Scotland, and with a range of countries who have struggled, but ultimately succeeded, in breaking out of their loving embrace, there will be threats. These will be along the lines of soor-faced TV news presenters reporting “neutral’ expert predictions of impending financial disaster should Scotland not take advantage of the UK’s broad shouldered Brexit plans. How will we survive? We’ll be a third world country! Sound familiar?
To back this up they’ll trot out a pet EU representative or two to tut-tut the whole idea of Scotland having separate access to the single market, which will result in the Scottish government rolling out another set of EU representatives that will say the exact opposite to the UK government’s lot.
Nicola Sturgeon herself is just about to experience a new level of the Alex Salmond treatment. The Depress, and it’s like, are very fond of emotive headlines with the words “ Sturgeon” and “fury” in the same sentence as it is, but as we get closer to the crunch time (either allow a separate Brexit process for Scotland or the canvassing shoes and banners are coming out of the cupboards please Mrs leather troosers) she’ll be demonised. It’ll be all about her, her plan, her comments, and not about the 62% of voters in Scotland who voted to remain in the EU, and protecting their democratic decision.
There is only going to be one conclusion to this, sooner or later. Where did we put those comfy canvassing shoes?