There we have it. The circus continues. The good ship HMS Brexit, a rudderless aircraft carrier without any aircraft, to the sound of rousing choruses of ‘Rule Britannia’ and “Always Look on the Bright Side Of Life” goes sailing forth, out of safe waters ,heading for perhaps the perfect storm of separation from the UK’s European trading partners and into the loving ‘Special Relationship’ embrace of what is beginning to show all the signs of being an extremist right-wing semi-dictatorship. One MP shouted the word “suicide” as the motion passed to the next stage. Ken Clarke, Health Secretary under Thatcher, and Chancellor to Major, an auld fashioned Tory, quoting during the debate that even Enoch “rivers of blood” Powell would be surprised at the rabid anti-immigrant views which now dominate his party, rebelled and voted with the SNP.
Of the 59 members of parliament representing the constituencies of Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly by 62% to 38% to remain within the European Union, 1 voted to progress the Tory Brexit plan, yes just 1, the Sheriff of Londonham, Viceroy Alba, the pantomime villain, the Westminster government’s man in Scotland, definitely not Scotland’s man at Westminster, David Mundell. Seriously folks, this is not a democracy.
The SNP’s spokesperson on foreign affairs Alex Salmond described the Westminster vote on Brexit as an outbreak of “ Mad MP Disease”.
With the prospects of a trading bloc of 500 million potential customers for Scottish goods and services disappearing over the horizon or adding tariffs to previous free trading arrangements, with potentially 80,000 Scottish based workers losing their jobs over an extended period, and with possibly the loss of much of the 7.3 billion pounds that EU nationals living and working in Scotland generate each year, as a direct consequence of what originally was all about the spooked Cameron Tory government knee jerking into a referendum they thought they couldn’t lose, when the right-wing of their party showed signs of defecting to the Faragist Kippers (scary xenophobic nationalism not of the civic variety) Alex Salmond is not wrong.
The respected National Institute of Economic and Social Research said recently that loss of free trade with Europe will have costs vastly in excess of any gains from trade with places further afield. Specifically, UK trade could get a 2.2% boost from non-EU free-trade arrangements but will suffer a 22% hits from loss of single market access. Theresa May can blether on like a timeshare saleswoman until it’s time for the streetlights to come on about 12 point plans, and making the best deal for Britain, but at the end of the day the European Union needs to agree to any proposals the UK government puts forward. Brussels is in the driving seat, not May, Davis and Johnson, and at this stage they just want to get shot of Little Britain, despite what the Daily Mail will tell you.
If the UK doesn’t want to be a partner in an organisation designed to mutually benefit those countries signed up to its statutes, the EU will do its utmost to make sure that it protects its members first. Empire spirited arrogance ain’t going to work this time. When yer oot, yer oot.
As for giving the eye, and holding hands, with the Twitterer of the Not So Free World in the early days of a glorious ‘Golden Era’, as predicted by her Chancellor Philip Hammond, when he issued the thinly veiled threat to the EU, that “ A low tax Britain with a US trade deal could be a magnet for businesses wanting to escape regulation and tax” I’d be careful Theresa. You are getting in to bed with the devil. He’s not going to change, and I’d be surprised if the majority of the people of the rest of Britain will find that relationship palatable for long. Most definitely Scotland won’t, but maybe it won’t be our problem for much longer.
There is a very good chance that the UK government is inadvertently taking actions that will end the Union without too much intervention from the movement for Scottish independence or the Scottish government other than continuing to play our hand well, bide our time, and at the right moment, when a date is fixed, put the facts to our folk.