Carry On Brexiting

Seeing as no one knows what kind of Brexit the UK government wants, and because so much of what you’re reading and hearing on the subject is either biased or just ill-informed, it falls upon Uncle Jac to shed a little light on the matter. Because there are implications in Brexit for the unity of the UK, and these are already being addressed with covert strategies that may be reported in the mainstream media but are not identified for what they really are.

To make the best sense of what follows you must understand that the whole debate has moved beyond Brexit to the point where it is now about two unions, the EU and the UK, and also the future of the Conservative and Unionist Party. Not to be outdone the Labour Party is also confused, but there we also find other issues at play.

BREXIT AND THE MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES

The EU referendum was held on June 23, 2016. For a number of reasons I voted to leave. Explained here in EU Referendum: Why I Want OUT! with my celebratory thoughts contained in Brexit, Wexit: Things Can Only Get Better!

The overall UK vote was 51.89% Leave to 48.11% Remain. In Wales 52.53% voted Leave. By comparison, Scotland voted 62% for Remain.

Since then, from the UK government, it’s been a revolving stage of pantomime, tub-thumping jingoism, farce, soap opera and slapstick, but now, as the end approaches, things are beginning to take a darker turn.

But before getting to the creepy bits let’s consider where we are with the main UK political parties.

EU membership has been a divisive issue within the Conservative Party for half a century or more. In the hope of settling things prime minister David Cameron announced in February 2016 that there would be a referendum. He also stated that he would be campaigning to stay. When he lost, he resigned.

Since the referendum it has been almost impossible to separate what passes for ‘negotiations’ with the EU from the ongoing civil war within the Conservative Party, with the internecine fighting being a prelude to the inevitable leadership contest.

We’ve now reached the stage where it seems to be the incumbent Theresa May versus Boris Johnson. ‘Bonking Boris’, reviled by ‘progressives’ and opposed by many in his own party. Yet Tories of a more pragmatic bent may see him as a winner.

Not least because Boris Johnson has achieved that priceless political status of being universally recognised by his first name. How many politicians today can say that?

And don’t forget that Johnson was elected mayor of multiracial London in 2008, beating Comrade Livingstone, and increasing his share of the vote in getting re-elected in 2012, again by beating Livingstone. There will be a number in the Conservative Party who’ll see a lesson there for a future tussle with Comrade Corbyn.

At the time of writing this the elite against whom I and many others voted in June 2016 is pushing for a People’s Vote on the “final Brexit deal”. Having lost the vote in 2016 they’re hoping for a re-run and a different result . . . but believe me, it’s got sod all to do with ‘the People’.

If that headgear is compulsory then this campaign is doomed (click to enlarge)

The English Labour Party in Wales is generally supportive of this initiative because by and large our MPs and AMs want to remain in the EU. But their leader is proving more cautious, for Jeremy Corbyn seems to understand better than his Wales-based representatives why Labour voters in the post-industrial areas and the lower socio-economic brackets voted for Brexit.

Corbyn is reluctant to further alienate this white working class, and so, sure of the loyalty of his Momentum base, and believing that his ethnic minority and middle class voters have nowhere else to go, he seems to have concluded that the best option is to keep ’em guessing.

Others in Labour are less reticent about speaking out against Brexit and in favour of a second referendum. Here in Wales Labour politicos have reminded us how much money we’ve received from the EU, which doesn’t really help their cause because too much of that money has been frittered away by successive Labour management teams in Cardiff docks with no discernible benefits accruing to the areas in need.

But what the hell! – we’ve got the biggest third sector money can buy.

Carwyn Jones however is now prepared to articulate a possibility that others would rather leave unsaid. Laid out in a Times article on Monday headlined, “Brexit, handled badly, contains the seeds of the UK’s own destruction”. This article was a trailer for a speech Jones gave to the Institute for Government.

He’s not alone in seeing the possibility of Brexit breaking the UK apart – it’s one of the reasons I voted for Brexit – but I’m sure he takes the side of his Tory masters and will do his best to maintain the Union. Why change the habit of a lifetime?

But Carwyn’s masters are not blind to the danger either, and are implementing measures to counter the threat, certainly in Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland is, as ever, different.

IRELAND

Without knowing anything about the Flight of the Earls, the Plantation, Partition, or even the Troubles, most people are vaguely aware that the politics of ‘Ulster’ or the Six Counties is dominated by whether this part of Ireland should remain in the United Kingdom or whether it should join the rest of the island.

(Though this does not apply to Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who seems to have imagined a homogeneous population made up of individuals who take a pin into the polling booth.)

As things stand, those wishing to stay part of the UK remain in a majority, but a majority being whittled away year on year by demographic trends. So that by 2030 there will probably be a Catholic majority and a referendum on reunification could choose a united Ireland.

Brexit has added a new ingredient to the mix and might accelerate reunification.

Because the prospect of a ‘hard’ border after the UK exits the EU will not only be bad for business, it also raises fears of a return to violence. This has resulted in a number of people hitherto opposed to a united Ireland prepared to consider that option in order to stay in the EU. And let’s not forget that Northern Ireland voted by 56% to 44% to Remain. The only party pushing a Leave vote was the Democratic Unionist Party, predictably following the BritNat line.

The border as it used to be . . . . and might be again? (Click to enlarge)

Yet one of the alternatives, that of somehow keeping the Six Counties within the UK and the EU by having the customs border somewhere in the Irish Sea, has Mrs May’s DUP allies shouting ‘No Surrender!’ and strapping on their Lambeg drums.

The other option seems to involve no change in the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and a ‘soft’ or invisible border, with customs checks carried out by technology that doesn’t exist, or possibly by leprechauns.

The question of whether there should be a united Ireland could of course be resolved with a referendum, allowed for in the Good Friday (or Belfast) Agreement (Schedule 1,2). But the power to call such a vote rests with the Secretary of State. As we’ve seen, at the moment that is Karen Bradley, who thinks people in the Bogside don Orange sashes when the humour is on them.

So we’re in the absurd position of the Secretary of State having the authority to call a referendum , ” . . . if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.” Which, when you consider it, is a very good reason for the British government NOT to call a referendum.

The political situation is further complicated by the fact that the Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed in January 2017 and seems unlikely to get back on its feet any time soon.

There is little the British state can do to influence things in Northern Ireland for a number of reasons: 1/ the Republic’s government keeps a close eye on events; 2/ Ireland is now crucial for the EU because it will soon be a land border; 3/ there’s the interest from the USA, for no American politician can ignore the Catholic Irish-American vote.

And as I’ve suggested, the UK establishment is resigned to losing Northern Ireland in 10 or 20 years time anyway due to ‘the revenge of the cradle’, so the worst Brexit can do is hurry up that process. While never having to deal again with Northern Ireland politicians is a prospect most civil servants welcome.

SCOTLAND

In Scotland, things are very different.

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum gave the UK establishment one hell of a fright and may only have been won at the last minute by the intervention of senior politicians promising everything short of independence in The Vow. Though Brexit is causing a rethink for the man behind it.

The Scots voting to Remain coupled with the growing prospect of a ‘hard’ Brexit is increasing support for Scottish independence. This has prompted the UK state go on the offensive. It’s worth focusing on two, ongoing elements of this attack.

First there’s the crude and unambivalent ‘Britification’ campaign, most visible in the packaging of Scottish goods with the Union flag. In the image below we see whisky and, even weirder, that quintessentially Scottish delicacy, haggis, branded as ‘British’!

But the alternative name for whisky is Scotch. Can you imagine anyone going into a bar and saying, ‘Give me a large British, barman’? Which might get the response, ‘A large British what, sir?’ As for haggis, branding it with the Union Jack is liable to lose sales because people might think it’s counterfeit, something like Albanian ‘champagne’.

click to enlarge

In the main it seems to be the supermarkets at fault rather than the manufacturers, for I’ve read that Lidl and Aldi, the German chains, have stuck with Scottish branding.

I can imagine a meeting deep in the bowels of Whitehall between representatives of the main supermarket chains and high-ranking civil servants to discuss ‘promoting a sense of shared Britishness in these difficult times’, and perhaps achieving the objective without even mentioning Scotland.

(But I warn them now, if they come to put a Union Jack on my laverbread they will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.)

The other point of attack has been the allegations against Alex Salmond former leader of the Scottish National Party and former Scottish first minister. Let me say that I don’t know whether these allegations are true or not, but the motivation behind them is crystal clear.

I first understood what it was all about watching Newsnight soon after the story broke. It had been broken by the Daily Record, the Scottish version of the Daily Mirror, and therefore the mouthpiece of the Labour Party, once dominant in Scottish politics but now languishing in third place as the Unionist vote coalesces behind the Tories.

The assistant editor responsible was a cocky Ulsterman named David Clegg, and without knowing his background I would hazard a guess that he has never voted for Sinn Féin. He was positively bouncing at being interviewed over his ‘scoop’ . . . and then something rather strange happened – he kept talking about Nicola Sturgeon, Salmond’s successor in both positions!

The light bulb flashed above the old Jac noggin, I took a sip of Malbec and nodded sagely.

And so it came to pass that where there had been unity of purpose in a political party determined to achieve Scottish independence, now they were at each other’s throats! Or at least, that’s what newspapers were reporting. And desperately hoping that the Scottish public would believe it.

click to enlarge

What we see in Scotland suggests that secret polling has confirmed the British government’s worst fears – the Brexit cock-up has created a majority for independence.

Added to the blatant BritNat bias the BBC in Scotland has exhibited for some years we now have government-controlled newspapers in a constituent part of a democracy. Were this happening anywhere else it would be reported, and condemned . . . by the very media outlets that have so readily submitted to government control.

What absolute hypocrites!

WALES

Here in Wales the Britification campaign has been less obvious and offensive, partly because we have less indigenous produce to be plastered with Union Jacks, due in large part to the unwritten rule that says any successful Welsh company is only allowed to reach a certain size before being taken over by an English rival.

That said, the campaign has taken other forms, two examples will suffice to explain what I mean.

To begin with, early last year that most colonialist of ‘Welsh’ organisations, Cadw, announced that there was to be a ring of steel erected near Flint castle to celebrate the 2017 Year of Legends, one of the regular, tiresome, and often insulting tourism marketing ploys.

Ring of Steel is an obvious reference to the castles built by Edward I to encircle Gwynedd and subjugate its inhabitants. Cadw knew this. The proposed structure was soon dubbed ‘The Anus of the North’, an epithet that then seemed to transfer to Ken Skates, the hapless minister for culture or some such in England’s Cardiff management team.

click to enlarge

After a public outcry, political opposition, and a petition that attracted 10,000 signatures in a matter of days, this squalid and deliberate attempt to celebrate English conquest was dropped.

But then came the renaming of the Second Severn Crossing as the Prince of Wales Bridge. Again, this was widely opposed, with little support from within Wales, but it went ahead in a secret ceremony.

The renaming idea is attributed to Alun Cairns, the oleaginous Secretary of State for Severnside, but I’m not so sure. I believe the idea came from the same source as the ‘request’ for supermarkets to smother Scottish produce under the Union Jack. Cairns was only too happy to oblige.

Alun ‘Tippy-toes’ Cairns is now one of the most ridiculed and reviled politicians in Welsh political history, even more so than some of his predecessors such John Redwood; for while we expected no better from them, Welsh-speaking Cairns is viewed as a turncoat.

Having mentioned Severnside, the renaming of the bridge and the removal of the tolls will begin what we are asked to welcome as the great property bonanza in the south east. In practice, no bridge tolls and cheaper property prices on the Welsh side of the bridge will encourage a population movement into Wales.

Replicating what we see in the north as commuters from Manchester and Merseyside are guided away from exclusive communities in Cheshire into the commuter communities planned for the A55 corridor.

Maybe we should now add Gwent to this map (click to enlarge)

These machinations on the part of the UK state, coupled with the cowardice and incompetence of the English Labour Party in Wales has predictably resulted in a reaction.

In the past couple of years we’ve seen the emergence and growth of YesCymru, the launch of new party Ein Gwlad, and the realisation within Plaid Cymru that a hard left party obsessing over issues that mean nothing to 99% of the Welsh population is going nowhere.

There can no longer be any doubt that there is a Britification agenda operating in Scotland and Wales. Because the BritNats driving the Brexit process are awake to the fact that if they win they risk the Union. More moderate elements can also see the risk to the Union and even though they might oppose Brexit they have little alternative but to join in the Britification offensive.

Yet Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and the rest must push ahead because their political reputations and their places in history are now tied up with Brexit. They cannot afford to fail. If they succeed, they know it will be easy to use the rallying-call of ‘Save the Union’ to reunite the Conservative Party, and leave the other parties no alternative but to fall into line.

The real worry is that the Britification and dirty tricks we’ve seen so far in Scotland and Wales could be nothing compared to what we might experience after the Brexit shit hits the fan.

♦ end ♦

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Dafis
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Dafis

while responding to the latest bulletin I endorse N McEvoy’s description of the pseudo-socialist self labelled lefties. Sad wankers mostly.

Your diagnosis of our present Brexit anxiety state is pretty much spot on. My only concern is that here in Wales, despite the glaringly obvious case for a rapid secession from the London centric UK/GB mess, our populace will moan like fuck yet will not strike a blow even if its only casting a bloody vote !

FFS people, time is running out we are going to be absorbed into the Greater England project, Brexit or no Brexit, but as you rightly say Jac the stresses and schisms emerging from this crisis present excellent opportunities unlikely to be repeated for generations. Or is it a case of “who gives a shit ?” the ruling elite and their collaborators will survive (so they think), and the public are so scared of losing what little they have that they won’t rebel until their weekly spend on takeaways, booze, fags and SKY becomes unmanagable.

CambroUiDunlainge
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CambroUiDunlainge

Disagree with McEvoy there. I think there’s two types of Socialist in Wales – BritLeft and Welsh Socialists. There determining factor is the former sees the Tories as the enemy the latter see the Union as the enemy. There’s shades of grey between the two no doubt – because the majority of us are to differing extents and ways “Anglicised”.

An example being one of the leadership candidates on SharpEnd saying that they looked at Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Communist Party. That’s not a nationalist looking for a cause – that’s a Socialist looking for a cause.

Eos Pengwern
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Eos Pengwern

The Scots would be well-advised to claim their independence at the first opportunity – they were foolish to turn it down last time around – but Brexit seems like the daftest possible argument for them doing so.

Why on earth would you leave a union (i.e. the UK) with which you do £45.8bn of trade every year (2016 figures), and share a land border with, in order to join one with which you do £12.7bn of trade an have no land border? It makes no sense at all; it’s so obviously silly that it undermines the whole case for Scottish independence.

That’s a terrible shame because there are many, many strong arguments in favour of it: the SNP have just fixated, for some reason, on the weakest one imaginable. If I were a conspiracy theorist I would be wondering who was pulling Nicola Sturgeon’s strings.

Now an independent Scotland outside the EU, with a low-friction border with England and free to trade with the rest of the world (with which it did £17.1bn of trade in 2016) – that would be worth having!

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Too many nationalists, who are otherwise good sound people, have got fixated on the EU being the only club in town, especially as England’s volume of voters drove the Brexit result. Now the EU may be marginally a better club than UK/GB for reasons other than trade but why bother with belonging to either when in all probability once the dust settles normal trading will resume ?

Marconatrix
Guest

The Scots are broadly pro-EU, see themselves playing a role similar to the Nordic nations etc., but the point you may be missing is that what may well have swayed the Indy Ref in favour of Remain, was that we were constantly told that leaving the UK would mean we’d automatically find ourselves outside of the EU too. That might have been the case, since as it says above, the EU wasn’t in favour of its member nations fragmenting and so were willing to make noises that backed up the UK’s threat. Whether they’d actually have followed through is another matter entirely, but either way the ploy worked.

Now however, Scotland finds itself on the verge of being dragged out of the EU against it’s will. So the whole thing has backfired spectacularly. The Scots feel they were had and are rightly hopping mad. Add to that The Vow …

Andrew Williams
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Andrew Williams

The Irish border question has already been answered by all parties. Jon Thompson, head of HMRC in giving evidence to the DexEU Committee in November said that no infrastructure would be needed at the NI border over and above what is already there in the form of cameras and ANPR. His counterparts in Ireland, giving evidence to the Finance Committee in May 2017 also said that there would be no need for infrastructure on the Irish border. The EU, as reported in the Irish Times, have already told the Irish government that no infrastructure would be required on the border.
The law of the UK, as passed by Parliament in the Withdrawal Bill is as follows:-

(2) Nothing in section 7, 8, 9 or 17 of this Act authorises regulations which—

(a) diminish any form of North-South cooperation across the full range of political, economic, security, societal and agricultural contexts and frameworks of co-operation, including the continued operation of the North-South implementation bodies, or
(b) create or facilitate border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after exit day which feature:-
(i) physical infrastructure, including border posts,
(ii) a requirement for customs or regulatory compliance checks,
(iii) a requirement for security checks,
(iv) random checks on goods vehicles,

or
(v) any other checks and controls,that did not exist before exit day and are not subject to an agreement between Her Majesty’s Government and the Government of Ireland.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

When the UK voted No, it had 3 options:
1: Norway Option – EFTA/EEA – ruled out by both Labour and the Conservatives because of freedom of movement (sometimes called soft brexit)
2: Canada Free Trade – ie the UK is a third country and NI is the EU’s external border. WTO rules means the EU cannot treat the UK differently from other third countries like S Korea or Canada and will have to police its external border; described by Brexiteers as the EU punishing the UK. Either because their brains cannot process (or its simply cognitive dissonance) what WTO rules mean or pertain to Third Countries.
3: Cliff Edge Exit with planes unable to fly, supplychains disrupted, empty supermarket shelves, medical shortages, driving licenses not recognised in the EU, kiss goodbye to the car industry, formula one (7 teams are based in the UK) even horse racing will be affected etc, hence why they are apparently planning for civil disturbances.

None of the aforementioned 3 options have changed since 2016, and its a testament to the ignorance of this country’s political and media elite to pretend there are other options on the table.The Norway option perhaps could have kept the Union together for a decade or two, but Theresa Mays Lancaster Speech put paid to that, the nonesense about Canada +++ is simply that nonesense. Unless a unicorn appears its Cliff Edge Brexit. Alternatively both Labour and the Conservatives can reverse their positions on freedom of movement then perhaps it might be EFTA – but the Norwegians would not be pleased to see the UK join a club that they effectively run. And remember the English with their WASP supremacy complex don’t place nice in teams – I’m sure the Norwegians were ecstatic with Mays Lancaster Speech.

There is the bilateral Swiss Option but I’m sure the EU have stated they are never doing that again.

Cliff Edge Brexit = End of the Union.

Brychan
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Brychan

A no-deal brexit will automatically fall into WTO rules by default. However, while it’s possible to negotiate a special deal like Canada, this is NOT a free trade deal. To give an example, beow is the tariff/ceiling agreement between Canada and the EU.

http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-10973-2016-ADD-2/en/pdf

Not the sort of rules your average widget maker and farming co-operative can just add to the invoice. In fact it’s a bureaucratic nightmare, and Canada is the best-option example. Obviously, the mega corporations will manage, if only by means of global trade triangulation with massive loss to the exchequer in corporation tax receipts, but SMEs will find exports and imports to the EU can only be done through offshore factor organisations.

Cliff Edge Brexit = The EU doing to the Brits what the Brits did to Ireland in the 1930s, until rudely interrupted by WW2.

Red Flag
Guest
Red Flag

The anticipated attempt by elements of the Labour Party to try and force a second EU referendum on Corbyn during their coming party conference as party policy, is being resisted within the more pragmatic parts of the Labour Party because an awful lot of the Labour voters they need to keep hold of and an awful lot of the voters they need to win over in order to win a General Election not only voted Leave, but would vote Tory if pushed to decide between leaving and a second referendum.

35% of Labour voters voted Leave and research conducted by several different organisations all shows that most of them would not vote Labour in a General Election if it tried to overturn or succeeded in overturning the result, with many switching to the Tories. (As a point of interest, 61% of Tory voters, 36% of SNP voters, 33% of Plaid voters, 32% of LD voters, 20% of Green voters and 70% of floating voters also voted Leave.)

Corbyn is acutely aware of the fact that to win a General Election with a majority, he not only has to keep all the voters he got in 2017 but that he also needs another 4 million votes on top of those and alienating people who support Leave will cripple his chances and almost certainly guarentee a Tory majority in the backlash.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

It’s important to understand what the ‘EU’ is. It morphed from being a loose association of nation states into the ‘single market’ with the ‘Maastricht Treaty’ in 1992, and some flaws were tidied up in the ‘Lisbon Treaty’ in 2007, which removed some national state loopholes. It relies on three things..

(1) Free movement of capital.
(2) Free movement of labour.
(3) Free movement of goods and services.

In order for the three principles to work, there needs to be a single legal institution to decide on disputes. This is the European Court.

There is no such thing as ‘soft Brexit’. It’s a term that only exists in English newspapers and the deluded minds of some politicians. It has no basis in reality. It has no meaning on the European mainland. You cannot cherry pick one of the three benefits/responsibilities without sighting up to the others, despite what the Westminster Government claim to be ‘negotiating’. There are only two options available (a) hard Brexit, which can be dressed up as something else, or (b) remaining in the EU, or EEA.

So far, the European Commissioners have been very diplomatic and polite, but that is all it is. Do not be mistaken into believing that polite wordings are ‘concessions’ as the Westminster Government try to spin it.

The Northern Counties of Ireland will remain in the EU. The billions bribe to the DUP by the Westminster Government is just a survival bid. The UK government are in no position to install a hard border within the island of Ireland. After Brexit the hard border control for Ireland will be at Cairnryan, Holyhead and Pembroke Dock, in the same way as the existing hard border is by expanding the existing facilities at Ashford, Folkestone, Harwich and the global container facilities at London, Immingham and Felixstowe.

Brexit realities –

(1) Imports of goods from the EU will be around 20% more expensive.
(2) Exports to the EU will continue with 20% cut in domestic costs (wages).
(3) There will be only minor issues with financial services (London), because this is already global. The banks will just move their lawyers to the EU.

Concerns..

England cannot feed itself and is dependant on energy imports (I exclude Wales and Scotland in this, who are net exporters of both, the grip of this resource can be secured by removing devolution and, if necessary, task the provost marshal to use military emergency powers) but Africa is not in a position to replace EU trade, especially in food, despite recent jaunts by the prime minister of England. My only advise to Wales after Brexit is (a) never try to disable a tank, just wait for it to run out of petrol like in Slovenia, (b) a car door will not stop an SA80 round, use a wall, (c) the only safe and practical port for MSF/UN is the Charles de Gaulle in Milford Haven.

Interesting times ahead.

Dennis Morris
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Dennis Morris

I voted for Brexit because I believe it will be easier for Cymru to sever links from London and gain Independence if we’re out of the EU. Evidence for this conclusion can be found if you look how the EU are ignoring Catalonia’s struggle and backing the brutal Spanish Government.
The attitude of those faceless leeches in Brussels is that the EU super power must be preserved at all costs.

Sian Caiach
Guest
Sian Caiach

The EU were extremely negative to Scottish Independence during their referendum and promised expulsion them the EU, a hard border with England, financial ruin, no trade, and at least a decade to get back into the fold behind Turkey and other countries they hadn’t even heard of yet. I suspect that the SNP number crunchers realised there could be an embarrassing result to the Brexit vote and played it for all it was worth. All the SNP had to do was produce a Remain vote in Scotland and then to claim that many Scots only voted to remain in the UK to stay in the EU and look what happened!, They were being forced out against their will! However the remain vote had to be low enough overall to not keep the UK in.The policy was duly published in their manifesto that if Britain voted out it would be grounds for a second referendum.

On the day of the referendum the Scottish turnout was lower than predicted, unlike the rest of the UK.The remain vote won but was less proportionally than expected and the leave vote higher than expected. Later analysis showed almost 40% of SNP voters voted out, compared, for example, with 32% of plaid voters. The overall result may not have been interpreted by all Scots as entirely a good and authentic reason for Scotland to grasp independence, more perhaps seen by some as a well deserved bloody nose to the EU.

Although all the regions of Scotland voted to remain, many constituencies did not, and these were prominent in the list of seats the SNP lost in the 2017 general election. Not all Scots wanted Brexit reversed and Brussels reinstated in an independent Scotland. Jim Sillars declared that if Independence was conditional on re- joining the EU then he wasn’t voting for it.
.
The SNP is clearly well down the road to independence and but will only push furiously for a second referendum when they feel they will surely win. The polls are pretty good at the moment compared with polls prior to the 1st independence referendum campaign, with some recently showing Yes in the lead but nothing like the 60:40 lead desired, which would give them a very good start.I don’t know what exactly what the current SNP strategy is but their conference starts on October 7th after which we should all know more.

At least the SNP do the canvassing and crunch the numbers, unlike some parties closer to home.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

May I correct you Sian.

Route 48.
In 2014, the Scottish Government argued it could become a full member of the EU on independence day under Article 48 of the Treaties of the European Union. This route is by no objection forthcoming from the existing unified state (United Kingdom) and by a subsequent qualified majority vote of the Council of Ministers, then ratified by the European Parliament. There would be no Spanish veto. This is provided for in the Lisbon Treaty.

Route 49.
In 2014, the Westminster Government claimed that application to the EU would only be allowed under Article 49 of the Treaties of the European Union because the remaining part of the UK would object to the Scottish application. This route would have required a unanimous vote of the council of ministers, giving the Spanish and presumably the remaining part of the United Kingdom objecting.

The legal argument at the time was whether the United Kingdom could object after having delegated the decision to a referendum and that result was within an independent legal and constitutional entity. The blocking of route 48. However, it was held, that due to the pre-existing legal and constitutional distinction of Scotland within the United Kingdom that no block could be applied to this route. Route 48 in fact WAS available to Scotland, hence the last minute vow to derail the predicted indy referendum result. It is still available to Scotland before brexit kicks in, via indyref2.

Route 48, however, is not, and never has been, available to Wales, as it has legal unity with England since the Laws of Wales Acts. Wales has to be firstly outside the EU, as an independent state, should it ever wish to apply for EU statehood membership in the future.

Leanne is wrong and Nicola is right.
The brexit referendum result concurs.

CambroUiDunlainge
Guest
CambroUiDunlainge

I thought the EU made it clear that Scotland would have to break away completely before it could even apply? :S

How do the amendments to the Laws in Wales Act effect how we are seen as separate entity out of curiosity? I think there were amendments in the 60’s and 70s in particular.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

The president of the EU stated his opinion. This was under the argument/assumption that article 48 would fail in the United Kingdom and an application would be made under article 49.

An application for Scottish membership of the EU under 48, in fact, cannot be blocked by the United Kingdom, once it has passed a legislative mechanism (referendum, and Scottish Parliament) to decide.

For Scotland, we have the principle of the unlimited sovereignty of Westminster is a distinctively English (includes Wales) principle which has no counterpart in Scottish Constitutional Law. This was confirmed in a test case. MacCormick v Lord Advocate. It which found that the Parliament of the United Kingdom could not repeal or alter fundamental and essential conditions of the Act of Union with Scotland. In other words, if the parliament of the United Kingdom passes the right to choose to the people of Scotland by referendum as a power it has under the Act of Union, then it divests itself from blocking the decision that results. For EU membership this means that there is no bar on application for Scotland to become an EU member under article 48 of the Treaties of the European Union (Lisbon).

There is no ‘Act of Union’ for Wales, as many falsely believe. It was ‘Laws in Wales Acts’ which merely imposed any law of England to automatically apply in Wales. This means there is no constitutional route for Wales to become a member of the European Union under article 48. In simple terms, the monarch effectively signs assent twice for including Scotland, but once for England, which includes Wales.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

Additional info.
The Lisbon treaty was designed by compromise.

Article 48 was engineered for Norway (desirable) to enter as a qualified majority vote of existing member states. The EU, particularly Germany, wants oil and gas, and if the French don’t like mega-trawlers (the 1972 objection) they can fuck off.

Article 49 was engineered for Turkey (undesirable) to enter but only on the basis of unanimity of all exiting members. There are, and were at the time, existing member states which would object on the basis of human rights and freedoms. Everything from LGBT, Islamic headgear, Greek history and Cypriot cheese.

Nigel Stapley
Guest

“The EU were extremely negative to Scottish Independence during their referendum”

An awful lot of that had far more to do with Barroso angling for the NATO job, which he saw as being partly in Cameron’s gift to deliver. It was significant that Barroso’s own office contradicted much of what he had said in that infamous BBC interview within about 18 hours of his opening his yap.

Besides which, that was then and this is now. Greater England has managed to so piss off the rest of the continent that considerable efforts would be made to expedite an independent Scotland’s membership. Moreover, even the last Spanish government (that of the post-Falangist PP) stated clearly more than once that, so long as independence was achieved by constitutional means, Madrid would have nothing to say on the matter. It is unlikely than Sánchez’s government would take any view at variance with that. Madrid sees the Catalunya situation as not being analagous as there is no means within the Kingdom of Spain’s arrangements for any referendum to be constitutional.

Oh, and there are no ‘queues’ for joining the EU, merely the matter of meeting the criteria. That’s why a dozen or so states have joined in the 31 years since Turkey applied for membership. Given that Scotland, perforce, already meets almost all of the criteria, accession would not be a drawn-out matter.

“Although all the regions of Scotland voted to remain, many constituencies did not, and these were prominent in the list of seats the SNP lost in the 2017 general election”

Cite your source for that, please? The results were not declared on a constituency basis, so we can’t be sure how the constituencies voted. The best analysis I’ve seen estimated (and that’s all anyone can do) that only Banff & Buchan, Caithness and possibly Moray voted Leave. It’s true that the SNP lost all three of those seats in 2017, but that was out of 23 overall losses, most of which were in heavy ‘Remain’ areas and were down to the narrowness of the 2015 results there, negative media slanting and in some cases clear evidence of tactical voting by pro-colonialist voters (the ‘leader’ of Labour’s Scottish branch went out of her way to tell her party’s supporters to vote Tory “to get the Nats out”).

“Jim Sillars declared that if Independence was conditional on re- joining the EU then he wasn’t voting for it.”

Sillars is the Dafydd Êl of Scotland. No more need be said. Neither of them was ever a genuine nationalist.

As for the SNP waiting for a 60/40 split in opinion polls before starting the campaign for a second referendum, this is something often put about by even the more reasonable of the official media in Scotland and by indy supporters who ought to know better. It’s not likely to be the case, however. I recommend James Kelly’s piece at https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2018/08/lets-state-obvious-again-waiting-until.html (and some of his posts before that) to see why this is unlikely to happen. Far more likely is that, once the effects of Brexit on Scotland become more easily predictable and discernible, the starting gun will be fired.

Marconatrix
Guest

Nigel Stapley is entirely correct IMO 🙂

CambroUiDunlainge
Guest
CambroUiDunlainge

“Oh, and there are no ‘queues’ for joining the EU, merely the matter of meeting the criteria. That’s why a dozen or so states have joined in the 31 years since Turkey applied for membership. Given that Scotland, perforce, already meets almost all of the criteria, accession would not be a drawn-out matter.”

You are correct there are no queues. The requirements the EU set out were that Scotland must reapply as the current treaty is with the UK. Scotland must break away entirely from England before doing so. The EU also adds nations in batches… so the next batch is 2025… so Scotland, if Independent may get in then. Obviously its guesswork when they can get back in – the EU could change its views when a new referendum comes around. But right now i think the narrative is that they must sever all ties with England and dissolve the Union before reapplying.

Brychan
Guest
Brychan

Please see my above reply, it relates to what the United Kingdom is, and how it enters into treaty with the EU under the Act of Union between Scotland and England.

It is also why a ‘Continuity Bill’ under the Act of Union would need to be passed by Westminster to allow the ‘EU Withdrawal Bill’ to include Scotland in the absence of ‘consent’ from the Scottish Parliament. A theoretical barrier, as obviously Westminster will force it through. It is also the reason why the Supreme Court decided that whatever agreement arises for withdrawal, the Westminster House has to have a final vote on it.

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

nice to read in your tweet column that the wierdo Shrewsbury has so much awe, admiration and affection for you. The fact that his fruitcake column attracts little or no comments must really dent his seriously inflated ego. Poor twat, he is a serial failure no good at anything other than churning out bullshit that can’t even attract hostile comment let alone supportive stuff. Time he switched his own light off.

Similarly you have picked up on one of academia prime candidates for relegation from whatever league they inhabit at present. Aber Uni has singlehandedly spearheaded the Anglicization of Aber and its environs fetching an odious mix of supremacist students and academic staff who can barely hide their contempt for any natives they happen to mix with and sometimes feel free to openly sneer and talk down to local plebs. Given that many, though not all, are only there because nowhere else in the “premier league” Russell Group would give them space it’s a shocking waste of resources that might otherwise have been deployed to train Welsh school leavers in skillsets that are suited to meet the needs of the economy. There again Labour’s idea of an economy is a network of 3rd sector operations so it’s quite likely that 3 years acquiring bullshitting skills is more appropriate after all!

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Dydd Owain Glyndwr today, so I’m told. Funny that, for some weird reason he crops up in my memories or thoughts far more often than once a year but at least it’s good to remember that on this date in 1400 he was proclaimed Tywysog Cymru. I’m surprised that thus far today I haven’t read any words of wisdom from any of the aspiring Plaid leaders making some reference to the date. Perhaps I’m being unkind and that they are busy scoffing prosecco and munchies at some of the select salons of our capital city and toasting the memory of a real Welsh hero. On the other hand they probably don’t give a fuck !

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Have a look at this morning’s Guardian on line

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/17/four-in-10-people-think-multiculturalism-undermines-british-culture-immigration

Makes a big deal out of how a large minority have concerns, but only focusses on how immigrants are seen to threaten the AngloBrit orthodox culture. As ever the cnuts at the Guardian don’t even show any awareness of the corrosive effect their AngloBrit culture has on our nation. Instead they run away from the immigrants and swamp us with their crap.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

Cywir, Dafis. They did redeem themselves a little, though, with the following report in the same edition, on funding for the Cornish language:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/10/council-of-europe-criticises-uk-for-cornish-language-funding-cuts

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. A bit of redemption as you say, tinged however by the Guardian’s overarching urge to show the EU in a good light by putting UK government in its place. Guardian loves the EU as we all know. Shame the EU didn’t do more “putting UK in its place” over the previous 40 years instead of acting like a dysfunctional “big boys’ club”. Even now they just can’t bring themselves to tell Spain (another big boy) to pull its supremacist horns in over the Catalan situation. No doubt if Spain was ever likely to sound off about leaving the Union then the EU would start to raise matters such as minority and regional rights.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

Right again. The Guardian is a BritNat rag, and is in denial about the EU.