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Wings Over Scotland


Independence for England 48

Posted on December 16, 2018 by

The great frustration of the current Brexit shambles is that we’re being told there are no viable options. But that isn’t true. This site has already put forward one perfectly workable proposal, and here’s another.

Before the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, Scotland was told that if they left the UK, they would automatically leave the EU, leaving the rUK as the successor European state.

Scotland, it was said, would be cast out of Europe, immediately and automatically and without negotiation. Brussels agreed with Westminster on this interpretation.

This outcome of independence was said by Westminster sources to be a legal certainty, with no possibility of avoiding the consequences of being bounced out of the EU. The EU could not rescue Scotland and no treaties would exist to do so.

And that leads to a logical conclusion: if England (and perhaps Wales) decided to leave the UK instead of Scotland, leaving Scotland as the successor state in the EU, the same would be true.

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The top table 327

Posted on December 15, 2018 by

The Handmaiden’s Tale 204

Posted on December 14, 2018 by

It should now be abundantly clear to any rational person that time has very nearly run out to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Theresa May has been sent swiftly home from Europe with a skelped arse and told that any further negotiation is out of the question. But she’s insisted that the meaningful vote in the UK parliament on her Brexit deal won’t now happen before Christmas, which in practical terms means before mid-January.

That means that if Labour wait until the deal is thrown out before they call a vote of no confidence – which is their current position, so far as anyone can tell what their position is – then by the time the government falls it’ll already be February.

(Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, after a successful VoNC there are 14 days for someone to try to form an alternative administration before an election is called.)

Add in the six weeks minimum that are required for an election campaign and you’re halfway through March, literally just a few days before the UK will automatically crash out of the EU with no deal.

Even if a couple of months extension of Article 50 were to be granted – and we’re not sure who’d be asking by that stage – that’s plainly nowhere near enough time for a new government to come up with anything the EU would agree to.

(Remember that the withdrawal agreement was supposed to be done and dusted by October in order to give the EU six months to ratify it. Their patience with the UK is plainly at an end, and it’s hard to see them agreeing to drag the whole mess out for another year or more, which would be the realistic timescale.)

“And that’s all very well”, readers might be thinking at this point, “but that’s a picture of Kezia Dugdale, an insignificant backbench Holyrood list MSP. What the bloody hell’s it got to do with her?”

And the answer is that it’s all her fault.

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The man from tomorrow 296

Posted on December 13, 2018 by

We must admit we haven’t been keeping fully up to date with our Thickest Politician In Scotland rankings recently, mainly because they’ve been so deluged with submissions that we can barely scratch the backlog.

This month alone, for example, we’ve seen Murdo Fraser try to blame the SNP, Labour and the Lib Dems for his party’s shambolic Brexit fiasco, millionaire Tory landowner Sir Edward Mountain sneering that the SNP’s Ian Blackford is too rich because he has a Range Rover, James Kelly of Labour humiliating himself (again) over the budget and boneheaded Lib Dem barrel-scraping Christine Jardine mocking someone for having an inferior intellect while she failed to even nearly spell the word “supporters”.

And that’s before we even get to the Tory MSP who stood up at this afternoon’s FMQs and suggested that lowering the drink-drive limit had somehow led to an increase in road traffic accidents, presumably in the belief that it would actually be better and safer if everyone bombing up and down Scotland’s motorways had had a few beers first.

But pretenders are one thing. There’s still an undisputed king.

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Return Of The Magic Abacus 58

Posted on December 13, 2018 by

Q: Why did Scottish Labour refuse to propose a costed alternative budget yesterday?

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Not out 429

Posted on December 12, 2018 by

This is the 5,000th post since Wings Over Scotland began in November 2011, which is just shy of two a day, every single day, since then. We wanted such a landmark post to be something serious and significant, but in light of the utter brain-melting futility of trying to write anything sensible about politics in the UK today that won’t be overtaken by ridiculous events within seven minutes, screw it, we’re going to this instead.

So we’ll see you all later this evening for the result of Theresa May’s confidence vote. What’s the worst that could happen?

No, really, we’re asking.

Return Of The Terror 646

Posted on December 10, 2018 by

On one level you have to feel a bit sorry for Scottish Unionists. Having believed until very late in the day that they’d win a crushing victory in the 2014 indyref and put the matter to bed for a century, they’ve never been able to relax since.

And this week the fear has them well and truly in its grip.

The hapless Scottish Secretary demonstrated the lack of self-awareness for which he’s famous when he said at the weekend that the thing he warned would threaten the Union (a defeat for the PM’s Brexit deal) was going to happen on Tuesday, at which point – having said he’d resign if the Union was threatened – he’s made it absolutely clear that he ISN’T going to resign.

And he wasn’t alone in the panic room.

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The Stoned Roses 578

Posted on December 08, 2018 by

The Great British Bin Fire 383

Posted on December 06, 2018 by

Brexit isn’t really this site’s remit, which is why we’ve been relatively quiet in recent weeks as the UK’s shambolic exit from the EU hogs all the news and Scottish politics has been relegated to a largely-dormant backwater in the press.

Yes supporters don’t speak with one voice on the EU, and while we’re in favour of it we’ve long said that the indy movement can’t really move on until the fog clears and we know for sure what Brexit’s going to look like. Deciding whether to be part of the EU should be a decision for an independent Scotland to make, not a precondition.

But dear lord, this is such a mess it needs to be examined.

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The internationalist brigade 89

Posted on December 06, 2018 by

We all knew this already, of course. Last year we commissioned a poll from Panelbase which found an enormous 41-point gap between Yes and No voters on immigration. But it was still nice to have it both confirmed and laid out so clearly by Sir John Curtice on Good Morning Scotland earlier today.

(About 1h 55m in. We’re having some trouble recording sound on our new PC at the moment, we’ll get you a proper audio link as soon as we’ve figured it out.)

“Support for the Yes movement is associated with being more likely [around 50% more likely, in fact] to have a positive view about immigration.

So we’re certainly confirming that Scotland does have this rather unusually civic nationalist movement. It’s not a movement that says you have to be born in Scotland for us to value you, it is something that does seem to be relatively open-minded.

On the other side of the coin what we’re discovering – and the reason why in the end Scotland why doesn’t look any more liberal than England and Wales – is that when you look at those who vote for the Conservatives or for the Labour Party, for the Unionist parties, they emerge as being less favourable towards immigration than are Conservative and Labour voters south of the border.”

It’s worth keeping to hand the next time some witless Scottish Labour goon tries to tell you that independence is bad because it’s “separatist” and that voting for the Union is the international-solidarity option. Because that’s a flat-out lie.

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In England’s Dreaming 181

Posted on December 05, 2018 by

We now have the verdicts on Brexit from three of the UK’s four nations. The Scottish Parliament, speaking for the Scottish nation, voted overwhelmingly this afternoon to reject both Theresa May’s draft agreement and leaving the EU without a deal.

And it wasn’t alone.

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An excellent question 45

Posted on December 05, 2018 by

Posed by Kezia Dugdale in the Holyrood chamber today:

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