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A case of separation

Posted on July 19, 2015 by

The Sunday Times has today released some more of the data from the joint poll it conducted with this site a couple of weeks ago. As well as giving the SNP a 31% lead over Labour for Holyrood 2016, there’s a very interesting stat on Europe.


That lead in England for the UK leaving the EU is surprising – most recent polling has shown something like a 60-40 margin in favour of staying in. We’ll need to wait and see if the poll is an outlier or if there’s been another shift in English opinion.

It’s also interesting in that it blows a hole in the regular assertions of Unionist pundits that there are no real differences in social attitudes on either side of the border. At a time when England is split down the middle, Scotland’s resounding 2:1 majority for staying in Europe has never, to our recollection, been higher.

There’s one more thing of note about the poll, though.

Because while the Sunday Times was asking people the straight in-out question, we asked the exact same group of Scottish respondents a slightly more nuanced one.


An independent Scotland within the EU: 32%
An independent Scotland outside the EU: 11%

Scotland inside both the UK and the EU: 31%
Scotland inside the UK but outside the EU: 15%

That’s a remarkable and perhaps rather counter-intuitive finding. Among supporters and opponents of Scottish independence, there was almost no difference in views on Europe. You could present it as one if you wanted to – technically Yes supporters were slightly less than 3:1 in favour while No supporters were just over 2:1 – but the actual difference is only five percentage points.

That’s a very significant change from the last time we polled Scots on the subject, in November last year, when Yes voters wanted to stay in Europe and No voters wanted out. Perhaps the “2017 Scenario” is a likelier prospect than it seemed.

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63 to “A case of separation”

  1. Hoss Mackintosh

    Nice one Rev Stu,

    That will be one in the eye to these Britnat Zoomers who want us out of the EU.

    Interesting times ahead – I think they may be collecting all the EU referendum votes and counting them all in London – just be be on the safe side?

  2. Jackie

    I would be interested to see this poll repeated now after the Greek economic disaster and the way in which they were treated by the EU banking institutions and Germany & co

  3. david hammond

    The Greek bailout and how it has been handled by Europe will have had a big influence on the result in England.

  4. Tackety Beets

    Rest assure WM will move the goal posts to suit them , we will be dragged along like spoilt brat that disnae di fit wer telt!

    Only this time we might just stamp our feet a bit harder than we used to.

    BTW Happy Birthday Nicola !

  5. Grouse Beater

    The contention there is no real difference between voter opinion in England and voter opinion in Scotland is just another version of the cliché trope a man in Clydebank has everything in common with a man in Liverpool. It’s an attempt to reduce us all to one common denominator.

    Aye, and a woman in Chelsea has everything in common with a woman in Shettleston.

  6. Sora Lochiel

    Hmmm, I guess this was still before Greece?

  7. Ken500

    Guardian/Unionists journalists might good at English not very good at Maths. Not their forte. Good at printing nonsense. Greedy Hypocrites.

  8. Clootie

    I think we will have a drop in pro-European support (post Greece issue fallout).

    This may result in England voting to leave Europe and Scotland to staying in. Far more likely now than previously.

    Independence Referendum 2 coming your way shortly.:-)

  9. call me dave

    When big business and the other movers and shakers start to get their campaign together I can see that the UK will decide to remain within the EU set up. The South British will be subjected to the same pressures that the Scots had to contemplate, fear of the unknown and change.

    If however the amount of votes cast gives the pro-EU campaign a small winning margin due to the Scottish votes then the fun and games will start. Of course the opposite scenario comes into play where we are out of the EU but the Scots wish to stay… interesting times indeed and much scope for Sturgeon to put on the pressure against WM.


    Ian Bell: Herald. Auntie’s not being fair to Scotland.
    If the (very) reserved BBC is failing Scotland, according to its Scottish audience, then the case for a different approach becomes unanswerable. A few more doses of River City will not put us all to sleep. Too many viewers and listeners have drawn their conclusions about trust, bias, representation and impartiality.
    Dismissing them all as obsessed nationalists will not do BBC Scotland the slightest bit of good. It must be a terrible annoyance for executives, but broadcasters cannot pick their audiences.

  10. gordoz

    “There are no real differences in social attitudes on either side of the border”

    A particular favourite of one Prof John Curtis 🙂

  11. nodrog

    Slightly OT
    Just read the article in the Sunday Herald about the EU North Sea grid project. We need to avoid Scotland losing out again on another North Sea bonanza. No doubt the Unionists are aware of this and will again perform any dirty trick they can to retain economic power over Scotland. This situation needs to be brought to the attention of the Scottish voters so that they know what is going on. Roll on INDYREF2 hopefully in 2017!!!

  12. HandandShrimp

    The numbers for Scotland aren’t so out of kilter with others that I have seen but the England one is quite startling. I wonder if all the negativity around Greece has had an impact.

    If those numbers panned out it is just possible that England might vote to leave by a whisker but the UK stays in because Scotland voted by a hefty margin to stay in.

    Then the level of antipathy in the Mail to Scotland generally (not just the SNP) might reach cataclysmic proportions.

  13. Richardinho

    That first result could easily have came about as a reaction to the Greece issue so maybe it’s not an outlier. Interesting to speculate why the same affect not seen in Scotland.

  14. John lyons

    It’s a lot more interesting than that.

    There are 42 million voters in England and 4 m in Scotland. If no has a lead of 2% in England that’s only 840,000 votes. Scotland’s 33% extra yes’s is 1,333,333 which would be just under 500,000 or so majority overall.

    There’s been lots of talk of England Dragging Scotland out of Europe against our will, but we could be set to keep England in against theirs!

  15. Lollysmum

    Ooh-interesting times ahead! EU treatment of Greece will have changed quite a few minds I’m sure. I know that I’m doubting the wisdom of staying in now. If they can do it to one they will do it to others.

  16. galamcennalath

    A lot to happen before the EU ref, not least which side will Cameron come out on! Big business for IN, rabble rousing Anglo-BritNat media for OUT, various Little Englander groups for OUT.

    There is one HUGE difference between the EU and ScotIndy referendums.

    With ScotIndy no serious attempt was made to make a case for their Union, just naysaying and scaremongering.

    With the EU there is a strong case which can be made for staying IN that union.

    This meant the pro-Union side were fighting a rear guard action against a growing Indy camp, while with the EU the pro-EU side will be one with something positive to say and will therefore grow.

    And .. Happy Birthday Nicola

  17. Gallowglass

    I for one shudder at the thought of another referendum so close, I knew it was too early for the last one.

    Not enough has changed, particularly with the media.

  18. Murray McCallum

    If you are a true supporter of EVEL: If England votes to exit the EU while Scotland votes to stay resulting in a narrow UK vote to remain, then the democratic course of action is for Cameron’s government to support Scottish independence while transferring UK membership of the EU to Scotland.


  19. Brian Powell

    Murray McCallum

    Are you trying to make the ConLabLibs shit their pants? EVEL means, well, err, whatever might benefit Scotland, then the opposite.

  20. Proud Cybernat

    So, there is a very real possibility that the EU result in Scotland may be just enough to keep England/rUK in the EU against their will. Wonder how that one will go down?

  21. Blair paterson

    I personally would like to leave the eu and NATO and the union with England .no one will look after your interests better than you will ,unity is strength is a myth it means someone else having a say in your affairs let independence mean just that ruling yourselves with no outside interferference

  22. Dr Ew

    The 2017 scenario will indeed bear watching. Reaction from the left to the hammering of the Greeks on the back of the shady machinations around TTIP might suggest we are part of not just an EU-wide rigidity on economic policy but a neo-liberal orthodoxy which can tolerate no deviance.

    While an independent Scotland in the EU remains a far more attractive and sensible option than an independent UK in OR out of the EU, the currents of political change across Europe are flowing fast and that either/or scenario could be far more complex in two years time. It’s not impossible 2017 could see an EU containing one or more failed states with crushing almost third-world levels of poverty within its own borders, with even greater paranoia about immigration plus even more extreme right-wing parties in governments across the continent.

    In terms of Scottish independence, the “2017 scenario” only makes sense if Scotland votes remain part of the EU while England opts out. Would sufficient numbers of Scottish voters pass on the chance to bail out of a failing, fractious, right-wing EU?

  23. LS

    England should just emulate Greenland and the Faroe Islands – leave the EU while the rest of the country stays.

    If the Kingdom of Denmark can have some bits in the EU, and some not, why can’t the same apply to the UK?

  24. cearc

    John Lyons,

    That would be hilarious. The current anti-Scots/SNP rhetoric would look like love-bombing in comparison with what would happen if we thwarted the english vote.

  25. Robert Kerr

    O/T but interesting.

    Two of my drinking cronies voted No.

    Friday night Joe, trade union man to the core, stated that there would not be another Labour Government in his lifetime. I think he meant WM. Holyrood will be effectively a one-party state! Murphy is unemployable, bless!. Corbyn is the “cuddly left” whatever that may mean.

    Ian who didn’t trust Alex Salmond admitted that the Tory party now was not the one he canvased for in his youth.

    iRev-II is possible. Things have changed.

    Altogether a good night, Plenty Lagavulin and Laphraoig too

  26. Blair paterson

    Ot why have there been no comments on the British pilots bombing Syria this is against what parliament voted for the story about the Queen and the nazi salutes is just a diversion to take you away from the Syrian bombing and the involvement of the prime minister and the defence secretary we could be heading for another illegal war But still no comments?

  27. Robert Kerr

    @Blair paterson.

    My understanding is that Alex Salmond shall have a go on Monday as SNP Foreign Affairs man.

    Patience is a virtue!

  28. Dave McEwan Hill

    The essential point to make is that Scotland’s choice on Europe cannot be made until Scotland is independent to make it.

    That surely is our most sensible position

  29. Derek Davidson

    After loss if Greek sovereignty I don’t understand why any country would want to be part of Europe.

  30. heedtracker

    Why does England want out of the EU. Xenophobes? They only gain from EU citizenship and yet here they are. That’s also quite a lot of the Bettertogether campaign for the NO triumph on Scotland.

    They want to control their own border and immigration, they don’t want to be ruled by Brussels, they want to retain control over their Scotland region and Scotland vote NO to keep them in control.

    So Brexit campers win and they lose control of Scotland, everything that EU membership involves, several million English sun lovers need to pack up and go back to blighty from Spain, France etc, or become Spanish and French and all because Britannia rules the waves again.

    Will Brenda purr purr this time though? Sieg Heil.

  31. Alan O'Brien

    I have often argued that supporters of London rule are far more “nationalistic” than Independence supporters.

    This poll gives further evidence to support that given British nationalists are around twice as likely to want to leave the EU as their Scottish equivalents.

    Seems these “separatists” only believe in the pooling and sharing of resources when it involves using Scotland’s resources to subsidise London’s infrastructure.

  32. bunter

    Would be interesting to know if this risky EU referendum will change the voting intentions of our EU residents in future indyref, given the UK dallying whether to stay or go versus seeming consistant Scottish pro view.

  33. cearc

    Another story not likely to be on the front page of the Telegraph anytime soon.

    His company, Genel has quite an ‘interesting’ (in the Ian Taylor sense) past.

  34. msean

    I know they were hard on Greece,but I will still be voting to stay in Europe. Scotland isn’t Greece,the UK government just wants you to think that it is to economically scare the Scots,fear works,the indyref showed that.

    Shame on governments who try to scare there own people,like in the recent general election.

  35. msean


  36. Ken500

    Evil EVEL already exists. Scotland can be outvoted 10 to 1. There is no West Lothian Question and never was. It was just a ploy by a Unionist to stop Devolution. The vote has been influenced by Scottish votes 0.06% Not even 10%. Cameron just wants to institutionalise it. Some Tories/Unionists do not want to break the Law and dislike Cameron. Cameron is breaking the terms of the Union Agreement. It could encouraged Independence.

  37. Grouse Beater

    Hoss: That will be one in the eye to these Britnat Zoomers who want us out of the EU.

    If only.

    Those suspicious of anyone non-English have sustained a campaign of propaganda against the EU for over two generations, and now have the Commission’s brutal treatment of Greece to add to their arsenal of hate.

    Moreover, they’re very happy to have the EU confused with the EC, and to tar all European officials as ‘unelected bureaucrats’. The chances of the average person in the street managing to sift through that barrage and find truth is slight, if they have the time to do it.

    Personally, I see association with Europe as part and parcel of the Scottish attitude to internationalism. We have been denied that as a mature nation so why would we want to divest our ties with our closes continent?

    After all, Spanish, Germans, Dutch, Italians, the Swiss, they have lived and worked among us for years.

  38. call me dave

    Ach! Only very faint for Ms Black on the politics show. Basically very impressive performance but content misguided rubbish.

    Brewer having two kicks at the Police Scotland story in separate interviews too.

    Hamish Macdonel in the discarded Mail I read in the cafe.

    Sturgeon intervenes in ‘private meeting’ in a graubby stance to vote against the fox hunting amendments.
    Basically, how very dare these SNP MPs have the temerity to vote in an elected UK parliament. 🙂

    To use two sporting analogies

    It’s not cricket!

    My SNP friends are in the bunker…OH! The bastards are on the green!

  39. Xaracen

    “The vote has been influenced by Scottish votes 0.06% Not even 10%.”

    Ahem, 0.6% and 1%

    I know they are only zeros, but they are important.

  40. Les Wilson

    I sometimes feel that some, miss the point on the EU and Greece.
    The financial problems to both sides are caused by Greece being in the EURO not the EU block per say.

    Greece was enticed into the Euro by neo politicians in both Greece and Europe. Here the financiers got their illegal grip on Greece, which turned into a strangle hold.
    They should never have joined the Euro, food for thought and a lesson to us.

    Goldman Sachs has long been found out when fiddling the books of Greece to allow them in, when they never should have been.
    Goldman is one of the guilty party, add in corrupt right wing Greek politicians at the time and the greedy EU Financiers who saw a profit,and you have all the reasons for this debacle.

    Greece should default just like many more in history have, and take their country back. This showing they want to keep their Independence.

  41. Roger Mexico

    That’s a remarkable and perhaps rather counter-intuitive finding. Among supporters and opponents of Scottish independence, there was almost no difference in views on Europe.

    I’m surprised you’re surprised. There was a poll in January that asked if “The UK should leave the European Union” (p5).

    Those who voted Yes in the Referendum said:

    Agree 37%, Disagree 41%, Don’t Know 22%

    and those who voted No:

    Agree 38%, Disagree 42%, Don’t Know 20%

    The poll was done by Panelbase for something called Wings. Have you heard of them?

    Incidentally the rUK figure in the same poll (p10) was:

    Agree 43%, Disagree 39%, Don’t Know 20%

    Leave +4 points is a significant difference from Scotland (Stay +5) but it’s not a massive one. And Scotland along with London has always been the most pro-EU regions, so it’s not new.

    The other thing we need to be careful about in these polls is question wording which isn’t at all standardised and can even vary by the same pollster. This can make a lot of difference, especially when you consider there may be a ‘renegotiation’ and we know that that makes a big difference to responses. For example the question here may bias a bit to leaving (because of the ‘agree/disagree’ structure).

  42. Dr Jim

    Really worthwhile poll to do

    But as far as what England wants to do I don’t give a monkeys
    They’ll be bombarded by both sides of the argument and it’ll come down to, are they going to be financially worse or better off in or out

    And the buzzes sounds “BZZRRR” not a difficult one to answer

    More must be made of how Scotland wants to stay with the UK so that we can keep soaking up all the English wealth like a big Scottish sponge to spend on benefits for poor people

    Won’t be any need for a Referendum then, they’ll be falling over themselves to get rid of us
    No increase to Scottish taxes with all our new and improved powers

    We’re just going to take more money from England to keep all for ourselves The moaning jocks… Mbwaaaahaha

    They’ll be paying us to go

  43. Macart

    An unsettled win in the referendum. A conclusive anti austerity vote in the GE and consistent pro EU polling numbers. I’m not a huge fan of the EU after current events and prior to those was neither up nor down on the subject preferring to concentrate on our own home grown democratic deficit.

    How and ever, the evidence on offer does suggest that Scotland is politically already a separate nation. Whatever debates await on the other side of independence, right now the prevailing political wind is anti neo liberal, anti austerity and most definitely anti establishment politics.

    Now comes the hard bit. Normalising and consolidating this mindset, this new landscape. Better than that, cultivating and encouraging its growth. Having people feel confident about their engagement, comfortable with the thought of thinking about Holyrood government before Westminster government. That the important decisions are made here and that all of them should be made here. IMO this normalisation and confidence in our own capabilities, more than anything else, is the very thing which will ensure a win for indyref 2.

  44. Hamish100

    I think we should note that there were not many countries ( well the leaders at least) wanting Scotland be it in NATO or the EU during the referendum debate.

    For what it is worth I would basically work from the premise of being an independent country and see who wishes to be friends with an energy and resource rich, literate and strategically placed country in Europe.

    If the EU didn’t want us (they do!) others will wish to forge economic links. If NATO doesn’t want us without nuclear weapons (they will) then we remain neutral but have a strong navy airforce and army or forge other alliances and assist the UN.

  45. Roger Mexico

    It’s worth pointing out just how little effect the Greek crisis seems to have had on Scottish polling. Survation did a recent set for the Scottish Daily Mail between 3 and 7 July. Obviously after a lot of the Greek crisis occurred – indeed polling happened of the weekend of their referendum.

    They asked If there was a referendum tomorrow with the question “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?”, how would you vote giving the result:

    Yes 51.2%

    No 25.8%

    Undecided 23.0%[1]

    This compares with a previous Survation poll in Scotland carried out 22-27 April[1] before the latest phase of the crisis. This asked If there was a referendum tomorrow on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union, how do you think you would vote?

    Vote for the UK to remain a member of the European Union 52.5%

    Vote for the UK to leave the European Union 26.5%

    Undecided 21.0%

    Not exactly the biggest movement in polling history. Given that you might expect some Scots voters to be sensitive to larger members of a political union throwing their weight around, not much seems to have registered yet.

    Incidentally the July poll confirmed the same sort of pattern between IndyRef Yes/No voters as were shown in the latest Wings poll:

    IndyRef Yes:

    Yes 58%, No 23%, Undecided 19%

    IndyRef No:

    Yes 46%, No 30%, Undecided 24%

    So unionists are a bit less enthusiastic, but still heavily in favour.

    [1] It’s always worth quoting full figures in referendum polling, particularly when the Don’t Knows (or whatever) are so high. There’s no way you can assume that these will split pro-rata – normally they will go more for the ‘no change’ side and with the EU referendum a good way away, just counting Yes/No is misleading. (I appreciate Stu may not have the figures yet the latest ST Panelbase tables aren’t yet available).

    [2] For the Record, hence the different wording presumably.

  46. JLT


    The numbers for Scotland aren’t so out of kilter with others that I have seen but the England one is quite startling. I wonder if all the negativity around Greece has had an impact.

    I would say ‘Yes’, but I would also say that immigration has had a huge influence on how England views Europe. Certainly the recent TV footage of the immigrants trying to board lorries at Calais (even apparently threatening drivers with weapons) will have convinced many to have the UK pull out of the EU.

    To a large degree, I would say that Scotland has been lucky. England is almost like a buffer zone between us and Europe. If say, part of the European continental shelf had been really close to Scotland, and immigrants had been massing at the closest point to Scotland, would Scots have a different perspective on the EU? It makes you wonder.

    The thing is, and once again, it might be a fortunate thing, if the Union did come to an end, and say England pulled out of the EU while Scotland remained in, then in one sense, Scotland would still be protected from large immigration numbers since England would have at that point, gone into overdrive, and blocked off their borders denying anyone entry to England.

    If immigration is influencing England badly, then it would seem strange in some ways that the Union came to an end possibly not because how Westminster treated Scotland, but rather, how Westminster viewed the EU ‘freedom of movement’.

  47. Chic McGregor

    Interesting that your figure for Scotland on the EU (minus DKs) is 71% (rounded) which is 5% more than the Scots opinion on Britain in the EU.

    What were the DK figures for the British context poll?

    If not differences in DK then it implies that some Scots are not happy remaining in the EU if Britain is in charge or perhaps there are some who would like to see Scotland in but rUK out.

  48. Iain More

    The electorate of England and Wales is going to be hit with the too wee and too poor and too stupid to leave the EU by most of their pals in the Brit Nat Press and Media with the possible exceptions of the Sun, Daily Heil and the Daily Express. I don’t think they will, the folk of England and Wales that is, will stomach the relentless negativity of the Pro EU campaign this time around.

    Think I am being cynical? How many folk remember the last EU referendum or were even living when it was held? The Scots Indy Referendum was almost a replay of that on!

  49. Lesley-Anne

    Sorry if this wee thought has already been raised.

    I am wondering how, if at all, these figures will change now after the fiasco of the treatment of Greece by the E.U. over their attempts to try and remain in the Euro.

    Am I alone in thinking that, with the brutal attack on Greece by the E.U. led in no small part by Germany, a lot of supporters of staying in the E.U. are beginning to have second thoughts?

  50. john king

    “More must be made of how Scotland wants to stay with the UK so that we can keep soaking up all the English wealth like a big Scottish sponge to spend on benefits for poor people ”

    I remember before the referendum a joker put up a post on a newspaper, (forget which one) says
    “I have 6 ginger kids all from different fathers to support as well as a drug habit to pay for, please dont leave us England!”

    I just remember thinking “6 different fathers and ALL ginger wow nae luck there then”

    Nae offence meant tae the gingers oot there. 🙂

  51. wull

    The Scottish electorate should be promised a referendum on EU membership within the first 5 years of Scotland becoming an independent country. The SNP should make this their official policy, as of now. And they should also campaign hard for a pro-Europe vote in 2017.

    Their mantra should be that the appropriate time for us Scots to make up our minds definitively on this question will be AFTER independence, when we have full control of our own affairs. That will give a boost not only to their own supporters but to all those who were on the Yes side of the Indyref last year, as well as to those who have moved there since. No definitive decision on Scotland’s relationship with Europe can be made before we get our independence.

    Cameron’s referendum is about the UK, not Scotland. At least, that’s what the question will be about, even though the real reason he called it was purely a matter of internal politicking within the UK, and in particular within his own Tory Party. His real aim in creating this circus was to put one over on his own anti-European MPs and, he hoped, as an added bonus, to take the wind out of the sails of UKIP. That is a measure of how cavalier this man is with his own country’s future (his own country being hwat he calls ‘our UK’ – meaning ‘his’ UK). All of which might backfire on him, of course.

    But whether it does or not is not our concern. It matters nothing to me how the Big Beasts of the Tory Party savage each other, and if UKIP met its demise none of us would mourn its passing.

    What is our business, and what we most certainly must be concerned about, is whatever is best for Scotland. That’s all. And it is plain as daylight that, in Cameron’s 2017 referendum, it will be in Scotland’s interest for Scottish voters to support ongoing EU membership. Only by that means will the inhabitants of Scotland be able to demonstrate to her EU friends that we see ourselves very much as Europeans.

    We will thereby reassure them that Scottish nationalism is essentially internationalist, and not inward-looking or self-absorbed. Although we know that such is the case, we shouldn’t presume that they do. The civic, democratic and internationalist nature of the independence movement in Scotland, and the fact that it is in no way xenophobic, need to be brought home to them.

    The way to convince Europeans of the truth of these facts, which are plain to us but not obvious to them, is to provide objective evidence. And nothing could be more objective in that regard than a resounding vote throughout Scotland to stay IN Europe. And it will be even more convincing, and widely noticed, if the Scottish vote turms out to be significantly more pro-European than the English one.

    This will also help to allay lingering fears Europeans might have about the SNP and the Scottish national movement. Don’t forget that the words ‘nationalism’ and ‘nationalist’ carry with them a lot of negative associations in Europe. And that, quite disgracefully, the UK’s Unionist politicians deliberately go around Europe playing up these negative associations and the fears that are attached to them when they talk about what is going on in Scotland. We saw these lies in full swing during the referendum, and you may be sure that it is still going on. Only the other day Tim Farron, the new LibDem leader, was at it. He said something to the effect that everything negative associated with nationalism must be attributed to what is happening in Scotland, about which he seems to know virtually nothing.

    This kind of deliberate misinformation needs to be overcome. A strong Scottish vote to remain IN Europe will give a positive impression throughout the EU. It will make the European nations WANT to have us as a member state when independence finally comes. That will be of huge help in the negotiations with the EU which will follow, post-independence.

    On no account should we confuse Cameron’s referendum with a plebiscite in which we can air our opinions about recent events in Greece. The word ‘Greece’ simply won’t appear on the ballot paper. And the way we vote in 2017 – alas! – will make no difference to that country’s situation.

    We should not allow ourselves to be diverted by something which matters a lot to us, but which e are not being asked about. Important as Greece is, don’t be waylaid by a red herring. We can’t fix up Greece, or reform whatever may need reforming in the EU, by voting against ongoing European membership in 2017.

    Alex Salmond has already said he feels a lot of sympathy for the Greeks, pointing out that the EU politicians (and bureaucrats) who dealt with the issue did not come out of it with any credit. He did not pull his punches in that regard. But you can bet your bottom dollar (or your last euro) that he will be campaigning very hard indeed, in 2017, for Scots to vote in favour of remaining inside the EU.

    There is no contradiction in holding both these positions. I do not at all like the way the EU handled the Greek crisis, but I still want Scotland to be a European nation when she achieves independence. This is not an abandonment of whatever left-wing principles I, or others, may hold. Even the present Greek Prime Minister, who is certainly on the left, still wants Greece to remain IN Europe.

    And that for a very simple reason: because he wants what’s best for his country. As we do for Scotland. And, by the way, he knows better than any of us do the extent to which EU leaders mishandled the Greek crisis. If he is still pro-Europe – and he is – I don’t see any of us, however left-wing we may be, should vote against that option in 2017.

  52. Finlay

    For most of us, Scottish Independence is not the ‘end’ but a ‘means’ to achieving our ultimate purpose of a fair, just and sustainable society and if we found a clearer route than independence to achieving that goal then I’m sure we would jump on it.

    Looking at the poll results, as the Rev. speculates, shows that the “2017 Scenario” of Scotland voting to remain in the EU and the rest of the UK voting to leave may be more likely than ever.

    To go back to my first statement, when we cast our votes at a referendum like a Scottish independence referendum or an EU In/Out referendum, we are really just expressing the constitutional route which we feel gives our vision of a world we wish to live in the best chance of fruition. This is why 31% of respondents choosing “Scotland inside both the UK and the EU” interests me.

    I’m aware that a faction of this demographic might be the “All Change Scares Me Party” and because they are pretty much institutionalized into the status quo (‘In The Army Now’ comes to mind) they can be tough nuts to crack when trying to convince otherwise and aren’t really worth spending our time and effort trying to enlighten.

    I don’t have much polling data or evidence as such to support this following theory, asides from personal experience talking to people over the last few years and perhaps the fact that SNP support is demonstrably higher than independence support, but I think that a lot of “Scotland inside both the UK and the EU” respondents are left leaning people who believe that by being a part of a larger group of nations we can work together to benefit the greatest number of people. Utilitarianism or ‘unionism’ in a broader sense of the word I suppose. Personally I think this is naive but I can see their point and in a perfect world free of corruption I would probably agree with them.

    If Scotland votes to remain in the EU and the rest of the UK votes to leave, then not only could it trigger a second Scottish independence referendum but it could also test the principles of these ‘unionists’ and maybe we can bring them around to the cause of Scottish independence if EU membership is of high importance to them. It’s a lot easier to make a convincing point and change someone’s opinion if you can support your side of the debate with many of that person’s own beliefs, and a lot more pleasant as it encourages debate and agreement rather than fruitless argument and conflict.

    There are many different angles we could approach this process of constructive debate with such people from. The Human Rights Act which stems from the European Convention on Human Rights, supported by Scottish politicians and which the UK government is trying to dismantle is a good example. Other examples of where these Scots could be swayed towards the idea of independence include foreign aid, sheltering refugees, renewable energy subsidies, immigration and surely many more I’m forgetting or don’t yet know of. All these topics are incredibly relevant to the EU debate, are mostly Westminster controlled for the time being and judging by the 2015 general election (UKIP 14.1% of English votes vs 1.2% Scottish votes and an English Tory majority vs Scottish SNP majority), how our Scottish MPs have been voting in Westminster in opposition to the Tory government and much of the data I’ve seen so far from this Wings/Sunday Times Panelbase poll I think it is fair to say that generally those residing in Scotland have quite opposing views on these specific matters compared to those residing in England.

    I think we should bear all this in mind and use it to our cause’s advantage (see first paragraph) while making an effort to win over more support for independence. If any of you are planning on campaigning for the Yes side of the EU referendum then I would suggest you try and make some friends with people in your EU camp who voted No to independence in 2014 and use the EU referendum to try and turn their heads and open their eyes to the concept of an independent Scotland within the EU. They will naturally do most of the work themselves in convincing themselves down the road of independence, you just have to point out a few signposts along the way and keep the topic fresh in their minds. (Avoid the “weathercocks”!)

    For the record I am undecided on how I will vote if we have an EU in/out referendum vote, there are strong pro’s and con’s for both arguments. Right now I’m probably leaning towards a Yes vote to remain in the EU but I need to learn more and I could be swung either way.

  53. Chiterinlicht

    During #indyref I tweeted Lord Darling about US banks preparing to leave London for Dublin if England voted to leave EU. Mostly to counter project fear.

    He said i was talking rubbish.

    I tweeted him this link and he never replied.

    basically England will not leave as there is too much money involved.

  54. Ken500

    # Scotland Is approx 10% (11%?) of the UK vote. Scotland doesn’t even influence 11% as per electorate proportion. Not 1% 4million of 44Million? (or 40million?) Vote influence 0.6%

    44 divided by 4 = 11%

  55. Ken500

    # 44million electorate rest of the UK. 4million Scotland

    1707 Scotland’s pop was 1/4 of UK. Scotland has been depopulated by economic policies. Clearances, unemployment etc. Many had to emigrate.

  56. Mike Fenwick

    Whilst it’s still much hidden from view, what does seem clear is that membership of the EU, will likely bring with it an involvement in TTIP.

    That may well, over time, bring with it serious potential privatisation threats to the NHS.

    Too little of any final detail is yet known about TTIP.

    But we already know full well how EU competition laws have played their part in minimum unit cost alcohol proposals, and more recently over the provision of ferry services.

    Now fast forward to ISDS – Investor-State Dispute Settlements – which appears to be an integral part of a future TTIP.

    How we might feel when an American Corporation takes a Scottish Government to court because it alleges its profits have been affected, eg – over an element of the Scottish NHS.

    Maybe we have to widen our radar beyond just the European borders, maybe a greater threat lies further afield.

  57. Sunniva

    I can’t see why anybody on the left would want to be part of the neoliberal bankers club that is the EU after the way they have treated Greece. And the euro is toxic. It’s very sad that Scots seem to have rose tinted glasses about the EU. Why surrender our sovereignty, to the Bundesbank?

  58. Brian Doonthetoon

    Sorry, that should be,

  59. Brian Doonthetoon

    Disregard my last post. I clicked on the wrong tab to post a correction.

  60. Brian Doonthetoon

    Hi Sunniva.

    Are you from the Shetlands? I asked before, months ago, but you never replied.

  61. Tackety Beets

    Ref EU .

    Yip , I think the way things are playing out with Greece many in Scotland will be reconsidering.
    It may even turn the UK upside down and Scotland votes for OUT and Englandshire votes to stay IN .

    It’s really too early to tell yet as the debate has hardly began.

    Mind you I would vote tactically to get REF2 !

  62. Majestic12

    Just a couple of points:

    1. The majority of people in UK have absolutely no idea of the pros and cons of EU membership and unless there is some massive impartial public information campaign between now and “then”, they will be voting from a position of ignorance and/or media influence.

    2. Point one is probably moot. How can anyone believe that the “result” of this proposed referendum will be anything other than what the government wants it to be. In this scenario it will be very interesting to see how the powers-that-be would allocate the votes to Scotland and to the rest of the UK. Agenda dependent, obviously, and assuming the plebiscite actually takes place.

  63. Muscleguy


    Greenland and the Faroes were able to negotiate their EU exits because both have strong parliaments. England cannot negotiate to leave the EU because there is no such entity as an English parliament to negotiate that exit.

    You would think the Little Englanders would have thought of that one and been campaigning for an English parliament and forced the Tories into introducing one. Are these people political incompetents? (don’t answer that one)

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