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Archive for the ‘europe’


The Prisoners 233

Posted on January 18, 2019 by

You wouldn’t know it to watch the black-hole-scale mess our politicians are making of it, but the thing about Brexit is that it ISN’T an insoluble problem. That two of the supposed “partners” in the United Kingdom are being forced out of the EU against the will of their people is a political choice, not a necessity.

There are numerous perfectly viable ways to practically address the fact that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted Remain while Wales and England voted Leave, none of which are especially outlandish.

Last July this site put forward an idea that respects the referendum result in all four constituent nations and would have wide public support. Yesterday the Guardian published a variant on the concept with lots of strong technical detail. And earlier this week we suggested another approach which could break the current deadlock.

But the stupendously incompetent Tory executive running the government, and the equally useless notional Labour “opposition”, have both handcuffed themselves across the emergency exits, preventing any hope of escape from disaster as the country burns down around everyone’s ears.

We no longer have a union. We have a hostage situation.

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Out of the quagmire 885

Posted on January 14, 2019 by

UK politics is stuck fast in the mud, going nowhere, and the casualties are mounting. Whether on Brexit, independence or anything else, we’ve all become so dug-in to our positions that some people – naming no names – have forgotten where the battle lines are or what their political war was even about in the first place.

For 30 months now, the Yes movement has been trying to answer the question of how to get a second indyref. The SNP has a triple-locked democratic mandate based on Scotland being dragged out of the EU against the will of its people, but as strong a moral argument as that is it unfortunately runs straight into a brick wall of reality: the constitution is reserved to Westminster.

Equally we’re consumed by the ongoing Brexit trainwreck, which has no apparent escape route from a poisonous stalemate paralysing the UK’s politicians and leaving nobody in control as the country heads for some very hard buffers.

As the self-imposed Brexit deadline looms, Theresa May is running out of options. Her deal is a dead duck. When it inevitably fails, there are two possible scenarios: a second EU referendum of some sort (nobody can agree what the options would be), or a general election.

Neither the Tories nor Labour want another referendum because both parties want Brexit to happen, so another election is the more likely. But all the polls suggest it would deliver much the same hung parliament as we have now, solving nothing.

Last week, SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC gave a speech to a diverse pro-Europe group that includes former Green leader Caroline Lucas, pro-indy commentator Lesley Riddoch and Tory MP Dominic Grieve. And as she waxed lyrical, with a twinkle in her eye Cherry slipped in reference to a hitherto-undiscussed plan that offers an escape route for everyone.

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All change in Moray 655

Posted on January 10, 2019 by

Blimey, that was quick. This was Tory MP Douglas Ross yesterday:

Short version: “I don’t care what my constituents want, I will vote loyally for the party I was elected as a member of.”

And this is him today:

Never let it be said Wings readers don’t get things done.

Taking back control 155

Posted on January 04, 2019 by

We’ve got no words for this, so we’ll let it stand by itself.

Because 55% voted No. Welcome to Brexit.

The one we’ve waited for 481

Posted on January 01, 2019 by

The last two years, particularly 2018, have been a pretty miserable time in the annals of Scottish independence. Not because support has fallen – it hasn’t budged an inch, however much Unionists might try to desperately convince themselves otherwise – but because there hasn’t, in essence, been anything we could usefully do.

Faced with a brick wall of “now is not the time” intransigence from a UK government elected by England and determined to frustrate the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament, we could talk all we wanted but had no means to determine our own fate, locked in the boot of a car speeding towards a cliff edge with a lunatic at the wheel.

That age – and it’s felt like an age – is very nearly at an end.

It’s time to get ready.

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Satan’s Little Helper 307

Posted on December 22, 2018 by

Embarrassment Of The Year 467

Posted on December 19, 2018 by

Okay, it’s only the 19th of December, but we don’t think there’s any chance of this one being beaten by the time it’s 2019.

As expected, Labour bottled the chance to call a vote of no confidence in the UK government today, refusing to support a motion tabled by four other opposition parties last night and thereby guaranteeing the Tories at least another two months in power.

Their official stated reason is that the only way to avoid a disastrous hard Brexit is to call a vote of no confidence in the Tories next month when it’ll (somehow, magically) be more likely to succeed, trigger a general election, get (somehow, magically) a Labour majority and then go to the EU and negotiate (somehow, magically) a better deal from them than the Tories have done.

Which makes this a bit of a beamer:

So if it’s “very clear” that there can be “no more negotiations” (and therefore no better deal), and Labour is going to vote against Theresa May’s deal (which Labour says it is), and if Brexit is going to happen (which Labour says it is), then the only possible conclusion left is that Labour’s official policy is now to crash out of the EU with no deal, and absolutely everything the party is saying in public about Brexit is a lie.

So at least everyone now finally knows where they stand. Even if, as is so often the case nowadays, it’s only because Labour told the truth by accident.

Bluffs and calls 97

Posted on December 19, 2018 by

This was the Daily Record’s front page on Tuesday:

It wasn’t true. Corbyn DIDN’T, in fact, table a vote of no confidence in either the Prime Minister personally (a meaningless and non-binding gesture even if she’d lost it) or the government. But tomorrow he may actively prevent one.

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Independence for England 520

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 353

Posted on December 15, 2018 by

The Handmaiden’s Tale 206

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 Stoned Roses 578

Posted on December 08, 2018 by



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