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Wings Over Scotland

Independence for England

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.

Independence for England (and Wales) solves many Brexiter problems at a stroke. What Scotland was threatened with in 2014 – immediate exclusion from the EU – could be achieved with no effort on their part, and without dragging any other UK nations along against their will.

The new unit could leave without any encumbrance, no obligations, no divorce payments and, importantly, no worries about any backstop or lengthy ties to European courts and regulations. We already know that most Leavers, and indeed most English people in general, would be happy with this arrangement.

Northern Ireland would have to choose its own destiny: stay in the “UK” with Scotland, join the New Britain of England and probably Wales (if they wanted it, which isn’t a given), or reuniting with the rest of Ireland. That’d be a pretty interesting referendum, but until such times as one was held NI would still technically be remaining in the UK, which would put the DUP in an intriguing and confusing spot.

We know from polling that Scottish voters could live with a border with New Britain better than Northern Ireland can with Ireland – although of course the UK is currently still insisting that unspecified technical solutions could solve this problem anyway.

(One of the great unspoken truths of the constitutional debate, incidentally, is that the Borders counties would love a new frontier. Oh, they might protest outwardly about the inconvenience, but would swiftly revert with delight to all the ancient practices of smuggling and border mischief that underlie the heritage of the Reiver lands.)

What’s attractive about this option is that no further EU referendum is required. It fulfils the referendum mandate for the UK to make the best leaving of the EU as can be managed while the remainder EU state of Scotland/NI tidies things up.

(There’d be some renegotiating of the new UK’s relationship with the EU to be done, of course, including remodelling of its financial contributions and representation to account for its much smaller size, but with both sides fundamentally wanting the same thing they shouldn’t be too unpleasant.)

For Leave-voting England and Wales, it solves all their problems, giving them freedom to immediately negotiate trade deals with whoever they want while losing the northern “awkward squads” at the same time.

Others will be sad but recognise that the parting of the ways was already implicit in the outcome of the EU referendum and an inevitable outcome of devolution of powers to the UK nations. The referendum seriously split the UK Remainer north from the Leaver south and nothing is likely to unite the two halves any time soon.

Reverse independence provides an elegant and quick solution for the parts of the UK that want to leave the EU to do so without hindrance, while the Remainer nations get their wish to stay and the Irish Question simply goes away.

(Unless NI wanted to go with England and Wales, but there would be no rational reason for it to do so – both of the other options avoid a hard border and avoid leaving the EU, and one of them would still constitute staying in the UK under the Queen, so would theoretically be sellable to Loyalists, or at least difficult to coherently oppose.)

The specific mechanism to achieve this result would be to withdraw the Article 50 notice that started the leaving negotiations. That removes the unwelcome current deal completely and returns the UK to normal membership of the EU. Westminster would then pass a law on behalf of England and Wales withdrawing from the 1707 Act Of Union, citing the Brexit vote in both nations as justification, and expressly noting that “the UK” now comprised Scotland and NI (subject to the latter’s decision).

Many would mourn the breakup of the UK as a state. However, all the nations would remain in the Union of the Crowns that began in 1603 and the emotional connection of a united kingdom, the united monarchy, would remain as before. After all, the current UK doesn’t hate Canadians or Australians.

The Queen would continue to enjoy her holiday home in the Highlands in the same way as many New Brits would keep theirs in Spain and France. Huge numbers of citizens would also acquire dual citizenship to retain family ties and easy passage between the nations, that principle having been established and agreed by both sides during the 2014 indyref.

The “meaningful vote” in Parliament could resolve the current impasse on Brexit and set this reverse independence in motion. SNP MPs would vote for it in a heartbeat, most Tories would probably go along with it, and a lot of Labour MPs in heavily Leave-voting constituencies would be given a way out of their current dilemma.

Scotland would remain in the Union of the Crowns and the Commonwealth with the other nations, Scottish soldiers will still play pipes and drums at Buckingham Palace. Lifelong friendship and family ties between the nations would continue to blossom in a new understanding.

New Britain would set about trading freely with the world and Scotland would enjoy becoming a normal small, inclusive, outward-looking nation in the EU. Northern Ireland would make its choice as to where it wanted to be in due time. (Both could welcome Remainer immigrants from England and Wales to a new life in a familiar land, boosting their economies.)

Everybody wins. Job done!

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    521 to “Independence for England”

    1. orri says:

      The permitted history of Scotland is all about glorious defeat. That’s why they allowed Braveheart to be shown and laughed up their sleeves about the name being stolen from Robert the Bruce. Bonnie Prince Charlie and the glorious ’45. Mary Queen of Scots too.

      There’s probably more to add. Obviously when Scots regiments gave their lives for the emperor post union it was a noble thing.

      Just remember though, we’re bound to fail without the guiding hand of the noble race to our south.

    2. Gary45% says:

      Cheers for the update on “Mr Axe” and the others, I miss the input from Smallaxe.
      Sorry to hear about Lolliesmum, according to the parasite bastard Tories, “everything is rosy in Brexit Engerland and beyond.”
      Please pass on regards and well wishes.

    3. Proud Cybernat says:

      Philip Hammond
      Verified account

      A responsible government must prepare for all scenarios, which is why I have made more than £4.2bn available for EU exit planning since 2016. In the coming days, @hmtreasury will allocate a further £2bn of that money to government departments to bolster #Brexit preparations.

      We’re saved!!!

      That’s 0.21p every day for everyone in Scotland!!! Whooppeee!!!

    4. Daisy Walker says:

      Ronnie – thanks for the update re Smallaxe (mr and mrs) and Lolliesmum, and Petra here’s tae you too;)

      Here’s tae Wingers auld and new,
      The noisy ones and the quieter few
      Tak the best oh care, een’n’aw
      And when Yes comes…
      That’ll be braw

      Best wishes tae aw. Its coming yet fir aw that.

    5. Pedro says:

      Daisy Walker @ 12:36

      NS to call an EU ref in Scotland. A very interesting idea.

      Arguably, there is a mandate per the UK referendum result in Scotland. It is the issue of the moment for most Scots some of whom may resent an independence referendum at this time and it would force the UK to act very publicly against Scotland’s sovereign wishes or be forced to make, say, NI type concessions.

      Upside: it could put Scotland on a permanently different and more beneficial path than rUK.

      Downside: it may give many in Scotland what they want thereby slowing the movement to full independence.

      It would go down like a lead ? in Westminster right now which has to make it worth ‘floating’ (sorry, couldn’t resist).

      I wonder how Britnat remainers would vote – torture springs to mind…

    6. Proud Cybernat says:

      Kevin Schofield
      Verified account

      BREAKING: Government tells citizens to start preparing for no-deal Brexit as Cabinet agrees to ramp up preparations. Public service announcements to be made in the coming weeks. No10 spokesman: “These are the actions of a sensible government to ensure people are prepared.”

    7. wull2 says:

      Is the case countries in the UK can reverse A50 only after they have had a vote, if that is the case, the UK cant wait until the last minute to reverse A50. (March)

    8. Thepnr says:


      A vote by Mp’s in support of revoking Article 50 in the HoC is all that is required, a letter then needs to be sent to the European Council informing them of this decision and that is it.

    9. geeo says:

      House of Commons: Points of Order.

      Brendan McNeil asks if there is a process for a backbencher to raise a motion of no confidence in the Official Opposition !!

      Ian Blackford stands up to talk, gets shouted at to “go back to the Isle of Sky” by a tory.

      Speaker: *(tumbleweed)*

    10. North chiel says:

      “ Breeks @ 1141am . Perhaps we Scots need some “more faith in unicorns” . Not sure if a “ coded message” from a cabinet minister this morning ,as regards “ slaughtering the unicorn” in the context of a no deal Brexit quoted on Sky news ( Kay Burley seemed to think that this type of talk was somewhat illadvised ( but in what context?). Was this a “veiled threat” to Scotland??

    11. Terence callachan says:

      To lochside…you are absolutely correct in what you say
      Luigi…you are absolutely incorrect.
      Take it from one who worked for the home office passport office , DWP and Inland revenue, English people who come to Scotland don’t come here to be Scottish they come for monetary reasons .
      Lochside you are correct about how many of our universities and other institutions are headed by English people who go on to employ English people where they can ,they even tend to live in the same areas.
      Luigi of course is English himself and worked for VOSA he says, he decided to stay on in Scotland as some do when they retire but most English people who come to Scotland to work do not come at an age close to retirement, by that I mean they do not come when in their mid fifties onwards, they tend to come at a much younger age and move on to leave Scotland at some point.
      Those English people who come to Scotland and stay are the very small number of under 55,s who go on to retire here or the retirees who retired in England and used the sale of their home in England to buy a bigger house here and have money left over to supplement their pension.
      These two relatively small groups want to make a point to neighbours and community and often do join local community groups including SNP but they are a tiny proportion of the English people that come to Scotland.
      Glad lochside quoted the census from 2011 which showed over half a million of them living here and I can assure you that it is now 800,000 a figure that was quoted by English Scots for yes but then never mentioned again.
      No country in the world serious about independence would allow people from the country they seek independence from to have a vote .

    12. Rock says:

      Terence callachan says:
      18 December, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      “No country in the world serious about independence would allow people from the country they seek independence from to have a vote .”

      Rock (8th December – “The Stoned Roses”):

      “For the record, I have nothing against English settlers in Scotland and find it quite natural that the vast majority of them would prefer Scotland to remain “in union with England”.

      But it is the ultimate in stupidity to give English settlers the right to vote in a referendum on Scottish independence from England.

      Everywhere else in the world, they were unceremoniously kicked out.

      But the most stupid people on earth are happy to let them have a say on whether their country should be their colony or not.

      I don’t give a damn if any poster calls me racist.”

      Robert Peffers (18th February 2017 – “Here comes a surprise”)

      “The fact is that a little common sense will show that the immigrants mainly come to find work. Elderly English cadgers excepted, these who sell up expensive city homes for cheaper, or better, Scottish accommodation, free bus passes and the benefits of such as free prescriptions, care at home and cheaper Council Tax. These are often the ones most prone to call scots subsidy junkies.”

    13. Ghillie says:

      Whoa Terence.

      ‘over half a million of them living here’ sounds like Farage-speak to me.

      Instinctively, that language sets alarm bells ringing.

    14. yesindyref2 says:

      Take it from one who worked for the home office passport office

      Why? You don’t need a passport to cross the border from England into Scotland! You therefore have no superior knowledge, no more than a bus driver or a postie, or any other occupation – or none.

      And as for “the census from 2011 which showed over half a million of them living here” (English people) the actual figure from that is ” more than 420,000 Britons from elsewhere in the UK living in Scotland”. That includes Wales and NI, not just England.

      And “ I can assure you that it is now 800,000

      what a load of shite.

    15. yesindyref2 says:

      I think “Luigi of course is English himself ” totally reveals what he’s about here – trying to divide and reduce the Indy vote. Supported by his sidekick who attacks anyone supporting Independence.

    16. Ghillie says:

      Meg merrilees @ 12.07pm and @ 12.13 pm

      Yes. Agree with you.

      May’s behaviour is worrying.

      And a lack of opposition from the ‘official’ oppositon is almost more worrying. I pity the poor folk of England, who it seems, have nowhere decent to turn.

      Daisy Walker @ 12.36 pm

      Interesting observations of yon character blogging about EU and impact!

      Knowing what he does how can any sane person still want brexshit in any shape or form?!!

      And yes, we are all looking forward to the Indy Referendum or whatever it takes to gain Scotland’s Independence 🙂

      For now, HOLD =)

      Peace and love, especially to Mr and Mrs Smallaxe and Lolliesmum xxx

    17. Ghillie says:


      Aye. Totally!

    18. Fraser Darling says:

      I’ve been banging my head against the wall for the last year trying to promote this exact proposition, and the arguements above. I’ve put it to SNP MP’s and MSP’s. I’ve put it to Nicola Sturgeon.

      I even designed a flag for our new neighbouring state, with a Welsh dragon superimposed onto a St George’s cross.

      It seems to me like a simple, everyone wins option.

      The only response that I have had back from a prominent SNP supporter was that it was an unsatisfactory way for us to “win” our independence, like waiting on results from other fixtures.

      At the very least I think that the SNP should put the challenge to government and other political parties.

      In the meantime I have been trying to promote the idea amongst British political groups, in the hope that the English might pick up on the idea.

      I’m really pleased to see Paul Miller and Wings Over Scotland putting forward the idea too. I am sure that you will get greater traction and have more influence than I have had.

    19. Alasdair Galloway says:

      A well intentioned piece of work, I am sure, but it illustrates very well the error of focusing on one part of the problem without consideration of the other parts.
      The notion of being the successor state is that we would be saying to the international community that we (Scotland) were the UK continuing, just without a bit (England and Wales at least), in much the same way as Russia was the continuing USSR/ CIS. Do we really think the international community would buy into the idea that 8% of the population were the continuing UK?
      A still more significant difficulty is that if Scotland were the successor state to the UK, it might be possible (put no more strongly than that) for Scotland to be encumbered by the debt of the UK. After all the argument was made during the 2014 debate that if Scotland left the UK what responsibility would it have for the UK’s debt. Not a good start!
      Then there are all the assets that London was desperate to protect (or keep to themselves) including, but not limited to, the BBC, membership of NATO and – I suspect in particular – the permanent seat at the UN Security Council (how much does an independent Scotland want to be saddled with that?). Even to get out of the EU would England just walk away from this? After all England would be a “new” state so, even if we negotiated the permanent seat with them, they really could not be expected just to walk into it.
      Moreover, unless A50 was extended for a considerable period – and I am talking at the very least many months (going into years) – there would not be the time to implement this interesting, though flawed, solution.
      Lastly, if Scotland were the successor state then I am not clear how “Northern Ireland would have to choose its own destiny: stay in the “UK” with Scotland, join the New Britain of England and probably Wales (if they wanted it, which isn’t a given), or reuniting with the rest of Ireland.” would work? I have no problem with the last option, but technically, and in terms of all the arguments put in 2014, the problem of NI would fall on Scotland as the successor state. How much do we want responsibility for that?

    20. Fraser Darling says:

      Save Brexit for England and Wales.

      Stop Brexit for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

      No backstop required! The EU will work with England and Wales to ensure that Scotland and Northern Ireland remain connected to the EU.

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