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Wings Over Scotland

The Lesson

Posted on December 08, 2017 by

The media is aflame this morning with discussion of the agreement between the UK and EU with particular regard to Ireland, in which the UK essentially concedes just about everything including free movement, the thing most Brexiters voted Leave for.

We’ve largely avoided analysis of the Brexit negotiations here on Wings up until now, because there’s been a raft of people who are far more expert on the subject than us doing it at enormous length, very little of it directly concerned Scotland, and so nobody really needed our tuppence-worth. But this one’s big.

The obvious specific implications of the agreement have already been pointed out.

And Scotland’s Unionists are understandably in a blind, indignant panic:

But beyond all the technicalities and the legalities, what today’s developments show us is a much more fundamental truth: that if an independent Scotland stays in the EU, the UK may huff and puff, but in the end it will completely cave in on everything, because it has no viable alternative.

Brexit shifted almost a third of No voters to Yes, but it’s had almost no impact on overall support for independence because similar numbers of Yes voters moved the other way. But what today proves beyond any rational dispute is that the negotiating clout of the EU trumps that of the UK every time.

Even the most fervent Yes/Leaver in Scotland can now plainly see that it would be immeasurably better for Scotland to become independent while still in the EU, securing vast advantages from the superior negotiating position the 27-nation bloc provides, and only THEN start to contemplate whether it might be a good idea for Scotland to leave the EU at a later date too.

(It would also have the benefit of being able to observe how it goes for the rUK – for once it wouldn’t be Scotland that was used as the guinea-pig. In the unlikely event that Brexit turns out to be a huge success nothing would stop Scotland from following suit, with almost all of the gamble taken out.)

Nobody with an IQ higher than a sack of mud now doubts that the UK is going to get the worst of the deal when it comes to Brexit. Every single position the UK has tried to take into the negotiations (remember “the EU can whistle for its divorce payment!”?), now lies in dust and tatters.

If Scotland becomes independent before Brexit takes effect – and there’s still plenty of time for that – it can quickly secure unbroken EU membership from within and enjoy the same leverage as Ireland has deftly deployed with the EU behind it. There’d be no hard border at Gretna, no economic bullying, no bombing of airports.

Some, doubtless, will remain defiantly stubborn, turning a blind eye to reason. But if even a third of the Yes voters who’ve turned to No because of Brexit take a sensible and pragmatic view of the reality, Yes would have a clear and solid majority.

It’s never been more obvious that if Scotland is ever to become independent, this is the best time there’s ever going to be to do it. Being in the EU is an argument we’d be able to have another day – from a position of strength fully informed by the experience of our next-door neighbour to the south – rather than having a truly terrible settlement imposed on us by a stupendously incompetent Westminster government which cares nothing for Scotland, and which we’ll then have no power to ever do anything about.

(Many people on social media have this week been tweeting an old quote, attributed to various sources, which runs “It is better to be Britain’s enemy than her friend, because she will always try to buy her enemies by selling her friends”. Scotland’s fishermen in particular might want to reflect on that one.)

Negotiating our way out of the UK in the future without the EU behind us would be a thousand times harder and leave us with the worst of all worlds. It’d be like hacking one of your own arms and legs off before going into a fight, when the arm was a super-powered robotic mecha-arm or something.

We respect the views of Scots who want out of the EU. There are many legitimate reasons to dislike it, not least its recent treatment of Catalonia. But to coin a phrase, now is not the time. And to coin another, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Fate has delivered us an incredible and unrepeatable opportunity to stack the odds massively in Scotland’s favour. It’s time that Yes/Leavers grew up, grasped the thistle and took it.

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251 to “The Lesson”

  1. Calgacus says:

    Thanks Rev.Stu,you have made clear that the best option for everyone in Scotland is Independence in Europe just like Ireland with the full weight of Europe behind us in our dealings with rUK

  2. Thepnr says:

    I think it’s great news that Northern Ireland has now got it’s own EFTA type deal with the full agreement of the EU and the UK. I don’t think you can describe what’s been written in any other way.

    Effectively NI remains in the CU and SM while free to trade with the UK regardless of whatever type of trade deal results in the future between UK/EU.

    What’s Ruth going to say now? She explicitly ruled out any “special deal” for any part of the UK through fear of it strengthening the hand of those that seek Independence, she has been ignored as it is now clear that May and her government fear the impact of a hard Brexit on the UK economy/business and jobs.

    In Scotland a poll last week gave support for remaining in the EU as 68% an awful lot of whom do not support Independence. So I would hope that not only can we persuade some Yes/Leavers back into the Indy camp but also pick up many more No/Remainers.

    When they see that NI can have a special deal but that there will be no special deal for Scotland it might just be enough to bring them into the Indy camp.

  3. jimnarlene says:

    Game on!

  4. Ken500 says:

    Westminster now paying more money to the EU. The Irish border stays the same.

    Will trade, movement of people and EU Law stay the same. Another pointless exercise.

    The unionists have negotiated to pay more money for less. What a carry on.

    Scotland voted 62% to stay in the EU.

    The majority in Catalonia did not vote for Independence. An entirely different situation. 30/40%. Low turnouts.

    50% in Scotland and rising support Independence. 70% support FFA. No wonder. The shower of ignoramouses in Westminster.

  5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The majority in Catalonia did not vote for Independence. An entirely different situation. 30/40%. Low turnouts.”

    No, sorry, that’s bollocks. So far as it’s possible to ascertain, an absolute majority of the entire Catalan electorate actually got up, went out and voted for independence, DESPITE all the intimidation, violence and legal obstacles.

  6. Cath says:

    “If Scotland becomes independent before Brexit takes effect – and there’s still plenty of time for that – it can quickly secure unbroken EU membership from within and enjoy the same leverage as Ireland has deftly deployed with the EU behind it. There’d be no hard border at Gretna, no economic bullying, no bombing of airports.”

    To be honest, I think this is highly optimistic. The unionists will carry on with the same scaremongering because they have nothing else. We’ll still get “Hard border, armed guards etc” because, firstly, they’ll make the assumption that many people are stupid enough to fall for it, won’t have followed or understood the whole Ireland debate, or will have forgotten and not tie it up. And, secondly, for those who haven’t forgotten, do know, and are using it as an argument, their counter will be “Ireland’s different, Good Friday, peace process, sea border keeping all those dirty foreigners away from Britain proper etc, etc.” And the media will run with their lines, as they always do.

    Key will be not assuming just because an argument’s idiotic and a lie, they won’t make it and the media won’t run with it.

  7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Thanks Rev.Stu,you have made clear that the best option for everyone in Scotland is Independence in Europe just like Ireland with the full weight of Europe behind us in our dealings with rUK”

    That’s very probably the case, but it’s not even the argument I’m making. The point is that even if you’re an indy supporter who wants to leave the EU – and that’s a perfectly legitimate desire – it’s absolutely fucking batshit to leave now as part of the UK, with the incompetent clowns at Westminster getting the worst possible terms, and THEN try to negotiate Scottish independence from a position of weakness and total dependence on the UK.

    If you want out of both the UK and the EU, anyone with even half a brain would do it in that order, because the other way round the outcome will be a lot worse.

  8. Cath Ferguson says:

    Sorry, copied a bit too much there: I meant the “There’d be no hard border at Gretna, no economic bullying, no bombing of airports” was a bit over optimistic, not the EU membership bit. Totally agree with that. I just don’t put any bar on how low the unionists will go in their arguments.

  9. Ruglonian says:

    Now Is the time!

    Enjoy a restful festive season folks, and come the New Year expect to get busy.

    If this is not capitalised on by the politicians then the grassroots need to be in a position to force the issue.
    Get on the IndyApp, find your local Pro-Indy group and get active – let’s get this done 😀

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Totally agree with that. I just don’t put any bar on how low the unionists will go in their arguments.”

    But those arguments simply won’t be credible any more. We might argue that they never were, of course, but next time it’ll simply be impossible to deny.

    The key one-line message to take away from all this is “When the UK negotiates with the EU, the UK caves, so if you’re planning on negotiating something big with the UK, do it with the EU on your side.”

  11. frogesque says:

    How soon can we get the next Week Book out? How much will it cost to produce and is the crowdfunder up and running yet?

    Indy or bust!

  12. From roothys reaction I think she needs to reconsider her position. Nicola is right no hard borders between an indy Scotland and rUK

  13. Calgacus says:

    OK Rev,I see what you mean,if you want to leave Europe,leave the UK first.?

  14. Macart says:

    Neatly done Rev. 🙂

  15. One_Scot says:

    Was thinking just this morning that Nicola should just announce a date for #ScotRef, as I can only see support for Yes growing as each month passes towards the deadline of March 2019.

    Can’t really see what she has to lose.

  16. William Wallace says:

    “Even the most fervent Yes/Leaver in Scotland can now see that it would be immeasurably better for Scotland to become independent while still in the EU, securing vast advantages from the superior negotiating position, and only THEN start to contemplate whether it might be a good idea for Scotland to leave the EU at a later date too.

    (It would also have the benefit of being able to observe how it goes for the rUK – for once it wouldn’t be Scotland that was used as the guinea-pig. In the unlikely event that Brexit turns out to be a huge success nothing would stop Scotland from following suit, with almost all of the gamble taken out.)”

    That is spot on.

    As someone who was previously pro EU and who changed their stance significantly after the EU’s treatment of Catalonia, I completely agree with this. This presents us with an excellent opportunity in any negotiations and an opportunity to observe how things would potentially work out if we then decided to exit the EU. Win-Win.

  17. fillofficer says:

    well done rev, spelt oot nice n clear, lets go asap

  18. Croompenstein says:

    From The New Statesman on Tuesday..

    The Irish question pits Davidson’s unionism against her desire for a soft Brexit. In a statement on Tuesday morning, she noted the question on the ballot paper – whether the UK should stay or leave the European Union – a seemingly innocuous observation which is nevertheless a reminder that voters never directly chose to leave the single market or customs union. Davidson said this meant voters were not asked “if the country should be divided by different deals for different home nations”.

    She continued: “While I recognise the complexity of the current negotiations, no government of the Conservative and Unionist Party should countenance any deal that compromises the political, economic or constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.”

    Nevertheless, she added that there “should be no return to the borders of the past”, concluding: “If regulatory alignment in a number of specific areas is the requirement for a frictionless border, then the Prime Minister should conclude this must be on a UK-wide basis.”

    As a Tory Davidson’s attempt to use the crisis to push for a softer Brexit UK-wide is hardly surprising, given her consistent emphasis on the importance of trade. But read between the lines, and one of Scotland’s most canny unionist politicians is making much the same case as her ideological opponent, Sturgeon, but as Kenny Farquharson points out, arguing it much better. Every single region of Scotland voted to remain in the EU in 2016. Davidson’s comment is the latest reminder of that fact.

    Whit ye gonnae dae Harrison. nyooz the powwerrrss

  19. PictAtRandom says:

    I’m still pondering all the reports as they come in and I think it’s far from clear what the final picture will be.
    But isn’t the argument being put forward one that’s most suitable for a Ruth Davidson Scottish Democratic Unionist Party angling for a special “non-separatist” deal? As soon as we go for independence up pops Rajoy (or a clone or someone similar concerned about the stability of the Spanish Netherlands or the integrity of La Belle France).
    There’s a paradox in that we can become virtuous in EU eyes once we are independent but not before. Imagine if Malta were now trying to break from Italy or Luxembourg from Germany.
    As I say, there’s would also be some sort of logic in Ruthie DUPpism — although it lacks a Good Friday Agreement (and what went before) in order to back it up.

  20. Legerwood says:

    I agree with all that the Rev has said.

    But I wonder. If this deal for NI delivers all that is claimed for it – NI in EU etc – so that it effectively becomes a place apart from the UK but much closer to the Republic. Has Mrs May in effect delivering a United Ireland or at least bringing it much closer?

    How much change would be required to make it a hard fact?

    At the same time bringing an Independent Scotland much closer too?

  21. Great argument,Stu.
    If you want an Independent Scotland, and want to leave the EU, there is an order of progress here.
    Independence first, then once the Scottish Government is established, put forward the Leave argument through the democratic process.
    May was squashed like an ant at a picnic table this morning. All the red lines evaporated.
    £50 billion divorce bill ? Oui.
    3 million EU citizens working here protected by ECJ laws, rights, and constitution while free to work, claim benefits, accrue pensions, pay taxes, marry Brits, have children who will be Brits? Ja.
    No hard border between the Republic and the North? Furfuxake!
    Arlene thinks that there won’t be a sea border. Oh dear, oh dear.
    I’ll be able to fly to Dublin, buy zillions of fags, head to Newry and sell them at Friday’s Market?
    That’ll be shining bright.
    There will be border guards at Larne, George Best Airport, and Donegal Quay in Belfast.
    Norn Irn will no longer be in their precious Union.
    Can’t wait to see Rees Mogg’s Lord Snooty face in HoC on Monday.
    We must hold Indyref 2 in October 2018, the deadline for Brexit Trade Talks to conclude.
    We’ll know by then how miserable the pup May is trying to sell us is.
    There are 184,000 EU citizens working here who must be included in the vote, plus the next wave of 16-17 year olds.
    The BBC and Sky are heralding this as a ‘breakthrough’.
    Still the madness and mass hysteria continues.
    More like a ‘breakdown.’
    It’s all panning out pretty much how e expected.
    EngWaland is fecked.

  22. TD says:

    Thepnr at 10:44

    I’m not sure you are right in your conclusion that “…NI has got it’s own EFTA type deal…” That is what appeared to have been agreed on Monday and which led to the DUP putting a spanner in the works. They will not stand for special treatment for Northern Ireland (except when it suits them of course – Arlene Foster supports a Corporation Tax rate of 12.5% for NI so they can compete, i.e. be aligned with, the republic. But that’s another matter.)

    If we take the two key points in the agreement as I understand it we reach a different conclusion. First there will be broad regulatory alignment between NI and the republic. Second there will be no “Irish Sea border”. Taken together, these two statements imply that there will be broad regulatory alignment between the whole UK and Ireland and therefore between the UK and the EU. So if anyone is going to have an EFTA type agreement, it’s the whole UK. Soft Brexit here we come!

    Whether this will be acceptable to the dinosaur tendency in the Tory party remains to be seen. However it is ironic that the rampant brexiteers in the Tory party and the equally primitive beasts of the DUP, who would normally be reasonably aligned, are now pulling poor Mrs May in opposite directions.

    What does it all mean for Scotland? Who knows. I would tend to agree with the Rev that there is a never to be repeated opportunity to exploit the current chaotic situation. We would need to move quickly – but remember the Scottish parliament has already voted for another indyref and I suspect that with the UK government somewhat preoccupied with Brexit their capacity to resist a move from our government to hold a referendum would be limited. The critical group will be the Yes leavers – if just half of those who deserted Yes came back, we would be home and dry.

  23. Doug Bryce says:

    Sounds to me like another can kicked down road.
    By remaining in customs union / single market for 2 years after March 2019 it seems May has negotiated a short term soft brexit.

    Of course we likely keep paying into EU budget, ECJ
    Plus we cant negotiate out own trade deals.

    The obvious questions…

    1) How will far right / boris react ?
    2) What happens once transition period is over ?
    3) When does free movement end ?

    Come on BBC journalists!

  24. The Isolator says:

    Hats off to you Rev.Fantastic stuff.

  25. Dan Huil says:

    Still plenty of popcorn to get through. Certainly seems to be moving towards a special deal concerning the north of Ireland. A step towards a unified Ireland and thus a special deal for Scotland. The so-called united kingdom continues to disintegrate.

    However, May’s new “agreement” is one massive splodge of ambiguity. Expect the unexpected.

    A massive middle finger of fudge.

  26. Bob Mack says:

    A famous Irish Republican said

    I’d rather have Britain as an enemy than a friend, because they buy their enemies and sell their friends”

    Today they Scottish people have had their rights and entitlements sold to accommodate England’s needs.

    If you needed an incentive to vote independence ,you just got it.

  27. Calum McKay says:

    Simple logic, 27 will always trump 1.

    Not to recognise this is either stupidity or you are seeking to mislead!

    It is alo the case that 50 M people wilways trump 5.5 M people, again not to recognise this is either stupidity or you are seeking to mislead!

  28. revjimbob says:

    ‘Give it a rest’
    Jesus – is that what the standard of debate is between party leaders these days?

  29. heedtracker says:

    Great summation of the greatest tory catastrofuck of our lives. Brexit means Brexit, means what now?

    Indy ref2, campaign begins 1st Jan 2018.

    We can it do it if we B&Q it:D

  30. Valerie says:

    Really good analysis here from Fintan O’Toole in Irish Times.

    What has been agreed for NI, simply must be applied in whole UK, so if it looks and walks like a Customs Union…..

    Sorry won’t archive

  31. Watching CNN’s report on the Brexit talks they report that the UK is in a weak negotiating positing.

    And that the divorce bill, EU citizens rights and the Irish border was supposed to be the easy part.

    The difficult part is the trade negotiations, as has already been pointed out the UK isn’t going to get a better trade deal than it already has from the EU.

    It would be self defeating for the EU to give the UK a better deal, as they then would be held to ransom by other countries who then decide they want a better a trade deals themselves.

  32. Brian McHugh says:

    Excellent article and spot on the truth.

  33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “How soon can we get the next Week Book out? How much will it cost to produce and is the crowdfunder up and running yet?”

    We’re ready to go when someone fires the starting gun. There’s money in the Fighting Fund.

  34. heedtracker says:

    The majority in Catalonia did not vote for Independence. An entirely different situation. 30/40%. Low turnouts.”

    Ken, the Catalan indy parties are elected by majority. What say you, if same Catalan indy parties win the next Spanish elections again, by majority?

    A lot of yoon culture like to rant at Scotland that we did not vote Remain either, despite the 62% Remain vote, because, they say, not enough Scots voted, SNP members vote Leave etc.

    Its a slippery slope, ignoring the ballot box

  35. Valerie says:

    @ Doug Bryce

    That’s how I see it too. A fudge to be able to say we have moved on to Trade. If May is ejected now, she actually looks as having pulled things out of a raging fire, only to be placed onto an unlit bonfire for later.

    The spokesperson for the 3Million, not that happy. Seems Rights apply only up to Brexit day, although there are things around family reunion not clear too.

  36. jdenham says:

    Well, well, my grandchildren domiciled here in Scotland are entitled to an Irish (European) passport. I am still a European citizen, and demand a European passport too. Grandmother born in Antrim in 1881 (before the Easter Uprising division). I was born in London, living here in Alba most of my life…my maternal grandmother from the isle of Tiree. Tell me now I cannot have a European passport, and if not, why not. Well, I suppose because the British people have spoken, but not in my name. There….that feels better.

  37. galamcennalath says:

    Well put Rev. From what Nicola and others are beginning to say, it looks like they have drawn all the same conclusions.

    The Union, Westminster, the ruling Tory Government, and any case they can present …. have never been weaker. They are in a state of internal disarray and indecisiveness. They have shown complete inability to challenge.

    Strike while the metal is hot!

  38. jfngw says:

    A referendum date is becoming imperative, we need to signal clearly to the EU that the UK negotiating with Scotland’s resources are not to be taken for granted. Another reason to leave the UK asap.

    My concerns is the EU may not be interested in Scotland as they see they have the UK over a barrel and they will happily trade away Scotland’s resources for a good deal elsewhere. Their handling of Catalonia has not filled me with confidence.

  39. Capella says:

    Euronews quotes Arlene Foster:

    we have the very clear confirmation that the entirety of the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, leaving the Single Market, leaving the Customs Union,” Foster said.

    I can’t see how the UK can leave the EU, the CU, the SM and comply with it at the same time – or have its cake and eat it.
    Anyone know what’s going on?

  40. shug says:

    Top point from Stu as usual

    before Brexit – end of story

  41. Doug Bryce says:

    > I can’t see how the UK can leave the EU, the CU, the SM and comply with it at the same time

    Exactly. The key detail is in the transaction period.
    For at least 2 years after March 2019 nothing changes and we remain compliant. After that who knows!

    Short term this is a very soft brexits – the UK is looking very weak. Basically pay 50 billion for a worse trade deal.

  42. Donald McGregor says:

    Boy am I glad to hear someone else say this:
    ‘’Taken together, these two statements imply that there will be broad regulatory alignment between the whole UK and Ireland and therefore between the UK and the EU. So if anyone is going to have an EFTA type agreement, it’s the whole UK.”
    I’ve been thinking I’m bonkers, cos the MSM to date seems not to make this connection, and I was thinking I’d got my logic wrong.

    Only rider to this is that the official gateway to the EU for the rest of the UK will be NI.
    So that IS special status for NI, and another nail in the Union. Special status may actually have been what DUP had as a goal all along, but end of UK not so much.

    No idea how this will play out in our lives as the views of most will still be shaped by the MSM who will continue to present things as they see fit.

  43. TD says:

    Capella at12:15

    “I can’t see how the UK can leave the EU, the CU, the SM and comply with it at the same time – or have its cake and eat it.
    Anyone know what’s going on?”

    What’s going on is that because they all want to agree but in reality don’t agree, they have decided to say they agree on the basis that if you state it with sufficient confidence, then people will think it’s true. I think the technical term is “fudge”.

  44. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Interesting times. It is indeed close to the time to move forward to independence.

    On the plus side the British Nationalists Tory and Labour are running about banging into walls crying woe is us. The incompetence of the British Nationalist Government is breath taking

    The Irish have given the UK a wee kicking.

    On the negative side the Regime will double efforts to say how bad the SNP and Scotland is overtime for the state broadcaster and MSM.

    The other negative is we still have a group of thick folk who will not see the truth.

    England cannot now loose its last colony who will provide for the English masses if we escape?

    Prepare for lots of English refugees crossing the border.

    British Nationalists will have to import squirrels for political TV programs.

  45. Les Wilson says:

    Here is a bit in Mayhem’s speech that would concern me, the wording was heavily worked on, so every word is a very deliberate one.

    So ” “In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the internal market and the customs union which, now or in the future, support North-South co-operation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.”

    What I think would need clarified is the ” In the absence of agreed solutions”

    Could this mean that once they have,in their minds,if they decide sometime in the future that they now have the solutions to match their needs, can they just say that, we now have solutions so we can now proceed with our Brexit we now need to adjust to our own needs.

    Will that be possible regardless of it being unlikely?

  46. Bobp says:

    Bobp. If Scotland wants independence, they will have to vote for it pretty soon, Otherwise close to a million loyalists who will move here rather than live in a united Ireland, will kill our dream of independence forever.

  47. Giving Goose says:

    Would it not have been a lot easier for the UK Government to develop a new video game or phone App where you could have scored points for throwing rotten tomatoes and bendy EU bananas at foreigners?

    Points scored would be accompanied by a ringing jingle of God Save the Queen and tallies represented by Union Jacks.

    At least it would have allowed some catharsis for the those UK citizens who yearn for those Johnny Foreigner bashing days of Empire.

  48. ScottieDog says:

    So does that take the ‘uk single market card’ and throw it in the fire?

    They will be hastily dusting down the following…

    Convergence criteria – huge austerity in order to align with the stability growth pact. The assumption being that Scotland will HAVE to adopt the euro.
    Answer: Obviously bullshit but regularly fired out there on MSM.

    We will be out of the EU before we can get back in and there’s no guarantee of getting back.
    Answer: Well EFTA will be fine for the time being.

    Massive austerity anyway – to ‘reduce ‘the deficit’. (Using the flat earth economic model of ‘sound finance’ which led to the financial crisis )
    Solution/reposte: actually economic stimulus is required – as we saw in Iceland in the aftermath of the biggest financial crisis the country has ever seen, capitalism runs on sales; sales create jobs; jobs yield income tax reducing deficits. Investment in exports will most likely lead to a trade surplus which in turn will also lead to lower government expenditure anyway.

    George soros type run on the Scottish central bank (applicable if we initially peg to sterling).
    Solution: instate capital controls as part of ‘initial setup’. There is a precedent – Iceland in the aftermath of the GFC. Only now are the Icelandic govt removing that protection of the kroner. Ultimately a free floating currency is the superior option.

    A few things need to be stressed in all of this.
    1) economies run on energy, not money,
    2) the fiat money system every country runs on means that money is created electronically via double entry book keeping. The creation of an asset and liability – with a keyboard. That’s it really
    3) the wealth of a nation is determined by the resources it has plus those it is able to import.

    These facts are the very reason London is bloody terrified at losing Scotland.
    The UKs big battery sits in Scotland

  49. cearc says:



  50. Jules says:

    The challenge is that the EU can be pretty daft sometimes. Will the EU openly accept, during the course of any referendum campaign, that Scotland would have unbroken EU membership? Quite possibly not.

    I’ve no doubt that something could be sorted out, but if there is any lack of clarity or certainty, it could end up as Indyref2’s version of the currency question.

  51. wull2 says:

    My view, leave the UK, then if we want leave the EU, in that order, one at a time, once we are happy with the first then and only then we consider the second.

  52. HandandShrimp says:

    I am having difficulty getting my head around Foster’s statement and the UK Government’s position of no hard border. However, the latter is good for Scotland’s argument regarding access to the SM so more sugar in the fudge please.


  53. Artyhetty says:

    Excellent article and I am sure more will be said on this constitutional (sort of) development.

    Scotland will need to be out of the UK before Brexit is done and dusted. If not, no referendum will be allowed and Holyrood will be effectively dismantled, until the sweaty jocks see sense and vote in a unionist party. Scotland may be being sold off to the lowest bidders as we speak. Just an inkling, Scotland has abundant resources, that NI doesn’t have, to keep them shackled.

    If anyone thinks that what remains of the UK will just send Scotland on it’s merry way with a golden handshake or any handshake, after being dragged out of the EU, they are seriously deluded.

    We will have a fight on our hands, with all of the powers and media bias being more anti Scottish independence and more anti SNP than ever before.

    We can do it though, while still in the EU, and we are still in the EU, at the moment, time moves fast though so we need to get going. Nicola Sturgeon must be putting those books she had planned to read over xmas, back on the shelf right now!

  54. “We’re ready to go when someone fires the starting gun. There’s money in the Fighting Fund.”


    Knocking on Nicola’s office door…

  55. Capella says:

    @ Doug Bryce and TD and Cearc – Looks Like the genius May has agreed to stay in the SM and CU for two years after March 2019. Buzzfeed has seen a leaked EU doc. That would explain some comments from Ruth Davidson as quoted by the BBC on their Live feed.

  56. Robert Graham says:

    The BBC doing somersaults trying to avoid giving any concrete information on the done deal ,

    As they say the devil is in the detail where is the detail ?

    This artical Davidson or what ever label she adopts now , a very confused individual on so may things ,

    The noise emanating from the leader of a party who represent on a good day 20% of the electorate , is irritating at best at worst its a total distraction and meant to confuse all who happen to hear her baffling statements .

    During FMQs yesterday her comments on the named person bill bordered on lying to parliament, her twisted interpretation of what actually happened was so removed from fact the only rational view could be she set out as she normally does to openly lie , she should be immediately be stopped by SNP MSPs make as much bloody noise as these Tories , dont let them high jack parliament , most tory MSPs haven’t been elected and dont recognise holyrood treat the b/rds the same way , no respect .

  57. galamcennalath says:

    Capella says:

    May has agreed to stay in the SM and CU for two years after March 2019

    The integrity of the Union and stopping Scottish independence is extremely important to WM, probably more important than playing out Brexit.

    The next Holyrood election is due to be held on 6 May, 2021. I have no doubt the Unionist plan is to try to hold out until then in the hope of getting an anti Indy majority again.

    IMO there will be no Section 30 prior to that election. That, of course, probably doesn’t matter. As we see, ‘consultative referendums’ count!

    Staying in SM and CU until almost then would give an air of business as usual and this Brexit stuff isn’t all that bad.

    The Scottish Government need to carefully formulate a justification for IndyRef2 soon. And certainly nothing to do with any transition arrangement.

  58. Artyhetty says:


    That was discussed last time round, and no reason that Scotland shouldn’t have a fairly smooth transition to stay in the EU.

    The priority is to secure independence whatever is said or murmured re the EU. First the Britnats cannot use the pathetic excuses they used against the voters last time, not least that we would be out of the EU if we voted yes!

    Some things have been tweaked and the positive case for independence is much more stable, (to use a well used term!).

    We will be countering the stupid, ridiculous project fear, again, with all that we can muster.

    The Britnats will be terrified and plotting already. Thing is, they have big, huge fish to fry with Brexit, and that is a huge distraction for them, because the people of England are gonna be well peeved at how it’s all such a disaster.

    If Newcastle Labour run council, can cut care workers’ wages by 40% now, just think what they will do after a dirty Brexit.

    People in Scotland need to be made aware just how bad things could be and will be if we don’t throw off the shackles of this dysfunctional, unequal, and contemptuous union.

    Lastly, Scottish gov need to put out some leaflets to every household, about what powers they have and don’t have, as well as a few figures about UKGov disastrous cuts to Scotlands already squeezed budget.

  59. ScottieDog says:

    Think the only reasonable way of ‘saving’ the UK is single market and customs union. Of course if it happens it will be ‘Ruth what won it’

  60. Wullie B says:

    Off topic, John Beattie propagating the myth just now that all Live tv viewed in UK regardless if British or not must be have a licence fee aided and abetted by a TV licencing stooge just now on radio shortbread

  61. Andrew Morton says:

    Call me naive if you like but I suspect that any Yes/Leavers we get back onside will be balanced by No/Remainers who’ll say, “This looks like a really soft Brexit to me, I can live with that”.

  62. Proud Cybernat says:

    Great article, Rev.

    “I can’t see how the UK can leave the EU, the CU, the SM and comply with it at the same time – or have its cake and eat it. Anyone know what’s going on?”

    I think May is basically calling the DUP’s bluff, daring them to bring down her government. I think May would be happy to go to the country and say, “Okay–you MUST give me a proper mandate with a big majority for the Brexit Trade Deal negotiations. You don’t want them hijacked or derailed by batshit mental people, or worse, the DUP!”

    The DUP might just take up the dare.

    LIVE from Pravda Quay
    with Jackie Kim Ono

  63. TD says:

    Capella at 12:53

    That’s an interesting article on Buzzfeed. This will be positioned as “We have negotiated the best possible deal for the UK”. In reality, it means “All the rules still apply to us and we still have to pay. The only difference is that now we don’t have any say in what the rules are. And if the other 27 countries want to change the rules, we will just have to accept that.”

    How many people in the UK would have voted for that? And the next whammy that is going to hit us will be that once the £50 billion has been paid, the EU will demand ongoing payments for access to the single market. Norway has to pay for access, so why would they give it to us for free? The money side of this is not settled yet. £50 billion is just the price for leaving.

    We need to get off the sinking ship of the UK before we get pulled under. The Rev is right – if we are still in the UK when the UK leaves the EU, our position will be significantly weaker. We are running out of time to get out of the UK before we are out of the EU.

  64. Dan Huil says:

    @Wille B 1:15pm

    Interesting. Wonder why the britnat bbc is going with this story? Refusing to pay the bbc tax must be getting them worried.

  65. Dan Huil says:

    This deal seems to be falling apart already. A bit like a Westminster budget.

  66. ScottieDog says:

    Regarding making people aware of what powers are reserved/devolved, annotate them with a single flag – Union Jack/st Andrews cross.

  67. call me dave says:

    Good article and I’m with most folk here.
    Leave the Union and see how the dust settles.

    1. Another oil field Jings!

    2. The Guardian

  68. Iain mhor says:

    Are the Tories just giving NI & Europe another “Vow”
    Once the ink has dried on Brexit – Stormont suspended, Direct Rule, Hard border?
    I don’t see anything in the Tory government’s history to suggest they wouldn’t. I can’t think of consequencies they wouldn’t be comfortable with either.

  69. heedtracker says:

    Half an hour in to BBC r4 lunchtime news and not one non tory opposition Brexit view permitted so far, no Lab, SNP, LibDem, nothing. All of this vote tory beeb gimp news show is entirely devoted to tories pleasantly chatting about what Mike Gove kicks off as a great British triumph for Teresa.

    BBC balance is just a tory farce, shock:D

    This level of corruption of bbc vote tory grot is nothing to what’s coming Scotland’s way as we all know.

  70. PictAtRandom says:

    A lot of the Hard Brexiters on “Guido Fawkes” are raging. But they’ve also posted this:

    Asked if the deal meant that the default position is remaining in the single market, Barnier said:

    “No. You havent understood that well… beyond its decision to leave the EU… the British government has confirmed that it wishes also to leave the single market and the customs union which is not obligatory. There are countries who are not E.U. members, who are part because that is their wish, whilst respecting of the rules of the single market. But that’s not the choice taken by the UK. So you have not understood that well.”

  71. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Well, at least, Mother Theresa has secured her legacy. In 1000-years’ time, she will be known as: “The Prime Minister who split up the UK.”

  72. Wullie B says:

    @Dan Huil That was my thinking too, got the token Radio Shortbread will be looking into this over the next few days, but seeing as Radio Shortbread is part of the company receiving the TBC tax then it will only be a token whitewash followed by you must comply, and a TV tax opposition sounded soft as well with his attitude to oh it must be right and that was it, was a joke really with no one arguing the point that only the BBC benefits

  73. Nana says:

    In a few minutes, I will be live on Facebook together with the Brexit Steering Group to present the European Parliament’s position on the negotiations. Follow here

  74. Sunniva says:

    It’s par. 49 where it says that the avoidance of the hard border with NI will be achieved via EU-UK arrangements that sounds mightily like that nobody will be leaving the EU single market or customs union. That the U.K. will keep full alignment with the rules of the internal market and customs union.

  75. winifred mccartney says:

    Yesterday John Beattie on Radio Scotland stated the BBC were not protecting Ruth Davidson – there were lots of tweets on his twitter this morning asking him to prove this and get an interview but as usual Ruth was in hiding and could only complain about the FM statement.Sp why is the BBC not chasing her for a statement but giving her time to consult with London and then have a microphone popped in front of her so that she read something out and not be questioned. And they still insist the bbc is not biased.

    Question is what will the call the present customs union or single market. They will simply change the name into Regularity, compliance, alignment, realignment etc and we will have wasted all this money, time and effort for changing the names – a very expensive deed poll when there is so much real need in this country that is being ignored. I hope the tory party is proud of themselves but I dare say it has kept many of them in the manner to which they are accustomed.

  76. Meg merrilees says:

    Les Wilson

    The wording of the Agreement is key.

    I posted a couple of days ago about an interview on the Today prog R4, wed? about 8.45

    A civil servant was explaining that they spend hours coming up with wording which is deliberately ambiguous so that both sides can believe that their specific issue is catered for, it allows a degree of flexibility in the negotiations to achieve an end.

    As Heseltine said, it’s a fudge and this will become clear only once there is a specific case which brings it to light at which point the whole shebang will collapse.

    I wonder what Arlene extracted from Treesa as the price this time?
    Also, wonder how (t)Ruthless feels now as she had spoken to Arlene two or three times on tuesday before brining out her statement criticising the Prime Minister.

    Sounds awfully like another ‘vow’ to me – only this time, we’ll leave the EU where we have a seat at the table for our contributions, to continue as much as possible to have exactly the same situation as before, including the contributions but NO place at the table.

    Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what the Brexiteers have been promising for 18 months or more and no £350 million a week for the NHS!

    Nicola disnae miss a trick eh? Great statement.

  77. gordoz says:

    Amazingly well put. Thats as clear as my thinking was. Thankyou for the clarity so YES/Leavers can finally converge back with YES/EU towards the ultimate prize one final surge towards a goal with full EU safety net & negotiating skills.
    Then, when dust has settled; Repay YES/Leavers with a Scotland wide vote on EU. Fair but not influenced / tainted by UK ideals.

    YES/Leavers please see sense of this. Put Scotland first!
    Still rings true

  78. cearc says:

    Nana, 2.03,

    Wow, that’s quite a promotion for you!

  79. Ian McCubbin says:

    Still no real feeling amongst filk I meet that much is happening.
    Is there a real impetuous for independence like in 2014?
    I am neither confident the SNP has the bottle for another push for the cause.
    Something radical to break brexit process is needed.
    People in general seem to content with netflix and a pint and a meal from Wutherspoons to care about their health service or pensions far less the 140 odd things SNP has positively done for Scotland.I remain with hope but see no imminent rise of radical movement to engage an independent Scotland cause.

  80. cearc says:

    I’ll repeat this post that I put on the previous thread this morning, as it is very relevant.

    Of course, regulatory alignment with EU completely f**s their ‘great trade deal with US who want them to accept US regulatory rules.

    Brexit: A Negotiation Update…U.S. House of Representatives

    I was going to quote some chunks but copy/paste from it puts each word on a new line. Relevant bit is Part 3, pg. 4, para 2.

    ‘…Uk must accept US regulatory standards and diverge from those of the EU…’

    This really is worth a read. Contains gems like:

    ‘.. Trump administration appears to be pursuing a predatory policy, designed to take immediate economic advantage of the dislocations and vulnerabilities created for the UK by the Brexit process…’

  81. Ian McCubbin says:

    Reading other posts and talking with friends and family who research tells me we have a toxic time with possibly men in grey suits from US behind tories and far right push for brexit.
    Result UK becomes 51st state of USA.
    Not a prospect to relish.

  82. Nana says:


    lol! I was in a hurry to post the link. Having to go out and it’s snowing, brain froze just watching it coming down. Brr

  83. admiral says:

    heedtracker says:
    8 December, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    Half an hour in to BBC r4 lunchtime news and not one non tory opposition Brexit view permitted so far, no Lab, SNP, LibDem, nothing. All of this vote tory beeb gimp news show is entirely devoted to tories pleasantly chatting about what Mike Gove kicks off as a great British triumph for Teresa.

    Heedtracker, I don’t know about you but I am old enough to remember joining the then EC. Every negotiation by every British prime minister since on any subject has always been trumpeted in the media as a “total triumph” for the UK. We always get exactly what we wanted.

    You wonder how most of this self-same media could support Leave so vociferously, considering we were so totally triumphant over anything and everything the EC/EU wanted.

  84. Karen Kelly says:

    As a leave voter I have said that, should it come to a straight choice between the EU and Westminster I shall choose the EU. If we exit the EU, then we shall be under the direct rule of Westminster. Make no mistake, they will come for the Scottish Parliament and will make damn sure we all know about it. They do not care for democracy anymore. In fact, they never really did.

    If we do not go now everything Scotland has worked so hard for will be destroyed as it was in the 1980’s When Thatcher got her hands on it. The NHS will be gone, Social Security will be gone. Fracking licences will be handed out like sweeties. Education will be for those who can afford it. The Repeal Bill will see to that.

    I am not the EU’s biggest fan, but I have an intense dislike for Westminster and all it stands for. Like you said, the EU question and Scotland’s place in it is for another time. we can deal with that later. The Tories must be rubbing their hands with glee, they actually believe they are going to make Britain great again. Only, it was never that great in the first place.

  85. Ian McCubbin says:

    On the other hand maybe we cannot see whats ahead because US men in grey suits are behind this brexit, paving the way with well placed funds to sweeten all in their path so that UK plc becomes 51st state of USA with full capitalist corporation rights for the few and enslavement of the many.
    Just an alternative reality view point. I so hope I am wrong but if right Scotland needs a nordic exit from this to stay within a Europe where we belong.

  86. galamcennalath says:

    Socrates MacSporran says:

    “The Prime Minister who split up the UK.”

    Aye, Cameron narrowly missed that accolade. Now looks like May is in line for the honour.

    Truth is, they probably deserve a joint title. If Cameron hadn’t put together such an ill conceived referendum, we wouldn’t be in this chaotic state.

  87. David Caledonia says:

    A scotland free of any more political unions, out of the european union that is being done for us
    Then tackle westminster, next time we will get our freedom

  88. Andy-B says:

    Well said Rev, lets hope the message gets through.

  89. Daisy Walker says:

    Some thoughts.

    A very clear state of play article by the Rev (as always).

    I’ve been reading my way through’s articles (thanks Nana for the link), and there is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, good about Brexit.

    A hard brexit destroys practically all our industry, all our protections, all our rights, and opens up our public services to the US in a bargain basement give-away.

    A soft Brexit allows us to remain in the SM CU, but at a higher cost, with no influence, and having to piecemeal agree to all the standards we currently do at source. And in the time it takes to set that up, we lose countless jobs and industries and market share, and tax revenue. Stupid doesn’t even begin to describe it.

    One of today’s links states that by agreeing the first phase, it now makes it impossible to cancel article 50. I wonder if the EU knew/and wanted that.

    The only thing that makes any kind of sense with regards motive – is the info contained in the film The Spiders Web.

    It looks as if the EU is decidedly serious about clamping down on the Tax Dodgers.

    These Psycho’s in WM and the establishment are out to bring the whole UK down to line their own pockets. Some very rich people out to get even richer.

    Meanwhile, Labour are keeping schtum. At at time when you would expect a groundswell of support (in England) for Remain to be gathering…. nothing, not a sound.

    Parliament has been lied to repeatedly by Dodgy Dave, not on some minor matter, but in his professional capacity as Brexit Secretary, (Brexit being the biggest crisis these Isles have had to deal with since WW2) and – so it appears – on the instructions of, or with the full consent and knowledge of the PM.

    I’m not sure there has ever been a more serious, blatant and public contempt for Parliament’s procedures. This should bring down the government.

    And again from Labour, not a peep. Truly the the left cheek of the same skelpit erse.

    I think the above matters are so grave, that its getting close to the point where the SNP will have to seriously consider walking away from WM – not a vote of no confidence in the Conservative Gvt, but a vote of no confidence in the whole of WM.

    I think that if a GE is called, (and at least for today, that looks a little further away) in Scotland, it must be about Indy, no splitting it and playing extra fair with a separate Ref. Time’s too short now and there is far too much at stake.

  90. Proud Cybernat says:

    So if the UK is effectively EU compliant surely that puts a spanner in the BritNats “UK Single Market” ‘argument’?

  91. heedtracker says:

    Heedtracker, I don’t know about you but I am old enough to remember joining the then EC. Every negotiation by every British prime minister since on any subject has always been trumpeted in the media as a “total triumph” for the UK. We always get exactly what we wanted.

    To be fair, the hated EU has given the UK everything they ever demanded, from keeping sterling to refusing the EU work time directives.

    All of this a tory creep show power struggle as we know, with Cameron finally calling Leave tory bluff and catastrophically losing.

    But we are now in a hot BBC propaganda war and today’s lunchtime BBC r4 news was a really disgraceful display of tory corruption of public broadcasting. 21sr century BBC is profoundly corrupt, totally out of and beyond any democratic control by, well anyone at all. Its primarily because of BBC corruption that Farage is a household name and lets face it, great British hero.

    Almost certainly, we are now going to see a lot more of Farage, on BBC vote tory propaganda, for a long time. Unless Scotland does break free that is.

    BBC Scotland are now red and blue tory UK in Scotland’s only great power.

  92. Easyblues says:

    Iv’e not read all posts so excuse me if this is a repeat.
    I fully agree that we should take our best advantage for Indy 2 but how do we get around being denied the option.

    “Now is not the time” “I don’t believe the people of Scotland want another divisive referendum” “It was meant to be once in a generation”

  93. Greannach says:

    Great fun to watch an empire destroying itself. Very heartening.

  94. One_Scot says:

    “Now is not the time” Lol.

    Anyone who thinks or believes that ‘now is not the time’ has either not been paying attention, or will have the mindset that now is never the time.

  95. Robert Graham says:

    I wonder if the bigger picture is being missed here, this smoke and mirrors trick ,doing one thing in order to accomplish another entirely different outcome with a more pressing problem, a problem in the background that dwarfs even Brexit in its wide and lasting consequences , to the UK .

    Independence will in the end have lasting consequences for England and they know it, that’s why this latest fudge is possibly a manovering of positions in order to try and limit the effectiveness of a SNP campaign in order to convincingly call the second vote, removal of the reasons for a vote effectively nullifies the very reasons to call one.

    Things these Unionist parties do are never immediately clear, it’s not the first manoeuvre that has to be watched , it’s the process in order to accomplish the third and fourth moves, like in chess, the immediate move might seem harmless but desperate no immediate threat being obvious , unless the whole process is cut at source it becomes a real problem that can’t be stopped,

    I really hope the management of the SNP are paying close attention to what Westminster are up to right now , things they do are not left to chance, underestimate these people at your peril , they are usually two or three moves ahead, because they have endless resources and determination

  96. Macart says:

    Just wow.

    I don’t suppose the author of the tweet in question (Mr Torrance) will have realised what he’s just said either. He may wish to read it over to himself slowly. 😉

  97. Easyblues says:

    One_Scot Says
    “Now is not the time” lol

    Did you get my point… That’s T Mays words. What if they do not allow another section 30 order for a referendum.

    Catalonia is in the same boat

  98. PictAtRandom says:

    ” galamcennalath says:
    8 December, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Capella says:

    May has agreed to stay in the SM and CU for two years after March 2019

    The integrity of the Union and stopping Scottish independence is extremely important to WM, probably more important than playing out Brexit.

    The next Holyrood election is due to be held on 6 May, 2021. I have no doubt the Unionist plan is to try to hold out until then in the hope of getting an anti Indy majority again.

    IMO there will be no Section 30 prior to that election. That, of course, probably doesn’t matter. As we see, ‘consultative referendums’ count!

    Staying in SM and CU until almost then would give an air of business as usual and this Brexit stuff isn’t all that bad.

    The Scottish Government need to carefully formulate a justification for IndyRef2 soon. And certainly nothing to do with any transition arrangement. ”

    This is my pick of the comments so far. Especially the last two paragraphs.

    It’s not just a question of Yes/Leave and Yes/Remain, it’s Jock & Janet Public v. Jock & Janet Activist.

    Nicola & Co. certainly need to have their braincells working over the next few weeks. Acting on things may be a slightly different matter.

    The possibilities we face include:
    – sacking of TM
    – parliamentary Hard Brexiteers being taken to the woodshed (mathematically possible)
    – breakdown and No Deal
    – a GE won by a competent human being wearing a blue rosette – or Jeremy Corbyn

    More questions than answers.

  99. heedtracker says:

    Macart says:
    8 December, 2017 at 2:58 pm
    Just wow.

    Another display of tory power in Scotland today, all that really matters is FM Sturgeon bad, everything else, the fact the UK PM’s Brexit means Brexit, means nothing, or that 9 DUP call the the UK shots today, none of it really matters in the Scottish haha tory brain.

    David Torrance?
    Follow Follow @davidtorrance

    So after another long Brexity week, looks to me like the two most important non-UK Government politicians in terms of influencing events are @DUPleader & @RuthDavidsonMSP, while left shouting from the sidelines are @fmwales & @NicolaSturgeon

  100. Proud Cybernat says:

    What if they do not allow another section 30 order for a referendum.

    A ‘Section 30’ is NOT about ALLOWING a referendum. It merely binds both parties to respect and honour the result. That’s it.

    Holyrood can call a referendum any time in it wishes on anything. Naturally, it is easier if everyone agrees to honour the outcome beforehand (S30) but it’s not essential since ‘consultative referendums’, as we have seen with Brexit, are also binding.

  101. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Robert Graham “I wonder if the bigger picture is being missed here…’

    Robert, I think you are right. This first phase deal is sufficiently woolly to sound like ‘soft brexit i.e. staying in the sm and cu.

    At the same time it is sufficiently woolly to argue the opposite.

    If WM negotiates a soft brexit and we stay in the sm and cu – much of the wind in the sails for indy ref2 is stolen.

    Thereafter they can concentrate on breaching eu rules one by one, one industry or item at a time, while at the same time preserving their tax free ‘trust’ accounts from eu legislation, and keep the cash cow that is Scotland for exploiting.

    It would also explain the total silence from the establishment’s Labour Party. Team game don’t you know.

    It’s like the Vow but on steriods. Very unlikely if the above is what is being played, that Mrs May will now be ousted or a snap GE called.

    But there is a 3rd player now – namely the EU. If they pushed for this initial 1st phase deal, to ensure Article 50 can no longer be revoked, it is because they have had enough of England’s games and want them out for good.

    Likewise they have negotiated with other countries before and the above tactics are always what those governments try for. I doubt if they will allow it.

    Will the EU want to lose Scotland’s energy resources, or have them controlled by these WM eejits. Wouldn’t the Scottish Govt be so much easier to deal with?

  102. galamcennalath says:

    Easyblues says:

    “Now is not the time” “I don’t believe the people of Scotland want another divisive referendum” “It was meant to be once in a generation”

    Whether the Unionist like it or not we have moved on. 2016 election and all parties put forward their constitutional proposals.

    Democracy ran its course. The electorate chose a majority authorised to call another referendum if circumstances (such as being forced out of the EU explicitly) changed.

    Nothing is for ever when the voters express their democratic wish to move forward.

    My take on so called voter fatigue is not that voters are fed up actually voting … it is they suffer stress and anxiety about having to make big decisions. Also, after each of these events, a large number fret and worry that they made the wrong decision. Which of course just stretches out the anxiety over a long period.

    Understandably, folks who find the decisions difficult don’t look forward to doing so all over again.

    Turn that logic round …. the easier the decision, the less the mental stress. IndyRef2, IMO, is going to much more of a no brainer for more folks. Nothing stressful about making an easy decision!

  103. PictAtRandom says:

    ” Turn that logic round …. the easier the decision, the less the mental stress. IndyRef2, IMO, is going to much more of a no brainer for more folks. Nothing stressful about making an easy decision! ”

    Kirstene Hair says “Sign me up!”

  104. One_Scot says:

    Yeah I get your point, like I said now is the time.

    Anyone who has a negative mindset and thinks Theresa May can stop our referendum should really just sit back down and let others get on with the job.

  105. cirsium says:

    “stupendously incompetent”. Thanks for that description, Rev. I was thinking grossly incompetent but felt that it did not quite encompass the magnitude of the incompetence. This level of incompetence is an argument for independence all on its own.

    @Scottie Dog, 12.33
    Thanks for the excellent summary of key campaign points. Useful ammunition.

  106. Hamish100 says:

    Looks like Davidson is getting a wee bit flustered. All her squirming to date is due to her Tory party in fighting
    Let’s get it right. She will support the rights of the English, Welsh , the minority DUP, Israel and the right wing nutters over Scotland.

    Northern Ireland and the “foreign” Republic of Ireland have now better economic trading options to the detriment of Scotland. So much for the equality of nations.

    Any idea what happened to her when she was wee with all the Torie extremists like fox, Johnstone, Gove, Davies, Tompkins etcetera?

    We could do wi a public inquiry!

  107. Proud Cybernat says:

    BBC: “Both sides reached a deal.”

    Translation: “The UK completely capitulated in the Brexit talks in order to reach a deal and move on to trade discussions.”

  108. Dan Huil says:

    The DUP are experienced negotiators which makes their acceptance of this new arrangement seem rather strange, since, as Fintan O’Toole points out in the Irish Times, this new arrangement is even more pro-Dublin-friendly than the one the DUP rejected.

    So, we must conclude, what have the DUP been offered by Britnat Westminster?

  109. Ottomanboi says:

    Ruth….>300 years of unionism, from which only a minority of Scots actually benefited materially, has all the acoustic properties of an empty vessel.
    Anglo-Brittery seems to have listened to everyone, according to motormouth Gove, except….He smugly opines the UK is a democracy with ‘rules’ which it appears so happy to bend to suit the occasion.

  110. ebreah says:

    Dan Huil @4:11 pm

    A free hand in administering NI. What’s not to like with the deal? Best of both worlds and if necessary the DUP will make some noise on the deal, just for the sake of it. At the end they will have absolute control over the political direction of NI.

  111. Referendum1707 says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    8 December, 2017 at 11:55 am
    “How soon can we get the next Week Book out? How much will it cost to produce and is the crowdfunder up and running yet?”

    We’re ready to go when someone fires the starting gun. There’s money in the Fighting Fund.

    Ya Dancer!

  112. Hamish100 says:

    NI direct rule suits May.

    If the Assembly was back up running Sinn Feinn and others would have more say.

    Still early days.

    Any chance we can add a local tax for any goods coming from NI and we can invest in Galloway. Most lorries etc drive straight through the county anyway

  113. galamcennalath says:

    Dan Huil says:

    DUP are experienced negotiators which makes their acceptance of this new arrangement seem rather strange,

    Perhaps it’s because they, like the rest of the extreme end of Unionist, put their Union above all else. They wanted Brexit, yes, but never at the cost of their Union.

    One poll has shown a majority of NI voters would chose reunification with the EU versus Brexit with the UK. Private DUP polling must also show this shift. That will be a huge shock and threat to what they believe in.

    So, IMO, the DUP will make all decisions based on what best perpetuates the UK.

  114. John de Soulis says:

    Nobody has mentioned Gibraltar yet. It has borders with the EU. So what happens to it?

  115. Peter says:

    Problem is NS won’t see it that way, they are an establishment party working for the establishment

  116. Referendum1707 says:

    Artyhetty 1.13

    “Lastly, Scottish gov need to put out some leaflets to every household, about what powers they have and don’t have, as well as a few figures about UKGov disastrous cuts to Scotlands already squeezed budget”.

    Absolutely spot on. Neutralising msm inspired ignorance needn’t be rocket science.

  117. TD says:

    cearc at 2:22

    That US House of Representatives document is very interesting. Sometimes it pays to look at ourselves from someone else’s perspective. Dr Wright states:

    “If the UK government simply kept the border open with no trade deal or a deal short of its current access to the Single Market, it would be in violation of the World Trade Organization’s Most Favored Nation clause and would be subject to legal action.”

    If that is correct, the implications are profound. If we don’t end up with the same access as we have now to the Single Market (I think that means being in it) then we have to have a hard border with Northern Ireland. And by implication, as the UK government have stated that we will not, under any circumstances, have a hard border that means the UK will be in the single market permanently. And if that is correct, then if Scotland goes independent, but stays in the single market, there can be no question of any hard border between England and Scotland.

    It’s quite nippy heid this stuff, isn’t it?

  118. jfngw says:

    Maybe the Tories have convinced themselves that alignment requires the EU to adopt all the UK policies in future. They believe they have the upper hand after all.

    We’ve got those EU countries over a barrel, it’s 1945 & 66 all over again. Time to get out the bunting and perhaps a royal wedding for the plebs.

  119. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    It appears this happensto it, @John de Soulis says at 4:33 pm

    “Nobody has mentioned Gibraltar yet. It has borders with the EU. So what happens to it?”

    Spanish Veto

    Same as the Irish one I suspect

    UK will concede and BritNat MSM will report as success by The MayBot

    Scots Fishermen are fucked (reaping what they sowed).

  120. AlbertaScot says:

    Everything sounded so 20/20 and crystal clear.

    Until Arlene Foster said this:

    Now I’m totally confused.

    So does Brexit really mean Brexit? Or not?

  121. tartanfever says:

    It follows that:

    No Hard Border in Ireland means that NI remaining under rules of Single Market and Customs Union and consequently that if NI is to be ‘no different’ from the rest of the UK then the UK must adhere to the rules of the Customs union and Single Market.

    Effectively, we are going to have either a Norway/Canada type deal that will take years to negotiate. In the meantime we will remain in the EU with a long transition period. Of course, we will have no seat at the table because we will no longer be invited for negotiation, we just have to accept them.

    I’m not sure this situation provides the push for Indyref that the Rev seems to think. In fact, it points to the UK adopting an EFTA type deal which many Independence supporters were calling for all along.

    However, someone should be asking all those fishermen that want hard brexit what they think of this climbdown.

    If we can take anything from today, with a hge pinch of salt, it is that Hard Brexit is dead, some kind of deal will have to be struck, but also that any u-turn on Article 50 to leave the EU is also gone as we’ve come to far down the road.

  122. shug says:

    my guess is the small print will sell out the orange men in N Ireland

    They will fudge the detail for a while to give the BBC time to work up a narrative to the effect it does not change their position in the UK when it clearly changes everything

  123. Macart says:

    Oh Jings!

    ‘Gibraltar, the disputed British overseas territory, will not enjoy the benefits of a transition period until the British government comes to an arrangement over the future of the rock with Spain, it has been confirmed.’

  124. Dan Huil says:

    @AlbertaScot 5:01pm

    The north of Ireland is set for yet more disruption in the near future. The only hope seems to be this:

  125. CameronB Brodie says:

    I see David Torrance is getting it tight. Good, he nailed his political colours to the Tory mast, before he had properly entered adulthood. This suggests he is an elitist, right-minded, reactionary through familial habit. Perhaps he simply wasn’t brought up to be a moderate liberal? Perhaps he feels morally compelled to be a ‘leader’ in society’s neo-liberal re-edumication? Whatever, he appears to lack the grace needed to be a good guy, IMHO. 😉

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  126. Robert Graham says:

    While glossing over and lightly touching on ” deal done ” Most news channels seem to want to push on to ( phase 2 ) of the negotiations ,(ie) Trade talks .

    Eh what the f/k happened in ( Phase 1) have i missed something .

    If the DUP are happy something fishy is going on, both sides who were miles apart at the beginning of the week , Arlene phoned & Mayhem walked , all of a sudden are best pals , job done .

    Things moving on despite know one knowing actually knowing what the f/ks going on , only deal done of thats ok then ? .

    Nurse Nurse pills quick nothing is making any sense .

  127. jfngw says:

    I see Unity are the New Dawn, is this any relation to Asian Dawn and are they going to demand the release the of the nine members so let down by Hans Gruber.

  128. Meg merrilees says:

    Alberta Scot:

    Interesting to read Arlene’s statement – these two phrases near the end leap out at me.

    Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and how we vote on the final deal will depend on its contents. Hidden threat to boycott everything if they don’t get their way.
    Of course, if there was a GE before March 2019 which returned a Tory majority in England then the UK Gov would not need the DUP and it would all become a LOT easier – risky strategy though.

    Along with like-mind colleagues across the House of Commons, we will ensure that there is no backsliding on the promises made about the integrity of the Union. We will also work to ensure that the United Kingdom as a whole exits the European Union

    And this last one is the signal to (t)Ruthless and her OO friends that they all agree to do everything they can to scupper Independence for Scotland.

    There’s a discussion going on in the background on the radio and it’s basically asking ‘What has actually been agreed? – one side says they’ve got what they want and the opposing side are saying the same thing – ambiguous?
    Very worrying hearing what is kicking off in the West Bank – here we go again, Israeli tear gas and rubber bullets against sticks and stones from the Palestinians.

  129. Andy Anderson says:

    Seems trade talks cannot start until Feb 18.

    Look forward to reading the full text which the EU will publish.

    I can feel freedom in the air but it will take some time. Hopefully lots of yes/leavers will see sense for the good of us all. Efta sounds OK to me.

  130. Lenny Hartley says:

    Robert Graham. Foster did not sound happy on the Lunchtime News, it sounded to me as if she had been bounced into agreeing after the Maybot told her it was in the “National Interest”

  131. Meg merrilees says:

    Tartan fever:
    Reposting Macart’s link:

    Nothing is clear at all so I don’t think we can say ‘It follows’ – Clear as mud might be a better description:

    One leading MEP said the European parliament, which has a veto in the final withdrawal agreement, could refuse a Brexit transition deal if it was not happy with the outcome of the next phase of negotiations.
    “We will only accept a transitional period after Brexit if we are satisfied with the outcome of the second-phase of negotiations,” said Manfred Weber, the head of the centre-right European People’s party bloc in the European parliament.

    So we could find out post October 2018 that the EU will not allow us a transition period and a very hard, lumpy, bumpy Brexit might follow.
    Be thankful you don’t live in Gibraltar because they might have NO transition, mind you. we might not either!

  132. Meg merrilees says:

    Helps if the link is included! sorry.

  133. Scottish Steve says:

    Well, Ruthie, how about Nicola stops banging the indy drum when you stop banging the Orange drum. Fair?

  134. Derick fae Yell says:

    There is no mechanism to just stay in the EU.

    Setting aside the East German route of abolishing the State and becoming part of an existing member state, which I presume we won’t want to do.

    The only way to become an EU member state is first to become an independent state, and then to join via Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty. The fastest that process has ever been done is four years. To be a full member of the situation single market a state must either be a member of the EU, or EFTA.

    We said in 2014 that we would just stay in. Barroso said not. Juncker and the Commission and member states from Paris to Dublin are saying the same to Catalonia. And they are correct, because those are the rules.

    The only other way we could stay in is by the Lisbon Treaty being amended, unanimously, by 27 states – several of whom have secessionist movements. And that amendment would then apply to Catalonia, Tyrol, Corsica, etc.

    I am a Yes/Remainer, but magical thinking lost a referendum in 2014. Let’s not do that again

  135. John Jones says:

    I am a yes/leaver voter, who will always vote yes.
    I believe that many of those who voted leave were in the same boat as myself, it was a chance to kick Cameron in the nether regions. Seems to have worked, now to get on with the real job get independant asap.
    Not to worry most leavers will be voting yes.

  136. mike cassidy says:

    Don’t get this.

    Currently, Scotland is only a member of the EU as part of the soon-to-end UK membership.

    A vote for independence before the UK exit from the EU does not give Scotland automatic membership.

    This was true in 2014 – and made much of by the unionists – and it is still true.

    I don’t see where the great bargaining power ‘inherited’ by Scotland comes from –

    unless there is a clear commitment beforehand from the EU to give an independent Scotland some sort of instant membership after a successful indyref2.

    If 2014 is the precedent, I won’t be holding my breath for any such commitment.

    A lack of homage to Catalonia and all that.

    Feel free to show me I’m talking through my posterior.

  137. CameronB Brodie says:

    Derick fae Yell
    I’m not trying to encourage magical thinking, but I wouldn’t imagine the EU’s reputation would benefit from delaying Scotland’s (re)entry, as an independent member nation. We are already compliant with EU policies and laws. Scotland is presently an EU ‘stakeholder’, contributing to and benefiting significantly from EU budgets. It’s not as if we’re a disinterested stranger.

  138. Scottish Steve says:

    @John Jones

    I voted Yes and Leave too but regret my Leave vote. I’d vote Remain the second time around but will always vote Yes. I hope you are right when you say most Yes Leavers will vote Yes. I am afraid that some nationalists might allow their dislike of the EU to outweigh their desire for an independent Scotland. I hope not!

  139. Roddy MacLeod says:

    Might be an idea to announce both the date of indyref2 and a Scottish EU in/out referendum (to be held a year or two after independence) at the same time.

  140. Capella says:

    Just got round to watching the Alex Salmond Show on RT. He interviewed Angus Brendan Macneil and Nigel Evans on Brexit. They take opposite views on leaving the EU. However, Nigel Evans did state that the UK will continue in the Single Market for two years after March 2019.

    So the “fudge” over the NI / RI border will last until 2021.

  141. cearc says:

    As I understand it, what they have agreed is that NI will not have a ‘different brexit’ except where Stormont votes for it.

    I think that this is the let-out. When they manage to get the assembly up and running again the DUP will no longer have the power that they are currently yeilding as they will be restrained by voting in Stormont and the NI electorate.

  142. colin alexander says:

    And if the UK Govt refuses to loan the Scottish Govt the jurisdictional competence to legislate for constitutional matters under the Scotland Act?

    Oh aye, the Scot Govt can hold any referendums they want, but even if the SNP found the courage to hold one, which I doubt, a YES win would not give the Scot Govt any legal authority in the eyes of the UK Govt or English Law to negotiate indy from the UK.

    If it’s not UK Govt authorised, the Unionist Parties will probably boycott it and UK Govt refuse to recognise a YES win as anything more than an opinion poll win for YES.

    What’s the solution there? Look to the EU for help? Not while the UK is a member. We only need to look to the Catalonia / Spain situation to see how the EU regards “separatists” looking to be independent from EU member states.

    So, Stu, the people in Scotland might see more reasons to vote YES, but what do we do when the UK Govt says Naw to a constitutionally valid indyref?

  143. TD says:

    Mike Cassidy at 6:14

    The simple truth is that nobody knows what would happen in terms of EU membership if Scotland became independent before the UK leaves the EU. There is no precedent of a member state breaking up. However, we do know that the EU can be very flexible – look at how East Germany was just given the nod to join as part of the new Germany. That had never happened before either, but a pragmatic view was taken.

    We need to consider what would be in the interests of the EU. They have a long history of enlargement with new nations joining from time to time. The usual barrier to membership is non-compliance with EU standards and regulations. But that does not apply to Scotland which is fully compliant and which would almost certainly be a net contributor – unlike so many recent joiners.

    Before the Brexit referendum, there was an argument that the EU would not have wanted to incur the wrath of the UK by indicating support for an independent Scotland’s membership. But now that Brexit is going to happen, I can see no reason for the EU refusing fast track membership for Scotland if we became independent. It is possible that they would regard Scotland as continuing the UK’s membership so England, Wales and Northern Ireland would be leaving us, not us leaving them. Anything is possible, but I am confident that it would end up with Scotland being a full member in our own right if we left the UK before March 2019. After that it would be more difficult, but we would get in to Europe if we wanted to join.

  144. Bill Hume says:

    Colin Alexander…..when has English law had anything whatsoever to do with Scotland?

  145. Dan Huil says:

    The only way britnat Westminster can get any future bexit deal through the devolved governments in the so-called united kingdom is to abolish these devolved governments. Maybe, as has been said above, that’s why the DUP accepted this new arrangement. They know what’s coming.

    It’s time for Holyrood to pre-empt and protest – loudly.

  146. defo says:

    If this was Zulu, i’d say we can see the whites of their eyes now, after todays weak and wobbly deal.
    I say this as a fervent, committed gradualist.
    Saddle up, and move on out.
    Call it Nicola. Please.

  147. McDuff says:

    Derrick fae Yell
    I take on board what you are saying with the exception of East Germany which was NOT in the EU when it was re unified with West Germany already a member state.
    But who was going to refuse Germany.

    Scotland IS a member of the EU and a country in its own right and if independent would wish to continue as a member.
    I voted to remain despite the EU granting us no favours in `14 and I believe there is no rule that governed the East German situation or the potential Scottish one.
    In the end our acceptance into the EU will have nothing to do with the rule book but all to do with politics and whims.

  148. JMac says:

    Ireland wanted a commitment to ‘no regulatory divergence’ between North and South. It has not got that – instead there is a wooly commitment to ‘regulatory alignment’ in certain areas only. I fear the Irish have been fobbed off with this – for the time being anyhow. The crucial border issue remains unresolved. If Northern Ireland leaves the customs union, and if the Tories have their way it will, then goods will enter NI which do not comply with EU standards or which have not paid EU tariffs. There will need to be customs controls at the border to check that these do not enter the EU. The same would apply to Scotland if it remained an EU member while England left. To avoid a hard border, an independent Scotland would be best leaving the customs union but staying in the single market like Norway. That way it could negotiate a free trade agreement with England, keeping the border open. If Scotland stayed in the EU while England was out, goods crossing the border into Scotland from England would be subject to EU tariffs and controls. There would need to be customs posts.

  149. CameronB Brodie says:

    colin alexander
    What does English Law have to do with Scotland’s constitutional settlement? Do you believe Scotland deserves English despotism?

  150. Robin (@dointhebiz1) says:

    It was all going SOooo well too, right up until you said:

    “when the arm was a super-powered robotic mecha-arm or something”.

    That simple phrase spoiled everything for me & as a result this 30 year SNP supporter will be voting Tory, and it’s ALL your fault.:-(

  151. colin alexander says:

    Colin Alexander…..when has English law had anything whatsoever to do with Scotland?

    Good question. I’ve been asking the same thing for years. It must be the Henry VIII royal prerogative. Which again begs the question, what’s that got to do with Scotland?

    I don’t know, except, the Union is, in reality, England ruling over Scotland.

  152. Breeks says:

    mike cassidy says:
    8 December, 2017 at 6:14 pm
    Don’t get this.

    Currently, Scotland is only a member of the EU as part of the soon-to-end UK membership.

    A vote for independence before the UK exit from the EU does not give Scotland automatic membership.

    This was true in 2014 – and made much of by the unionists – and it is still true.

    It doesn’t, but it could. I’m sure Guy Verhofstadt said in the days after the Brexit referendum words to the affect that if Scotland wanted to stay in Europe, and Europe wanted to Scotland to stay, then the way would be found to make it happen, – that’s what Europe does!

    The problem isn’t the will of Europe to obstruct or admit Scotland, but the fact Scotland is not recognised as an international interlocutor. Whatever the factual nature of Scottish sovereignty, the RECOGNISED sovereign government of Scotland is still Westminster. Until Scotland is capable of making a sovereign agreement, then international treaties will be beyond our reach. It’s a legal formality, but it matters.

    It is possible, in theory, for Europe to recognise Scotland before we are independent, just like Juncker held talks with Puigdemont in Catalonia was recognition of a sort, but it was not recognition of sovereignty.

    I have been saying all along that Holyrood from the outset should have been promoting some notion of probationary Sovereignty, something the EU could hang it’s coat on, and allow Scotland and the EU to discuss Scotland’s future in Europe formally, and confidentially between Holyrood and Brussels, without Westminster’s involvement.

    Various parties have said Articles 48 and 49 of the Lisbon Treaty are the options open to Scotland; to remain in Europe as a Continuer State, or, and the only other “or” is to rejoin as a new member. I would argue that the Lisbon Treaty did not anticipate Scotland’s unique circumstance, essentially the seceding state is not the one leaving the Union, and thus neither Articles 48 or 49 are applicable, and an improvised “third” alternative should be negotiated.

    I firmly believe that improvised alternative could indeed see Scotland’s own EU Membership confirmed and continuous. But even supposing it was a legal requirement to leave and rejoin, the process could be a mere technicality which occurred instantaneously.

    IT ALL DEPENDS ON SOVEREIGNTY. Said it a hundred times. Scotland must secure interlocutor status to empower our negotiating capacity, and allow the EU to bargain with Scotland without compromising UK sovereignty or breaking international law.

  153. Tinto Chiel says:

    That was a great summary of the situation, Rev. A keeper, as they say.

    While making the tea I had the misfortune to listen to Pravdasound4’s PM prog.

    Points to note: according to this programme, May has triumphed in proceeding to Phase 2. The Govester has a multiplied organism in her praise. Strangely, no details of the deal with Juncker are given or discussed. *Worry: what is the EU saying about this?*

    Next we have Tory after Tory telling us the EU has been smitten verily by The Maybot, and those pesky ECJ judges too (those chiels who protect our rights ‘n’that).

    No dissenting voices from the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein, or Labour (no laughing at the back) allowed. Jeremy, where art thou?

    Above all, of course, no examination of the strangely magical Schroedinger’s Border arrangement and its obvious killer implications for S______d and this Wonderful Union.

    Next up: discussion of May’s triumph with fruit loops like Ruth Dudley Edwards. I know we’re fond of saying on Wings that no-one in a former British colony ever wants to return to the warm bosom of nanny England, but I’m not too sure about her. The Telegraph, Spectator and Daily Mail love her to bits as she punts her Non-Tartan Noir tat. Surely Owen Dudley Edwards must take a massive riddy listening to his silly sausage siss?

    Had to switch off because my homemade Kung Po king prawn with egg-fried rice was ready.

    Thank God for Chinese food.

    *Muses thereon*

    Could I be deported for that?

  154. colin alexander says:

    Face facts:

    The EU regard the UK and Spain as member states.

    Catalonia and Scotland are regions, in the eyes of the EU.

    The EU holds the same view as the UK Govt regarding Scotland being independent. Total opposition.

    The EU hold the view if Scotland became an indy country, their membership of the EU ends, as they are no longer part of the member state: The UK.

    Thus, Scotland would have to apply to join as a new member of the EU.

    That’s not likely to change. If Scotland were looked on with good terms it would encourage Catalonia and other pro-indy campaigns in other member states and the EU wouldn’t want to do anything that would encourage or give them hope.

  155. AlbertaScot says:

    And now this just in from Michelle O’Neill:

    Who thinks Mayhem’s deal means no hard border, special status for NI and everything EU except EU itself.

    In other words, WTF!!!

  156. Jock McDonnell says:

    I agree with @shug & @cearc

    Its all about playing for time. Avoid Scottish Independence & normalise Brexit. The UK public will suck up any old shite. Hard brexiteers will be disappointed but even they have made some progress & can make more in years to come. As for NI, well Westminster don’t really care (dear old Peter Brook), the deal keeps the DUP happy for now and keeps possibilities for alignment/integration with RoI alive.
    Much of what happens next is down to the spin & narrative rather than the realities.
    But the truth is NI is getting a deal & our Fish&Agg are getting fucked. Thats where we need to concentrate our fire.

  157. TD says:

    Colin Alexander

    You are forgetting one thing – the UK is leaving the EU. Spain is not. So the EU might be reluctant to give favourable treatment to Catalonia, but I predict they will not give a monkey’s about upsetting the UK. Meanwhile, Scotland, as a potential net contributor will be knocking on their door. What do you think they will do?

  158. John Jones says:

    regarding English/Scottish law, from next year English law will govern Scottish law with regard to arrest and custody. Ask the police force about the changes which are causing problems at the moment.

  159. Derick fae Yell says:

    East Germany is not a member state. It has no MEPs, no membership of the Council of Ministers, no Veto.

    East Germany no longer exists. It didn’t join the EU. It abolished itself.

    Could I suggest that people read the article by Kirsty Hughes and Tobias Locke in European Futures. That sets out the logistics of joining the EU. Just because of the logistics and the number of parties who must agree the process of joining, for a country that is compliant, is four years.

    There is no question that under Lisbon, as it stands, we’d have to first become an independent state, then apply and go through the normal accession process, just like everyone else. We are not a special case. Europe doesn’t have to invent, and unanimously agree, special as yet completely untried procedures, just for us. We’d be welcome to join, of course.

    Even if new procedures were invented just for us because we are very special and important – they’d then be available to Catalonia, Tyrol, Venice, Flanders, Corsica etc. There is zero chance existing member states would do such a self destructive act.

    Like I said, I voted Remain. But that ship has sailed. Rejoining the EU is too slow.

  160. joannie says:

    Basically the Irish government have achieved their objective of avoiding the British using them as a hostage in trade negotiations. Britain has given a written guarantee that even if there’s no deal they will pursue the necessary regulatory alignment to keep the border open, and that it will apply to the whole UK to keep the DUP happy.

    So hard Brexiter loonies can kiss goodbye to their dream of turning Britain into a tax haven, that’s now off the table even if there’s no deal.

  161. CameronB Brodie says:

    colin alexander
    Facts or FUD? The EU is undoubtedly against regions seceding from nation states. I’m not so sure if they have a position on nations seceding from unitary states, such as the UK. Yes, Scotland may have to re-join but I don’t see the EU making things difficult for us.

  162. Derick fae Yell says:

    Article by Hughes and Locke referred to

  163. colin alexander says:


    Once the UK is out of the EU, maybe then the EU will want Scotland’s membership but, staying on topic, the initial premise by Stu is that Scotland become indy whilst the UK is an EU member so Scotland retains EU membership.

    The EU won’t want to risk cheesing off the UK if they want the UK’s £40 Billion divorce settlement. Also, fast and easy EU membership for Scotland would be unwelcome encouragement for Catalonia etc ( from an EU perspective). The UK may be leaving the UK, but Spain, Belgium etc with strong independence movements would still be EU members and the EU would not want to let these areas think leaving the member state and joining as independent countries would be a painless process.

    If the EU did, then the EU would risk Spain, Belgium etc also wanting to leave the EU.

  164. CameronB Brodie says:

    Derick fae Yell
    Good article, thanks.

    ….So, on a ‘normal’ accession process, Scotland might take up to four years from becoming independent to joining – but, for the last two years, it would fully meet EU criteria and have observer status within the EU. Its formal membership date might be in July 2024.

  165. Cadogan Enright says:

    Totally correct Rev

    We in Ireland have been watching the humiliation of the Brexiteers with astonishment these last 18 months.

    It’s been obvious from the start that the Irish Diplomatic Corps had delivered the Taoiseach all the aces even before the Brexit vote. The English Brit-Nats never had a chance.

    It’s been painful to watch the boastful chauvinists make one climbdown after another

    There seems to be no level of humiliation they are not prepared to plumb

    Start looking for the Exit from Brexit Scotland

  166. Kestral says:

    Honestly I don’t even bother to comment much on this site anymore because it’s nothing more than an echo chamber

    but if you for 1 second think that reality will change people’s view then you are sadly mistaken

    the one thing we don’t have that is required to change people’s mind is a connection

    we are just as bad as them – just another voice screaming right or wrong

    there is no right or wrong in life – only morally right choices there morality will allow them to think they do right

    and they will defend that to the death…………….

    I died doing right……….

    if you get it………so did hitler ……….belief

  167. starlaw says:

    Scotlands geographical position makes entry into the EU very attractive for the EU. But best we never leave it in the first place. As for the Irish border keep an eye out for building works at Cairnryan, Tories don’t forget treachery and them and the DUP were just made for each other.

  168. galamcennalath says:

    From an EU perspective, Scotland is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of these isles – food exporter, oil, renewables, fisheries, strategic position, etc.. We will be welcomed with open arms. Why would anyone think anything different? Why does anyone imagine joining/remaining would be made difficult?

  169. joannie says:

    Whatever about the rest of the EU, Ireland would certainly want an independent Scotland back in the EU asap. The many reasons for that are so obvious I won’t even bother listing them, so at least that’s one member state who would be arguing your case for a fast track re-entry. And as recent events have shown, when the Irish government puts their mind to it they can argue their case quite well.

  170. mumsyhugs says:

    Right – time to waken up and get ready folks!

  171. ben madigan says:

    with regards to the thoughts on East Germany immediately re-joining the EU, it is worth pointing out that Mr Enda Kenny, the previous irish PM (same Fine Gael party as Dr Varadkar, current PM) secured an agreement that should Northern ireland vote for re-unification, it would be remain as the EU.

    Maybe Scotland should aim for unification with the republic of ireland to ensure continuing EU membership?

    Joking apart – It looks like the SNP should be lobbying the EU for continuing membership in the event of a positive Indyref2 vote. Previous posters said it looked as though the EU hadn’t objected as such, mentioned a holding pen. Maybe this committment could/should be firmed up by the SNP?

    With regards to michelle O’neill’s statement (Sinn fein for NI)there are points in the Agreement that are by no means settled yet.
    One clause intrigued me:
    “The people of Northern Ireland who are Irish citizens will continue to enjoy rights as EU citizens” –

    Will we still be able to vote for MEPs? Will we need to produce our irish passports as proof of right to register for a vote and then to vote?
    If Unionists want to keep Mr Dodds’s wife Diane as their MEP, will they have to get Irish passports to vote for her? What happens when there’s no one left in NI with a UK passport?

  172. dave Stewart says:

    Slightly off thread,
    Had a look again at the NI GE results, there is virtually little chance of any changes in the DUP seats changing to SF except in Belfast North, majority 2000.
    Thinking that part of the deal with DUP is that there will be no constituancy in NI with 75000 voter role, that would mean the DUP would only likely to get 5 seats.
    So scotland gets a reduction in representation, NI says as is.
    real time democracy in 21 st century UK

  173. ScottieDog says:

    Indeed there seems to be alot of ‘enhumblement’ around here. The London climb down is precisely because England cannot afford to lose Scotland and Scotland is an attractive (unfettered) trading partner with the EU.
    We are a potential pocket battleship economy (no pun intended).
    There aren’t many countries out there that can heat and power themselves. Scotland is one however.
    Energy security is key and arguably is the root cause of so many conflicts the world over.

    Look out over the next decade or so for conflicts over fresh water for example.

  174. Cadogan Enright says:

    @ Dave Stuart 8.41

    Constituency boundary changes the next election will drop the DUP MP count by 2, and increase SF by 1 with one constituency gone

    Unionists for the first time since the 1918 elections trailing the Independistas In MP seats in the 6 NE counties

  175. Derick fae Yell says:

    Galem / Joannie

    No, of course the EU wouldn’t make our accession difficult, access to our fishing waters excepted.

    But similarly they won’t invent a wholly new and innovative jam-like bespoke method just for bonnie Scotland. The EU is a wholly rule driven organisation. We’d go through the normal accession process just like every other applicant state. The problem is the time that the normal accession process takes. Four years. Then six months to rejoin the EEA. It’s too slow, too long to lose trade and free movement.

    EFTA is immensely more practical for the first step. Months instead of years.

  176. Bobp says:

    Cadogan enright.yup that united ireland is getting closer.

  177. Macart says:

    Yes leaver and Yes remainer… to point out the ‘bleedin’ obvious’ there’s a common word in the mix. Yes.

    Seems to me that a referendum is an ideal opportunity for people to use the great political institutions to their own advantage. After all, the political class and those self same institutions use each other and their (on loan) powers to their own advantage, yes?

    Worth a thought.

  178. TD says:

    Colin Alexander

    No – you are wrong! The game changing event has already happened. The UK is still in Europe, but it has changed from being a major power within Europe to a nation that will soon be out. The fact that we are still technically in is irrelevant.

    Which do you think is more important for the EU to show its disapproval of – Catalonia which is part of a member state that is continuing its membership of the EU or Scotland which is part of a member state that will soon be out, but which, with a bit of support, could soon be a contributing member of the EU in its own right? Or put another way, which is it more likely to support?

    You suggest that they will not want to put the £50 billion divorce bill at risk. But all the evidence is that the UK government is so desperate to get “the best possible deal” that they will do whatever the EU wants. They have capitulated on every point so far – not just the money. The EU negotiators know that they have the stronger hand – they are bigger, they are politically united (as far as Brexit is concerned) and they are prepared to take an economic hit to make a political point. The UK on the other hand is disunited, does not know what it wants and is desperate to reduce the economic damage. The EU has won round 1 – I suspect they will win the whole bout. When EU officials make patronising comments about how well the UK has negotiated, we know the UK has lost. The EU knows its money is safe.

    So will the EU engage with Scotland prior to March 2019? Absolutely. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  179. Cadogan Enright says:

    Maydini on TV guaranteeing no border in Ireland

    AND Constitutional.and economic integrity with rest of UK


    Customs Union here we come……..

    Can Scotland as an independent member of the Customs Union join the EU ?

  180. Karmanaut says:

    I agree 100%.
    Yet another great analysis.

    Also, didn’t today’s agreement state that any proposed deviation to the UK/EU “alignment” (whether that’s in Ireland or an industry EU Scotland) requires that the NI assembly signs it off?

  181. Karmanaut says:

    I agree 100%.
    Yet another great analysis.

    Also, didn’t today’s agreement state that any proposed deviation to the UK/EU “alignment” (whether that’s in Ireland or an indy EU Scotland) requires that the NI assembly signs it off?

  182. Karmanaut says:

    Yay for predictive text and a slow connection.

  183. heedtracker says:

    Grauns Scotland Brexit coverage is same as the rest of the English media, none, with total black out of anything EU and Scotland at all except,

    Snow blankets parts of UK as Storm Caroline leaves Arctic chill
    Highlands, Northern Ireland and Wales wake up to wintry scenes, with forecasters predicting 20cm could fall in some areas”

    BBC r3 Propaganda is working really hard for the tories tonight, with no actual news info, but it is a triumph for their UK and Nigel Farage is very hacked off.

    Its one way of making sure Scotland’s kept at heel. If Scots have no clue what is supposed to be Brexit happening, why would they be troubled by it, is presumably the ongoing beeb gimp network led English media mindset.

  184. Stewart says:

    They still need to counter the arguments on the economy and currency. I’m convinced, and have been for a while, but with no answers there, the result is going to stay the same I think.

  185. stewartb says:

    Derick fae Yell @ 8:55 pm

    You state: “… they (the EU) won’t invent a wholly new and innovative jam-like bespoke method just for bonnie Scotland” and “We’d go through the normal accession process just like every other applicant state. The problem is the time that the normal accession process takes. Four years. Then six months to rejoin the EEA. It’s too slow, too long to lose trade and free movement.”

    I don’t know what the actual timeframe for securing EU membership for Scotland would be, we can’t know with certainty what the reaction in public of all EU members and EU institutions to Scotland’s membership would be during an IndyRef2 campaign – I suspect neutral/non-committal at best; and we can’t know what kind of deal with the EU an indy Scotland would be able to negotiate. All of these inevitable uncertainties offer ammunition for use by Unionist scaremongers.

    And in any interim stage, between becoming independent and formally securing EU membership, we cannot know what the government of our nearest neighbours, Greater England, would agree to in terms of trade etc. with us – or more importantly, what they would threaten us with during an indyref campaign. Again these uncertainties offer ammunition for the scaremongers.

    Given the likely bias of the media in pushing all these scares, how will a majority of the Scottish electorate react? I am inclined to agree with you, Derick, that “EFTA is immensely more practical for the first step”. It may also be more attractive to the cohort of yes/leave voters.

    I suggest that we need to base as much of the short/medium term proposition for Indy on what we can control and not be too beholden on (non-committal or oppositional) third parties – remember the lessons of the proposed sterling currency union in IndyRef 1, when we were perceived to be in the position of the vulnerable supplicant, on how this was exploited by our opponents.

  186. galamcennalath says:

    Not sure of this little Christmas ditty has been posted yet. “Dump the DUP?”

  187. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Observations on comments posted over the past few hours…

    The kingdom of Scotland and the kingdom of England are in a union (“The UK”), due to the Treaty of Union, 1706/7.

    If a partner to that treaty believes the other partner of the treaty is going against the terms of the treaty, then that partner can withdraw from the treaty, citing a breach in the agreement that created the union.

    The citizens of Scotland have been “EU citizens” for decades. If Scotland dissolves the treaty of union, should this affect the rights of Scots as “EU citizens”?

    What should/could/would the EU do, to protect the status of their citizens in Scotland?

    Scotland out of the UK, before the UK is out of the EU, raises the above questions. What way will the wind blow?

  188. cearc says:


    It does indeed. It is probably the only relatively smart move that the UK gov have made so far.

    If the assembly have to approve then the DUP no longer have the absolute power at Westminster that they are currently enjoying.

  189. Derick fae Yell says:



  190. Artyhetty says:

    Farage, would anyone trust him with a barge pole? When I saw his spouting posted on twitter, no sound, he was smiling. Now someone who is smiling while saying how hacked off they are is lying, lying lying.

    Are we in a stronger position now, Scotland, or weaker? WM taking back powers, out of the EU but in the EU light, like devo max eh. Scotland still shackled to rUK, lots oil coming on tap. Sorry to be doom and gloom on a Friday, but unless Scotland makes a definite move to extricate itself from the disgusting, scheming, lying cheating so called union, we are toast.

    Still, I guess people will be thinking, falsely, that it’s all hunky dory and they can get on with their lives and shopping and pretendy peace and joy for a couple days soon.

    Tories are slithering, scheming, cheating gits, put nothing past them, nothing.

    Juncter what’s his name looked happy as well, all nicey nicey now is it. Lovely, now tootle off little Scotland, do as you are told it’s democracy you know.

    Oh aye, freaking fantabulous. They have Catalonia to deal with now,

  191. Breeks says:

    There is no precedent for any nation Scotland’s position. There is no other EU state comprised of two sovereign countries joined by a bipartite Treaty prior to EU Membership. The Treaty of Union was Union of equals which confounds the argument that Scotland would actually be the seceding State.

    I repeat what I said. Scotland needs sovereignty and interlocutor status to negotiate with Europe the most expedient way to formalise Scotland’s continued Membership. The process and protocol is unwritten.

    If Scotland wants continuity of EU Membership, then we should get off our sovereign arses and make the case for it. Something we could and should have been doing since the sovereign people of Scotland voted Remain.

    And before you say it, it doesn’t matter a jot that the Brexit referendum was for the whole UK, not just Scotland. Even if you accept that argument, nothing changes. It was the sovereign people of Scotland who voted for the UK to remain, which means the UK must still overrule Scottish Sovereignty to achieve Brexit, and that is the same breach of Scotland’s constitutional sovereignty. It is academic whether Scotland voted for Scotland to remain, or the whole Remain, – Our sovereign will is being overruled.

    I have no idea where the four year entry process comes from, but even if we agreed there was a transitional arrangement appropriate, it was the EU spokespeople themselves who mooted the idea of a transitional holding pen status for Scotland to resolve its constitutional issues. That is a form of constitutional stasis where our probationary Membership rights would be held safe pending the resolution of our constitutional independence.

    If we extricate ourselves from Brexit before Brexit occurs, then the entity which leaves the EU is not the United Kingdom, but only England. That leaves Scotland as a sovereign state, already in the EU, which has not chosen to exit, and the EU has neither the mechanism nor mandate to expel us.

    There is no precedent for these circumstances, and if Scotland adopted a more hawkish attitude towards keeping our EU Membership, then the EU would have to create a new precedent – if not a new precedent to continue EU Membership, then a new precedent to expell us. The Lisbon Treaty did not anticipate a situation like Scotland’s arising, and it’s clauses as written cannot resolve the issue.

  192. Jock McDonnell says:

    The Mooth there on the news parroting the soundbite about the size of Scotland’s UK trade.

    This needs called out otherwise it will run & run and become ‘established’ in the debate.
    Where are these stats & how are they assembled ?
    What is included & excluded ?
    And – if they are valid, we have too much dependency on a fragile UK market, we are turning our back on a massive market with growth potential. All eggs in wan basket.

    Our government needs to punch back on this really hard.

  193. Wullie B says:

    The only thing that will speed up joining the EU as full member is that we are and have been aquiescent to the rules of Brussels for 44 years, but as Derrick far Yell states, why bother about full EU membership when we can have an EEA in place and see which ways the wind is blowing post Brexit.
    We keep applying EU rules to see how Brexit suits an England outwith the the EU if we win Independence pre Brexit. That way we can either apply for full membership or walk away as well

  194. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    What is Labour’s position on all this?

    Much silence from the red Tories.


  195. Marga says:

    Ken500 “The majority in Catalonia did not vote for Independence. ” In regional elections a majority is a parliamentary majority and in the last regional elections Catalonia did vote for Independence – yes, in seats, which is what counts. These are the rules of democracy.

    In fact to be totally accurate, if you count individual votes, over thirty percent of Catalans
    voted for anti-independence parties, the rest voted for parties with no stance for or against independence because their membership spans both points of view.

    If you want to know how Catalans vote on independence, give them a single-issue vote (referendum). Until then it would be better to be a bit more careful in analysing events.

  196. scottieDog says:

    Funny no one has come out and said the 40bn will leave the uk bankrupt/facing higher ‘borrowing’ costs etc.
    Because it won’t.

    So neoliberal economics is cobblers.
    All glossed over. Next..

  197. Phil says:

    What Mayhem’s mayhem points to is the need to start acting like a bone fide international interlocutor. Independence-like without the actual UN seat.

    We will need a central bank, so set one up. Start with the Scottish Investment Bank. Get it working. Ready the procedures for it to control a national currency.

    For David Davies 50+ sectors start now to create a regulatory edifice where necessary.

    Instead of 600 pages of white paper let voters see the Scottish version of all these bureaucratic offices. We will need them. They should be operating as best they can, solving problems, available for foreign governments to examine as our statement of belonging to the community of nations who have most of these running now.

  198. Derick fae Yell says:


    Four years to join comes from the European Futures article by Kirsty Hughes and Tobias Locke posted above. It’s just the logistics of consulting multiple times with the 27 member states, the Council and the Commission.

    It’s also the time that Sweden and Finland actually took from application in 1991 to membership in 1995. And those countries didn’t then have to join the single market after becoming EU members because they joined the EU from EFTA, and therefore already had EEA membership.

    Four years is fast track. Croatia took 10.

  199. ronnie anderson says:

    This will be a feature once a month anybody in or around Glasgow are welcome to attend , due to limited space get your interest noted early .

  200. CameronB Brodie says:

    Derick fae Yell
    I don’t mean to be nippy but four year is the normal time-frame for entry to the EU, not the fast-track. Anyway, as we already actively contribute to the EU, I think Scotland could expect to be fast-tracked, in some way befitting the uniqueness of our circumstances.

    ….So, on a ‘normal’ accession process, Scotland might take up to four years from becoming independent to joining – but, for the last two years, it would fully meet EU criteria and have observer status within the EU. Its formal membership date might be in July 2024.

  201. Inverclyder says:

    Jason Smoothpiece says:
    8 December, 2017 at 10:43 pm
    What is Labour’s position on all this?

    Much silence from the red Tories.


    They’re still arguing over the biscuits for the meeting to decide when they’ll make a decision on when to have the meeting to decide their position.

    Seemingly some argument about Sarwar supplying the biscuits and if that could be seen as a bribe for the upcoming leadership contest.

    Shocking if not made up!

  202. A source who works in the EU told a friend that the EU are going to use the £40 billion from the New Brutish Empire to help resettle immigrants and refugees that arrive in Europe.

  203. Thepnr says:

    Everyone seems to be ignoring the whole point of the “single market”. The single market means abiding by the “four freedoms”.

    Free movement of goods, capital, services and labour.

    Ypou cannot be in the single market unless you sign up to these four principles. The EU clearly stated right at the beginning these are indivisible and there will be no cherry picking.

    After the transition period is over how in the hell does the UK now believe it can remain in the “single market” without allowing free movement of Labour?

    It can’t and it will fail on this point alone. Everyone knows that the Brexit vote was an anti immigrant vote, it’s a fact. So if we remain in the single market according to the rules do you think no one will complain?

    This whole pile of bullshit is extraordinary, the state of it.

    Go whistle EU says Johnson, Brexit means Brexit, a hard Brexit is better than a poor deal.

    FFS they have caved in and given the EU every single thing they wanted. Because they had no choice, their goal is to save the City of London, fuck the rest, the car industry in Sunderland, Scotland hahaha. They don’t give a fuck they have their orders.

    Meanwhile the BBC says “BREXIT BREAKTHROUGH” as though we had won something when the opposite is true. Time I think for all Independence supporting Scots to say enough is enough.

    No more backing down, we get in there with the head down.

  204. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Simply down to the ‘Reverse Rotterdam Effect’ @Jock McDonnell says 8 December, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    “the soundbite about the size of Scotland’s UK trade.”

    Like UK going to Netherlands then exported beyond, Scotland goes to England then exported beyond.

  205. mike cassidy says:

    The Rev’s main point.

    ” Even the most fervent Yes/Leaver in Scotland can now plainly see that it would be immeasurably better for Scotland to become independent while still in the EU, securing vast advantages from the superior negotiating position the 27-nation bloc provides ”

    My point at 6.14 was that this didn’t make sense to me because an indyref2 ‘yes’ – even before Brexit – would take Scotland out of the EU.

    Just as in 2014.

    And therefore there would be no envisaged superior negotiating position available.

    Unless the EU gives a pre-indyref2 commitment to Scotland staying in the EU if it votes ‘yes’, that is not going to change.

    And all the above discussion on this – while interesting – does not alter that basic point.

  206. heedtracker says:

    Inverclyder says:
    8 December, 2017 at 11:35 pm
    Jason Smoothpiece says:
    8 December, 2017 at 10:43 pm
    What is Labour’s position on all this?

    Much silence from the red Tories.


    Its all just UKOK massive bullshit and fudge. Our imperial masters clearly have not the faintest idea what they are doing, what’s coming, or even what their City master want.

    Its over a year and a half now and after all the beeb gimp network news about the mega hard grafting of hundreds of UK civil servant, diplomats, liggers and they crash back to Brussels at 6am with some kind of stitch up that no one actually knows what its about, except that the EU very patiently cut them all some more slack and said ok, its a start.

    Brexit means Brexit, must be one of the most absurd political slogans ever invented by our imperial masters, up there with Better Together.

    If it wasn’t for their massed ranks of beeb gimps…

  207. David Caledonia says:

    Its all so boring talking in circles about brexit , we all know that, better to get back to the independence debate, then we can allow the westminster plonkers to get on and do what they intended to do all along, stitch the country up, most of that tory cabinet voted to remain, if anyone expected them to put brexit into full on leave mode, then all i can say is, you fell for it once again, tories lie, its in their DNA, the party comes before the country every time

  208. CameronB Brodie says:

    So how can Scotland determine what is in the best interests of Scots?



    Self?affirmation theory (Aronson et al., 1999; Sherman & Cohen, 2002; Steele, 1988) begins with the premise that people are motivated to maintain the integrity of the self. Integrity can be defined as the sense that, on the whole, one is a good and appropriate person. Cultural anthropologists use the term “appropriate” to refer to behavior that is fitting or suitable given the cultural norms and the salient demands on people within that culture.
    Thus, the standards for what it means to be a good person vary across cultures, groups, and situations (e.g., Heine, 2005). Such standards of integrity can include the importance of being intelligent, rational, independent,
    and autonomous, and exerting control over important outcomes.

    Such standards of integrity can also include the importance of being a good group member and of maintaining close relationships. Threats to self?integrity may thus take many forms but they will always involve real and perceived failures to meet culturally or socially significant standards (Leary & Baumeister, 2000). Consequently, people are vigilant to events and information that call their self?integrity into question, both in their own eyes and in the eyes of others. In such situations, people try to restore or reassert the integrity of the self. Thus, the goal of protecting self?integrity, and the impact of that goal
    on psychology and behavior, becomes apparent when integrity is threatened….

    Bioethics 04-04-10. Applying the Criteria – Act Utilitarianism 1

    Aligning integrity with identity: Lester Tanaka at TEDxCalicoCanyon

  209. CameronB Brodie says:


  210. Lochside says:

    Unless the Scottish Government starts to act like the representative of the Sovereign Scottish people and demand that our remain vote be recognised by the EU and England we can forget it.

    A tinpot amputated rump ‘province’ which should not exist i.e Northern Ireland’ has more clout than us…one of the oldest countries and nations of Europe….all because of our spineless leaders inability to challenge the Broken and betrayed Act of Union.

    Like an arranged marriage where the dowry has been pissed away and the bride battered, Scotland has the absolute constitutional right to dissolve this political travesty. Yet when was the last time the mechanism challenged? The 2014 REF was a hamfisted and pathetic exercise in not asserting our sovereignty by allowing it to be reduced to being blackmailed over our inferior status and keeping the worthless pound…rather than why it was a fact after three fucking centuries our country had haemorrhaged its youth and talent under English subjugation. And was a rigged and rotten State run fix with electoral fraud on a massive scale..unchallenged by our defeated leaders.

    Drum beating cretins like Foster and the DUP can be allowed credibility only because of the stinking tories lust for power and a ‘border’, soft or otherwise, that is a symbol of sectarian craven surrender by the BRIT establishment 90 years ago to the cavemen of the North. We should not allow a tribe of neantherdals to obscure and deny our sovereign legal rights as individuals and as a nation to retain our EU membership until as a nation we decide otherwise. The Indy vote is on the rise and the SNP must stop playing managerial games with these malign imperialists.

  211. Truth says:

    Can’t fault the logic Stu.

    I’m ambivalent about the EU. I also don’t want a monarchy. But these have always been decisions to make once you’ve secured the right to make your own decisions.

    To paraphrase something I saw recently, we’re not voting for the country we want, we’re voting for the right to decide the country we want.

  212. Yesitis says:

    This is all getting very interesting. Nice one, Stu.

  213. Chick McGregor says:

    A cautionary note.

    The last thing an independent Scotland needs is England to end up with a bad EU deal.

    If that happened then their only major plus on the GDP side, i.e. the City of London’s financial ‘services’ sector, is likely to disappear very quickly, resulting in nothing short of an implosion in the English economy.

    The aftermath of that could end up in any manner of outcomes all of them horrendous.

    To imagine we could remain isolated from that is quite wrong.

    Whether by economic immigrant pressure or by massive reduction in trade with our southern neighbour the effects on Scotland would be very real and present.

    We really, really, do not want that to happen.

    Therefore we must hope and seek to influence in whatever way we can, that it does not.

    I understand the need for schadenfreude among those who have lived their entire lives under the belittling oppression of the Metrocentratti and the smugness with which it has been dealt out by them but remember England in the main is full of decent human beings just like us and the consequences, for us, would not be good.

  214. Kelpie says:

    I saw Arlene Foster say that they had run “out of time” and so dropped objections.

    It looks like what they have been allowed here is just a bit more time. We won’t be in the SM and CU, just sort of jogging alongside for a couple of years.

    In the meantime the DUP will be expecting those magical technical solutions to allow an invisible and friction-less border will be found (or just to feather their nests enough to survive the cliff edge). And Westminster probably hoping that time will change NI enough that they can be persuaded that a hard border or a special deal is not that bad dammit (or just go for reunification, because you’re more a trouble than a benefit!).

    And also two extra years to continue the reassuring bedtime story that, see, Brexit really isn’t that bad everyone ‘cos not much has changed, everything is fine and there is no EU breathing down our necks now either, it’s all down to us. No worries, eh? Followed by the real Brexit and the current main players at a safe distance from which to view the carnage.

    Whether they can all agree to stop fighting for a bit and follow the cunning plan, and stifle their giggles so no-one suspects is another question…

  215. heedtracker says:

    I understand the need for schadenfreude among those who have lived their entire lives under the belittling oppression of the Metrocentratti and the smugness with which it has been dealt out by them but remember England in the main is full of decent human beings just like us and the consequences, for us, would not be good.”

    Its not schadenfraude Chick. Two things, for just this one Scot, me. One, the English vote tory, they believe that its the tory’s that are good with the economy and its the Tories that make them wealthy. Consider it just one more awful red tory Crash Gordon legacy.

    And two, Scotland has and is being totally excluded from anything and everything Brexit, by the English, the tory gov they vote for and their media.

    So its far less schadenfreude and far more what the fuck is going on and why are so many Scots so acquiescent and mute in all of this, or are we?

  216. Thepnr says:

    @Chick McGregor

    The last thing an independent Scotland needs is England to end up with a bad EU deal.

    Absolutely I would agree with you there, however Scottish voices are not involved in making any deal. England will reap what they sow and if that means Scotland suffers too, Then that is the way it is for now.

    The future England chooses is not our responsibility, we need only look after our own if we become Independent. Let’s be honest the UK will suffer economic damage if and when it leaves Europe. There is nothing Scotland can do to prevent that as it is Westminster making all the decisions.

    You know what? All Scotland can do is take her own chances, England will have to live with the choices their voters and their parliament made. That’s not Scotlands problem.

  217. CameronB Brodie says:

    I agree with Chick but I’m also aware that long-held prejudices can be hard to overcome. I just hope Whitehall is prepared to be pragmatic and, more importantly, civilised.


    II. Self-Affirmation and Threats to the Individual Self


    ….According to our analysis, the need to protect a valued identity or self-view is a major source of such biased processing and closed mindedness. Because long-held beliefs are often tied to important identities, they may be given up only with great reluctance, and they may be embraced even when they conflict with the demands of fact, logic, or material self-interest (e.g., Abelson, 1986; Sears & Funk, 1991). Yet, people possess other important identities and values that they can draw on when they encounter belief-threatening information. Providing them with an affirmation of one of these alternative sources of self-integrity should enable them to evaluate the threatening information in a less biased and defensive manner….

  218. Petra says:

    What a carry on. An absolute farce in fact. Arlene Foster has no doubt been well warned that if she doesn’t buck up and support Theresa May it’ll bring down the Tory Government and an election will be called for. One that Corbyn would probably win. Corbyn who’s quite capable, they may think, of agreeing to Indyref2. The last thing that the sectarian bigots want is … Corbyn ruling the roost / Scottish Independence. If Scotland leaves the Union it’ll also give individuals in NIreland extra impetus to do so too, imo.

    I say this is a farce because I reckon that they’re just playing for time. Want to move onto phase two …. and then what? Meanwhile as we continue to keep an eye on them, their daily disasters, what we should REALLY be doing is focusing on getting out of the hellhole.

    Experts inform us that we can only apply to rejoin the EU when we are Independent. If we hold a Referendum next Autumn we could be Independent within the UKs transitional period. While we await formalisation of EU membership we could no doubt be afforded our own transitional period ensuring that we continue to trade within the single market. Then of course when we get on our feet, a few years down the line, and with some insight into how our near neighbours have fared (as Stu says) inform the Scots of the pro’s and con’s of the EU and hold our own EU referendum. If pro-Independence supporters come Brexiteers can’t see that acquiring our Independence first makes sense, such as Sillars, then hell mend them. They need their heads looked at, imo.

    Stu’s comment at 11:55am, in response to someone who posted “How soon can we get the next Wee Book out? How much will it cost to produce and is the Crowd Funder up and running yet?”, just made my day.

    Stu responded by saying, “We’re ready to go when someone fires the starting gun. There’s money in the Fighting Fund.”

    I would imagine that “someone” is Nicola Sturgeon. Brilliant, however I reckon that we’re now in a chicken or egg situation. If we could get support over the 50% mark it would shut the “now is not the time” cabal up, impress the EU / UN (sovereignty and all that) and give Nicola Sturgeon the impetus to fire that gun. To do so we need to get information out there ASAP. Not necessarily the “Wee Book” right off (keep that for the Indyref2 announcement) but a couple of flyers outlining say the oil situation, what’s reserved / devolved / stats relating to SNP control over powers and the GERS farce.

    We could ask Gordon McIntyre-Kemp to put a flyer together re. our oil situation from day one to McCrone video, Stolen Seas video, Cameron / Osborne videos, Norway oil fund, UK tax-exemptions, new oil fields, Brexit: When Scotland leaves and takes it’s oil video etc, etc. Richard Murphy GERS. If need be we could pay them to do so. Get thousands of them out there right across Scotland in the New Year or as close as. That would give people time to check out and internalise information, get them thinking. and then hit them with the Wee, whatever coloured, Book. It could also cut back on ‘Wee Books’ just being binned.

    To do so we need dough and lots of it. Let’s get going after the New Year. Donate to this site (ongoing) and into the SNP coffers.

    This is the best chance that we’re ever going to get folks. It won’t EVER get any better than this. In fact if we don’t give it our all now we’re going to see the SNP being totally discredited to the point that they could lose the next Election, with all that entails. With the Brexit fiasco we’ve been thrown a once in a lifetime (or forever) lifeline. Grab it with both hands. Let’s get going. Put your hand in your pocket, constantly, over the next few months (if you can afford to do so), get the walking shoes on and prepare to fire the ‘truth’ through thousands, if not millions, of letter boxes in Scotland.

  219. Dr Jim says:

    Does anybody think Nicola Sturgeon went all those trips to the EU and Ireland for a nice wee cup of tea and a blether about the price of things in the shops or whit’s the best soap powder to use in a cold wash

    I don’t think so, remember how angry Yoonworld was at her,
    None of her business! they squealed, Day job! they howled, Schools! they yelled, Things! oh so many things they glurbled, Jist stop going places and interfering in Yoonworld the Empire they moaned

    Tee Hee Hee!!

  220. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Sorry to come so late to the party today, but it was worth it. And how. A damn fine article. “Too wee, too puir” Ireland is indeed showing us The Way. Look and learn, peeps!

    More and more ordinary folks are indeed looking and learning, and realising that any kind of Brexit, Brexit-Lite or Brexit whatever, is toxic. Silk purse not possible out of sow’s ear, and all that.

    Lots of interesting reactions too. Including from the small band of usual suspects determined to ignore or discount the obvious. Yes, of course there is no direct parallel with the likes of East Germany, but it shows just what can be done when there is a will. (Remember, the UK was very unhappy about re-unification, and France very nervous, but the EU took it easily in its stride anyway.)

    The very instant that Scotland votes for independence, the UKGov lose all power to speak for us. No constitutional impediment. Sovereignity manifest. And the EU knows it full well. We would be a virtually direct shoo-in, not “back of a 10-year queue like Croatia” or anything like it. “Ship has sailed”? – don’t believe it. It’s our best lifeline out. Afterwards we can re-visit at any time of our own choosing.

    What is also interesting is the reaction of the hardline Tory and DUP Brexiteers. All strangely quiet, despite the plain fact that the UK is likely heading for an additional two years beyond “Brexit” of full payment and full freedom of movement and all the rest under the aegis of the ECJ, while no longer even sitting at the “top table” being able to influence any of the big decisions! The worst of all possible bad Leaver outcomes, and all in direct contradiction to their “sales pitch” at the EURef.

    All the BritNats now furiously biting their tongues for the sake of moving on to Phase Two, where once again the power realities will assert themselves, and this time turned up to 11, and the UKGov gets an enhanced dose of humiliation.

    Suck all that up, Leavers!

    But we ain’t. Why on earth should we?

  221. CameronB Brodie says:

    And Richard Leonard, a.k.a. “Empty Rhetoric Boy”, can do one with his populist appeal to traditional class identity.

    Political Psychology and Choice

    2 The Psychology of Biased Processing

    Because of the ever-increasing range of choice offered to citizens and consumers, one of the most active areas of political psychology research is the study of whether people are biased versus fair-minded processors of political information. Do people assimilate information in a rational way, or do they raise the bar for convincing evidence when new information contradicts their existing views? Are they simply rational updaters who take new information and add it to their existing mix in order to formulate a new opinion? Or are they selective in what they expose themselves to and to what extent they revise their views accordingly?

    ….More recently, Levendusky (2005) showed that party identification and ideology are much more tightly aligned now than in the 1970s. Whereas party ID and ideology were once largely orthogonal, liberals are now predominantly Democrats and conservatives are predominantly Republicans. This sorting process, he argues, has occurred as a result of elite polarization. When elites are ideologically polarized and send homogeneous signals about what it means to be a Democrat/Liberal and a Republican/Conservative, then the electorate “sorts” themselves into more consistent categories, largely by changing ideology to align with party identification.

    Interestingly, what it means precisely to “identify” with a political party remains an unanswered question. Party identification is easily the most widely used concept in all of political psychology if not political science, but it has been reified to such an extent that its meaning is seldom questioned, except in comparative contexts.

    Moreover, the extent to which people in various countries will self-identify with a party hinges precariously on how the question is asked. In a study comparing a variety of approaches to asking about party attachments in Canada, the US, and Britain, Blais and colleagues (2001) found that the extent of these publics willing to adopt these labels went from 76 percent to 48 percent, based on a minor change in the wording of the question….

  222. Breeks says:

    Talk about exiting the EU only to rejoin, continuous Membership, 4 years to rejoin, parallels with East Germany,… the whole discussion is conjecture because the circumstances are adequately unique to be without a precedent. The EU could ONLY deal with Scotland by first principles.

    The crux of the problem is the EU cannot deal with Scotland by first, second, or third principles until there is a legal competence to be dealing with Scotland distinct from the UK at all.

    About Catalonia, Donald Tusk stressed that Spain was the ONLY interlocutor. Michel Barnier held meetings with our FM and a Holyrood committee, but stressed he could ONLY negotiate with Westminster. Westminster is wearing OUR sovereignty.

    We cannot move beyond the stage of idle conjecture until Scotland provides Europe with some sovereign interface which allows Europe to recognise Scotland as a nation which speaks for itself. There is a credible possibility that cannot happen until we are independent, but I think there is a chink of light in that doorway.

    Think about it. Europe mooted the possibility of holding pen status for Scotland’s EU Membership while we put our constitutional house in order. It might be pedancy, I think not, but that holding pen status pending our sovereign emancipation must, by pedantic definition, be a status awarded to a nation in a pre-sovereign position. That is to say, it is recognised as an interlocutor before Sovereignty has been finalised.

    Scotland must urgently use this ambiguity about Scottish sovereignty, the ambiguity which undermines Union, and fashion for ourselves some form of international recognition for our sovereignty. I repeat, I don’t think that has to be formal Independence, there is scope for a probationary Independence to be recognised too.

    We can use the Act of Union against itself. If Scotland can argue the case that the Union of the United Kingdom does constitute the bipartite Treaty of two sovereign entities, then England’s sovereign choice to leave becomes no stronger a constitutional argument than Scotland’s choice to remain. Scotland COULD theoretically be recognised as a Nation and interlocutor while still part of the UK. But that can only happen if Scotland starts the constitutional ball rolling.

    Scotland is a caterpillar which wants to be a butterfly, but we must push to be recognised as a butterfly when still a chrysalis. It is a liberal interpretation of the definition, but there is also fundamental truth in it. The case CAN be made.

  223. Brian Powell says:


    Corbyn has no interest in Scotland being Independent, the Labour Party need the resources of Scotland as much as the Tories. The story of evolution, reserved and devolved powers, show it was all about Labour keeping control of Scotland.

    When it comes to an election Labour will need to actually tell voters clearly what their stance is on Brexit. They have got by so far by switching and twisting, depending how the wind blew.

    The big issues for the young English voters was the possibilities that the EU would be open to them. That’s not going to happen with Corbyn.

  224. Nana says:


    The Scottish Government are consulting on the future of fox hunting in Scotland. We need them to hear loud and clear that it’s time to end hunting for good. If you’re a resident of Scotland this action will send a consultation response from you calling for a real ban. If you’re outside of Scotland, it will send an email to the Cabinet Secretary asking her to back a ban.

    Brexit Deal Kicks Can Down the Road – Not Towards a Soft Brexit

  225. mr thms says:

    Since the Scottish referendum and regardless of the outcome, the announcement yesterday gives credence that Scotland, the UK and the EU are engaging in bringing about a Yes outcome.

  226. Highland Wifie says:

    Been so interesting following the discussion btl here that my brain has been doing gymnastics with it all!
    Up until now it has been difficult to suppress a feeling of excitement that the game is on and everything is falling into place for Indyref 2. Now a small gnawing fear is appearing with the realisation that this is a very dangerous time in the process. It’s like trying to play six boards of chess at the same time and keep remembering all the moves. TM and her bunch of incompetents may not be able to negotiate their way out of a paper bag but I’m sure they’re perfectly capable of kicking a few cans down the road long enough to lull the sleepy BBC watching msm reading Scots into normalisation of this total disaster.
    I’m with Petra on this. We need to be ready any time now for the fight before the undecided get comfortable.

  227. Terence callachan says:

    One thing that nobody ever covers is that we have 800,000 English people living in Scotland nearly all of them will vote NO to Scottish independence as they did last time let’s be clear that’s 800,000 of the 2 million that voted NO to Scottish independence last time and that’s 40% of the NO vote in the bag no matter what disaster the Westminster government brings to Scotland.These English NO voters will vote NO to Scottish independence no matter what happens elsewhere in the world or at home they are the key to Englands Westminster keeping control of Scotland and that’s because nearly all of these English people are living in Scotland temporarily to work here and have every intention of moving back to England at some time in their life.
    So even if some people in Scotland move from brexiteer to remainer this large group of 800,000 which includes both brexiteers and remainers will steadfastly be unmovable from their position of voting NO to Scottish independence Brexit does not affect their wish to keep Scotland under the control of their home country England.wake up wake up wake up.
    And before you say it, I’m not racist or homophobic or anti English I just recognise that the colonialist effect is biting Scotlands will from inside.

  228. Glamaig says:

    CameronB Brodie says:
    9 December, 2017 at 3:33 am

    thanks for that link Cameron, it’s really interesting. Recently I have been listening to the BBC and asking myself ‘how do I feel’ after each item. The subconcious effect on the unaware must be quite considerable.

  229. P says:

    > A source who works in the EU told a friend that the EU are going to use the £40 billion from the New Brutish Empire to help resettle immigrants and refugees that arrive in Europe.<

    Oh aye? A man leaves a restaurant after ordering a meal and drinks with is friends and when asked to pay for what he's ordered says "a source says you'll be spending the money on feeding refugees"?

    The UK's exit bill is for PAST commitments entered into as 28 nations, such as funding the British scientists working in the UK on EU funded projects (such as Galileo, the EU GPS). How are those people to be paid up to the end of their contracts and refugees to be accommodated in FUTURE with the same money?

    Are you a Russian troll or just a bit credulous?

  230. Rob Royston says:

    I suppose I’m one of these awkward Yes/Leavers that seems to be a thorn in the flesh these days.
    I’ve been Yes since Winnie Ewing and Donald Stewart and later Margret Bain stood their lonely watches at Westminster. I will probably die, still being a Yes like so many have done already.
    I did not vote to remain in the UK, that was what most Scots allegedly did.
    I voted for Brexit because I have always hoped that the English would awaken from their slumber and take control of their country back from London.
    I feel that there is no need of using England’s internal struggle as a Scottish Independence lever. We had, and have, the power to vote for Scotland’s destiny ourselves.
    I’m a Yes and I was a Leaver in the current political union. If all the Remainer’s will vote Yes with me then I will be able to reconsider my European stance as a Free resident of an Independent Scotland.

  231. Derick fae Yell says:

    Like everyone else I promoted the Yes ‘line’ in 2014 that we could just become independent and just stay in Europe. I’m a little ashamed of that now and feel I owe those who voted No in order to avoid being out of Europe an apology.

    We were promoting magical thinking: “Could” “might”, assuming that we are so special that “of course” the EU would invent a new mechanism just specially for us because we are special and unique.

    Everywhere is special, and nowhere is. We are just a normal country just like everyone else

    Oddly, it has taken the magical, delusional, thinking of the Brexiteers to make me realise that. Their mad imagining that the EU will just arrange it’s affairs to suit them. British exceptionalism writ large. Let’s not do that

    People who voted No in 2014 because we would have been out of the EU were right to do so, on the evidence available.

    Why hope that a magic special status be invented, when we can just use an existing mechanism.

    If we go into a referendum on “could” “might” “special case” we will lose badly, and deservedly.

    I want to win! We have to be honest with the voters, and ourselves

  232. Jock McDonnell says:

    @Cameron B Brodie
    ‘the electorate “sorts” themselves into more consistent categories, largely by changing ideology to align with party identification’
    Sad isn’t it. I don’t even think they change ideology, I don’t think they have an ideology. They have a party, like a football team & they follow it where ever it goes. Saves doing any thinking.

    I think the view in the prospect article Nana posted is wrong. The UK will be outside the SM & CU and will diverge slowly from EU practice. All Westminster is doing is managing. They don’t need a destination, its all about the UK establishment retaining power. 5 years, 10 years, 100 years, what does it matter how long a transition is, as long as Westminster gets to keep its authority.
    They have accepted NI is lost and it doesn’t really matter to them, they have given effective control to the people of NI, who can now choose how the balance of their borders with the EU & UK should be set. Over time that will evolve.
    Scotland however, the great bounty, is held fast. We really need to wise up.

  233. CameronB Brodie says:

    More than you might imagine. 😉


    Abstract In this chapter I review the social psychological underpinnings of identity, emphasizing social cognitive and symbolic interactionist perspectives and research, and I turn then to key themes of current work on identity—social psychological, sociological, and interdisciplinary. I emphasize the social bases of identity, particularly identities based on ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, class, age, and (dis)ability, both separately and as they intersect. I also take up identities based on space, both geographic and virtual. I discuss struggles over identities, organized by social inequalities, nationalisms, and social movements. I conclude by discussing postmodernist conceptions of identities as fluid, multidimensional, personalized social constructions that reflect sociohistorical contexts, approaches remarkably consistent with recent empirical social psychological research, and I argue explicitly for a politicized social psychology of identities that brings together the structures of everyday lives and the sociocultural realities in which those lives are lived.

    Identiy, Belief, and Bias

    As far as I’m concerned, the only reasonable, non-partisan standard by which political action should be judged, is the bio-ethical.

    Theory and Bioethics

    As a species of practical ethics, bioethics exhibits a complex and contested relationship to philosophical theory. On the one hand, many who teach and write in this interdisciplinary field are philosophers who naturally believe that their specific contribution to the field—their “expertise,” if you will—consists in the application of distinctly philosophical methods, including various kinds of ethical theory, to practical problems arising in biomedical research, clinical medicine, and public health. But on the other hand, many who work in the area of bioethics, including many philosophers, are highly skeptical of the so-called “applied ethics” model of moral reasoning, in which exemplars of high theory (e.g., consequentialist utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, rights-based theories, natural law, etc.) are directly “applied” to practical problems. Indeed, most philosophically-inclined contributors to the bioethics literature have eschewed high moral theory in favor of various modes of moral reasoning falling on a spectrum between the strong particularism of various strains of casuistry or narrative ethics, on one end, and the mid-level norms of the enormously influential “principlism” of Beauchamp and Childress, on the other (Beauchamp and Childress, 2009).[1] According to philosophers Robert K. Fullinwider (2008) and Will Kymlicka (1996), bioethics in the public domain can and should go about its business as a species of ethical reflection independently of any reliance upon high-flying ethical theory.

    This article explores the controversy concerning the role of philosophical theory for practical ethics in general and bioethics in particular. The main body of this entry dialectically canvasses the respective claims for “high theory,” for particularistic “anti-theory,” and for various species of “mid-level” theorizing in between these extremes. A discursive taxonomy of the kinds of philosophical theories deployed in practical ethics—i.e., metaethical, normative, metaphysical—is provided in a supplement….

  234. CameronB Brodie says:

    Jock McDonnell
    Tribal cultists. 😉

  235. Nana says:

    Kirsty Hughes writes in the herald

    The UK-EU27 deal takes the UK a big step closer to leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019. The deal on EU citizens’ rights, the divorce bill and Northern Ireland’s border will unlock talks first on a transitional period then on trade talks early next year.

    But while some have hailed the deal as pushing the UK towards a ‘soft’ Brexit, the outlook is, rather, for tough talks on a free trade deal that will, if it happens, be enormously damaging to UK trade. And these talks will find it immensely difficult to square the circle on keeping Northern Ireland’s borders, both with Ireland and with the rest of the UK, open and frictionless, as the deal promises.

  236. Jack Murphy says:

    The Daily Mail today:

    Daily Mail [it omits the England banner as that is the default position of it’s readers.]

    HEADLINE Daily Mail [England]:
    ——————–WE’RE ON OUR WAY————————

    Meanwhile back in the real world,this week Finland celebrates it’s 100th anniversary of independence.
    Population similar to Scotland and it’s a Full Member of the European Union——-no Little Englanders in Finland.

    Here’s a stunning music video of Finlandia by Jean Sibelius Finland’s greatest composer including the familiar Finland Hymn near the close.
    For best audio effect I strongly recommend headphones. 🙂
    ENJOY. 🙂

  237. Glamaig says:

    CameronB Brodie 11.47


    all political concepts are affectively charged as positive or negative, and that this information is stored in long-term memory

    That’s the purpose of all the ‘in crisis’ stories on BBC Scotland. What we are hearing is deliberate, methodical, and based on sound scientific principles. Impartial my arse.

  238. CameronB Brodie says:

    Brexit’s bad, mky.

    Understanding The Social Psychology of Risk And Safety

    ….The reality is, we are greatly affected by what happens around us when it comes to assessing and managing risk. The main finding that we learn from social psychology is that conformity, obedience and social perception are all tied to context and situation, much more powerfully than to character. When we attribute how people make sense of risk to personality, intelligence or ‘common sense’, social psychologists label this as ‘fundamental attribution error’ that is, humans tend to overestimate the importance and power of individual personality and underestimate the influence of social situations.

    The following discussion helps explain some of the fundamental principles and issues that social psychology brings to the understanding, assessment and management of risk and safety….

  239. Juan P says:

    @Terence Callachan

    Majority of English in Scotland voted No in the indyref but nowhere near 100%. I think it was closer to 70%. Also plenty of English are passionate supporters of independence for Scotland.

    If we lose a second indyref it will be down to those amongst us born without imagination, not the English.

  240. Tinto Chiel says:

    @Terence Callaghan 8.21.

    I think the number of people identifying as English in Scotland is about half of your figure of 800,000 and Ashcroft’s polling (if I remember correctly) stated 70% of them voted No.

    As Juan P said, it’s the unimaginative, smug, native ProudScotbuts who are the real problem.

    From memory, five of the eleven office bearers in my SNP branch are English.

  241. CameronB Brodie says:

    There is nothing intrinsically or inherently wrong with the English, per se. Like Scots, most of them simply lack effective political agency, as their culture is a bit oppressive and con-f l i c t e d. A culture that was largely created in order to support the Victorian era ‘One Nation’ Tory agenda and subsequent colonial expansions.

    ….I have been reflecting on this today: holding hands, we go out in the world together, known, seen, accepted by our tribe of friends, family and neighbours with all our idiosyncratic ways. And as we feel rooted, then we are able very organically to extend that deep sharing and the gift of presence. We say it often enough – most people just want to be loved, to be understood and appreciated. How do we as a community accomplish this. To share, look and spend time together….

    What is community?

    Cultivating a Global Identity

  242. cirsium says:

    The University of Edinburgh published a Scottish Referendum Study in 27 March 2015, researched by Ailsa Henderson and James Mitchell. Regarding demographics, the Study had three categories for place of birth; Scotland, rest of UK (RUK) and outside the UK (OUK).

    Voting was as follows
    Scotland- 47.3% No, 52.7% Yes
    RUK – 72.1% No, 27.9% Yes
    OUK – 57.1% No, 42.9% Yes

  243. Chang Sha says:

    @Dave Stewart
    Had a look again at the NI GE results, there is virtually little chance of any changes in the DUP seats changing to SF except in Belfast North, majority 2000

    Not necessarily so ~ have a look at this analysis of the proposed electoral boundary changes

  244. Chang Sha says:

    Apologies ~ didn’t see Cadogan Enright’s comment which effectively makes the same point

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