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Wings Over Scotland

The reluctant internationalists

Posted on November 06, 2014 by

As part of our latest Panelbase poll, we wanted to explore the so-called “2017 Scenario” hinted at by new SNP leader and First Minister-elect Nicola Sturgeon, whereby the Tories control the UK parliament, the SNP have another majority at Holyrood, and the UK holds a referendum on the EU where England/the rUK votes to leave and Scotland votes to stay in.


To that end, we asked two key questions. Our findings are below.

There may be a referendum in 2017 on the UK’s membership of the European Union. If there is, which way do you currently think you’d vote?

Stay in the EU: 41%
Leave the EU: 38%
Don’t know: 19%
Wouldn’t vote: 2%

Excluding DKs and WNVs, that’s a pretty tight 52% of Scots wanting to stay in the EU against 48% who’d rather leave. But breaking down the responses is interesting.

Yes voters: 57% stay, 43% leave
No voters: 48% stay, 52% leave

A sizeable 18-point gap between Yes and No voters, there, and crucially one which spans the dividing line. But the results broken down by party and including Don’t Knows are perhaps more surprising. Here they are by Holyrood 2011 vote:

Lib Dem voters: 54% stay, 24% leave, 21% don’t know
Labour voters: 44% stay, 37% leave, 20% d/k
SNP voters: 44% stay, 42% leave, 13% d/k
Conservative voters: 26% stay, 48% leave, 26% d/k

And now split by who people said they’d vote for in 2015:

Lib Dem voters: 66% stay, 24% leave, 10% don’t know
Labour voters: 49% stay, 33% leave, 17% d/k
SNP voters: 49% stay, 34% leave, 17% d/k
Conservative voters: 31% stay, 45% leave, 23% d/k
UKIP voters: 7% stay, 89% leave, 3% d/k

What we see there is the collapse of the Lib Dems and the arrival on the Scottish scene of UKIP. As a result Labour (by nine points), the SNP (by 13 points) and even the Tories (by eight points) all get more pro-Europe, as an influx of Lib Dems and an exodus of anti-EU supporters to UKIP takes effect.

And then we asked this:

Imagine that Scotland voted to stay in the EU, but was outvoted by the rest of the UK choosing to leave. In those circumstances, would a second Scottish independence referendum be justified, so that Scotland wasn’t forced out of the EU against its will?

Yes, it would be justified: 45%
No, we should accept the UK-wide result: 41%
Don’t know: 13%

That’s a small majority (52-48 excluding DKs) backing Scotland being able to decide independently whether it should be in the EU or not. One might then be forgiven for wondering why those people didn’t support actual independence, particularly as fewer than two-thirds of No voters (63%) were prepared to say that Scotland should accept the UK-wide result. (22% backed a second indyref, 14% didn’t know.)

Nevertheless, and despite the numbers on EU membership itself being so tight, the “2017 Scenario” seems to be politically viable. We already knew from last week’s polling that a 3:2 majority of Scots were happy to have a second independence referendum as early as within five years, and we’ve now confirmed that the public would back a potential forced exit from the EU as a reason for one.

We live in interesting times.

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132 to “The reluctant internationalists”

  1. Croompenstein says:

    I wonder if the English electorate will succumb to project fear when the EBC ramp it up. The Americans don’t want the 51st state to leave the EU.

  2. James says:

    Great article.

  3. Grizzle McPuss says:

    Quite revealing. Not as European as I thought we Scots might be, given that the results are presently so close.

    One wonders if these figures would dramatically jump in a more ‘get out’ direction once the predominant anti-Euro UKIP campaign ramps up in the run up to 2017?

    And to broaden the thinking; we often like to look across the water to Norway as an example of the small thriving nation we could aspire to be like. But an argument against Euro membership lurks within.

  4. Clootie says:

    ma heid hursts!gonnae nae dae that.

    I’m still trying to figure out the YES voters who have changed to NO?

  5. Snootie_Paulo says:

    Damnit, I’m confused; are we still the separatists?

  6. sally says:

    Three steps to indie – a busload of SNP/yes alliance MPs to WMonster, leading by example, hold their feet to the fire and start putting them on the back foot, e.g. shredded expense forms, each MP surely kept a copy for tax purposes, lets have the snp mp’s help the collator by re-submitting the copies, and then asking Cameron at pmqt to get his party mp’s to show respect to the people of UK and do the same, likewise Milliband.

    Holyrood – a local government doing it right and this time get the credit for it. This was missing in the referendum with some of the No voters.

    EU referendum, as with my Yes vote, instinctively I think yes, but I don’t have the evidence. You gave us the Wee Blue Book and I managed to get a few converted with its evidence based facts… I think we need the same for the EU, and I think we need to start that campaign now.

    My thoughts anyway. Thanks for all your hard work, inspirational as always.


  7. Capella says:

    I can understand SNP voters being divided between staying in the EU and leaving. Many people were advocating joining the European Free Trade Association instead. As with the “keep the pound” camp and “have our own currency”, there is a genuine argument to be had between these options. That is something that can be discussed in the SNP, Green and SSP groups between now and the 2016 elections.

  8. Grouse Beater says:

    In any poll configeration we must take into account the pint swilling, toothy Farage succumbing to liver desease, consequently allowing his knuckle dragging BNP, EDL, and Orange Lodge supporters to show their real face as they cut each other’s throats to succeed England’s Toby Jug.

  9. AnneDon says:

    As people hear and read more about TTIP, their opinion of the EU may well change – I know I have become far more ambivalent. It doesn’t mean I’m going to vote UKIP, mind, but I’m drifting into don’t know territory for this reason:

    If we are part of the UK, I want to stay in the EU
    If we are independent, I’d quite happily leave the EU. As the impact of TTIP becomes clearer, I may change.

    After all, there is a clear left-wing case for not being in the EU!

  10. muttley79 says:

    Its seems a lot of No voters are diehard British nationalists. They would vote No to get out of the EU, and many think that would mean that there should be no indy referendum if it did happen. Either a lot of Nos are staunch British nationalists, or they are in denial over the consequences of a withdrawal from the EU, or they are terrified of Scottish independence.

  11. Bob Mack says:

    Seems there are many S.N.P. supporters who are not overly fussed about leaving Europe. This surprises me as it is possibly an escape route from the Union. Regardless of this fact, it emphasises to myself at least, that the fight for freedom cannot be put aside for a moment. I will strive every day to put my point across, not just to readers of this site, but to those in the street at casual meetings , to friends and neighbours, or anyone who will just spare me a moment to listen Remember, it may well be that one person you convince whose vote will make all the difference. This is the way we have to go about our business from now on. Utilise every opportunity to spread the word and convert the doubters. I am glad that the poll indicates what it does, as it only reinforces my desire to fight all the harder to increase the gaps in a positive way.

  12. Taranaich says:

    @Snootie_Paulo: Damnit, I’m confused; are we still the separatists?

    I wonder how UKIP & anti-EU people would react to being called separatists given more of them were No voters? Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander, and all that.

    That said, the BBC seem perfectly happy to call pro-Russian Ukrainian forces “separatists” even though the entire point of their cause is to UNITE Ukraine with Russia…

  13. Dan Watt (@DanPbass) says:

    Do we have to swallow the bitter pill and just deal with the fact that there are plenty of people in Scotland that want out of the EU, for whatever reasons, and that even though this may be less than the number wanting out in England, we can all be pretty damn sure that the media machine in UK will be doing all it can to persuade people in Scotland that they do want it. Possibly resulting in a majority for leaving the EU in Scotland?

    Are the perceptions of the Yes movement wrong?

  14. Macart says:

    Owowow, owee, ow, OWWW!

    More permutations than a Rubik’s cube.

    Sore head. 😀

  15. Taranaich says:

    @Capella: I can understand SNP voters being divided between staying in the EU and leaving. Many people were advocating joining the European Free Trade Association instead.

    Indeed, I think a not too insubstantial minority are those people who want full independence, from the UK AND Brussels.

  16. Kenny says:

    Correct point about Norway. I think if the question were framed to be “Europe” in general, meaning EU or EFTA, there should be more in favour.

    Personally, I think it is better to be in the EU. Scotland as an independent country able to negotiate on our own terms would do very well from membership. But I would be happy if the population voted to do a Norway and EFTA.

    And while I agree with the principles of European integration and freedom of movement, I do not agree with the policies of austerity being imposed on Greece, Spain, Italy… Too many Goldman Sachs bankers in the EU, not enough real European values!

  17. Bob Mack says:

    I suppose it is blindingly obvious really, but Mr Camerons latest run in with Europe could have the effect of many people thinking that E.U. is unjustified and unreasonable in making such a demand for such a large sum of money . I know I have spoken to people who believed Mr Cameron was right to refuse to pay, even though these people would never, repeat never, vote Tory.

  18. Wee Alex says:

    The MSM has been pumping out anti Europe stories for a decade. Just as they demonised Alec Salmont, they have elevated Farage to hero status.

    So It’s no wonder voters are so Europhobic. I’m confident Scotland would vote to remain in Europe, despite the media.

  19. No no no...Yes says:

    Indeed, these are interesting times.

    Why is Nigel holding a custard cream with an Union flag in it?
    Perhaps it’s his entry for the great british bake off..

  20. Luigi says:

    It will be interesting to see how the EU referendum campaign affects the Scottish and English opinions on Europe:

    Convergence or divergence?

    We shall soon find out!

  21. Bob Mack says:

    Penny drops perhaps!!! Of course why would many Scots fight for freedom from Westminster to then directly hand the reins over to Brussels who are perceived as possibly even greater control freaks, but with attitude.

  22. Luigi says:

    The opinions of Labour and SNP voters on Europe are more or less identical.


  23. Jim McIntosh says:


    ” I know I have spoken to people who believed Mr Cameron was right to refuse to pay, even though these people would never, repeat never, vote Tory.”

    In some ways you can see their point. If, as we are led to believe, that it’s the austerity measures that Osborne & Co have inflicted on the poor of this country that has helped us restart the economy why should we give some of that money to EU budget. Surely it should be ploughed back into this country.

    Ironic too that the money is paid straight back to the coffers of Germany and France (amongst others).

  24. Capella says:

    @ Bob Mack
    Surely the difference is this: in the UK, we in Scotland hand over all of our revenue with the exception of community charge and minor issues such as parking charges. UK then hands back our pocket money “block grant” to pay for the limited services which are devolved.
    In the EU, each state collects all of its revenue then hands over an agreed amount to the EU for redistribution for agreed policy objectives e.g. boosting development in less favoured areas.
    That is the type of federal system employed in Switzerland and Germany.
    Scotland would benefit from following that example but in the UK it is highly unlikely that the current Smith commission negotiations will deliver that. Whereas, in the EU, it would be the default system.

  25. A.N.Surgent says:

    When you think of the tens of billions that were given to the banks to bail them out 1.7 billion is peanuts. When you think of the tens of billions spent on illegal wars 1.7 billion is peanuts.

    Personally I think cameron is bluffing in the hope that the planned banking reforms are diluted in regards to the city, to help the banks WM will do anything.

    I would want out of the EU and NATO,but if voting to stay in the EU would force another referendum I would vote to stay in.

  26. John archibald says:

    Well if we leave,I’d like to see us exporting our North Brittish Locos,Acme Wringers and my English Humber again.Im sure the colonials would love these products.PS are you daft!

  27. Tam Jardine says:

    What has never failed to amaze me is the lack of information given to the UK public on the EU. Someone mentioned EFTA – the man in the street ken’s nothing of such things. All we have in the UK is a by and large anti EU press magnifying anti – EU suspicion and blaming the EU for all manner of ills. What information the public are given I have no faith in – too many vested interests.

    I fear that an informed positive case for the EU (or for leaving it) will remain as elusive as the positive case for the union right up to an in out referendum.

    Independence from Westminster, inside or outside the EU remains my objective but I trust the SNP have looked at both options thoroughly and are wholeheartedly for staying in. Seems to me it’s a big opportunity for another indyref or UDI if the people can get behind staying in its game on.

    The costs involved in doing business outside the EU are pretty crazy… my experiences of importing in from USA and recently exporting to Switzerland are a real obstacle to business expensive and tiresome. Plenty opportunities for ‘clearance agents’ who coin it in for doing wee bits of administration at the border.

    It just looks like we’ll be having an inside out, arse over tit indyref where everyone switches sides and swaps arguments.

  28. Capella says:

    Angela Merkel might well call David Cameron’s bluff

  29. gerry robertson says:

    Do not want to depress you all further but you might wish to view Stefan Molyneux of piece on Youtube titled ‘The fall of the United Kingdom’. So instead of having a nice Oil fund buffer I’m afraid we are destined to go down the plughole with the Ukr. In or Out of the EU could someone turn the lights off when they leave these shores for a better life.

  30. Annette says:

    I wouldn’t get too puzzled about Yes voters changing their mind. There were a lot of people undecided until the last moment. I watched one TV debate aimed at the undecided and they charted opinion swings throughout the programme every time a panellist had made another point. It swung quite a bit, so clearly these were people who are easily swayed. Strangely the most significant swing to No came when on panellist said she knew of people who had become ill with worry and stress from the referendum campaign. This seems a bizarre reason for me, but apparently many people felt strongly about this. So who knows what can sway the easily swayed? In any case, the important message from this is to make sure that people are convinced, not just persuaded.

  31. Greouse Beater says:

    Tam jardine: What has never failed to amaze me is the lack of information given to the UK public on the EU.

    Excellent point.

    Our ‘special’ relationship with the USA, and the USA’s cultural imperialism, means we get fed USA political news almost every day – full lead up to, and comprehensive coverage of elections and subsequent analysis, for example.

    Of the EU, almost damn all that holds any meaning for the person in the street. The odd doicumentary telling us of corruption, or over-spend, or Farage doing a twice nightly impression of a politician as bar fly.

    And of Germany, the most powerful state in Europe, almost nothing of any substanbce unless Merkel snubs Cameron, or a new BMW or Porsche is unveiled.

    The UK is allied to Europe, joined at the hip, yet the BBC continues to feed us the USA, leaving Farage and other right-wing neo-fascists free to tell us Europe and all the foreigners in it are our undoing.

  32. Fred says:

    As Northern Ireland, described nonsensically as one of the four nations, gets a good deal for their farmers from the EU, and farming is a big part of their economy, they would be cutting their own throats voting to leave.
    Interesting conflict of loyalty for their brothers in the “Ludge” here.

  33. Geoff Huijer says:

    First off I would like Scotland to be independent.

    Then, I would consider all the options re: Europe.

    I just don’t buy the whole ‘it’s not independence if you’re handing over the reins to Brussels’ bollocks.

    Germany isn’t classed as not being indeendent coz it’s in the EU. But I guess that’s because they have their OWN REPRESENTATIVES fighting their case.

    Currently, Scotland has MEPs like the one in Shropshire ‘representing’ it and ‘forgetting’ to take papers to remind him of Scotland’s attitude towards certain affairs.

    But, with the Beeb et al ratching up the EU scare stories it’s inevitable people will think it’s all a bad idea. I’m fairly clued up in politics but the EU is a mystery & minefield for me. One thing’s for sure I won’t be relying on any of the MSM to help me make an informed choice.

  34. Bob Mack says:

    Yes, you and I and many others might know the difference, but many others do not, and rely exclusively on mainstream media to inform their opinion. I do not think that it would be favourable towards remaining in Europe, An example can be given in that the coverage of that maggot Nigel Farage, has exalted him to a place in British politics he does not deserve. People will actually vote for this creature, although any shallow scrutiny would show him up for what he is. This is the power of media over knowledge, and it is a problem we may have to face with regard to E.U. membership here in Scotland.

  35. Paula Rose says:

    This shows as does every poll that many many people have not been reached by clued up alert people – there is much on the ground work to be done.

  36. heedtracker says:

    I’d go with that. BBC R4 news had on the new UK commissioner this morning with John Humphries and he’s just one more con man for teamGB establishment. They clearly believe that the majority will do as they are tolld, just like they did in Scotland. The new guy, Lord Hill was asked specifically about that £1.6bn debt and simply waffled it away, knowing full well it’s just another screw up. The UK won’t be leaving the EU anymore than Scotland was going to be allowed independence.

  37. davidb says:

    This is one of those issues where its perfectly possible to hold two opposite views depending upon Scotland’s status. I would be strongly in favour of an independent Scotland being a member of the EU. However the UK as constituted I think would think could do equally well in or out of the EU. I would vote to stay in as the UK, but would not actively promote that view to others.

    Similarly in foreign policy. I have not purchased anything at all from Argentina since the Falklands war. I presently keep purchases from Spain to a minimum. Both of these I consider principled stances in view of British foreign policy. But if Scotland was independent I would no longer have any interest in rUK overseas territories.

    Scotland’s status makes a difference to how I see things. I have two opinions, and the British one is not the same as the Scottish one.

    Nato is another. UK in, Scotland not – and neutral. Etc.

  38. Ron says:

    @Capella 9:45pm

    No doubt to be reported in the Herald and the Scotsman as “Blow for Salmond as Merkel threatens Cameron”

  39. Tam Jardine says:

    Of course the funniest thing I am looking forward to in the in out referendum is the prospect of labour trying to convince voters in England why we should be pooling and sharing our resources with the rest of Europe.

    And the tories telling Scotland why pooling and sharing is bad.

    There is a huge inconsistency in the idea that bigger is better, more stable, larger market etc etc as a reason for Scotland to vote no when surely a United States of Europe is the logical conclusion. But then we are talking British Nationalism here.

  40. thomaspotter2014 says:

    I feel that getting Independence cannot and should not be dependent on an in/out EU referendum within the UK set up.
    It’s too precarious to predict and would only leave the result open to the same kind of manipulation that we have just lived through in relation to the Scottish Referendum and would present the British State with another stick to whack us with and attempt to bury Independence indefinitely-this is after all one of their main objectives.
    Westminster and their powerful media onslaughts must not be allowed to decide when Independence will come.
    They just don’t get it and they never will but the forces for change are daily breaking down the machine and momentum is still broadening ,growing and taking the direction of inevitably delivering what the people really want-the chance to run things our own way-not the poisonous calamity that is the status quo.
    We’re getting there.

  41. Sue Varley says:

    I agree with Anne Don, while we are in the UK I would vote to stay in the EU. This is solely because the EU is the only thing standing between us and outright neo-liberal right wing Americanism.

    If we were independent I would hope for a sensible debate on the merits of membership of EU, EFTA or neither. But judging by the Indyref debate, a sensible debate on anything political seems to be beyond all hope.

    I don’t understand the ramifications of TTIP, why EU members would sign up for it. While we are in the UK it seems to be wholly negative, attacking eg. NHS, allowing corporations to sue national governments etc. Surely it must have some positives also, but I’m not seeing anyone explaining what they are. It would be interesting to know what Scotland’s position re TTIP would be if a social democratic independent Scottish government was negotiating for us.

  42. @Grouse Beater
    We have been living in a controlled media bubble for decades,the only place i look for news now is on the internet mostly from links on Wings.
    There were riots in France at the weekend did we hear about them?
    The Referendum in Catalonia on the 9th Nov where there have been pictures of troops and tanks heading to Barcelona has that been covered?
    We have never been allowed to be European we are all part of Team GB and foreigners are to be mocked.
    We could have joined the rest of the World on the 18th.

  43. CyberNiall says:

    If the MSM decide we should be out of the EU, we will be.

  44. Grouse Beater says:

    The Song of Hiyawaverer

    He had patriotism, Scottish voter
    Principles made of Highland cowhide
    Principles with the fur side outside
    Principles with the skin side inside
    But then he turned them inside outside
    Turned the upside outside inside
    Then, for warmth, had the fur side inside
    And put the cold side inside outside.

    What a consternation, voter had he
    As he turned both this way, that way
    As he look behind and sideways
    Backward, forward, betwixt his legs
    For when he turned them inside outside
    His furry principles were inside outside
    And never knowing good from bad side
    The only answer was boot up backside

    (With apologies to Longfellow’s unrhymed trochaics.

  45. Capella says:

    @ gerry robertson
    One to bookmark and watch tomorrow. Looks interesting and seems to cover the areas Max Keiser demolishes.
    @ Bob Mack
    Back to the same old problem – how to get the information out to those without internet access. I’m hoping the joint efforts of Commonweal, Bella Caledonia, Derek Bateman & Co will develop an alt media presence for Scotland. Meantime, the local meetings and seminars are well worth supporting. Perhaps they need to be themed?

  46. wannabescot says:

    “Our ‘special’ relationship with the USA, and the USA’s cultural imperialism, means we get fed USA political news almost every day”
    I’m in the USA and let me tell you, I’M SICK of being fed USA news every day that is full of a mindset of ‘USA greatest nation of all time on earth’. When I retire it’s going to be to any place but here.

  47. Grouse Beater says:

    Wannabescot When I retire it’s going to be to any place but here.

    Understood. 🙂

  48. Capella says:

    @ Grouse Beater
    I’m not criticising but isn’t your poem a version of one of Scott of Antartic’s team (not Oates) on the merits of the sleeping bag?

  49. Capella says:

    aha – the joy of Google
    The old debate on which way round is the best to wear it is beautifully summarised in this poem by Captain Scott’s photographer, Herbert George Ponting:

    With apologies to Longfellow and The Song of Hiawatha

    On the outside grows the furside, on the inside grows the skinside;
    So the furside is on the outside and the skinside is on the inside.

    As the furside is on the outside and the skinside is on the inside
    One side likes the skinside inside and the furside outside,
    Others like the skinside outside and the furside inside;
    As the skinside is the hard side and the furside is the soft side.

    If you turn the skinside outside, thinking you will side with that side,
    Then the softside furside’s inside, which some argue is the wrong side.

    If you turn the furside outside,as you say it grows on that side
    Then the hard side’s next your own side, which for comfort’s not the right side
    As the hard side is the cold side, and your skin side’s not your warm side;
    And two cold sides coming side by side, are not the right sides, one side decides.

    If you decide to side with this side, turn the outside furside inside;
    Then the hard side, cold side, skin side, beyond all question’s inside outside ….
    And it does not matter a particle what you do with the bally thing, someone’s
    sure to tell you its outside inside.

  50. Lesley-Anne says:

    I have to admit that this whole in/out thingy about the E.U. has my head spinning at times.

    I am a member of the S.N.P. but I do feel that I would be voting NO to the E.U. in Cameron’s *ahem* promised IN/OUT referendum on E.U. membership. I know that there are a lot of good ideas that come out of Brussels but there are also some absolutely crazy ones like the allegedly Cucumber straightening rules and bananas rules.

    My biggest gripe however lies around the idea that for years the annual accounts from Brussels have NEVER been signed off, as far as I can recall. Now for an organisation that has a humongous expenses bill you would have thought that this would be one thing that Brussels would want to address but apparently not. Remember for years there have been regular reports in the media and T.V. of M.E.P.’s *cough* screwing the system much like the M.P.’s do at Westminster only worse … if that is possible.

    Given the chance to vote IN or OUT I think I would definitely vote OUT only because I believe that being a member of E.F.T.A. For me the ideal situation would be for Scotland to actually vote to stay IN the E.U. but rUK to vote to leave thereby triggering the threat of another independence referendum.

    Apologies for my drunken stupor here but basically I hope Scotland votes IN and rUK votes OUT leading to a second independence referendum that we will win leading to a new independent Scotland. Once independent I would hope our government would initiate talks with E.F.T.A. and NOT E.U. with a view to becoming members. I am pretty certain that the four members of E.F.T.A. ( Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland. ) would welcome an independent Scotland with open arms.

  51. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Cappela noo if the would hiv just asked a Scot they’d be telt its ootsidein.

  52. Grouse Beater says:

    Capella: on the merits of the sleeping bag?

    Hi Capella – It’s a good parody, oft used, attribution is highly debateable. I’ve seen a good dozen versions, most ‘Anon,’ some straying a long way from Longfellow, but in all cases the verse suited the target the writer’s arrow was aimed.

    When it comes to the Scottish Yes and No voter I have to be candid and say I’ve reached the stage where conjecture as to how he-she will vote next time, or even tomorrow, is wasted effort.

    If after all the evidence of England exploiting Scotland and short-changing its citizen’s and we still won’t grasp our nationhood again, I don’t dare put my faith in polls.

  53. Bob Mack says:

    WELL SPOTTED (FUR MUST BE SEAL!).joking ASIDE!!! when I get myself re-orientated from that poem,I like your idea of themed discussions at meetings.Will suggest same at next Branch Meeting

  54. Morag says:

    Lesley, you said “alleged” about the cucumber and banana thing. I think you need to look at the real situation there, because these weree just exaggerated nonsense made up by the Daily Mail.

    Vote No to the EU for good reason if you like (though I don’t really know what good reason there is), but don’t fall for the right-wing press “make shit up to turn readers against Europe” schtick.

  55. Ian Brotherhood says:

    This really belongs to the earlier thread, but if anyone, anywhere, is wondering why some Labour backbenchers are calling for Ed to step down, just check this out:

  56. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    The EU is an entirely voluntary union and much of the anti EU nonsense ignores this point.
    You can stay in or negotiate your way out so any suggestion that you are not independent if you are an EU member is utter mince.
    Does Germany, Italy, Holland etc think they are not independent because they are in the EU. Of course not!
    Personally I can see absolutely no point in leaving the biggest market for our goods and services but until we are independent the discussion is irrelevant.

  57. Kenny says:

    Re controlled media. I wonder if there is any chance of getting a Gaelic-language TV channel going that could qualify for some form of EU grant on the basis of supporting minority languages? All it would need is English subtitles…. I am just trying to think of some back door by which we could circumvent the BBC and have the resources to reach a wider audience…

    I still think the best way of reaching no voters is to crowd-fund things like the WBB to be simply posted (or distributed along with the papers) to households. Maybe with a focus on “difficult” areas like the Borders, Orkney and Shetland, and possibly tailor-made for these areas as well with the issues that interest them more…

  58. schrodingers cat says:

    eu ref
    bbc, lib dems labour and 50% of tories will back a yes to stay in
    as will the snp
    odd bedfellows
    what will the msm threaten the english with?
    (ps, including wings(
    vote to leave the eu and you will be leaving the uk as well?
    given the choice, how will the english vote?

    nicola sturgeon is playing a blinder already?

  59. Grouse Beater says:

    BBC Question Time debating whether the North East should have its own assembly … the proposal made on the back of ‘Scotland’s referendum,’ as if the north east of England has a useless devolved parliament in London with few powers.

    Main thing issuing from the programme, a hellova lot of anger from members of the audience.

  60. Grouse Beater says:

    Ian: if anyone is wondering why some Labour backbenchers are calling for Ed to step down, check this out:

    Ian, I had not seen that interview, but what an example of a man who can’t think on his feet. It’s astounding.

  61. Morag says:

    It’s worse than that. He’s obviously learned a few sentences off by heart, delivers them at the beginning of the interview, then can’t do ANYTHING but repeat the rote-learned words again and again (and again and again….)

  62. Marlowe says:

    I know we have to fill the next three and a bit weeks somehow, but I really think discussing the “2017 scenario” is a bit pointless as (1) there’s virtually no chance of there being an in/out referendum and (2) if there is there will likely be a UK-wide “in” vote once “Project Fear 2” swings into action (as noted by Croompenstein)

  63. msean says:

    I wonder if some of those snp voters who would leave have changed their minds after all the eu non intervention interventions from Barosso for instance.Unwelcoming to Scotland it would seem at some levels.

  64. Morag says:

    I make it five times he just repeats the same 20-second speech, with the phrases in a slightly different order in the later repetitions. You can practically see the cogs turning as he figures out whether he’s got all the points in, each time.

  65. Alex Clark says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    Yep, still an Alien and not an automaton.

  66. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Lesley Anne . there,s nothing allegedly about the Cucumber rules,ask a Cucumber grower in England 400 tons are disgarded from one grower. The Banana rules led to the introduction of Chquita bananas ( american ) getting into the EU whereby it was Fyffs bananas. Parliaments in Stabourg/Brussels lorry loads of paperwork getting shiped up & down autobans every time they swap, then the costs of maintaining the MEPs & to cap it all never having a accounting of the true costs since its conception EFTA is the better choice, UK gave up the right to World trade to join the Common Market limiting is trade,idiots then, idiots now.

  67. Inkall says:

    I do have to wonder how much dislike for Europe seen in Scotland comes as a direct result of Westminster not fighting for Scottish interests coupled with our anglicised media.

  68. Roland Smith says:

    Prior to the referendum I was a definite yes if we had an in/out EU referendum. However I feel more like a Dont Know due to EU interventions during the campaign. I tend to think Norway and Switzerland have the best idea, a trading relationship and in Schengen. However having joined the SNP dont feel the need to argue they should change their policies. The important issue is to maximise devolution to Scotland that will reduce the fear factor for the next referendum.

  69. Taranaich says:

    Quite how people keep perpetuating the “trading Westminster for Brussels” paradigm is beyond me.

    Has Brussels ever conspired to keep Scotland’s wealth a secret in order to keep it under control?

    Has Brussels ever stolen 6,000 square miles of Scottish waters with no consent or knowledge from the Scottish people?

    Has Brussels ever used Scotland as a guinea pig for tax schemes, social experiments and nuclear/biowarfare testing?

    Has Brussels ever taken 100% of Scotland’s revenue and apportioned out 70% based on how well Holland is doing?

    Has Brussels ever tried to assert that the Scotland was “extinguished” as a distinct entity when it entered the EEC?

    Has Brussels attempted to repeal the Human Rights Act?

    Brussels is not perfect by any means, but for crying out loud people, think about what this means. Voting yourself out of the EU is voting yourself even more under the control of Westminster.

    It is insane to vote to leave the EU while still in the UK.

  70. Valerie says:

    O/T just seen in my FB feed that Ivan McKee has just joined the SNP!!

  71. Grouse Beater says:

    MSean: I wonder if some of those snp voters who would leave have changed their minds after all the eu non intervention interventions from Barosso for instance

    This doesn’t quite answer your direct question: those I know, including some relatives, who threatened to leave if the vote was lost to No are still here getting on with their life.

    They are the same who stayed when Thatcher was stamping all over Scotland’s heavy industry and complained they could take no more of her authoritarian rule.

    Even when it was clear she was completely Batty and needed usurped by her colleagues – a course they took eventually – they stuck it out.

    I’ve never been convinced by those celebrities especially, who say they’ll leave if this or that happens, like 50% tax.

  72. Dr Jim says:

    The last thing anybody should worry about is the EU. As i have said before i lived and worked in Spain for around 15years and the Spanish create diversions around every EU law they dont like as does every other country, it just seems that the UK GUV is’nt all that sharp when it comes to actual governing. A.S. knows his way around these things as will N.S. The EU is there to be made use of, Britain just does’nt know how, I mean, they’ve proved that with Scotland, that’s why the Labour party dont want any more powers for us,…..”They dont know what to do with them”

  73. Grouse Beater says:

    Taranaich: It is insane to vote to leave the EU…

    Excellent post, Taranaich.

    But then English generally dislike foreigners. And ‘Jock’ is one of them.

  74. Lesley-Anne says:

    Thanks for that clarification re the cucumber thingy Ronnie. When I mentioned it in my previous post I could not remember ever seeing anything concrete, sorry about that 😉 , about the straightening thingy I’m glad someone somewhere knows more than me, not very hard I know. 😛

    I forgot to mention all the useless toing and froing that goes on between Brussels and Strasbourg every six months, if my brain cell recalls correctly, thanks for reminding me there Ronnie. This must be THE most ridiculous idea about the E.U. in my view, even worse than the idea that the E.U. accounts have NEVER been signed off for over a decade I believe. If I understand things correctly the whole concept of the double basing of the the E.U. (Brussels/Strasbourg) was wholly created to appease the French way back when.

    In my view there can only really be one way forward with regards to Europe and that is E.F.T.A. It is smaller, only four current members but it certainly does NOT suffer from any of the ridiculous ideas that the E.U. suffers from like the six monthly transfers, accounts etc.

  75. Natasha says:

    As far as the EU goes, if the Plod is against it, then I’m for it. End of.

  76. Bob Mack says:

    I think many people on this site agree with everything you say, including myself, but you must also understand that Brussels is also seen by many people as a mechanism of control, albeit less than Westminster. They are seen to have input into our judicial and legislative functions, to control farming and fishing, aspects of finance, and of course the ubiquitous subject of immigration .What once started as a trade and probably defence pact has grown by stealth into a beaurocratic monster populated by politicians who are just as determined as Westminster to exercise and control power. Nobody can predict where they will go in future. Education is the key. By all means extol its benefits, but be aware of other people having different concerns..

  77. Janet W says:

    For those that like to number crunch about EU Funding:

    If you click on the ESF Allocations Database under the table, can compare past fundings of countries and the fundings within UK Nations.

    Find it hard to believe the moneys got to their destination projects!

  78. Alex Clark says:

    @Bob Mack

    “They are seen to have input into our judicial and legislative functions…”

    This is true two examples being Human Rights and Employment Law legislation from which the UK government wish to withdraw from.
    This will be a disaster for most in Scotland.

    “to control farming and fishing”

    Regulate is possibly a better term than control, these are agreements between all the EU countries from which Scotland gets a raw deal due to the negotiators being the UK government rather than a Scottish government on our behalf.

    We have been ripped off on both of these policies from a Scottish point of view but not a UK one. They got the benefits for the South, we missed out.

    “Nobody can predict where they will go in future.”

    This is true, all an Independent Scotland can do is fight it’s own corner, but you can’t do a thing if your not in.

    European and wider integration could be a great thing, it’s the poisonous politicians we continue to elect that destroy anything that could be good. For us all.

  79. Faltdubh says:

    I don’t expect England or the UK as a whole will vote to leave (if there ever is a vote). We’ll see the same exact scare stories than BT gave to Scotland. Banks will be going rather than from Reekie to Londres, but on to Brussells. Uncertainity over business being out the EU, the fermers – what will they say?

    Farage as much as a loon as he will, will finally be tackled by the Brit establishment media. Right now, they are fine making a bit of ££ from him and his barmyarmy in England, but if he’s leading a ‘Leave EU’ campaign – he and his cronies will be destroyed by the media for everything from lack of policy to standard members.

    England in the end, will eventually do ”A Scotland” and maybe it’ll be close with a lot of “my heart says leave, head says stay”, but come the day (if it ever does arrive) it might be closer than 45-55, but England will vote to stay as well Sco, Wales and NI.

    I’ll personally vote to stay. I’m disappointed that so many EU states or ministers from there like Barrosso, Karl Bildt all spoke out against Indy. Whilst Merkel, Spain’s PM all hinted they were happy the UK stayed united.

    I’ve never for one minute thought we should rely on an EU referendum excuse as our reason to get a second one. I think whatever way the UK votes in an EU ref won’t matter at all.

    Scotland is on a motorway to independence. We missed the first turn, but the next one is only 5-6 miles (years) away and we’ll get there soon. We are cursing ourselves for missing it when we could have been nearing the front door now, but still we are on the motorway. The initial frustration, anger and sighs at missing that early exit is now gone. We are now focussed and keeping our eyes peeled for that next turn off which is coming soon.

    Just watch the next 5 years. We are moving miles away from WM politically. The SNP themselves are now a movement, they always have been, but they are officially a part of Scottish daily life. 85k members (or thereaboots).

    We’re going to get there, and it’ll be sooner than any of us think.

  80. CRAIGthePICT says:

    Thought I would post a wee message of support to Murphy here:

    Be part of the campaign to lead labour and change Scotland. We want to build support from across the party and wider Labour movement. Are you a Labour member, a trade unionist, a co-operator, a Labour supporter or did Jim Murphy inspire you during his 100 days tour of Scotland?

    We would greatly appreciate it if you could use the Message space to please give details of any party offices you hold, any trade union membership or anything else you think might be useful to Jim’s campaign.

    Message Sent (go back)
    Name: Craig Sheridan

    Message: Hi Jim, Just thought I would drop by and lend my enthusiasm and support to your exciting campaign. For me, the main reason I would like to see you win, is that you are by a mile, Labours best bet to aid Scotlands natural and inevitable march towards independence. It’s a sure fire vote-winner for the SNP in 2015 and should stack up a fair few more votes for indie ref round 2. Thanks a lot for doing this. Keep up the crate work. I and thousands of others are relying on you Jim.

    Good Luck, Craig.

  81. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Night before last, SSP Public Meeting in Ardeer Neighbourhood Centre drew 30 people.

    This evening, in the same venue, the ‘Ayrshire Independence Movement’ meeting attracted a similar number.

    Pro-Indy groupings are popping up everywhere, with no central co-ordination.

    70 folk turn up for pro-Independence party meetings within the space of three days, in Stevenston?

    (To be fair, there was a ‘cross-over’ between the two, of approx 6)

    If we got together?


    (Just as a matter of interest – where are the ‘Celebrate the Union’ meetings?)

  82. Alex Clark says:


    Hahaha I really did LOL. Nice!

  83. Ian Logan says:

    at 11:54pm.

    Well said as Usual!

    I just noticed that my spell-checker “corrects” your user-name to “Anarchist” but you probably knew that already! 🙂

  84. ronnie anderson says:

    EU is horse trading on a grander scale than westminster & the people are the losers. unelected commissioners making stupid decissions & people think that the House of Representatives/Senate are bad ledgislators EU is corrupt from top to bottom.

    Taranaich. I did’nt say we should vote to stay in the EU whilst still in the UK,getting out of the UK is 1st & foremost.

  85. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood ( celebrate the union ) wall to wall coverage on the 11/11/14 & the costs were to high.

  86. tombee says:

    @Ed Brotherhood,
    Hi Ed,
    Watched that utube item re the Ed Milliband interview.
    Go on, tell me it’s a spoof. It is isn’t it?. Really, it is. Go on Ed, it is. That just cannot be real. Can it?.

  87. Alex Clark says:

    @ronnie anderson

    I agree, any EU discussion is for the future after we get out of the UK. We got deflected there and took our eye off the ball!

    Including you 🙂

  88. Capella says:

    The website Electronic Scotland has a lot of papers on the EU and the effect on Scotland of EU policies. The site is quite oddly organised and it’s difficult to tell what the political stance is apart from anti – everything. But their paper on the EU and the Scottish Fishing industry is interesting, specially point 4
    4. The fourth factor affecting Scotland is therefore UK government policy. Not simply economically, but also emotively, the ruling elite in London were committed to entry into “Europe” as compensation for the loss of an empire and of their own influence…. The methods he (Edward Heath) used to buy entry, using the Scottish fishing industry as a bargaining counter, have left a damnable legacy.

    The opening of the relevant records under the 30-year rule has brought to light the fact that Heath was fully aware that the conditions to which he agreed would eventually kill the Scottish fishing industry….
    This policy of an “expendable” Scottish fishing industry (the word “expendable” is actually used in the records of the former Scottish Office) has continued under every UK successor government since then, including that by the Labour Party under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

    They argue the cost to Scotland is approx £1.6 b per annum.
    Full text here

  89. tombee says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood,
    Sorry Ian, I called you Ed. Apologies. Ma he’d is mince the noo.

  90. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Ronnie –

    Wasn’t sure what you were on about there.

    Just clicked.

    I think.

    This type of thing?

  91. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Alex Clark thats the trouble on here at times, easily distacted, Spoke to Kendomacaroon bar tonite he,s still trying to get his magazine up & running launching on the 30th Nov & his Web page, we can only hope its a success.

  92. Capella says:

    This paper is the basis of the article linked above. More detailed if you are interested.

  93. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood well I dont think there,ll be many of those imagies shown just the great & the good watching the Lame & Blind march past, but little will be said about the disabled service men/women dependant on charities.

  94. robertknight says:

    When the chief amongst Little Englanders Farage yet again rounds on those pesky Jocks, then I suspect more will want to stay with the EU in an indy Scotland than remain bolted on to an England increasingly suffering from xenophobia.

  95. Alex Clark says:

    @ronnie anderson

    I’m willing to help Ken where I can and told him that. Glad to hear it’s getting off the ground.


    I am too tired to read it now and need to get to bed, I’d only forget it all by the morning if I tried now. I can though surmise what it says 🙂

  96. Piemonteis says:

    Re: Ivan McKee joining the SNP

    If the so-called Yes Alliance was ever going to come into fruition, I would have fancied Ivan McKee to stand somewhere like East Renfrewshire or East Dunbartonshire. I wonder if he had any interest in that himself and if, by joining the SNP, he’s realized the Alliance isn’t happening and he might be willing to stand as an SNP candidate.

    I believe he’s Glasgow based, but his campaigning with Business for Scotland suggests he’d be better placed in a more middle-class seat.

  97. Ghillie says:

    Ivan McKee joining the SNP!

    Now that is good news! The party just keeps getting stronger and stronger.

    Welcome Ivan.

  98. Ken500 says:

    Westminster and the right wing Press have a lot to answer. The EU Union and the UK Union are entirely different. EU Union good. UK Union bad. EU Union relative same contribution – equality of all member States. Tries to help the poorer, small member States. Low administration. Still corrupt, greedy leaders but with less overall power. Each State has majority power over major State issues. Good Social Laws make Trade Unions less relevant. Established as a trading agreement to stop War and starvation in Europe. De Gaulle kept Britain out for many years by Vetoing membership. Britain gets a rebate and doesn’t pay a full share.

    Fishing is a red herring. The fishing industry overfished the seas. Scotland would have to have conservation in the North Sea or the fishing industry would die out. Immigrants work in the fishing industry. Peterhead is like Latvia. Youngsters can prefer not to go into the fishing industry. There is other less demanding employment avaiable in the Oil industry or on the supply boats. Fish farming on the West coast. Every EU port has an exclusive 100 mile limit, where only fishermen from that port are allowed to fish.

  99. Ken500 says:

    The UK Union is a different kettle of fish to the EU Union. It operates under secrecy and lies, depriving Scotland of it’s revenues (secretly) Thatcher (secretly) took the equivalent of £Billions out of Scotland. Blair/Brown did the same. Illegal Wars, tax evasion etc. The Scottish Gov has very few powers and can’t govern it’s own economy. Major decisions are made in Westminster. Scotland is out voted 10 to 1.

    UK Treasury still operates a two tier tax system with Scotland economic paying more, and receiving less. The difference to Scotland under Westminster economic policies is £20Billion 1/3 of it’s Revenues. Scotland could be better off with different fiscal regime than Westminster, no Trident/illegal wars, a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink, a lower tax regime on the Oil sector, tax revenues going to the UK Treasury from commercial activities in Scotland through City of London HQ’s. Over £10Billion more could be uses to alliviate poverty and increase prosperity. £10Billion more pro rata is spent on the private sector from public money in the rest of the UK.

    Scotland raises £59Billion in taxes (plus £Billions going to the UK Exchequer through City of London HQ’s) Scotland has never had a equal share of the Oil revenues.Westminster has secretly taken it. Westminster borrows and spends more in the rest of the UK. The UK Gov debt has risen from £80Billion when the ConDens came Office to £150Billion. Scotland is being charged £4Billion a year debt repayments but Westminster are spending it and not paying down the Deficit. The interest charges are £52Billion s year. Putting good money after bad. Yet Scotland raises enough for it’s needs and should be in surplus.

    Westminster is sanctioning people and starving them to death, that is why there is a need for food banks. A malicious, illegal policy. There should be enough for everyone. Westminster foreign/defence is causing migration into Europe, by destabilising the Middle East and the rest of the world. People migrate to survive attacks on their countries. Some come to Britain because they can speak English, an international language. There are millions of people from the UK working or settled in Europe, enjoying reprociprical agreements with the EU.

  100. Ken500 says:

    Fradge is a cheat and a liar. Fradge has been illegally funding a political Party with public money for years and getting away with it. Westminster grandees and the right wing Press protect Fradge. Fradge has been getting £2Million expenses a year from the EU. An organisation trougher Fradge wishes to leave. Hypocrite. When UKIP gets MP’s into Westminster, they will have to produce a credible manifesto and reveal funding sources. Anything to declare?

  101. Ken500 says:

    Germany pays the most contribution to the EU. Countries get it back in CAP (farmers), EU Grants to encourage beneficial policies Renewable, improvement Grants. Shared Defence costs etc. EU Countries which share the euro have to control their debt ratios. Most of the countries in Europe are socialist and are more equal. The gap between the richer and poorer are less, than in Britain and pensions (pro rata) are higher.

    Germany(80 million) 25Billion euros
    France (70Billion)/ Italy 20Billion euros
    Spain (40million) ?
    The UK (rebate) 15Billion euros. (£12Billion) The UK Treasury spends £600Billion a year.Borrows £110Billion.

    THe smaller, poorer EU countries benefit from revenue receipts. Wedtminster took farming payments intended for Scotland. Scotland as part if the UK receives the lowest farming subsidies in the EU.

  102. Ken500 says:

    @ UK Gov debt is now £150Billion? increased from £80Billion when the ConDems came to government.(Telegraph) £110Billion a year is borrowed. Debt interest repayments a year are £52Billion. Interest rate on Westminster gov borrowing is 2.5%. One of the highest in Europe.

    UK gov is borrowing at 2.5% but BoE is lending to Banks at -1% Libor. The banks aren’t making profits. Standard of living is going down. Austerity is killing people. Sanctions and food banks. Gap between richer annd poorer is growing, with more children in poverty. An increased social problem. Ill nourished, worried people get sick.

  103. john king says:

    Bob Mack says
    “Penny drops perhaps!!! Of course why would many Scots fight for freedom from Westminster to then directly hand the reins over to Brussels who are perceived as possibly even greater control freaks, but with attitude.”

    Wow that quite a leap there Bob Westminster controls every aspect of our lives (in spite of Holyrood) since they hold the purse strings so that equates to 100% control ,we’re already in the EU so what would change if we were independent? the EU is not run by control freaks from Brussels, the truth is rather more mundane than the UKIP supporting media would like you to know, we have about 10% of our laws AGREED in Europe so this dictatorship doesn’t really exist, no law can be enacted without the agreement of the countries who make up the EU.

    Let me tell you I would trust the EU to do the right thing before I would trust a Westminster government of whatever hue.

  104. Haggis Hunter says:

    The Brit nat media has been promoting UKIP and there is a lot of Brit first propaganda going around on facebook.
    Brit first use slightly less than subtle means to incite racial hatred, muslims being their main target.

  105. Truth says:

    Scottish independence first. Then I will consider Europe.

    There’s nothing to stop an independent Scotland making the decision to leave or stay in the EU.

    So it’s a yes to stay in Europe from me until such times as Scotland can make a unilateral decision on the matter.

  106. john king says:

    Kenny says
    “Re controlled media. I wonder if there is any chance of getting a Gaelic-language TV channel going that could qualify for some form of EU grant on the basis of supporting minority languages? All it would need is English subtitles…. I am just trying to think of some back door by which we could circumvent the BBC and have the resources to reach a wider audience…”

    Now that is something I can sign up to ,
    that’s a very good idea, we all know how keen the EU are on minority rights,

    Producing news that counters the BBC agenda would automatically attract viewers and if its on in homes where some people were swayed by the media they would get a different slant and maybe move them more towards independence,

    Im sure that’s how Diomhair got on tv because the powers that be in London hadn’t a clue what BBC Alba had done (added subtitles later?) so just rubber stamped it,

    Maybe the BBC would be up for selling off BBC Alba?

  107. john king says:

    Taranaich @11.54

    What Taranaich says!

  108. Sinky says:

    @ Lesley-Anne says:

    EFTA works for Norway Switzerland and Lichtenstein because they are very prosperous much more so than an independent Scotland would be,in the short to medium term at least,but they have no alternative to pass all EU laws in their own parliaments in order to trade with EU countries without having any input to decisions in Brussels and Strasbourg but Norway does have a lobby office in Brussels.

  109. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    Good news about Ivan McKee joining the SNP. Hopefully, he will be picked as a candidate for the Westminster Elections. He would be outstanding and could knock out one of the Labour MPs.

    Also would like to see Michelle Thompson(SNP already?) and Gordon Macintyre-Kemp stand as alliance or SNP candidates as well if they were interested. That would be a formidable group to take on Westminster on the financial and business side and would be great for Scotland.

  110. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “there’s virtually no chance of there being an in/out referendum”

    You’re mad.

  111. Ali says:

    I don’t see any ‘clear’ majorities there unless you count amongst LidDems and UKIP voters on the EU. How does 57% v 48% constitute an 18 point gap? 9% more yes voters prefer to stay in the EU.

    Also the current Libdem vote constitutes a collapse but where’s the evidence of the rise of UKIP? They still poll significantly sub 5%.

  112. chalks says:

    ‘Sinky says:

    7 November, 2014 at 8:36 am

    @ Lesley-Anne says:

    EFTA works for Norway Switzerland and Lichtenstein because they are very prosperous much more so than an independent Scotland would be,in the short to medium term at least,but they have no alternative to pass all EU laws in their own parliaments in order to trade with EU countries without having any input to decisions in Brussels and Strasbourg but Norway does have a lobby office in Brussels.’

    This is something which I find pretty amusing, and it’s the inference that the laws the EU passes are somehow completely against our society? Can you name one EU law that you don’t agree with?

    I can’t.

    So being an EFTA country would not really have much of an effect in that regard, what it does mean though, is that we for example could have more control over our main industries….perhaps someone can explain the effect TTIP will also have on EFTA countries though? As I’m not sure.

    My main issue with the EU is the influx of far right wing parties in the European Parliament, austerity policies, ECB policies of pumping in money to help the big companies rather than the people. Turnout rates across europe over european election et al, it just seems broken and needs reformed….we all know from previous experience that when something is broken, there is no going back when it comes to large systems like Parliaments.

    I’d vote to leave, I’d probably tell the pollster that, but at the end of the day, whatever way it looks like England is voting, I’ll be doing the opposite….with great zeal.

    Dunno how many people out there are thinking the same way…maybe 45% ; )

  113. Craig P says:

    Ian Brotherhood, you want to know where are the ‘Celebrate the Union’ meetings?

    You will find them in the corner of your living room, beamed out the goggle box every night of the week.

  114. AuldA says:

    I don’t want to lecture anybody, but an independent Scotland would probably suffer not to be in the UE. Farming would not benefit from any kind of subsidies anymore. Big companies would surely move to settle in a EU country, where they would operate seamlessly with the other 27 countries (Ireland?) – imagine a US company: they would have to pay taxes to import stuff in Scotland, then further taxes from Scotland to mainland; it would probably just give up Scotland and move its sheds to some place within the EU. An independent and non-EU member Scotland would therefore mainly rely on its domestic market (not that huge), tourism (only during Summer) and exportations of oil. That may be acceptable for Norway, but I’m sure Scots are much more tied to Europe than Norwegians.

    Besides, Scottish workers would not be automatically allowed to work on the mainland, and surely Scottish students would not be granted the same status than other European students.

    It’s true the EU is leaning on the right-wing, but, at the same time, only a big organization such as the EU has the power to chase the major companies that exploit loopholes in taxation systems and force the states to close those loopholes (see what’s happening in Ireland and Luxembourg).

    Okay, the EU is not the panacea, and it is far to be perfect. But it is still far better than a Europe made up of back to back isolated nations competing together.

  115. Capella says:

    @ Ken500
    “Fishing is a red herring.” Ha ha, very funny!
    In fishing towns like Fraserburgh pre EEC, everyone knew their second cousin twice removed. Reason? Boats were usually owned by family “syndicates” and you needed to know who was “in” to share the income.
    After Heath bartered fishing access for EU rebates, fish stocks became depleted.
    Then the Thatcher government changed boat ownership to make the skipper the legal owner. Skippers then became millionaires by selling their licenses to European fishing syndicates. Many young people who would once have entered the fishing industry took up a heroin habit instead (the Mafia moving into the relatively wealthy North East after the oil boom).
    I regard that as very relevant to any discussion about the cost to Scotland of being in the UK.

  116. Capella says:

    I would add that farm subsidies in the EU were developed for the typical small farm setup prevalent in Europe. But our UK government, overrun by large estate owners as it is, who sit in the House of Lords amending legislation to their own benefit, ensured that wealthy large estates benefit most from these subsidies.
    George Monbiot has written extensively about the absurd land rights and subsidies showered on wealthy estate owners.
    See “Will Scotland please get off its knees and challenge the people who claim to own it.”

  117. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Those who fondly imagine the mainstream newspaper media don’t have much effect an ymore should understand that without it we would have easily won the referendum.
    Similarly the ill informed anti EU opinions held by many Scots are generally of those who read the Mail, the Express and the Sun “newspapers”
    These all have a barely disguised pro American anti European attitude reflecting a deep seated Anglo/American power elite

  118. think again says:

    Let us not forget that the SNP campaigned to leave the EU in 1975. I spent time in a van with a loudhailer doing just that. I still wish we had never joined but have come round to the opinion that it would be better to remain in until some time after independence at least. Then we can vote on it from a purely Scottish perspective.

    The main goal regardless of anything else is to get as many MPs as possible on the green benches in May.

  119. AuldA says:

    Thanks for this article. I didn’t know how scandalous was land property in Scotland. It’s hardly believable the feudal system was abolished only a decade ago, when France get rid of it in 1789…

    There is still a long path ahead of us.

  120. chalks says:

    AuldA – I agree with some aspects, but can you answer whether scotlands share of what we pay into the EU, we get back from the EU?

  121. Capella says:

    @ AuldA
    Madame Guillotine took care of your aristos in 1789 (but I expect many crept back later to some extent – but not all the way).
    George Monbiot has many excellent articles on the iniquitous diversion of EU funds to line the ermine pockets of land owning lords. You can be forgiven for not knowing about this. Most Scottish people don’t know either. It is not taught in schools. People were cleared from the land and their descendants now populate the big cities of the central belt: Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

  122. AuldA says:


    You mean, in case of an independent Scotland? It’s hard to say, and surely beyond my ken to answer. But remember that the being in the EU is not only a matter of money. It has a lot of advantages: EU companies can place bids for public franchise (think about the recent case of Scottish railways) or works anywhere in the EU, EU citizens can work anywhere and there are mutual agreements regarding health care, etc., the EU sponsors and fosters a lot of research work and various projects in different areas, especially science, wildlife protection, renovation of historic buildings, various cultural events, etc., the EU itself sometimes drives big projects (e.g. Galileo, even though one cannot say it’s a bonny success), you don’t bother with borders or customs when you travel, young students can enroll in Erasmus if they wish to study abroad, and so on.

  123. chalks says:


    I mean including all that….and I mean in our present situation right now.

    I’ve never seen anything like a breakdown of it….i.e. what we put in, what we are supposed to get back and what we actually get given from westminster and just how westminster holds us back from certain things and hurts us by not standing up for us – Common Fisheries Policy in favour of lower rebate

    I’m aware of all the ‘hidden’ advantages of it, was just interested to see if anyone knew the figures

  124. bjsalba says:

    So the Don’t Knows are the key. Unfortunately I think that they are the people who do not take a interest in politics. The question is, where do they get their information to make up their minds? Is it MSM or where?

  125. AuldA says:


    Oh, it wasn’t Madame G. It was the abolition of the privileges. Well, don’t scratch too much under the surface. Power was transferred from (the mainly ruined) aristocracy to the (rich) bourgeoisie that later became the leaders of the 19th century industrial revolution, under the Third empire (1851 – 1870). But at least, feudal property regime was disposed of, and slavery was outlawed, too (to be later re-established by Napoleon, before being forever banned during the Second republic).

    Thanks for your forgiveness. But I’m not sure the fact that it is not taught in school is an excuse. People should investigate for themselves on such matters.


    I wonder if anybody in Scotland can answer such question. It’d be worth asking your MSP that could maybe in turn ask the government during, e.g., FMQ at Holyrood?

  126. X_Sticks says:

    Sorry, always O/T ;}

    Live Indy broadcasting live video on Florenci Ferrusola on imminent Catalan developments ON NOW

  127. Lollysmum says:

    @ X sticks at 5.30
    Link not working

  128. Marlowe says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    “there’s virtually no chance of there being an in/out referendum”

    You’re mad.

    No, not mad, just following the logic. Unless there’s a seismic shift in the polls between now and May there will not be a majority at WM post-GE2015 for an in/out referendum. So it won’t happen.

    And anyone who thinks Lab will put a ref in their manifesto should read this

  129. Tom Wilde says:

    Congratulations on commissioning a very interesting opinion poll. Not only interesting but also, from my standpoint, rather encouraging. So UKIP Scotland are up to 7% support, well ahead of the LibDems and Greens, and Scots are now almost evenly divided as to whether Britain should stay in the EU or not. A few months back you could hardly find any Scottish politics story that didn’t include the SNP’s twin claims that (a) UKIP is irrelevant in Scotland and (b) Scotland’s enduring love of the EU sets it decisively apart from rUK politics. Ah well, I suppose we won’t be hearing those two theories any more.

  130. Taranaich says:

    @Grouse Beater:Excellent post, Taranaich.

    @Ian Logan: Well said as Usual!

    I just noticed that my spell-checker “corrects” your user-name to “Anarchist” but you probably knew that already!

    @John King: What Taranaich says!

    Cheers, all!

    @Bob Mack: I think many people on this site agree with everything you say, including myself, but you must also understand that Brussels is also seen by many people as a mechanism of control, albeit less than Westminster.

    I absolutely do understand that. I’ve actually been rather hardened towards the EU during the campaign, where I can see perfectly legitimate reasons to leave. But as you say, education is the key: they need to understand just the sheer level of divergence between European control and Westminster control, and I don’t think they do.

    @ronnie anderson: Taranaich. I did’nt say we should vote to stay in the EU whilst still in the UK,getting out of the UK is 1st & foremost.

    Oh, I know – to clarify, I was more talking about the No voters who insist that there’s some sort of hypocrisy in wanting to leave the UK yet remain in the EU. The sort of No voter, I suspect, who wants to leave the EU – and thus, is just as much a Vile Separatist as you or I!

    To me, this situation’s like this: you’re in a bar. There’s a big thug holding a gun against your back under his jacket. The thug orders your drinks for you, takes your money, talks to all the patrons and staff for you, and you can’t say a thing, or he’ll shoot. Some of the other patrons think something’s amiss, but don’t say anything, feeling it isn’t their problem: it’s something you have to sort out for yourself.

    Eventually you made a choice: do I try to get free of the gunman, or do I stay put and hope things work themselves out? You opted for the latter, afraid of what the gunman’s strength and the danger of being thrown out. But as time goes on, you start to realise that it’s not going to happen, and start to reconsider – maybe five minutes, definitely in ten minutes’ time.

    But before that, the gunman decides he wants to leave the bar. You have another choice: do you choose to stay in the bar even as he tries to leave, hoping that will offer you a second chance to free yourself? Or do you choose to leave the bar with him and hope it all works out?

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