The Scottish National Party (SNP) is arguing that the Scottish people voted for the UK to remain in the European Union; therefore, since the UK is now set to leave the European Union (aka Brexit), Scotland should be allowed to remain in the EU. For this to be made possible, there should be a second Scottish Independence Referendum so that Scotland’s voters can vote for independence from the UK (let’s call it ‘Scotit’) and then, er, cede that independence to the European Commission.
So, on the matter of the EU Referendum, Mrs Sturgeon’s view is that the democratic wish of the people must be observed; she will fight for Scotland to remain a member of the EU. On the matter of the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum, Mrs Sturgeon’s view is that the democratic wish of the people must not be observed; she will fight for an ‘independent’ Scotland, to be governed by others. I must say that I’m struggling a bit with all this.
I can’t elucidate quite why (yet), but I have a pretty strong sense that, once again, the political class (specifically the SNP, to be honest) is semi-detached from popular reality. I suspect that if there were a second Scottish Independence Referendum tomorrow the voters of Scotland (carefully worded as such) would vote to remain in the UK.
I say this especially if the SNP pitched its side of the argument in any such referendum as ‘Vote for Scottish independence so that Scotland can re-join the European Union’. The Scottish EU Remain vote as part of a UK-wide referendum would not, in my opinion, automatically transpose into a vote for an ‘independent’ Scotland predicated heavily on Scotland re-joining the EU.
Sturgeon may well have shot herself in the foot (and arm, leg, stomach, face etc) by linking Scottish ‘independence’ so strongly to EU membership. I suspect that the truly fervent Scottish nationalists want just that: an independent Scottish nation, not one governed by some faceless blokes in Brussels. Many of the rest of Scotland’s voters, if they have an appetite at all for all this, would probably either not bother to vote in a second Scottish Independence Referendum, or would vote to stick with the UK.
The fundamental challenge for the politicos now is whether to entertain a second Scottish Independence Referendum at all? Goodness knows how they/we decide on that one.
Meantime, despite everything this past few weeks, I just can’t see 50+% of Scottish voters laying awake at night hankering after life in the European Union – like Mrs Sturgeon seems to be doing.