danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
[personal profile] danieldwilliam

A serious thought about the EU Referendum and the possibility of a second Scottish Independence referendum.

I was, and am, in favour of Scottish Independence within the EU.

I was, and am, in favour of the UK remaining part of the EU.

I wish I could have both. If we can not have both I think we should pick the EU over the UK.

Ideally, for me, Scotland would become independent from the UK whilst both were in the EU. There would be a natural and pre-existing trading arrangement. We (Scotland) would have to ride out a few years adjusting to running our own country, getting a workable currency and setting our tax rates right. It would be difficult in the short term but I think, on balance, probably, better economically and politically in the medium term. This is a guess not a promise and I might be wrong. Other people thought so and I respect their thought processes and their right to their own values and risk preferences.

But we don't live in an ideal world. There appears to be no sweet spot where we can have easy trading relationships with both the rest of the UK and the other 27 members of the EU. The next few years are going to be economically challenging in exactly the same way as Scottish Indepdence was always going to be. Avoiding the sunk cost fallacy we have to make the best of the situation we are in today, not the best of the situation we thought we were in a week ago. We have to go forward from where we are. Where we are, today,  is in flux, with both peril and opportunity on all sides.

And so, it might now be the case that Scottish Indepedence as  part of the EU is the best option for my country even if it wasn't when the rest of the UK was an EU member state.

If that is the case I think we should do it quickly. To quote the first and greatest British playwright

"Thereis a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of theirlife is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures."


"If it were donewhen 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly"

The position of the SNP before the EU referendum as I saw it was a) to reserve the right to hold a second referendum to Scottish people, and b) to actually wait until there was a pent up demand for independence. Fair and resonable under the circumstances in my view. But slow, so slow, so flat footed.

I think those circumstances have changed. We have a very strong vote for Remain in Scotland. Is that a proxy for a vote for Independence? Maybes Aye, Maybes Nay. There's only one way to find out soon. And find out soon we must. There is an opportunity for Scotland to profit from England's error. If we move quickly, quickly to establish a firm invitation to remain in the EU, quickly to hold and win an independence referendum and then quickly to set our trade and taxation policy so as to predate on England's uncertain future by encouraging international businesses currently located in England who want an Anglophone location in the EU to relocate to Scotland rather than Ireland. Which if they are going to do, they will do sooner rather than later.

Are the people of Scotland up for this? Only one way to find out. If we wait until we are certain the opportunity to walk away from the implosion of the UK with at least our own country and economy and people intact will be gone.

So I think Sturgon should get on a plane and fly round every European capital and ask them to jointly and severally invite Scotland to stay in the EU. If successful she should announce a referendum to be held before Christmas. If that is for independence then we negotiate SExit alongside Brexit and stay in the EU.

If unsuccessful we are not any worse off. If we wait to see how damaging Brexit will be and how that actually affects public opinion the damage to us will be done and the opportunity to ameliorate that damage with some prudent, sharp business will be lost.

To be clear - I am absolutely advocating that we (Scotland) conspire to stab our closest ally and dearest friend in the back. Et tu Scotus. We should not stand with them whilst they try to work out how to be a non-European nation. We should take advantage of their distress to prosper ourselves. What choice have they left us? What choice have we left ourselves.

I vote for #IndyRef2 within six months.

Date: 2016-06-25 12:10 am (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Alternate plan:

England and Wales has, just, in their stupidity and blinkered shortsightedness, voted that they want to leave the EU. This inevitably causes the breakup of the UK and GB.

Scotland should negotiate continued membership of the EU on existing UK terms (probably with NI in a confederated setup until the border issue is resolved), while England and Wales leave the UK.

Because that's what my family and neighbours voted for.

Scotland seceding the UK then applying to join the EU is massively problematic and has problems with some countries, especially Spain, blocking it. E&W leaving the UK is, constitutionally, easier to sort out.

If Sturgeon et al go down this route and get it setup before A.50 is invoked (ie, there's a timescale) then it's a far easier solution for all. No need for IndyRef2 in Scotland, you just had it.

Date: 2016-06-25 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com

That is more or less the plan with regards to Scotland and the EU - that Scotland never leaves.

There is certainly an argument to be made for the case that England's vote to leave the EU is a de facto vote for it to leave the UK.

I think we (Scotland) still need a plebiscite on the other side of the thing,  the not being part of the same country as England  (for some definition of "same country". Not necessarily for legal purposes but because things are going to be difficult and we need to go through a process of publically agreeing and affirming our commitment.

Date: 2016-06-25 10:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gonzo21.livejournal.com
Could Scotland remain part of the UK and also remain part of the EU? Without actually needing to declare independence?

Date: 2016-06-27 10:54 am (UTC)
andrewducker: (Illuminati)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
The Reverse Greenland?

Well, if Europe was willing to enter into a prolongued negotiation with the UK, with both sides wanting it, and having a willingness to compromise, I'm sure something could be done.

But this seems remarkably unlikely.

Date: 2016-07-07 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] widgetfox.livejournal.com
Someone made a point in conversation yesterday that Scotland is "referendum-ed out". I think you need to be really thoughtful about the timing here.

Date: 2016-07-08 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com

There is something in what your interlocutor says. They've been very time and energy consuming.

The timing may not be of our own making. There appears to be some arrangement being contemplated where Scotland exits the UK and goes through the process of remaining in the EU in parallel and in parallel with England leaving. Which would require a referendum within about 18 months.

It also depends what the mood of the nation settles down. If in six months time indyref polling is running at 60:40 for leaving the Union and remaining in the EU and the Labour Party come out for independence then it becomes more of a form filling exercise than the sort of deep process we ran last time.

There are also no great outcomes here - we may have to learn to like our porridge with lumps in.

Date: 2016-07-08 05:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] widgetfox.livejournal.com
For the people who want independence, why is that not a great outcome?

Date: 2016-07-08 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com

I think we need (or the best case would be ) for us to go through a period of nation building  before embarking on independence. It's going to be difficult. I'd prefer there to be a consistent large majority for independence   (rather than just against leaving the EU). Instead we might have to flee at pace when we agree about we have to do but not about what it means.

It's going to be economically challenging. We have to deal with a whole bunch of uncertainty. At the same time our largest and most intertwined trading partner will be in the process of receiving significant economic shocks. They also literally do not have enough public servants to run their own country. Mistakes will be made.

There is a slim but I think real chance that England ends up as a proto-fascist country. Also a slim but real chance that Northern Ireland falls back in to civil war. Altogether not an ideal neighbourhood.

So a difficult time to be implementing the results of what might be a snap decision. Scotland's economy will be less good and our polity less secure than if the EU referendum had not taken place.

Date: 2016-07-10 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] widgetfox.livejournal.com
Agree with all this. A counter-argument is that if Scotland with EU membership becomes a trading competitor of England, it is in a good place to succeed well.

Date: 2016-07-10 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danieldwilliam.livejournal.com

Well that's largely the point of the OP - that a Scotland in the EU is well placed to do comparatively well so long as it actively predates on the English economy.

But that's comparatively well compared to how things will turn out if we end up outside the EU as part of the same state as England. Not compared to how things would have been had both Scotland and England both remained in the EU and England's politics remained functioning.

Date: 2016-07-10 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] widgetfox.livejournal.com
I think they're slightly different. Predation can take place not only on actual economy but on business lost due to Brexit. That said, in balance I agree with your arguments.


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