Looking at Scottish independence and Brexit from afar

distance photoIt’s now been three months since I moved back to Denmark after 17 years in Scotland (I’ve been back to Scotland twice during that time, but only briefly). Although I’m still much more interested in Scottish politics than what’s happening in Denmark, I believe I’ve now starting to see things from the outside to some extent.

From my Danish vantage point, the Scottish independence movement seems to be in stasis. Yes, there are lots of discussions going on, and of course there’s a lot of outrage whenever the Tories open their mouths, but nothing tangible seems to be happening. People abroad have also moved on from Brexit, and I don’t think there’s much appetite for granting the UK another extension in September.

So if I were to gaze into my crystal ball, I think Boris Johnson will become Prime Minister, aim for a No-Deal Brexit, ask for an extension at the last minute, get a refusal, look surprised, let the UK crash out, come creeping back to the EU, get something that looks like May’s Withdrawal Agreement (just worse), and then spend the rest of his time in office making sure that Scotland doesn’t leave. And Scotland will continue to wait for permission to hold a new independence referendum, but the Tories of course won’t grant that, so nothing will happen.

Living in a small independent country where people just get on with things, it seems increasingly strange that the Scottish Government doesn’t seem to be in a rush, patiently waiting for the Tories to realise that allowing a new independence referendum is a great idea, and hoping that the more the Conservatives and Brexit wreck the country, the more people will support independence and the SNP.

I would have thought that seizing the moment would be the right thing to do, but perhaps it only seems so from abroad.

3 thoughts on “Looking at Scottish independence and Brexit from afar

  • 28/06/2019 at 08:51
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    Quite a lot of us here think exactly the same, and are very frustrated. I have to admit that I don’t know what to do about it. Leaping up and down in the street by myself doesn’t seem likely to change things, and too many Scots are complacent and / or apathetic…… I’m glad if things are working out back in Denmark, but sorry I that Scotland has lost you.

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  • 28/06/2019 at 16:21
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    Given you bore such a grudge against Scotgov for not being hardcore indy enough that you emigrated, this blog post is not surprising at all.

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  • 29/06/2019 at 01:17
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    I think we’re paralysed by the possibilities. It’s been described as “Schrodinger’s Brexit.” Until the box is opened and we know what kind of Brexit the UK is stuck with, we’re finding it very difficult to make a judgement whether that situation is preferable to Independence in the EU.

    Sure, it looks likely what your crystal ball describes will happen… but that is not a certainty yet. Even as late as September, IF formal parliamentary confidence in the UK government finally breaks, there will be a snap election. That itself will be enough grounds for the EU to grant a short extension. The consequences of that snap election? F*** knows, but it could kill Brexit stone dead.

    Ratification of May’s deal is also still a technical possibility. This path is still full of confusion and uncertainty because we still don’t know what the actual destination after the transition is supposed to be.

    I’d put the chances of a terminated Brexit somewhere between 5% and 10%. Extremely unlikely, but still possible enough that actually triggering IndyRef2 provides the UK political establishment a pivot which they can use to stop Brexit.

    IF Brexit is stopped, that scuttles the 2016 Holyrood mandate and provides grounds to cancel any planned referendum. Everyone knows the instability cannot continue forever. The impasse must break one way or the other. But even now, we can’t be sure which direction that will be.

    I’m sorry we’ve lost you, but at least you’re not neck deep in constant Brexit-Brexit-Brexit anymore.

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