Should we leave or remain?

shipwreck photo
Photo by nathanmac87
My beloved wife and I have been agonising over what to do with regard to Brexit – should we stay in Scotland or leave for a new life on the continent? I might or might not be able to get Permanent Residence here (I probably can, but I’ve lost some of the necessary paperwork, so it’d be a hassle), but if Brexit ends up as the complete disaster that seems most likely at the moment, and if Scotland doesn’t find the mojo to leave, we’d rather our children grew up in a place with a future; however, my wife is only a UK citizen, so she might not be able to move to the rEU easily after March 2019, so it’d be safer to leave before then. Because it’s a hassle to move children during term time, it means the best time to leave Scotland will be the summer of 2018, i.e., in six to eight months’ time.

We’d rather remain here, but we’ll only do that if it looks like it’ll be a soft Brexit, if Brexit gets cancelled, or if Scotland looks like escaping the madhouse in time.

With that in mind, I arranged a wee Twitter poll, which attracted slightly more than 200 responses:

  • 74%: Stay – Scotref will save us
  • 17%: Relax and see what happens
  • 1%: Stay – the UK will remain
  • 8%: Leave – before March ’19

Personally, I don’t think a new independence referendum will come soon enough to save EU citizens and their families. I simply cannot see why Theresa May (or any other Tory PM, for that matter) would agree to it before the end of the transitional period (so probably by December 2020), and probably not even then. Also, if Westminster won’t play ball, almost all scenarios I can think of leads us into UDI territory, and the events in Catalonia have demonstrated that the EU really doesn’t like that. The only workable scenario I can think of is for Scotland to take the UK government to court for not agreeing to a referendum (arguing that there is a precedent for Westminster to grant such requests by a devolved parliament), but as far as I remember, Nicola Sturgeon ruled that out a while ago. Of course the referendum might happen in spite of everything, but it would be a huge gamble.

It’s always tempting to wait and see, but it’s also very dangerous when the risks are so high. I guess many of the people recommending this approach are pro-Brexit or at least think there’s a decent chance it’ll work out fine. Also, those who think the UK will end up with a soft Brexit are likely to have ticked this box.

Practically nobody thought Brexit would get cancelled. I’m actually quite surprised the number was so low, given that so many people are working on stopping it.

Finally, I was slightly surprised that so many people thought the best option would be to escape the country. Sadly, I fear most of the realists were found here, not least because most of the comments I received backed up this option:

  • “Not for me to offer any advice since I’m not there, but I don’t think the UK is staying, and I think it will leave chaotically.”
  • “Plan for the worst; hope for the best.”
  • “If you can get out I suspect it’s probably a good plan.”
  • “I’d say make plans. Waiting for other people’s decisions to shape your life is fraught with problems, as we all know.”
  • “Make sure a last minute decision can be implemented at short notice. Wait for now – but if no ref has been called, get the hell out. The UK is not fit for human habitation, and you can always come back after indy.”
  • “From a personal, selfish point of view, I really hope you stay. If Scotland loses people like you and your multi-lingual, intelligent kids, it’ll be much poorer and I hope indyref will sort it so we don’t leave. If I were actually you though…I’d be gone before 2019.”

Of course Twitter polls don’t tell you what the future will bring, but it does say something about the views of your followers. I’m surprised so many people are thinking we’ll get a new independence referendum within the next year or so, and it’s worrying me that nobody believes Brexit can be stopped. I guess we’ll need to start packing our suitcases soon.

7 thoughts on “Should we leave or remain?”

  1. Just one point; there is no chance that we would get a judicial review of a Westminster refusal to grant a Section 30 Order. That is a political judgement, something which courts avoid at all costs.

    1. That’s a good point. And that makes it really difficult to move forwards if Westminster continue to refuse a new referendum.

  2. My sympathies with your position.
    Jeremy C has just removed the Single Market option so it looks like a Hard Brexit or the negotiated deal are the only choices.

    There is a Court case which has been started to determine whether Brexit can be unilaterally reversed by the UK, personallyI hope it cannot as this removes all doubt, and indyref2 is a definite.

    The Scottish Government is then faced with working out the timing. Whislt I respect what you see as your tenuous position and I don’t envy your choices the SG has to call indyref2 when the chance of success is at a maximum. This means the more people that are peed off with Westminster the better. So waiting for clarity seems to be the best position for a YES vote.
    Unfortunately YES is not “in the bag” and opinion polls are not shifting fast enough for you.

    Another consideration which most people have overlooked is the possibility that Scotland can apply for EU Membership on 30Mar19 as there will be no representation from UK jurisdictions after 29Mar19 unless Brexit is cancelled. This of course would be my Plan B if indyref2 fails.

    Further, I don’t think an EU country would oppose you relocating with your wife and kids sometime after Brexit so I would not be in any rush to move unless you have other issues which need addressed.

    Freedom is worth fighting for.

    1. If we move after Brexit, my wife would potentially be treated as any other 3rd country citizen, which at least in Denmark would make it really difficult to get her in.

  3. I am a Scot living in Denmark with a Danish wife. I am currently trying to qualify myself for Danish citizenship – not an easy thing to do in the present political climate in Denmark.

    Qualifying for Danish citizenship means passing exams in Danish – which I have now done. There were lots of other Brits taking those exams, too. And every one I spoke to said they were doing it for the same reason I was – to qualify for Danish citizenship because of Brexit.

    1. Thanks – I’m no surprised that so many people are doing it. It’s the safest option, of course.

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