The SNP’s indy ref logic is bonkers


The SNP’s indy ref logic is bonkers

The SNP’s logic is flawed, says John Redwood. Leaving the EU single market is bad, and yet leaving the UK single market, which is four times bigger for Scotland’s trade, would be good…

I was pleased Mr Cameron gave the Scots a referendum on the future of Scotland in the UK. I sought assurances in the Commons that the SNP would accept the result, just as I and others who supported the Union agreed willingly to accept the result. The SNP made clear they thought it was a once in a generation opportunity. They said of course they would accept the verdict of the people.  It is therefore disappointing that their Leader now thinks they need a second referendum in fewer than five years from the first one which they lost.

Her argument is that leaving the EU represents a major change in circumstances. Apparently leaving the EU single market would be bad news, yet leaving the UK single market which is four times bigger for Scotland’s trade would be good news. She wants a referendum before the UK has left the EU, based on a guess as to the final terms of any Agreement on our future relationship. It is difficult to see why this makes any sense. Surely if the departure from the EU is important, the SNP would wish to see it completed and see how the new Agreement works out before asking Scottish voters again to express their wishes on membership of the UK.

I trust the PM will explain that the Union Parliament will not grant a referendum all the time we are seeking to implement the results of the last on the EU. Polls indicate there is little demand in Scotland for a second referendum. There is more demand for the SNP to use the substantial powers they already have to govern Scotland better. A referendum on the future of Scotland in the Union is a matter for the Westminster Parliament. I would think it would be wise to review the matter after the next Scottish election. If the SNP has done well in that by standing on a ticket of wanting a second referendum then the UK will have to consider the request carefully.

I only want volunteers in our Union, and am glad we settle these things by referendum votes. I also think we need reasonable periods of constitutional stability between major referenda, so governments can use the powers they have got for the purpose intended: the improvement of public services and the pursuit of a more prosperous and decent society. The UK is a serious democratic country. Occasional referenda on big issues are part of that. Constant repeats of referenda would turn us into a debating society with government constantly diverted from the day job of governing well.

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  • John Redwood MP
    John Redwood MP
    John Redwood is the Member of Parliament for Wokingham in Berkshire. He was formerly Secretary of State for Wales in Prime Minister John Major's Cabinet. He is currently Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party's Policy Review Group on Economic Competitiveness.
    • Sgt_Bilko

      Yada yada, I’ve heard it all before. The real question is why successive Conservative governments allow this to continue. It’s so blatantly obvious that the liberal left has a huge propaganda base funded to the tune of billions every year, so I can only assume a large chunk of so called Conservatives secretly agree with them.

    • Michael990

      Please don’t call the BBC ‘Auntie’ any more. It is far too friendly and applied only to the OLD, pre 1980s BBC.. It’s as bad as calling Blair ‘Tony Blair’.

    • Landphil

      Whereas the shouty health crisis is confined to Westminster.

    • Peter Parker

      ‘Yesterday, I was phoned to be asked onto the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning. They said they wanted me to answer questions about how the election would change the UK’s ability to negotiate a good new relationship with the EU.’

      Bit naive of you to believe them, no?

    • Eric Thacker

      Yep, let us English be in the referendum. Bye bye Jocks, bye bye SNP and bye bye the dreadful Sturgeon and Salmond.

      • Bill

        They really are dreadful, Salmond in particular. I close friend of mine held a senior position in the Post Office in Scotland and gave me a glimpse of what he’s like. I won’t repeat the words my friend used, but let’s just say the schoolyard bully always gets it in the teeth eventually. It’s wonderful seeing AS taken apart by Brillo! I have a degree in psychology and I seriously think he’s a depressive.

    • Forlorn Hope

      Give England a vote, it will guarantee Scottish independence.

    • Calvin Graham

      Logic and common sense don’t apply to the SNPs viewpoint though. Absolutely everything is a reason for independence and anyone who says otherwise is part of the Murdoch press or an English traitor.

My cartoon take on it:

    • Debs

      They have substantial Powers . They have their unique identity as Scots intact and clearly are a seperate country within the Union. The rest of the Union supports them financially.What more is there.

    • Derek

      Here’s some discomforting data for the SNP
      Deficit around 10%. Scotland does not meet several of the key Maastricht criteria and has almost no chance of correcting this in time for a hypothetical Brexit.
      Very low economic growth – around 1/4 of the UK’s
      Future oil revenues largely will be spent on decommissioning leaving little tax revenue
      EU have reiterated Scotland will have to become an independent country first and then apply for membership.
      Biggest exports are to rUK which have grown by 70% since 2002
      Lowest exports are to the EU which have only increased about 10-% since 2002.
      However the political brain is truly stupendous at totally ignoring all discomforting data

    • getahead

      Scottish independence is the SNP’s sole raison d’être. The consequences are of no importance.

      • Forlorn Hope

        Based on Anglophobia.

    • ratcatcher11

      The last referendum was based on fake economics produced by the SNP to justify their stance and of course all generated by oil revenues. The Scots were lucky they did not fall for it, because they would be needing a massive bail out by now as the revenues from oil dried up. American shale and tar sands are producing massive amounts of oil, gas and oil products, and the price of oil will never rise again above $50 a barrel. There is little that Scotland has to offer although they will get their fishing grounds back when we leave the EU. If Scotland wants separation under these conditions they will return to the failed State they were when they begged England to let them join the Union in the first place. In the meantime, the SNP have run up a £15 billion black hole in their accounts that they can’t fill. History it seems is repeating itself one again.

    • John Smith

      5 Years!
      Indy Ref 1 was on 18 September 2014
      Two and a half years ago

      • Kingstonian

        And if IndyRef2 is held in the spring of 2019 it will be almost 5 years since IndyRef1. Your question was what?

    • PierrePendre

      Whether or not the Scots would be sensible to leave the union, Sturgeon has cleverly escaped the trap she was in over calling a referendum by suggesting a date in late 2018 or early 2019 and forcing May to refuse it. She now has the luxury of continuing to stoke nationalist grievances over the denial of a referendum without being in any danger of having to actually hold and probably lose one for the foreseeable future and it’s all May’s fault. If the SNP were as good at governing as they are at playing politics, they’d be unbeatable.

      • disqus_54Dk4MKqmm

        I am sure that eventually another referendum will be granted, there cannot be any reasonable objection if Holyrood want it. However, unless Scotland’s economic position is transformed, the implications of independence will be stark. The Scots won’t vote for economic disaster. On the other hand, if the SNP don’t call another referendum, they will be shown up as no longer relevant. I will be getting the popcorn out.

    • Andrew Briggs

      Sturgeon is not troubled by economic arguments – her motivation is being the star of Braveheart 2. (Remind me how the first one turned out for them ?)

      • Dragonfighter

        So, if Ms Sturgeon wants to be Wilma Wallace, I want to know who is Roberta Bruce?

      • Vindpust

        Braveheart was as much a fiction as Sturgeon’s view of Scotland’s interests.

        • ratcatcher11

          As much a fiction as the SNP’s economic plans.

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