England’s Prime Minister David Cameron has shown himself to be a reckless lover of dangerous games. For a leader who professes such commitment to the utopian vision of a Thatcherite Britain, he has proven himself over and again to be more of a political pyromaniac – toying with the flames that threaten the very existence of his United Kingdom. What he proclaimed as a resounding victory for the union in September 2014 has produced the perfect storm conditions in Scotland for the breakup of Britain, and now, being led by a fringe rightest agenda, he is sailing close to the wind of complete economic ruin. It is no secret that a British exit from the European Union will force the constitutional question in Scotland, but the effects of a Brexit on Scotland and the rest of the UK are less predictable. What is for sure, in both the best and worst case scenarios, is that everyone will suffer a little bit more, except, that is, those living off the Westminster cream.
Economic ruin, as a rule, never hurts those at the top. Time and again we have seen, and especially through the current economic mess, that the wealthy increase their share of the cake at the cost of those who have least. In the event of England voting to part ways with the EU the economy of the UK will take an immediate hit. This is unavoidable. Cameron and the British political élite are adamant that London will be able to negotiate with Brussels a continuation of a number of EU faculties such as an open market and the right to travel, but this want to have the cake and eat it flies in the face of European agency. A British exit will make few friends on the continent and neither Germany nor France will be receptive to listening to British demands.
A casual look along the shelves of the local supermarket gives an impression of the sheer bulk of EU imports that feed and clothe this island nation of ours. The restoration of trade tariffs between the UK and the EU won’t stop these good from arriving on our shelves, but they certainly will not be as cheap. Don’t worry, Cameron and generations of Tories before him, have been working on a bargaining chip – British exports to Europe. The rigid application of Thatcherite corporatist policies has obliterated British manufacturing to boost the money-on-paper economy of the City of London. The EU, as Greece, Ireland, and Spain have learnt, has quite an abundance of financial centres. Without beads to offer the chiefs in Berlin and Brussels Europe has nothing to gain from a petulant little Britain which wants the best of both worlds. Cameron clearly needs Europe more than Europe needs him.
If the bullet happens to be in the chamber for this pull of the referendum trigger then Scotland too will feel the force of the Brexit impact. Westminster’s hatchet job on Syria has opened a new oil pipeline through Turkey into the EU (funding ISIS incidentally), and all of a sudden what was once the EU’s only oil producing economy loses its market. With nothing for the piggies to take to market and barrels of unwanted oil Scotland will be utterly bankrupted, and once we have nothing we will see exactly what Westminster meant when it said we were Better Together. Reduced to nothing more than an English dependency Scotland will have no choice but to force the end of the union or face the grim future of becoming an extension of England’s northern post-industrial wasteland.