England looks set to leave the European Union, and regardless of Scotland’s vote to remain our democracy will not be counted. We must stand up and make this our chance to leave the United Kingdom and remain in Europe.
Polling across the UK has shown a consistency in online and telephone polls that the majority in the union now wish to leave the European Union. A sub-national breakdown of these polls, however, shows clearly that England’s vote – as the only nation looking likely to secure a leave result – will carry Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar with it. The most recent poll (Guardian/ICM) has further undermined confidence in the British pound, indicating the damage leaving the EU will do to our entire economy. Regardless of the response of the European Union and individual member states to a British exit, it is beyond doubt that the reaction of the currency markets will damage our ability to trade anywhere in the Eurozone.
Stephen Paton (@stephenpaton134) May 31, 2016
In the event of England electing to leave and Scotland to remain – now the most probable outcome – the Scottish government must use the democratically expressed will of Scotland as its mandate to press for our immediate cessation from the United Kingdom. This referendum, like every referendum in Scotland, is the sovereign voice of our nation, and our failure to assert this freedom and once again acquiesce to the whim of Westminster will be our own betrayal of the independence cause. By ignoring the majority of Scots to follow after the folly of the victors of a Tory power struggle we will be responsible for the damage this course of action does to our country.
London will be an inevitable casualty in the British exit. The European Union, as a global trading bloc and political force, will simply not permit Europe’s financial centre to be in a non-member state such as the UK will become. We have to accept this because this is real politics, and this is how real political entities work. As a member state Britain’s trade with the EU is preferential, and this will no longer be the case after the UK’s departure. Europe, unlike the UK, is an expanding market, and traders within the EU will find other preferential partners. We know from long experience that the City of London will always buffer its losses by passing them on to Britain’s peripheries, and that means Scotland. Austerity is only just beginning.
We, as the people of Scotland, and the only people responsible for the future wellbeing of our nation, must act right now to protect ourselves. We must make sure that an English vote to leave ensures only an English exit. Boris Johnson has sold this to the English electorate as an English declaration of independence, and so we must also see this as a declaration of independence from us. Once Scotland has voted to remain, then England can go where it pleases. What each of us can do is take the initiative and contact our MPs and MSPs and let them know that it is not our will to leave the EU and, on voting to remain, as a sovereign nation, we refuse to leave. At the very least we must seize this opportunity to force a second referendum on our independence.
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