By Jason Michael

Theresa May has a plan to block Scotland’s independence. The plan is simple: Get out of the EU with Scotland before putting an independent Scotland in the position of having to apply to get back in. She knows we won’t go for that.

As analogies go, this one is pretty apt and – considering the poppy frenzy has begun – quite seasonal. During September and October 1914 the German Army, according to the Schlieffen Plan, hoped to bring its war in the west to a speedy conclusion by cutting off Britain’s North Sea access to the continent before turning south and forcing a French surrender at Paris. Defending the coast became a winner-takes-all race and ultimately led to four years of trench warfare in Flanders and northern France, and the utterly pointless deaths of eighteen and a half million people.

Likewise, Theresa May’s Brexit offensive appears to be a similar zero-sum game. Nicola Sturgeon’s Edinburgh government requires one of two things; Scottish independence or a Brexit deal for Scotland that protects the rights of EU nationals living in Scotland and access to the free market – neither of which, as far as Theresa May is concerned, are on the table. On the face of it, this does look like May is trying to force Scotland into another referendum, and it will. Yet, and this is where we can see Westminster’s risky plan in all its glory, she knows that this referendum – for two reasons – is also a risk to Sturgeon and the entire cause of independence.

Sturgeon still may not win this second crack at the whip, and that may prove fatal for the SNP and Scotland’s dreams of independence – at least for the time being. The other is the question of timing. If the Scottish government is to succeed in the second independence referendum then it must be decided before the close of the Article 50 negotiations. Legally speaking, in the event that this vote has to take place after the finalisation of Brexit then Scotland is an outsider to the EU that must apply to get back in. This would seriously diminish Sturgeon’s chances of winning a vote for independence.

May knows full well what she’s doing, and so we find ourselves in a Race to the Sea. Sturgeon’s equivocation at the recent SNP convention in Glasgow underlines the divide in opinion. We all know that we need more time to secure – absolutely hammer down – a successful referendum, but we don’t have this time. It makes sense, had we have the luxury of time, to follow the instincts of the Haud Oan Party, but we know the plan is to cut us of at the Brexit deadline pass. The game is on, and we had better start thinking that the campaign has begun. Time is of the essence.

Another Try at Scottish Independence

Author: Jason Michael (@Jeggit)

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