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By Jason Michael
By March next year, if we have not secured another referendum, it will be clear that this movement will have to look for an alternative route to independence. We cannot delay forever and we can’t follow a party that fails to give us what we want.
After resetting the decision of the Scottish parliament to seek another independence referendum Nicola Sturgeon told us that we would be hearing more about the Scottish government’s plans later in the spring. That’s not quite true. The “spring conference” has been put back to 8 – 9 June, meaning we might hear more about whether or not we will be having another referendum at the start of the summer. As no one’s going to hold a referendum in winter, this summertime announcement gives us a slim window for a campaign before an autumn referendum. Nothing about this temporal uncertainty is particularly clever for anyone hoping for a 2018 ScotRef.
Strictly speaking we do not need the permission of the British government to hold another referendum, but, given that a precedent was set with the Section 30 Order and the Edinburgh Agreement of 2012, we will have to take this route again. Not doing it this way will only give Westminster grounds to challenge it and possibly even manage to put us in the same constitutional position as Catalonia. If at the June conference in Aberdeen the First Minister fires the starting gun – again – the first step will be a request for another Section 30, a request Britain has the power to deny or delay long enough to render the entire project moot.
Scotland will be used to fund England's greatest ever mistake. #Brexit—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) April 05, 2018
Regardless of how the British government play this, a referendum announced in early June will be faced with this initial delay – and that gives us even less time to fight and win a campaign. Supposing, of course, London doesn’t act the maggot, then we are looking down the barrel of a two month campaign ahead of a September date. This is cutting it fine to say the least, but we can work with this provided we are sufficiently resourced and can inject enough enthusiasm and energy into the movement.
Everyone looking at this can see the schedule is tight. We are standing at the non plus ultra of a 2018 referendum, and if June comes and goes without an affirmation from Ms Sturgeon we are faced with the prospect an eleventh hour vote early next year or – worse – an indefinite suspension.
Next year is too late, and it is troubling – quite frankly – to see how many people in the independence movement do not get this. Brexit fundamentally alters the political landscape on which we are campaigning for independence. Outside the European Union and without anything approaching an equitable trade agreement; which is the most likely outcome, the United Kingdom will be forced to rely on Scotland’s mineral resources. Britain cannot survive a southbound Brexit without its northern lifeline. After the end of March next year, even with a negotiated transition period, London will not run the risk of losing Scotland.
David Crayton (@doufous) April 05, 2018
As this Brexit train wreck staggers on more EU citizens are leaving Scotland and by the time the Article 50 negotiations are over and the UK finally closes the door on Europe EU citizens will no longer be entitled to vote. Given the numbers and the constant fluctuation in the level of support for independence, we simply cannot afford to delay this referendum to a point in time where we have effectively excluded a sizeable section of the population that would be voting for Scotland to remain in the EU.
We have until September – October at the very latest – to launch, campaign, and win this referendum. This assessment isn’t merely my own impatience. This is simply the maths of the situation we are in. We have a window of opportunity that is closing fast. It is now or never.
Come April next year we will have to accept that Scottish people will want to be getting back to normal; whatever normal is after indyref. We can’t keep a whole country in campaign mode forever, and if the party offering hungry independentistas the bread they seek gives them nothing but stones we can expect to see support for that party deflate faster than the Hindenburg airship. The failure of the SNP to deliver another referendum before Brexit will be a disaster – not for the cause of independence, but for the Scottish National Party.
🏴HaitchHaitch🏴 (@HaitchHaitch) April 05, 2018
There is no doubt independence is coming. Any idiot looking at the results of the 2014 vote and the polls since then can see the trend. Unionism in Scotland is quite actually dying. In fifty years, with or without the SNP, pro-independence sentiment will be the norm in Scotland. This is a natural consequence of devolution. The problem, however, is that we are faced with the necessity of expediting this process if we are to defend our decision to remain in the EU.
My own campaign for independence has nothing whatsoever to do with political nice touches or “radical” or “progressive” government. Good governance is a separate issue. Good government can – and should be – delivered by almost any political party in almost any country and in almost any political context. I am not in this for a “better deal for Scotland” – the political cause of making things better in North Britain. My campaign is about independence because Scotland ought to be an independent state and because foreign domination is and has always been destructive.
By the end of March next year, if we have not secured another referendum, it will be clear to me at least that my campaign is over. I will always support the cause of the independence of my country and I will always help the cause when occasion demands, but it will be clear that our No vote in 2014 has been ratified by a Scottish government that has squandered a triple mandate and at least three constitutional crises. At that point I don’t know what more I can be expected to give. If that day comes I will be thinking seriously about my own options and about an alternative road to freedom.
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