By Jason Michael

FRUSTRATIONS ARE MOUNTING in the independence movement with the SNP’s continued dalliance with what is fundamentally an English – and therefore foreign – political project. Rather than seeing tonight’s almost unprecedented failure of the British government and the present trajectory of Brexit for what they are; a real and present threat to devolution and the whole campaign for independence, the SNP is continuing to play cross-party collegiate games at Westminster in the hope of mitigating the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union after the people of Scotland resoundingly rejected any form of Brexit in the 2016 referendum. Almost two-thirds of the Scottish electorate, a base comprised of independence supporters and unionists, voted to remain in the EU – giving the Scottish government a mandate and an obligation to defend the democratically expressed will of our nation.

We have almost reached the end of the Article 50 drama, and we are left to conclude – uncomfortably as that may be – that the SNP has consistently and comprehensively failed to uphold that mandate and meet that obligation. In the House of Commons SNP MPs, elected on the understanding they would work to safeguard Scotland’s interests and further the cause of independence, have effectively entered into a political process at odds with the will of their electors. By joining the campaign – in both Scotland and across the rest of the UK – for a people’s vote, a vote that offers only Brexit A and Brexit B, the SNP has simply accepted the London consensus that Scotland’s voice does not matter.

Peter Bell is correct in saying: “The idea that there is a path to independence through the arcane workings of Westminster is sheer folly.” So long as the agenda of the English parliament is to ignore the will of Scotland and seek one of two different strains of Brexit the only course open to the SNP is to work for the only solution that can ensure our voice is heard – independence. It has become patently obvious that remaining within the United Kingdom means accepting, as a matter of political fact, that Scotland is wholly subject to whim of England; that we are a completely dominated and silenced junior partner in this union state. Our continued presence at Westminster, not to mention the acquiescence of our MPs to the assumed priority of English opinion, is working against us. The longer we stay there, it appears, the further we travel from independence.

So cancerous has the Westminster game become to the independence cause that we now have Joanna Cherry – an SNP MP – advocating “a temporary cross-party UK Government to seek an extension of article 50, to hold a second EU referendum and then revoke article 50, before holding a general election.” Putting this in perspective, refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the British monarch and her heirs and successors, Irish Sinn Féin MPs refuse to take up their seats in the British parliament – recognising it for what it is, a foreign parliament. But here we are with the SNP taking the servile oath, engaging in a foreign political project while ignoring that Scotland rejected Brexit, and now considering joining – and wait for it – a unionist cross-party government to at once defend the structural integrity of the British state and deny England and Wales their democratic will.

This is not what the people of Scotland voted for when they sent the SNP as the majority Scottish party to the London parliament. This is not what the people of Scotland voted for when they voted to remain part of the European Union. We claim to be a democratic party. England and Wales voted to leave, let them leave. If they do not want the Brexit that is right now being offered them, then let them sort it out. This is not Scotland’s concern, and it is certainly not the concern of our MPs.

We have far more pressing issues in Scotland to keep us busy. Revoking Article 50 is not going to stop ‘Brexit.’ Brexit is not merely the decision of the English and Welsh electorate to leave the EU, it is the culmination of social and political grievances that have been simmering in those countries for decades. It is a social and political disposition that by far transcends the decision made in a single referendum, and it is a defining factor in the widening attitudinal difference between Scotland and England – slowly breaking the bonds of our current political union. Scots MPs at Westminster and MSPs at Holyrood are wasting their time attempting to solve the Brexit conundrum. Brexit is foreign politics to Scotland in every conceivable understanding of that word. But by engaging in this foreign political game – by fighting England’s wars – we risk much more: We risk an unwilling Scotland being pulled with a willing England out of Europe, and most likely binding ourselves fast to England’s domination of us for decades to come.

After 29 March the rules of the game will change. Even the chief Brexiteers have conceded that in the immediate aftermath of Brexit the United Kingdom will suffer an economic and financial shock magnitudes greater than the 2007 credit crunch. Jacob Rees-Mogg is on record stating it might take fifty years for recovery to begin. The word from Ireland tonight was “brace for impact.” After 29 March – just 73 days from now – Britain’s economic and financial survival will become dependent on Scotland’s oil and gas resources to a degree to which it never has in the past. After Brexit, if we do not manage to get out, London will no longer be subject to European legal oversight – we will have no help from EU law and no recourse to the European Convention on Human Rights or to the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Outside the EU London will be free to govern Britain as it sees fit. After Brexit, winning independence for Scotland becomes a whole different ball game.

We have a choice: England’s Brexit and a much longer road to independence or independence now. If we want to avoid Brexit – any form of Brexit – then we must reach for independence now – today, and without delay. Our MPs and MSPs have no time to waste pretending to be the saviours of England. Nothing will stop Brexit. Brexit is an English state of mind. Every ounce of our strength and all our efforts must now be put behind escaping Brexit by taking the independence road, and this is what we elected the SNP to do – to defend Scotland. It is time it started taking that mandate seriously, because time is fast running out and this might well be our last shot.


‘Leitrim Hard Border’ by Seamus O’Rourke

032 001

4 thoughts on “In Danger of Losing Independence

    The SNP can not win Brexit. Actually, Westminster will now blame SNP for brexit.

    Forget May’s deal or Corbyn’s deal…they are giant decoys. I suspect “No Deal” actually has the majority in parliament…only no one wants to be caught carrying the can. Hence every step has been playing to have No-Deal Brexit by running the clock down and be the last party standing.

    Westminster with Henry VIII powers and civil society on the edge – Scotland will finally see the true and darkest face of English colonialism. If you think NI troubles were brutal…they didn’t have oil and England was nowhere near as desperate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to agree with all this. I was at an SNP Branch exec last night. To a person heads in the sand preparing to canvass for a GE. No one would listen to me calling d or our MPs and MSPs to dissolve the union now?

    I am afraid the SNP is too bent on trying to save the union rather than help us to Independence.
    The question is why?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @iancaisteal
      This saddens me no end. I was hoping (against all odds) that YES were taking this moment seriously and working in the background. England itself shone a light on the inequity built-in to the Union ….they will not give this gift again.

      If YES can not see the forrest for the trees…and can’t resist every Westminster game and distraction they will forever be like a cat chasing a laser pointer.- Its fun to watch but ultimately futile.

      Unless they always step towards independence…there will never be independence.

      Liked by 1 person

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