I seems to me that Nicola Sturgeon likes to see herself as a “bit different” as a politician. One that is honest and clear and doesn’t mind coming clean when a mistake has been made. I am not entirely sure I would agree after watching the Andrew Neil Interview with Nicola Sturgeon on 25/11/2019. I am afraid to say that Nicola Sturgeon is like all other politicians the world over: they tell a story and only present the facts that reinforce and validate their claims; any information that is contrary to their position is never revealed and always ignored, if possible, when questioned. There were several instances of this in the interview.
EU Accession of an Independent Scotland
Many people in Scotland, not only those who are pro Scottish Independence, have criticised the fact that they are being taken out of the EU against their will. I always find this a wee bit annoying: yes the Scottish Electorate did not vote to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, but Scotland is not a member of the EU: the United Kingdom is a member of the EU and the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. Whether the Scottish like it or not, since 1707 we have been a single sovereign country – the UK. Whilst Scotland may not like being part of the UK – at this moment in time – it is.
The reality of the situation now is that voting for the SNP in the 2019 General Election, providing them with a strong mandate, will see a second Scottish Independence Referendum which if returned positively would see Scotland leave the EU. It would not take long either. In the Independent Scotland’s Road Map 2014 the plan was to have agreed a withdrawal deal and be Independent prior to the Scottish Parliamentary Elections on 05/05/2016 (See page 17 of the PDF, page numbered xv) – that’s 19 months. So it would seem that a vote by the Scottish people for the SNP will see Scotland leave the EU very quickly indeed. Well at least it won’t be against their will under those circumstances.
You see, Scotland cannot begin accession to the EU until it is Independent. That means that, #Brexit or not, voting for the SNP will see Scotland leave the EU, even if only temporarily.
Now this is the big question:
How long will it take?
Nicola Sturgeon was unable and/or unwilling to put a time frame on it. The truth is nobody knows and the reasons why are so massively complex around EU laws, currency, currency unions and the like that it is nearly impossible to answer.
In 2016 the SNP setup The Sustainable Growth Commission, which was funded and paid for by the SNP suggest it could take between 5 and 10 years.
That’s quite a long time. This is perhaps why Nicola Sturgeon does not want to say.
I will be quite brief here. Scottish Independence is about Scotland becoming it’s own Sovereign Nation. If Scotland continues to use the pound after a referendum, how can it be an Independent Sovereign Nation when it would be forced to follow the monetary policy of the Bank of England, which, at that point I am sure, would take decisions based on UK data, to help and benefit the UK economy of which Scotland would not be a part?
Is that what the SNP see as Independence?
Brexit Trade Friction to cause Scotland to lose 80,000 Jobs
This point was bought up by Andrew Neil – not me – but tells you all you need to know about Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.
The SNP have quoted a report written by University of Strathclyde | Fraser of Allander Institute: Long-term Economic Implications of Brexit which states on page 19 that using the WTO model that the number of people employed in Scotland could be 80,000 fewer. This is in the worst case Hard Brexit scenario.
Andrew then pointed out that 25% of Scotland’s Trade is with the EU and that represents 80,000 fewer jobs under a Hard Brexit as a result of “increased border friction”. What he wanted to know was why the SNP had not put any number on the job loses that “increased border friction” between and Independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would result in due to the fact that 60% of Scotland’s Trade goes to the rest of the UK.
Nothing to see here!
That was his parting quote.
Issue of Health Targets
I did not follow all of the point on the Scottish NHS targets and the 100% Guarantee that Nicola Sturgeon introduced into Civil – not Criminal Law as she kindly pointed out – as Scottish Health Secretary. My problems was that she said that “only 80%” of people were being see under this guarantee – at which point Andrew pointed out that is was actually 72%!
Again – dressing up of the facts. Untruths. Lies. Why? He was bound to have the correct figures yet Nicola Sturgeon lied. If you round 72 to the nearest 10 it becomes 70 not 80 Nicola. Perhaps you are just not very good at maths.
I’m not sure which is more worrying.