I thought Nicola Sturgeon came out reasonably well on last night’s BBC Question Time Leaders Special. She was calm, well spoken and clear. I have always said that I really do like her as a Politician (as far as anyone can like a Politician) I simply could not ever agree with her main political stance.
Never the less I thought there were points of interest which, as usual, resulted in more questions than answers.
Please bear in mind that I am not quoting directly from her part on Question Time. I am paraphrasing.
There will be no Confirmatory Referendum on Scottish Independence
I find it galling that the SNP support a Peoples’ Vote on Brexit but would not support a Confirmatory Referendum on any deal struck with the UK following a Scottish Independence vote. They are very clear and honest about it on their website:
- Click here to see a screen dump of the whole page.
- Click here to be taken to the corresponding page on their website.
Furthermore one of their MPs, Pete Wishart, has criticised the SNP for taking the position on a Confirmatory Referendum on Brexit because he knows that the same will be demanded following a Scottish Independence vote. Pete Wishart sees the trap and wants to avoid it. Surely this tells us all we need to know about the SNP: They want what they want as long as it delivers their political vision. Everything is rhetoric. Nothing else matters but Scottish Independence – consequences be damned!
EU Membership for an Independent Scotland would be straightforward
Nicola was asked by a member of the audience about EU Membership in conjunction with the Scottish Deficit (which she very neatly blamed on Westminster) and how this would affect Scotland’s accession to the EU. Nicola’s answer was that should could envisage no problem with a part of a former member state becoming a member of the EU.
Now this is probably true, and the fact that Scotland, within the UK, has most of the laws and procedures in place, that it would be quicker than most, but never the less, famously the EU do not rush this process and every member state has to agree, in full, to the proposal before accession can be approved. This takes time. It could take a long time.
What I find very intriguing is how long an Independent Scotland would take to accede if Brexit did not happen.
What would Nicola say to our shared Ancestors who fought and died for the UK?
Nicola was asked this question and outright ignored it and simply played her “English Grandmother” card. Shameful. I think this gets right to the heart of the matter for a lot of people in the UK, even if not in Scotland. Shared history, shared heritage, blood spilled together. I understand why she did not answer it – it is a black hole that she could never escape from.
Interestingly for me, Nicola talked about the UK being “the closest neighbours, with shared history and culture” which gave me a little spark of hope. If only she would, or could, expand upon this it may draw the picture more clearly of what an Independent Scotland would look and feel like to live in, and how it would sit outside of the UK but inside the Isles of Britain.