A Force For Good was interviewed this week by a major European newspaper on the matter of Scotland, the EU and Brexit. Here are our Preparation Notes – some of which explain First Principles for the benefit of newcomers to the debate.
Understanding "The United Kingdom" as one Nation-State
The UK is made up of Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales united together politically into one Unitary Nation-State.
The SNP want to break it up and remove Scotland from it. That's what they mean when the talk about "Scottish Independence".
We call them the separatists because they want to separate Scotland from the rest of the UK.
The opposite of Scottish Separatism is British Unionism.
We are British Unionists. We believe that together Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales are also one Nation – a Nation of Unions, a Nation of Families – and must remain one Nation.
Britain is not a Federal State
Some people abroad may be under the mistaken notion that Britain is a Federal State, with 4 "sovereign" nations agreeing to cooperate. The SNP is also keen to promote that misunderstanding.
This misunderstanding was made worse after the federalist-dominated "Calman Commission wrote the phrase "Scottish Government" into law in the Scotland Act 2012 – giving the mis-impression (perhaps deliberately) that the central unitary British Government and the Scottish devolved "government" were in a horizontal "equal" political relationship, rather than in a vertical hierarchical relationship.
The reality is that Britain is a Unitary Nation-State. It has one central, sovereign, Parliamentary body from which all powers flow down.
"Devolution is British State Power exercised by Subsidiary Bodies" as we wrote here...
Difference between the UK and the EU
Some Scottish Nationalists try to draw a false equivalence between Scotland's membership of the UK and the UK's membership of the EU.
However, the EU is a political State made up of member Nations, whereas the UK is a Nation in its own right. The EU is merely a State. The UK is a Nation-State.
The UK leaving the EU is about a Nation leaving a political State; whereas Scotland leaving the UK is about a Nation itself being broken up! That's a big difference.
THE SNP STRATEGY TO EXPLOIT BREXIT
When we listen to the SNP saying anything at all about Brexit we should remember that the SNP's political aim is not to look out for the best interests of Scotland within the UK. It never so much as pays lip-service to that concept!
Its aim is the deliberate revolutionary aim of destroying the UK.
Destruction of the UK is the raison d'etre of the SNP as a political movement.
Consequently, it should be noted that the SNP's strategy on Brexit is founded only on the principle of causing maximum distress to the British State – and not what is best for Scotland within the UK.
It is always wrong to look for any facts or logic or reason in the SNP's approach to any question involving Scotland and its relationship with the central British State.
Likewise, its position on Brexit is not a logical or rational political position based on a careful reasoning of the facts. Instead, the SNP will go in whatever direction it thinks furthers the goal of separation.
This it has always done! For example, when the UK government campaigned to stay in the EU in the 1975 referendum, the SNP campaigned to leave.
Another example: Today the SNP are upset that we are leaving the EU. But if they had won the 2014 referendum on independence, Scotland would already be out of the EU, since that was going to be an inevitable consequence of leaving the UK. They never admit that!
A third example: The SNP complains about 'Westminster' retaining some of the powers which are coming back from Brussels, but if the SNP had its way and Scotland stayed in the EU, it would ensure all those powers stayed with Brussels!
Moreover, around 1 in 3 of its supporters are said to have voted to leave the EU. The SNP leadership does not represent them in any way!
SCOTLAND IS NEVER REJOINING THE EU
It is difficult to impossible to see under what circumstances, Scotland would ever re-join the EU anyway!
If Scotland becomes independent, then there would have to be a referendum on the matter, and those advocating rejoining would have to argue for:
1. The EU to make most of the laws again.
2. Scotland to give up financial independence and join the euro.
3. Scotland to open its borders to EU migrants again
4. Scotland to end up in a different Trading Block (the EU Single Market) from its closest neighbour – the remaining UK – and with whom it does around 4 times the amount of trade! [See the latest figures published on 24-1-18 for 2016.]
That would mean that the SNP would have to re-impose a whole range of EU Single Market regulations on businesses in Scotland, when many of those same Britain-wide businesses would now have different regulations in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The trouble and cost would be enormous, and businesses would be overwhelmingly opposed. It would most likely be unworkable altogether!
5. That's before you even imagine if Scotland could meet the EU joining requirement of having a Budget Deficit (the amount by which government expenses exceed revenue) of 3% of Gross Domestic Product (the total value of goods produced and services provided).
After becoming independent, it seems impossible to imagine any of this would represent a winning scenario.
It is more likely that an independent Scotland would have its new priorities, and getting tied up in the EU would not be one of them!
So the SNP is only using Brexit in its usual effort to agitate, destabilise and cause dissension.
They work on the basis (to paraphrase the Irish Republican phrase) that "England's difficulty is the SNP's opportunity".
Why the SNP Wants the UK to Stay in the EU Single Market
The only reason the SNP wants the UK to maintain membership of the EU Single Market is because it believes it would be easier to win a second separation referendum. There is no other reason!
For Scotland to have any chance of succeeding economically, it must stay within the same trading market as the UK, whatever that may be – whether the UK single market outside the EU, or a possible EU single market which includes the UK.
Because the SNP has always wanted to break away from the UK, it has seen the EU Single Market as a way of trading with "the rest of the UK" without having to be officially tied to it.
So, if the UK remains in the EU Single Market, it means that at any future referendum on independence, the SNP can simply say that Scotland will leave the UK, join the EU (or the EEA) and continue trading with the rest of the UK via the EU Single Market terms within which the UK would still be operating.
It would make it much easier for them to say that "nothing is going to change", and to present "independence" economically as "business as usual".
However, when the UK leaves the Single Market next year, then Scotland leaves too.
This means that at any future referendum on independence, the SNP will have to make the case for Scotland to end up outside both the UK Single Market and the EU Single Market!
Economically, this would cause all kinds of problems for Scotland.
Even if an independent Scotland were somehow to rejoin the EU Single Market, it would still find itself outside the UK Single Market and in a different trading block from its biggest market – the rest of the UK – with whom it does around 4 times as much business.
As mentioned, this would make it very difficult for Britain-wide businesses to coordinate.
Remaining in the EU Single Market provides them the opportunity to say at a second Scottish independence referendum that "nothing will change".
Only a "Hard Brexit" where the UK comes out of the Single Market will ensure that people see Scotland has nowhere to go but to stick with Britain. It makes the SNP case much harder to make!
"BUT SCOTLAND VOTED REMAIN? WHY SHOULD IT BE FORCED TO LEAVE?"
In 2014, Scotland voted to stay in the UK as part of one Unitary British State.
We did so knowing that this meant Scotland would bind itself willingly to agree with whatever the UK – which is to say, all the British people acting through their democratic Parliamentary processes – decides.
This includes, for example, electing a Parliament and Government for all of the UK, or abiding by the decision of UK-wide referendums, or accepting whatever the British Parliament through its democratic processes, votes to do.
We also voted to stay in the UK knowing that a future referendum on membership of the EU was always going to be a possibility.
That is what being part of the UK means for all of us. That is what we voted for on 18 September 2014. That is how it worked before the 23rd June 2016. That is how it works now!
It is for our Scottish politicians – at least those who believe in the United Kingdom – to respect that British-wide vote. It is their duty and responsibility to work to deliver the best consequences of a Brexit, not only for Scotland but for everyone in the UK.
3 Reasons for Remain Vote in Scotland
1. Virtually the entire Scottish political establishment were for Remain. The Leave voice was simply crowded out. For example, all the main parties at Holyrood were for Remain. Tories, Greens, Labour, Lib Dems and SNP stood, literally, shoulder to shoulder in photo-shoots!
There were only 6 MSPs (out of 129) who stated they were for Leave (5 Tories and 1 Labour – ie less than 5% of the entire parliament). That fact alone, as we pointed out at the time, made Holyrood less representative of the people than Westminster on this matter.
Today, not a single SNP MP or MSP represents the views of the 2 out of 5 people – over 1 million people – who voted Leave in Scotland. This makes the SNP extremely unrepresentative of the Scottish people. Ms Sturgeon does not have a right to speak for everyone in Scotland on this matter.
2. All the Scottish TV media, and all the Scottish press were for Remain.
In the face of this Full Spectrum Dominance, it is extraordinary that over 1 million people in Scotland, and 2 out of every 5 who voted, voted against the establishment position!
3. The immigration issue is what swung the EU Referendum to Leave. This was not so much of an issue in Scotland as it was in parts of England. (It would be an issue in Scotland if Scotland had more immigration!)
It was Scottish and Northern Ireland Votes which Tipped the Balance for Leave
There had been a concern in some quarters (as a consequence of our entirely unrepresentative Scottish political and media class being for Remain) that the Scottish Remain vote was going to be decisive for the UK as a whole.
On the contrary – because over a million people in Scotland voted Leave – it was the Scottish and Northern Irish Leave votes which swung it for the UK to Leave! Consider the figures:
Leave - 17,410,742
Remain - 16,141,241
Majority = 1,269,501