I don’t have a newspaper column to assert my views every week. So I need to make due with my wee blog here.
Today’s topic is Scottish independence. Should we wait? Should we push through now? What are the options? And how does the reality of Brexit impact on Scotland’s future? So much to contemplate. Unfortunately, with 29/03/19 less than 2 months away, so little time.
I will come clean from the start, I’m not notoriously a patient person. It’s not always a fantastic trait, but overall it has served me well in life. I’m a risk taker. It’s why I have lived in 8 different countries over 4 different continents in my life. I take chances. Does it always work out? No. But I am the person I am today because of all those life experiences. Personally I am proud of my life and accomplishments. Anyway that’s me. It’s not the route for everyone, I fully understand that fact.
Which means I come to the Scottish independence debate from the perspective of now is the time. I don’t see a reason to wait. What exactly are we waiting for anyway? The stars to align to show a clear path? I have heard that we need to wait until we have 60% support. Why? For one thing that may never happen. For another, since when do you wait until you have a super majority until you set a date for a vote? If we had that attitude in 2012, the 2014 independence referendum would never have happened. I genuinely find that logic absurd. Almost no campaign would ever get off the ground with that kind of prerequisite.
Then we have Brexit looming over us. In my opinion this changes every position for Scottish independence. I don’t believe you can put off an independence vote for too long, when you have the reality of food and medicine shortages being foisted upon us. Not to mention the great uncertainty that over 200,000 EU citizens have. These people call Scotland home. But as immigration is a reserved matter for Westminster, their ability to live and work here is now in serious jeopardy. Many of them will leave. And let’s face it, once they relocate and settle somewhere else, chances are they won’t return. So what are the pragmatic solutions to these issues? Well, I see Scottish independence as the only answer. Will it be easy? No, I don’t believe it will be. But nothing worthwhile in life, is ever easy. However, I do think it’s the necessary remedy to a Brexit imposed on us by our much bigger neighbours. Scotland didn’t vote for Brexit. In fact, the last poll for Remain in Scotland had support for the EU at 70%. We’re a very pro-European country, and we most definitely want to stay a part of the EU.
However as long as we remain a part of the UK, we will leave the EU. It probably would not matter if 90% of us in Scotland were pro-EU, because England most certainly wants to leave the EU. They have 90% of the UK population, so they will decide the outcome for all of us. That’s the reality of life in this “United” Kingdom.
Now there is only one way to remedy this obvious disparity in our future travel, and that is with our becoming a completely independent nation. We then can decide if we want to be a member of the EU or not. The people of Scotland can decide. Not the people of Leicestershire or Lincolnshire, but the people of East Lothian and Strathclyde.
I realise there is no simple route to independence. Personally I don’t envy the leadership of the SNP having to best navigate that course of action. But I do feel very strongly that if you wait too long, there won’t be another opportunity for a very long time. I have closely observed the actions of the UK government and opposition for a long time now. I believe they will both ensure that Scotland becomes ever more absorbed by Westminster. I do genuinely believe powers will be stripped from our own Scottish Parliament. They don’t strike me as the type of people who will want life to be better for Scots than for anyone in England. Let’s face it, the only way to ensure that fact is to make sure our own Scottish government has little power. I foresee a future where Scotland is forced to have £9000/year Uni fees, and high prescription charges. I also see our NHS will no longer be free at the point of need. This is what I believe our future holds for us.
So forgive me, if I don’t believe we have the luxury of waiting until the people of Morningside get fed up with waiting in long queues every time they travel to Europe. We need a clear path to independence now. Because without that, I am afraid Scotland’s future looks very bleak, indeed.