Why do the SNP think leaving the UK single market is a good idea?

If Scotland wishes to be independent then it needs to leave the UK. That means ending the supremacy of UK law and taking back control of its own laws, borders, money and currency.

I am happy for Scotland to stay in our Union and glad they voted to do so. If they truly want to be independent then of course they are free to do so following a referendum. Its not the sort of thing we should expect to have votes on every couple of years, as you have to assume people made a longer term decision than that. Current polling shows Brexit has made little difference to the balance of opinion on independence. A new referendum would require a decisive shift in Scottish opinion to be worthwhile and for the SNP to risk it anyway.

The SNP got into a muddle over the currency during the recent independence referendum. Of course an independent Scotland cannot stay in sterling. Nor would Scotland be independent if it did manage to continue with the UK currency!

Now the SNP is in a big muddle over single or internal markets. It says it is crucial to stay in the EU internal market when this is not possible as we leave the EU. Yet the SNP recommends leaving the UK which similarly entails Scotland leaving the UK internal market which is a far bigger proportion of Scotland’s trade than the rest of the EU.

True nationalists would want out of both the EU and the UK, to take back control. The SNP always seem to be shuffling various kinds of dependence, not independence, with a strong bias to control from Brussels rather than London. It gets them into all sorts of contradictory arguments. The advantages of internal markets can be exaggerated. Getting out of an internal market which is also a currency union is both more difficult and more expensive than getting out of an internal market with different currencies.


  1. Lifelogic
    October 16, 2016

    You make all the sensible points. The SNP are rather confused. They have surely had their day in the Sun, their bonkers economic and other policies are clearly causing harm already. The people are beginning to see this clearly.

    The Scottish people will not vote to leave the UK easily, they are rather too canny. To leave the UK and keep the pound and adopt the EURO is clearly absurd and could not be allowed. Full independence, outside the EU, would be more sensible but they are far better outside the EU and having free trade with rest of the UK, UK defence and the UK agreeing the trade deals with all the World.

    Most surely realise this already. I cannot see what is remotely attractive about Sturgeon’s confused and very irrational position. They will not fall for it.

    1. Hope
      October 16, 2016

      The SNP want to stay in a socialist/communist construct which has control over any national govt. they want all the Englishntaxes and freedom without working for it or deserving it. Why should Scottish people have more public spending per head than the English, Welsh and Irish. This point was made by the Welsh politicians several times. It is to appease agitating Sturgeon. Enough. Cameron, Brown and Clegg had no right to make such a ridiculous give away of our taxes! Time for a huge reign in and let Sturgeon manage on her own taxes to spend and waste as she deems fit without English taxes; I want free prescriptions like the Scottish, I want cheaper water like the a Scottish. Even EU leaders last week were pointing out how the Scottish people were better off to help us change our minds!

      1. Ed Mahony
        October 16, 2016

        ‘stay in a socialist/communist construct which has control over any national govt’

        – this is nonsense. The EU as we know it now was essentially set up by Chancellor Kohl (a right-wing German politician) and President Mitterrand (admittedly of the left but Kohl would never have accepted Maastricht if he thought it was Communist/socialistic – not forgetting President Bush senior called Chancellor Kohl the best European leader of the last 50 years of the 20th century).
        I think there are major problems with the EU, in particular, they’re trying to do too much too quickly. And it is in need of strong reform now, in particular over immigration. But the anti-EU rhetoric from Brexiteers is just wild and exaggerated, meanwhile whilst being in denial about how the UK needs the EU (just as the EU needs the UK). What’s happened to moderate and pragmatic British good sense. Seems to have gone out the window, to an important degree, with Brexit.

        1. Hope
          October 19, 2016

          No we do not need the EU full stop. We need trade and friendship with European countries. There is absolutely no need of a supra national construct to rid each of the 28 nations of their nationhood. Your point is flawed in all respects and lacks criedible evidence to support how our country needs a political construct called th EU. Perhaps you are confused what the difference is between the EU and the separate 28 nation states of Europe. All countries need friends and cooperation but do not have to become a supranational state to do so.

      2. John C.
        October 16, 2016

        Is England the only democratic country in the world which does not have its own parliament or assembly?

      3. Lifelogic
        October 16, 2016

        Indeed, but if they can get away with this they can hardly be blamed for accepting the UK governments largesse (using essentially the South East’s tax payers money of course).

    2. nigel seymour
      October 16, 2016

      The SNP constantly remind us that the overwhelming people of Scotland voted to stay in the EU. What about the 34% that voted to leave? Alex Salmond was quoted when asked if the SNP lose the 2014 ref ‘would you accept the result if you won by a single vote’ HE SAID YES!!!!. The SNP narrative changes almost from day to day as things unfold regarding Brexit. They now bang on that the UK EU ref was only won by a small majority. This is crap as the ref was won by a 1.4 million majority to leave. Scotland despise the fact that ‘England’ have a massive voting majority (plus Wales and NI). I fully respect that Sotland has the right to further their case for ref2 and hope they can acheive it before the UK leave the EU through Article 50 and will not be allowed to use the Bank of England as last resort for lending.

    October 16, 2016

    “True nationalists would want out of both the EU and the UK, to take back control. The SNP always seem to be shuffling various kinds of dependence, not independence, with a strong bias to control from Brussels rather than London. It gets them into all sorts of contradictory arguments.”
    “Oh! what a tangled web we weave
    When first we practise to deceive! ”
    I did not know it was a Scottish poem until now. The SNP will not tell Scottish people the truth. They are not nationalists. They are careerist politicians of the first water.

  3. Wee Dram
    October 16, 2016

    Like young love, freshly cut nationalism this time Scots’, strikes a different blow in undergarment and sock washing. The honeymoon of the SNP is over. Now they must deliver something when a box full of dummy bottles and nappy rash cream won’t do it unless the entire population of Scotland including OAPs have become signed up members of the pudding club.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 17, 2016

      They do though have the economic advantage, when it come to pensions and government finances of a rather shorter life expectancy.

  4. The Active Citizen
    October 16, 2016

    Good points JR, thank you. I’m a Unionist and always have been. However this is increasingly being tested by the antics of the SNP. Non-SNP Scots need to get a grip and start forcing Sturgeon to focus on the deperate state of their economy, instead of whingeing about Brexit and Independence.

    Let’s put the SNP into context. Sturgeon speaks for only 1.6m Scottish voters when it comes to the EU debate. Scottish Remain votes: 1,661,191. Scottish Leave votes: 1,018,322. And in fact Scottish Remain voters were only 4.95% of total votes cast in UK

    Democracy means the majority wins. Stable and decent democracy means taking account of minority views. It doesn’t mean giving a wildly disproportionate voice to a tiny minority.

    The UK voted to leave, including 1 million Scots, and Scotland is part of the UK.

  5. E.S. Tablishment
    October 16, 2016

    At no time in history have the Scots, Irish, and even Welsh as belonging to independent nations, been faced with occupation by France, Spain, Holland, Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and even Russia. It would be a cruel childhood, a nasty school, a “complete immersion technique” for Scotland to join the EU. But as a nation, she needs to cut her teeth on that lesson. She will hate and die a thousand deaths but has worked so very hard to start Lesson Number One.

  6. Mick
    October 16, 2016

    The SNP must take the Scottish people for idiots abit like the remoaners do here in England, does Sturgeon not think for one moment that people don’t watch the news or read papers about her jollys to the eu, and that she was repeatedly told no dice to be a member outside the UK, but hey if that’s what’s she wants go for independence and I hope you win then we won’t have to listen to your constant whinging all the time
    Just Go you will not be missed bye bye

  7. alan jutson
    October 16, 2016

    Their arguments just bend with the political wind.

    If you want true independence then you certainly would not want to be in the EU.

    Only reason to get others involved, you then have someone else to blame when it all goes wrong.

    Scotland ‘s deficit is growing even with financial support from the rest of the UK !

  8. formula57
    October 16, 2016

    Why the assumption that Scotland’s future, especially within the Union or not, is solely a matter for Scotland? After all, we may have to come to the view that it is not even a matter mainly for Scotland if SNP tantrums persist.

  9. Richard1
    October 16, 2016

    An independent Scotland could continue to use sterling but not be part of a currency union with the U.K., just as Panama uses the US dollar without being part of a currency union with the US. There is a snag though – they wouldn’t be able to run deficits over any length of time and would need to make sure any Scottish banks were exceptionally well capitalised. Scotland, in other words, would need to move radically to the political right. Not sure the SNP have grasped this.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 16, 2016

      Scotland would need its own national central bank before it could join the EU; it could not participate in the European System of Central Banks through the central bank of another country, least of all the central bank of a country which was no longer in the EU.


      “The European System of Central Banks (ESCB) consists of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks (NCBs) of all 28 member states of the European Union (EU).”

      As it would need its own central bank it might as well issue its own currency, that is until such time as it adopts the euro as will be expected.

    2. A different Simon
      October 16, 2016

      Even if they used their own currency , they don’t just want independence – they want independence with socialism .

      Greece had a few publicly owned Islands , ports and airports that the predatory lenders were after .

      Scotland has little going for it as the Romans knew . What an irony it would be if independence lead instead of towards nationalisation to flogging off the family silver .

      1. Richard1
        October 16, 2016

        Scotlands choice if it became independent would be between continuing with sterling but not in a currency union with the U.K., necessitating radical Thatcherite policies to ensure a balanced budget, or establishing their own currency, which would doubtless mean a big hit to wealth of Scots on Day 1, just as it would if eg Greece exited the euro. Then, if they wanted to get back into the EU they would have to fulfill the criteria, join the euro etc. It is inconceivable that a majority in Scotland would support this. For this reason it might be worth calling the separtists’ bluff and having a 2nd, once and for all, referendum.

  10. Mick
    October 16, 2016

    Off topic yesterday we were constantly told about Stephen Phillips
    MP, Sleaford and North Hykeham about a vote on Brexit now today we will be bombarded with news about a letter written by Mr Johnson,
    It’s about bloody time these remoaners and BBC/ Sky/eu loving papers understand that they LOST so get over it, do they honestly think for one minute that if they succeeded in keeping us in the eu that the leavers would except it, all I can say is change your medication because it wouldn’t happen, the remoaners should look at the results of the referendum and that most of the outers live outside the Westminster bubble, so remoaners if you don’t like it either move to London or Scotland or across the North Sea and live in Europe bye bye

  11. agricola
    October 16, 2016

    To be honest I find speculation on the future of Scotland a bit boring They are getting to be like the perpetual student who really needs to get a job. The Sturgeon, our host does not like references to the Scottish play, runs around looking for the best subsidy for her socialist vision, while having the dishonesty to call it independence. Independence comes from creating more wealth than you spend, not running around cap in hand.

    I certainly prefer the Union, as do I think most Scots. I think they too will bore of her deprived wife act and her nails on blackboard delivery. I think we should leave it to the canny Scots to dock the tail of this overly vocal cabal called the SNP.

  12. Ex-expat Colin
    October 16, 2016

    She needs to get Scotland working better I think…jobs and halt the moratorium on fracking might help? There are about 5M people in Scotland and it appears about half of them (eligible) do vote – hardly representative. The EU won’t accept Scotland…oh wait – Greece.

    Continually threatening Mrs May is simply sour grapes/nauseating and the SNP really need to stop that nonsense…pretending to be a bunch of hard nuts is very tiresome. Seems to go with the territory to some of us outside of that country.Why keep threatening us?

  13. majorfrustration
    October 16, 2016

    Just give the Scots(SNP) another Referendum – its the only way to resolve this matter. It could be a win win for the UK – no more payments to the EU and no more subsidies for Scotland

    1. Ed Mahony
      October 16, 2016

      ‘Just give the Scots(SNP) another Referendum – its the only way to resolve this matter. It could be a win win for the UK – no more payments to the EU and no more subsidies for Scotland’

      – No, no, no. For all sorts of reasons, Scotland must remain part of the union (not against their will, but we must make the case for a strong United Kingdom). I just don’t get how people from England could make the argument for separation from Scotland in any shape or form. It’s the sort of thing socialists might make the case for. But Conservatives? Where is the Conservative party heading? We seem to be heading into a narrow kind of hard, right-wing nationalism which resembles something more from continental Europe than good old moderate, British traditional Conservatism.

      (And I’m sorry, i’ve also come across a lot of humourless, unpleasant hard-right-wing rhetoric during and since the referendum. It’s very unBritish as well as vulgar. Looks like Brexit has introduced not just a whole range of unintended consequences but also opened up a whole Pandora’s Box of unpleasant thoughts and attitudes).

    2. John C.
      October 16, 2016

      And if the Scots saw sense and voted to stay in the U.K., a slap in the face for Ms Sturgeon. She could hardly continue to rant after a second rejection.

  14. Sam Stoner
    October 16, 2016

    The SNP has always made it perfectly clear they aspire to independence within the EU. They grasp, as do all nations in Europe except the English, that no state is independent of the power of mobile capital and that it must co-operate to achieve its ends.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 16, 2016

      Not true.


      “… in its historical and political evolution, it is possible to discern at least four different attitudes: in the 1950s the party had a pro-European position; in the 1960s-1970s it was against the European integration process; in the late 1980s it changed radically by becoming one of the most EU supportive and enthusiastic parties in the UK; and since the beginning of the 2000s until the present it has been and remains a pro-European party, but it cannot be defined as Euro-enthusiast, because it seems to show a “Euro-tepid” position … “

    2. A different Simon
      October 16, 2016

      Quote “co-operate to achieve its ends.”

      What , give away its newly won independence almost immediately ?

      Sounds like being prepared to cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face .

    3. bluedog
      October 16, 2016

      The SNP has always made it perfectly clear they aspire to independence within the EU. ‘

      A logical fallacy. There is no independence within the EU, the entity within the EU is a subject of the ECJ. Of particular pertinence to Scotland is the matter of fishing grounds. The surrender of this resource to EU communal ownership has cost Scotland dearly. Brexit ensures their return. It defies belief that the Scots would vote to lose their fishing grounds to EU control once again. They won’t do it.

      As to mobile capital, the German state is getting a valuable lesson in its handling of the difficulties faced by Deutsche Bank. The German government’s announcement that it will not bail out Deutsche Bank secures the future of the City of London as a financial centre, Brexit or no Brexit. Danke, mutti.

      1. Cod
        October 16, 2016

        So if we leave the EU we can tell fish where they can and can’t swim?

      2. rose
        October 16, 2016

        “They won’t do it.”

        They – the SNP – would do it. They are that thick. They think grants and directives from the EU are worth more than the fishing grounds. There are socialists here too who think that way. And Greens. And Liberals.

    4. Lifelogic
      October 16, 2016

      No one (sensible) is against mutual “cooperation” but that is very different from the EU’s anti-democratic top down agenda.

  15. SM
    October 16, 2016

    I can only assume that the SNP’s apparent obsession with holding another Independence referendum is designed to distract Scottish voters from their Government’s incompetence.

    1. turboterrier
      October 16, 2016


      Incompetence? Too polite!

      Very well said. You must be living there and seeing it first hand.

  16. Newmania
    October 16, 2016

    The advantages of internal markets can be exaggerated.

    Do you think so? Let us imagine that Scotland did, with England, what it Redders want us to do to our largest trading partners
    I could not issue Insurance Policies to Scotland and visa versa. That would be inconvenient for me but a catastrophe for buyers in Scotland who would be at the mercy of a tiny domestic market. More seriously, Scottish Insurers which have always been a strong part of the UK services scene and major employers ( in Perth for example ) would move jobs South, a shift England would welcome and encourage
    Scottish Banks would not be able to operate in England without setting up another Banks to be separately capitalised across the Border. For RBS this might be no more than a large and unwelcome cost but for the thousands of Scots in Edinburgh whose jobs would move South it would be a calamity. In the long term the idea of setting up any banking vehicle in Edinburgh would seem bizarre especially with so much of the expertise highly mobile already if not actually living in London .
    It would lose its hub status and Scotland’s second largest industry would soon by forgotten with Edinburgh serving only Parochial customers worlds away form its currently sweep and scale .
    In fact it s something of a mystery why anyone would wish to set up any complex manufacturing process in Scotland when it might just as easily be set up nearby and avoid all the costs associated with checking compliance in Freight by shifting a few miles . Goods from Scotland would be treated as goods from Antigua currently are and I cannot see the point of silicon Glen continuing . You would also find that Scotland’s second City( London) was its first City .
    With Scotland facing poverty they have not knows since they were bailed out over the Darian crisis I see three ways forward .

    Either, over decades , the Scottish economy is realigned entirely to Europe , where it would have a future or , in some years it would come crawling back to England being forced to accept terms Nats would find unspeakable
    Several generations would lost .The worst option would be to relapse into protectionism and truly condemn itself to perpetual irrelevance along Post Communist lines unable to deal with the compromise and complexity of the grown up world . Sadly I fear this is the most likely outcome
    People running Scottish business would of course be shouting form the rooftops that this insane Nationalist idiocy must not happen. They might point out that if any employee came to them and suggested it was ok to lose their largest clients because they had had some good chats with someone else would be fired instantly

    Such a buffoon might be sent to work in the media or Parliament where they might talk about global possibilities without being lynched by their unemployed colleagues
    Across the border this would be watched with a mixture of pity and contempt whilst defeated Unionists would regard their fellow Scots as unspeakable ignorant traitors who had betrayed the country so they could ponce about in kilts ( invented by an Englishman)

    A rift would open that could never be healed

    As a recipe for the destruction of a Nation , or indeed an uppity region , it can hardly be bettered

  17. Ex-expat Colin
    October 16, 2016

    O/T..’Monumental’ deal to cut HFCs, fastest growing greenhouse gases

    Kerry: (……it hurts us!)
    “It’s a monumental step forward, that addresses the needs of individual nations but it will give us the opportunity to reduce the warming of the planet by an entire half a degree centigrade,” he told BBC News.

    Actually its a controlled gas…certainly in the West…outside of that it’ll be business as usual I think.

  18. The Prangwizard
    October 16, 2016

    Appealing to good nature and reasonableness of the SNP and a large number of people in Sotland is a complete waste of time. If their behaviour and actions in the HoC is anything to go by they are filled with bile and hatred for the English and UK institutions and democracy.

    You spend too much time thinking and talking about them. Why do you not campaign for a true English parliament instead?

  19. turboterrier
    October 16, 2016


    Hopefully I heard it right on the Marr show review of the papers fears abound that Mr Hammond is thinking of leaving his post due to internal political wranglings.

    Well all I can say is I do hope so and lets get someone in his post that actually believes in getting out of Europe.

    Fancy a career change John? Think your CV fits the post

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      October 16, 2016

      Hear hear

    2. zorro
      October 16, 2016

      It wouldn’t be surprising….. The usual ‘friends of the Chancellor’ used to put how he allegedly feels ignored. Well, he has looked mainly like a wet Wednesday since his appointment and is clearly not the right person to be Chancellor. He doesn’t believe in Brexit, and effectively wants to stay in the EU by worshipping at the altar of the ‘Single Market’…… Perhaps someone could tell his friends to tell him that he wouldn’t be missed!


  20. Sir Joe Soap
    October 16, 2016

    This is clearly their route of attack.
    Sturgeon’s bluff needs to be called. Circumstances have indeed changed materially after June 23rd. Give her a referendum with the question “Leave the UK or stay in the UK and lose your Scottish Parliament”. The whole devolution issue needs flushing out. England has no equivalent. Let’s stick together or move apart. This half way house is going to hinder the UK and England in particular as we move forward.

  21. NoMoreEU
    October 16, 2016

    This independence fight is really taking its toll on Nicola.

    She is obsessed, and the whole thing has taken over her life.

    Sadly, when that happens, people can stop caring about their appearance and just ‘let themselves go’.

    She looked absolutely shocking in that recent, BBC footage…

  22. Antisthenes
    October 16, 2016

    The SNP like all left wing groups do not do joined up thinking. Contradictory and logic does not form part of their lexicon. Having two opposing views at once and believing them both right coupled with a disdain for realities does not strike them as bizarre. The Scots in their wisdom or lack of it have made the SNP the major party in Scotland. Despite their appalling record in government as most Scots will agree is true they are safely ensconced in that position.

    It is true that people in a democracy often do not get the government they need but what they deserve. The USA has and is living and going to live that lesson having decided to elect Obama and now either Trump or Clinton so will suffer much from their voting decisions. Wales has an appalling government also having made Labour it’s main party and are suffering the consequences. Even England who have sensibly elected a Conservative government having learnt their lesson after years of Labour misrule have done so without ditching their demands for keeping some of the self harming features that previous pressure groups and Labour governments have imposed.

  23. Old Albion
    October 16, 2016

    Ms Sturgeon certainly does want Scotland independent of the UK. How she gets there and what she does when she arrives is, as we are frequently told, a matter for Scotland.
    If she wishes to leave the (dis)UK and re-enter the EU, that is for her and the Scots to decide. I wish her well.
    Transferring Scotlands financial burden from England to the EU is a result for England.
    Removing Scottish interference in English affairs is a result.
    No longer having to listen to Scots whinging and whining about the English is a result.
    They will have to adopt a new currency. They can’t have the pound. They could create the poond. Whatever, they’ll end up with the euro, while it lasts.
    Please to not put any obstacles in the way of the SNP. The sooner Scotland leaves (dis)UK the sooner England will get the political recognition we have been denied for far too long.

  24. James Munroe
    October 16, 2016

    Sturgeon will only get another Referendum, if and when, Mrs May agrees to sign another Referendum Agreement.

    Tied up with Brexit issues for the medium term future, the last thing that will happen, is agreement to another time and money wasting, Sturgeon, vanity project.

    Sturgeon ‘dodged a financial bullet’, after her last attempt at independence failed, and the oil price fell off a cliff.

    When will this woman start working in the true interests of Scotland?

    1. Lifelogic
      October 16, 2016

      “When will this woman start working in the true interests of Scotland?”

      Well she is a left wing politician so “working in the true interests of Scotland” seems very unlikely indeed.

  25. James Munroe
    October 16, 2016

    Why would Sturgeon want to hold another Scottish Referendum?

    Say it leads to a result in favour of Scottish independence.

    As she knows (and every good Remoaner will point out)…the ‘Will of the People’ in a Referendum is only ever ‘advisory’.

  26. Denis Cooper
    October 16, 2016

    Firstly I think the media, and the UK government, should stop pandering to the SNP.

    The media report that Sturgeon intends to call a second independence referendum as if it were within her power to do that; I have seen only article pointing out the reality:


    “Nicola Sturgeon should be stopped, not indulged, in her drive for independence”

    “… she boasts of her confidence that it is “inconceivable” that the prime minister will “block” a second referendum if Sturgeon decides to call one. In fact Theresa May need do nothing of the sort if she wants to prevent another referendum. “Block” suggests being proactive in some way, taking action. All May needs to do is get on with the business of government – the “blocking” will be done by the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, who would be legally obliged to strike down any legislation that is outwith the legal competence of Holyrood (as former presiding officer, the SNP’s Tricia Marwick, did last December over attempts by MSPs to amend the UK government’s Trades Union Bill).”

    For years the SNP argued that the devolved Scottish authorities had the unilateral legal right to hold an independence referendum irrespective of the views of the supreme UK authorities; but any force that argument may have had previously was greatly weakened when Salmond and Sturgeon put their signatures on the 2012 Edinburgh Agreement to permit a referendum, just one referendum, to be held, through a Section 30 Order which could only come into force with the approval of the UK Parliament:


    My capitals for emphasis:

    “The United Kingdom Government and the Scottish Government have agreed to work
    together to ensure that a referendum on Scottish independence CAN take place.

    The governments are agreed that the referendum should:


    “The governments have agreed to promote an Order in Council under Section 30 of
    the SCOTLAND ACT 1998″ … ”

    An Act passed by the UK Parliament.

    “… in the UNITED KINGDOM and Scottish Parliaments to ALLOW a single-question referendum on Scottish independence to be held before the end of 2014.”

    “4. The Order ENABLES the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum that takes place at any point before the end of 2014.”

    ” 6. The Order ENABLES the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum with one question on independence.”

    “30. The United Kingdom and Scottish Governments … look forward to a referendum that is LEGAL and fair producing a decisive and respected outcome.”

    And from the Explanatory Notes to the draft Section 30 Order:


    “THE ORDER PROVIDES AN EXCEPTION to the reservation of the Constitution under paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 5 so that A referendum on the independence of Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom is NOT A RESERVED MATTER IF CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS ARE MET.”

    The SNP could have tried to go ahead with an independence referendum without the consent of the UK authorities, and then fought it out in court when the UK government objected that the Scottish authorities were acting ultra vires, right up to the UK Supreme Court if necessary; but apparently despite all their public bluster they did not themselves have sufficient confidence in the strength of their legal case.

  27. James Matthews
    October 16, 2016

    All true. To which may be added that a three century old Union is likely to be more difficult to unscramble that one that has only been in existence for four decades (for much of that time presented to the UK electorate as a “common market”)..

    Not that rational argument is likely to have any effect on Ms Sturgeon and her supporters, so let her have her referendum, indeed insist upon it, but this time let us also have a vote in England, to see whether we still want a Union with the Scots.

    1. SM
      October 16, 2016

      Your second paragraph makes a very good point: if Ms Sturgeon wants to sever the Union, the rest of the UK must have its full say.

  28. Bert Young
    October 16, 2016

    Confused ? Sturgeon and the SNP certainly are . It has already been stated that were Scotland to cease to be a part of the UK they would NOT be able to keep the £ . Furthermore they would have to settle their proportionate part of the national debt . With such nooses around their neck , what credibility would Scotland have going cap in hand to the EU ?.

    The noise that Sturgeon makes is occupying the time of the media ( the BBC love it ! ) and that of our Ministry who are being diverted from their main task of getting a clean and proper Brexit . If what is finally decided does not suit Scotland , let them get on with it and find out what living in real poverty means . No matter how the economics of Scotland are re-arranged to suit Sturgeon , the overall result is negative ; Scotland cannot survive without the English subsidy . Large organisations such as Standard LIfe have already said that they would move South in the event of Scotland leaving the UK . Sturgeon is creating a black hole .

  29. fedupsoutherner
    October 16, 2016

    I really don’t know why she is being allowed another referendum. They are part of the UK and what the UK does then Scotland should do. We have had a vote and we voted to stay in the UK. End of. It was supposed to be a once in a generation referendum but only 2 years down the track we are here again. It is so boring. Sturgeon only wants to stay in the EU for the hand outs she thinks she will get. How she will afford to get that far is beyond most of us. How will she afford her own central bank for starters? How will they afford to function using the euro and actually contribute to the ‘club’ rather than take from Westminster? It shows their dislike for the English when they don’t want to be ruled from Westminster but are happy for Brussels to dictate to them. How pathetic. As for voting against grammar schools in England. She says the party will only do this if it affects the Barnett Formula for Scotland. Don’t worry folks, she will find a way to say it’s going to and then have an excuse to vote against the government. Their whole role in life is to make life difficult for the English. They have already done it with longer shopping hours in England even though they have them in Scotland. People are sick of carrying them and I am embarrassed to be living in Scotland and taking from my children who are in England when they are working so hard to make ends meet.

  30. fedupsoutherner
    October 16, 2016

    Nicola Sturgeon should remember that young people in Scotland do very well from the Barnett Formula. They get free dental treatment, free university tuition, free prescriptions, lower rental charges and cheaper housing to buy. If someone in Scotland is on the same wage as someone in England their options in all walks of life are so much better. Get on with governing woman and stop talking nonsense about the EU. Learn to work with England instead of against us and make a better country for Scots and stop dragging England back with your stupid antics in parliament. Everything is falling down around her but she is now creating new posts (more money) in trade and setting up a permanent office for trade in Berlin!! She is surreal. They have been so used to getting a hand out that they don’t think it will ever end. Some people even think their pensions will be paid from Westminster like they are now. Get real. If Sturgeon started to tell the Scots one ounce of truth then they would all vote to stay in the UK. They should be careful for what they wish for.

  31. fedupsoutherner
    October 16, 2016

    She was spouting off on the Andrew Marr show this morning about Scotland being able to stay in the single market again. She insists this is so even though Marr pointed out to her that the rest of Europe will only deal with the UK. She isn’t in charge of the UK – she just thinks she is. It is about time we told them that there will be no more deals and no more blackmailing allowed on her part. If they want out then go. Just like Europe, if you don’t want to work with us and help us then we don’t want to know. If she loses the independence bid it could be the last we see of the SNP. I bally well hope so!

  32. APL
    October 16, 2016

    JR: “A new referendum would require a decisive shift in Scottish opinion to be worthwhile and for the SNP to risk it anyway. ”

    They had a referendum ‘on the house’ already, actually two or was it three? The next one, they need to finance themselves, NOT FROM THE PUBLIC PURSE.

  33. David Mentmore
    October 16, 2016

    If you look at what happened in Ireland in 1922 three agreements would be needed:

    1. A Scotbrexit Agreement which would sever the links between Scotland and the rest of the UK. It would deal with issues such as border control, the abolition of the Barnett formula, Faslane and the end of jurisdiction of the Bank of England over Scotland.

    2. A new Scottish Constitution setting up either a Monarchy or a Presidency, making adjustments to the Scottish Parliament and voting system, instituting a new State Bank of Scotland and a Scottish Foreign and Consular service etc.

    3. An EU Accession Agreement which would cover Scotland’s entry into the Euro, the amount of its annual EU payment and its participation in Schengen etc.

    The three parties would have to agree a ‘D Day’ when the above agreements all came into force.

    I confidently predict it would take at least five years for this to come about (if it ever did).

  34. Patrick Geddes
    October 16, 2016

    The polls have not changed much since the last referendum on Scottish independence.
    Still no majority in favour.

  35. libertarian
    October 16, 2016

    The SNP like UKIP are a protest party, the last thing they want is for their protest to be implemented. Farage conceded defeat in the EU referendum within 30 minutes. Then when it turned out we voted to Leave he quit his party….again

    SNP failed in its bid for independence because it only offered a socialist independence. They do not want independence they want power and control and they want it like all good socialists using other peoples hard work and money.

    Its about time the English were a) given their own parliament and b) given a vote on remaining in the UK .

    Small is beautiful, economics as if people mattered .

  36. Ed Mahony
    October 16, 2016

    Probably for the same reasons some Brexiteers wanted to leave the EU. The Scottish nationalists have probably been watching too much Braveheart. And the Brexiteer nationalists, singing too much of Land of Hope and Glory. (Nationalism is great, but not when it becomes an obsession, when it turns to blind fanaticism – both mild and strong – we see this time and time and time again in the history books).

    Both remainers and Brexiteers have strong arguments. But both positions are ultimately flawed i think (with Brexit leading to so many unintended consequences – in particular with prosperity, peace and security, but also with the union, including pressure on the union with Scotland, the N. Ireland land border, Gibraltar, and with all of this giving the Argentinians more pluck over the Falkland islands).
    Cameron tried to get concessions for the UK, but no-one from the UK has really tried to reform the EU. That’s the best, most pragmatic way forward i think: remaining in the EU whilst reforming it, in particular, over immigration, and that countries spend their own money from the money sent to the EU budget (and the EU spends the rest of the money spent on other countries) and more.
    But looks like we’ll be going for hard Brexit. I hope it works in terms of peace, prosperity and security for the UK (and the EU), but if it doesn’t, it’s going to put this country in economic decline for years, unless there’s a second referendum once this country’s economy sinks, with people voting to return to the EU, but maybe having to join the euro (another possible unintended consequence of Brexit when your politics is based more on idealism than pragmatism).

  37. Tad Davison
    October 16, 2016

    An old Cornish farmer friend of mine who I greatly miss, once said, ‘The tide never comes in, without going back out again.’ Politics is cyclical, although the length of that cycle can vary greatly, so sometimes it is necessary to influence that cycle to get it to change, and in politics, a good and conclusive argument well delivered, can do the trick.

    The SNP were the beneficiaries of a flood tide of public opinion that reacted against Labour and went their way, but the high water mark has been reached and the SNP’s further advancement has been thwarted by a political barrier. They can’t really get any higher, so we might now reasonably expect their popularity to wane. Ms Sturgeon must surely recognise that, so from her point of view, she needs to use the political capital her party still has to get their cherished ambition. But it’s absurd to want to ditch one thing where they have a reasonably good deal, only to subscribe to something else where autonomy and power is passed into the hands of an alien political construct that keeps all the power and decision-making for itself, and effectively seeks to do away with the individual nation state.

    The United kingdom can, in my view, do well outside the EU. As a full and equal member of the UK, Scotland can share in that success. When that comes about, the pro-EU stance of the SNP will be held to ridicule and the decline in their support will accelerate even further. In the meantime, and to expedite that process, it would be helpful to continue to expose the SNP’s folly as much as is humanly possible, and the very poor alternative for Scotland that the SNP would wish to deliver.

    And it isn’t just those on the right of politics who agree with that position. I notice that George Galloway campaigns hard for Scotland to remain within the UK for much the same reasons.

    The only way the SNP can succeed in their aims, is if we let them.

    Tad Davison


  38. Roy Grainger
    October 16, 2016

    You point out the inconsistencies in the SNP’s position but politely omit mentioning the reason for them: the SNP leadership and membership and voters are significantly driven by a simple dislike of England and the English. I have worked there often enough to know that for a fact.

  39. William Long
    October 16, 2016

    All really important cases can be made to fit comfortably within one sheet of foolscap as you have succinctly demonstrated. Sooner or later light will dawn on the Scotch that they are being had for mugs, and that will be the end of Ms Sturgeon. Can it be a new dawn for the Unionist party in Scotland?

  40. Denis Cooper
    October 16, 2016

    Notionally there are four alternative paths open to Scotland.

    1. Leave the EU with the rest of the UK, and stay with the UK afterwards.

    2. Leave the EU with the rest of the UK, then leave the UK and join the EU.

    3. Leave the UK when the UK leaves the EU, and simultaneously join the EU.

    4. Leave the UK before the UK leaves the EU, and join the EU.

    Note that for options 2, 3 and 4 it could not be a matter of “stay in” the EU, because at present Scotland is only in the EU as a part of one of the 28 sovereign member states, not as a separate member state in its own sovereign right; in fact the word “Scotland” does not even appear anywhere in the EU treaties, not as one of the sovereign parties to those treaties or anywhere else in the treaties.

    So it would be “join”, which could be through the normal Article 49 TEU route for a new country to join the EU, or conceivably through Article 48 TEU on amendment of the treaties, or conceivably as part of a treaty on the secession of the UK from the EU; but whichever legal route was adopted there would inevitably be a price for the agreement of all the other member states, and Scotland could not realistically expect to inherit any of the UK’s present opt-outs, not on the euro or on Schengen or on JHA or on immigration and asylum or on anything else, even if it was allowed to join the EU.

    I said in the past that if Scotland voted for independence then for the sake of trade within the island Cameron would move heaven and earth to keep Scotland in the EU and so in its Single Market alongside the rest of the UK; and if the UK electorate had voted to stay in the EU on June 23rd then it would have been no different with May as Prime Minister, if say Cameron had fallen under a bus and she had replaced him.

    Clearly that has changed now that the UK is leaving the EU, as her strong preference must be to ensure that whatever happened the end position of Scotland on trade would be fully compatible with that of the continuing UK when the latter was no longer in the EU and probably no longer in the Single Market, but with some agreed degree of free access to that Single Market; and moreover once the UK had left the EU she would no longer be in the same position to act as an advocate for an independent Scotland to be smoothly slotted into the EU as a new member state in its own sovereign right.

    It should be obvious that of those four notional options only the first two would avoid massive complication, and disruption, during the negotiations on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Would we, or even Sturgeon, really expect the other EU member state governments to be prepared to help sort out the manifold consequences of the possible or impending separation of Scotland from the UK, at the same time as dealing with the consequences of the impending separation of the UK from the EU?

    Maybe that is what Sturgeon and the SNP really want, to queer the UK government’s pitch during the negotiations for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and its subsequent relations with the other countries. But the Scots make up only about a tenth of the UK population, so why should she be allowed to do that to the detriment of the other nine tenths?

    Common sense says that May should refuse to allow another independence referendum until after the UK has left the EU, and the Scots have had a chance to see how good or bad the new arrangements turn out to be. The Scots actually have little more to lose through that, whenever the referendum took place they would face much the same problems over the future relationship of Scotland with the EU. If May wished to placate the SNP, then she could commit the UK government to allowing another independence referendum within a certain period, say five years, after the UK has left the EU, but she need not and should give way to noisy pressure to allow a repeat referendum before then.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 16, 2016

      should not!

  41. adam
    October 16, 2016

    Is it my imaginiation or has she been the lead item on the news for 3 days running.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      October 16, 2016

      Adam. Yes, you are right and I have been switching off my TV more than usual.

  42. Bob
    October 16, 2016

    If the Scot Nats can muster enough support to split from the UK and give up the Barnett Formula they should be given the opportunity to do so.

    If it all goes pear shaped afterwards they could always re-join the UK (on reduced terms to the current formula obviously).

  43. Chris
    October 16, 2016

    I think Sturgeon is eyeing up all the grants and financial support that Scotland can get if it gives up all its sovereignty to the EU. Sturgeon seems to want a completely state controlled society (witness the sinister State Guardian policy for children) where a political elite are apparently unaccountable/above the law and well rewarded and the plebs are just pliant souls grateful for any handouts. Fervent young idealistic nationalists in the electorate are easily led, so Sturgeon has had an easy time so far. Waite however for the realities of the oil price plunge and all the ensuing cuts to services to bite (will she blame that on the English?).

    1. John C.
      October 16, 2016

      Another element which she does not seem to have considered is that in the unlikely event of Scottish Independence, her increasingly repressive socialist state will cause a steady flood of talent and decency over the border. When the Iron Curtain collapsed, there was a rush to freedom in the West. When the new Scottish curtain goes up, there will be a comparable rush South.

  44. Jack Snell
    October 16, 2016

    We may be looking at this the wrong way round- instead of Scotland leaving the UK why not consider having England and Wales leave the UK, they would then be also leaving the EU. For the purposes of government and administration England and Wales could then acquire a status equivalent with the Isle of Man, The Channel Islands, Gibraltar etc. Scotland and Northern Ireland would then be the two remaining constituent parts of the UK and so remain firmly in the EU. Of course England would then need its own parliament but anyway that is long overdue. Such a solution might suit and go a long way to solving the brexit problem for everyone involved and help to keep the British family of nations together. Consequently an EU border might have to be put between England and Scotland but we consider that this would be much easier to maintain than a border dividing ireland

  45. IanB
    October 16, 2016

    The SNP’s attitude to independence is looking increasingly like the Argentinian government’s attitude to the Falklands.

    It’s a good way of stoking up support among the faithful while at the same time distracting from domestic policy failings.

  46. Bryan Harris
    October 16, 2016


    It’s pretty clear to me why the SNP desires Scotland to be in the EU and not tied to the rest of the UK.

    Like anyone that lives off benefits without attempting to find work, the SNP believes that they get a raw deal from the London establishment – they believe they should be getting a whole lot more in subsidies and that London is holding back Scottish investment to get back at the Scot’s.

    A perverted view, but none the less, the basis of why they want to be in the EU.

    The SNP looks at the countries joining the EU. They see the huge infrastructure projects and handouts funded by the other EU countries, and they’ve decided they want that, no matter the cost.

    They clearly are living on a different planet to the rest of us who begrudge allowing the EU any say in our daily lives, yet they keep the rosey spectacles on whenever the EU is mentioned, and they truly believe they will be in clover, IF ONLY….


  47. John S
    October 16, 2016

    I would like to know why an independent Scotland could not remain in the sterling area. Why couldn’t they use our notes with the proviso that they would have no control over monetary or fiscal policy? Ireland used the pound for years before adopting the punt.
    I am not a banking expert and would be happily corrected by one who is.

    Reply Of course any country can simply use the currency of another, but they have no say over creating more, setting interest rates or bailing out banks.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 16, 2016

      Scotland would need its own national central bank before it could become an EU member state, otherwise when the governors/representatives of the national central banks forgathered there would always be an empty chair. And it would need its own national currency which could be replaced by the euro in due course.

  48. norman
    October 16, 2016

    Something is seriously amiss in Scotland, and its relationship to the UK – a tragedy for our long history together. I take as evidence the SNP’s recent attempt to impose the Named Person legislation on its people, under the guise of ‘child protection’. It was quashed after a successful legal challenge. Yet still they come back, wanting to try in some other way to re-apply their scheme, since they, of course, know what’s best – a scheme to snoop on every parent, through agencies that would normally be required to respect the rights of the individual, and the rights of families to take care of their children, without undue incursions by the State! There’s something very nasty about the SNP, and dangerous, too. I sincerely hope and pray our Scottish friends will see through this – but sadly, there appears to be a political vacuum – such a shame.

  49. Chris
    October 16, 2016

    Slightly O/T, an appropriate letter in Telegraph, as tweeted by Tim Montgomerie, when commenting on Marr discussion this morning:

    “If the vote in the EU referendum had been on whether or not to go to war, would we now be hearing calls for a debate on how the generals should wage it?”
    Thomas Williams

  50. Naah
    October 16, 2016

    Mrs Sturgeon has outlined many ideas for domiciled representatives in Europe on behalf of Scotland “to ensure continuing trade for Scotland”. Yeah. She means gravy-train jobs and expenses for SNPers and their families.The SNP “Government” of Scotland is looking more like a Labour Fiefdom by the minute. Let us pause to think. Who will pay the salaries and accommodation costs for these pointless jobs? Could it be the UK tax-payer?Naah!

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 16, 2016

      The UK government should remind her that foreign affairs are a matter reserved to the UK authorities, and she should not be (mis)using public resources to establish embassies in foreign countries without authorisation from the UK authorities. But then maybe that nod has already been given behind the scenes?

  51. Scot/Land
    October 16, 2016

    Boris was condemned by the SNP elite only a day or so ago. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon told the SNP Conference Boris was this, that and the other. But it is revealed Boris is actually pro-EU and on the same side as Sturgeon. This is Scotland’s history and demise in a nutshell.Each stabbing one another in the back although all heading for the same target.All for one and one for one.

    Reply Read the Boris article. It is very Eurosceptic.

    1. rose
      October 16, 2016

      Boris is taken out of context and misinterpreted more than anyone else. They can’t forgive him for taking socialist London not once but twice; and they can’t forgive him for having won a scholarship to Eton. His main mistake is continually trying to communicate intelligent thoughts to the public.

    2. Scot/Land
      October 16, 2016

      JR. Just read the Boris article. This is a journo/politician’s article. Seemingly pays homage to keeping a balance of points. Yet overwhelmingly is as you say JR very Eurosceptic. Boris’s last few lines “Yes, folks, the deal’s a bit of a dud, but it contains the germ of something really good. I am going to muffle my disappointment and back the prime minister.” is typical journo/politico-speak presenting a begrudging support in this case for Cameron and the EU but previously in the article shooting so many holes in the hull of the pro-EU argument that it sinks before leaving the harbour, whatever the apparent conclusion. Boris has got more than one brain cell.

  52. Anonymous
    October 16, 2016

    If I were a Scot I’d be wary of leaving Britain.

    Tuition fees, carehome fees, prescription charges and the availability of medical treatments not available to the English – on top of this the right to vote on our issues without need for reciprocation.

    The EU Referendum was taken with the full consent of Scottish MPs and a Remain result would have doubtless been acceptable to Ms Sturgeon. There would have been no call for another Scottish independence referendum if this had happened… *cough*

  53. Anonymous
    October 16, 2016

    Just watched BBC news on child migrants, Calais.

    Well. I’ll be adding a few packets of Bic razors to the charity collection.

    When we were told 300 ‘children’ were to be taken we thought six, seven-year-olds (fair enough), not late teenagers of gang/army recruitable age.

    Clearly the rub-the-right’s-noses-in-diversity brigade are still in charge.

    What is it going to take to get the message through to them ?

  54. Denis Cooper
    October 16, 2016


    “Euro ‘house of cards’ to collapse, warns ECB prophet”

    Tempting to give it just that little push …

  55. Robin Davies
    October 16, 2016

    The SNP can have referenda ad infinitum but it is up to the UK government (which after all also includes the other 92% of the non-Scottish population) to decide if it is going to take any notice. Some would say David Cameron was unwise to make the last one binding; hopefully Mrs May will not do so.

    October 16, 2016

    Sturgeon does not understand English-journalese in regard to Boris’ articles. Nor does she understand English. I did think she was pretending not to understand for her own political gain. But she is too honest for that.

  57. Jack
    October 16, 2016

    Off topic-

    JR you should see what’s happening in China. Their budget deficit has expanded to 5.5% of GDP and growing further. Private demand has fallen quite a bit since state bank lending has slowed, but instead of GDP growth dropping to near-zero, it’s still around 7% annually thanks to the government deficit taking up the slack.

    China doesn’t have a trade deal with the EU, and maintains its monetary sovereignty. Proof that trade deals make barely any difference (maybe 0.2% of GDP extra?). The only two mistakes they make is trying to loosely “manage” the exchange rate, when they should let the Yuan freely float, and setting a base interest rate above 0%.

    But this could be a massive awakening for the world, as austerity is debunked once and for all. I mean, it should have been totally debunked already when China went from a GDP per capita PPP of $1000 to one of $14,000 in the space of two decades thanks to effective demand management – with state bank lending at 30% of GDP for most of those years.

    Our GDP per capita PPP was around $16,000 in 1960, imagine what it could have been now if we hit over 10% annual GDP growth, as was (and is still) possible?

    1. Jack
      October 16, 2016

      Of course, it could all go wrong in China if they chicken out and listen to the IMF. But nonetheless, China is an important historical lesson for macroeconomics, and shows that’s it’s possible to grow extremely fast just by maintaining domestic demand, without the need for any trade deals or monetary union, in particular.

  58. Waughwaughbetterthan
    October 17, 2016

    Precious few outside the Parliamentary/Civil Service topmost people have any idea what a trade negotiation looks like day-to-day.
    Some drama series, however boring, ( it would depend on the screen writer ) should be made as an education if nothing else. It is important we all know something about it.
    Until then we shall have the great body of MPs not connecting with their electorates nor indeed with one another as there is little-to-no-evidence to suggest they know anything about trade deals except when mildly educated by reading our best quality newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

  59. Denis Cooper
    October 19, 2016


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