Scotland, devolution and the EU

The SNP government’s tortured prose stumbled over the contradictions in their position. Maintaining full membership of the EU single market they see as crucial, but  the UK single market is even more important yet they want to leave the UK. They assume they would get full access rights to the rest of the UK market, but that of course in their ideal world would depend on the EU’s arrangements with the UK, not on them. They are happy to put at risk their membership of the market that matters four times as much to them as the EU single market, but not the EU single market. If the EU refuses tariff free trade to the UK, then an ” independent” Scotland staying in the EU has to accept the EU decision.

Even more bizarre is they do not want the UK to get powers back from Brussels which could then be devolved as appropriate to Scotland, but do think the rest of the UK should be willing to devolve even more power to Scotland to allow it to stay in the EU when we leave!

The truth is simple. Scotland voted to stay in the UK. The UK voted to leave the EU. When we leave the EU  major powers of self government will be returned to the UK from the EU. At that point there will of course be a decision to be made about which of these new powers should and can be devolved to Scotland. The rest of the UK will be more sympathetic to any Scottish case to delegate more if Scotland has helped the process of repatriating these powers. If Scotland persists in trying to make Brexit more difficult, it is speaking against more devolution for Scotland. Every power Scotland wishes to concede or leave with the EU in the forthcoming negotiation is a power we cannot share with Scotland, because neither government will possess it.

As I have remarked before, the SNP do not want an independent Scotland. They want a Scotland using the pound, sharing a Head of state with the rest of the UK, having border free access to the rest of the UK, with much of their law being made in the EU. They are truly muddled and not a proper independence movement.As someone who is happy for the Union of the UK to continue, I would find it easier to understand a movement which wanted Scotland out of the UK and out of the EU, with its own currency, Head of State and the rest.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    They are truly muddled and not a proper independence movement.

    And the same can be said of all the other so called, ‘Independence / Nationalist’ parties.

    What this is about is simple bigotry by the SNP and its members. Bigotry towards the hated English. Sadly not enough to go the whole hog though.

    It is time the UK government started to talk about an English parliament again as a counter to all the others. Post BREXIT a big shake up on the way we are governed needs to be undertaken. First to go would be the House of Lords. No nobles are they !

    • Mark B
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:23 am | Permalink

      Oops !

      Good morning.


    • Yossarion
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      There lies the trouble, all these so called freedom parties have one thing in common, they all want to break England up into EUSSR regions even if we left. The English are being cleansed of the face of the Earth by these so called Democrats.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      If only it was just Scottish bigotry against the hated English, for we also have the British establishment’s bigotry against the hated English. Just before Christmas the BBC did a little comparison piece on the costs loaded onto English students compared to the other nations of the UK. I knew it was bad, but the figures were shocking, and this was all happily loaded onto English students by the British Government, for all the other nations, who had Governments looking after their interests, had a better deal than the English. It is not a good advert for Government by the British establishment, for it says join us and get a truly rotten deal.

      The clearest evidence of this anti English bigotry was on show during the Referendum campaign, where the Remainers could hardly open their mouths without calling English people ‘Little Englanders’. Cameron called us little Englanders, so did Osborne, so did Sadiq Khan , and Dianne Abbott could hardly open her mouth without calling us Little Englanders. (words left out ed) but bad mouthing English people is looked on kindly by the British establishment. Anglo-phobic racism is the only racism permitted in the UK.

      As an added observation , the Remainers have made much of the hate crimes that Brexit enabled, but if they had included the Anglo-phobic nature of their campaign into the figures then it would have been clear that it was they who gave the green light to ethnic abuse.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      Agree, we need English independence

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        Surely, as Conservatives we should be strong supporters of the Union. We are a great people in peace time and war when we’re united and work together.

        • Pperrin
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          How is it possible to support Scottish and English devolution differently? It must be both or neither.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink


          I believe in a nation (UK) of equal opportunity. That to me is one of the founding beliefs of Conservatism. How can we be equal when we the English are treated so badly ?

          If we cannot build a nation where everyone can have an equal chance, then we will never be united and no nation.

  2. Iain Gill
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    The SNP Scottish government is just a bloated layer of local government. They are correct about a few things, posh boys from down south getting too much power etc, which many English with regional accents would agree.

    But they seem to be excessively anti English, in a nasty racist way.

    And they seem hell bent on leeching resources from poor English people to prop up the comparatively gold plated perks of living in Scotland, free prescriptions and hospital parking, house never sold to pay for old age care, much cheaper college experience, etc.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed they can only afford their free prescriptions, free hospital parking, free eye tests, free dental checks and of course free tuition fees thanks to the generosity of the Barnett Formula which was only meant to be temporary over forty years ago and yet which no politician has had the guts to put an end to ever since, no matter what cost to the English who of course have all the above denied to them on grounds of cost.

      • Yossarion
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget Brown’s PFI’s for School;s and Hospitals not applicable North of the tweed,wonder which banks raised the cash?

    • rose
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      And they charge English students fees but not continentals.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        I would hope that after leaving the EU it will be illegal to discriminate against English students.
        It’s time we gave them another referendum and told wee Kranky to put up or shut up.

      • Jools
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Paid for with English taxes and the future taxes of our already heavily indebted discriminated against students in England. And not a word of protest from MPs squatting in English seats supposedly representing our interests but failing miserably.

        • Iain Moore
          Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          I shall never forget the EVEL debate in the Commons , where the British Government sought to fob English people off with the English vetoes for English laws. Here the SNP benches were full of SNP MPs , bar a few the rest of the Commons benches were empty. The British MPs just couldn’t be bothered about English people’s rights.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        As Scotland is dependent on the English tax payer’s generosity, essentially the British establishment have got the English paying for free further education for Scots and EU citizens, that they won’t give to the English.

        The English have to be a very tolerant race to put up with that.

        • JoolsB
          Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          They certainly have – can’t think of any other reason why they put up with this discrimination against them. Doesn’t help of course the media and UK politicians deliberately try to hide this discrimination at all times by NEVER uttering the word England once when they know full well their discrimination only applies to England.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    They are indeed truly muddled, I too might understand a desire for full and real independence with their own currency. But the SNP’s muddled proposals are absurd, just as one would expect of such daft socialists.

    But then Mrs May (and Osborne Mk. II, Philip Hammond) say they believed in free markets, she/they do not at all. She clearly thinks she will improve the economy and productivity with workers on company boards, forced gender pay reporting, central dictated pay rates, absurd taxes on landlords and thus tenants and endless other increases in taxes and red tape. This has never worked in the parts why would it now? We do not have anything like feee markets in farming, banking, education, energy, health care, planning, housing and many other areas. She is extremely muddled too. She is almost as daft as Sturgeon.

    She even told us (actually she just blatantly lied to to the electorate, in order to trick us into a remain vote) that we had control of our borders while in the EU under Schengen. She is, to be very generous indeed, rather a muddled socialist (ex?) remainer too.

    Why is the Tory party so full of and usually led by these essentially muddled socislists?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Well perhaps 2017 will herald some clear-headed thinking by the new US President and those like-minded, which might spread over here via folk like Farage and Aaron Banks.

      Basically we have 4 parties in Parliament here which are living in a dream-world of pretend:

      Libdemocrats-pretend to be democrats, think they can discount and subvert a democratic vote without provoking civil unrest
      Labour (pretend to help the poor) – say they want to help the poor and uneducated but actually they rely on people being poor and uneducated to hold up their vote
      Tories (pretend to be asprational)- infact, pretend to be lots of things
      – aspirational and be helping the middle class whilst actually stamping on them at every opportunity.
      -pro-English whilst actually being anti-, no talk now of equivalence of the other devolved Parliaments – its HAS all gone quiet on that
      -anti-EU whilst actually being tortuously pro-EU
      SNP-pretend to be for independence, but actually against it

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    It has never worked in the past, I meant.

    Theresa May has promised to set out her proposals for a “truly global Britain” in speech on Brexit in the new year.

    Well I imagine it will be the usual, ambiguous and vacuous flannel that she and most politicians usually deliver, but we shall see. Has she set a date? When will all these learned judges finally make their ruling?

    As I said before people who think that judges decide based on “the law” live in a dream world, the legal profession is also hugely pro reamain. The more complex, multilevel, slow, expensive, random and arbitrary the law is the better it is, for this largely parasitic profession.

    If we want to improve productivity as Hammond claims we should look to cut out as many non productive, bureaucratic and parasitic jobs as possible by cutting red tape, simplifying
    the law and the tax system. I do not think May and Hammon look like doing this at all quite the reverse.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Yep tax and benefits system needs a radical simplification to strip out admin costs.

  5. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    “The truth is simple” ?
    The country called Scotland has voted to remain in the EU (and to remain in the UK, even under the premise that this would be its only way to keep EU membership). This morning’s blog hasn’t even made a start in addressing that thorny issue of two different referendum outcomes. I’m not a Scot but could imagine it to be perceived as arrogant English talk. Will that unify the UK?

    Reply You need to grasp that the two referendums did not have “different” outcomes. In the first Scotland decided to remain part of the UK. In the second the UK decided to leave the EU. If Scotland wants to rejoin the EU at some time in the future she will first need to leave the UK and then apply. What terms would the rest of the EU want to give an independent Scotland?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Stop feeding the Brussels propaganda machine it only encourages him.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg: Like in: let’s just keep talking to ourselves, it gives so much more satisfaction . . .

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Such is the mischief making behind the breakdown of a country into regions (as is the usual method of the EU, to divide and conquer.) This is something that Leavers would not have done had the result been the reverse.

      – Scotland voted to remain in the UK

      – A large majority of UK MPs voted for an EU referendum

      – A majority of people voted to leave the EU on a one-to-one vote basis

      “I’m not a Scot but could imagine it to be perceived as arrogant English talk. Will that unify the UK?”

      Only if you’re stupid or antipathetic towards the English.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous: Are Scottish stupid or only antipathetic towards the English?

    • APL
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      PvL: “The country called Scotland has voted to remain in the EU (and to remain in the UK,”

      1. There isn’t ‘a country called Scotland’, the country was abolished in 1707 and the united entity Great Britain was created.

      2. The referendum on Scottish independence was a vote for the status quo.

      3. After the Scottish people voted to remain in the UK, they were given, as were all the people in the UK a vote on the UKs status in the European Union. The United Kingdom as a whole chose to leave the European Union.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        @APL: There isn’t ‘a country called Scotland’. Many, including wikipedia, would disagree with you.

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          A regulated referendum should carry more weight than unregulated Wikipedia. Not to Remainers, unfortunately.

        • APL
          Posted December 30, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          PvL: “Many, including wikipedia, would disagree with you.”

          And you and the ‘many’ are free to do so. But, answer me this question.

          If Scotland exists as a country, why are some members of the Northern population of the United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland, seeking independence?

    • Richard1
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      I think the county I live in voted Remain but I’ve heard no calls for a special EU deal for the County. Scotland is as much part of the UK as Kensington, albeit with some delegated powers. the Scottish separatists are in a complete muddle as clearly set out in today’s post.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Richard1: A county is not a country

        • Edward2
          Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Some counties are bigger than some countries.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 29, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            @Edward2: Your former Crown Colony “Malta” being a good example, it will have the 6-month EU chairmanship as from next week. 🙂

        • anon
          Posted December 28, 2016 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

          What part of the union do you not understand about the UK?

          The constituent countries of the union were voting collectively as the UK. The UK voted to leave.

          If Scotland had voted for independence. Then a different question of a different legal entity would have been asked.

          Given that the UK has voted collectively to leave why are you trying to frustrate the outcome with misleading argument. In effect you are attempting to subvert a democratic vote. This is why we haven chosen to leave the EU.

          The UK will always work together successfully, until we decide democratically to do otherwise successfully.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 29, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

            @anon: I just read about the concerns Scotland has, why not take them seriously and study their proposals?

          • APL
            Posted December 29, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            PvL: “I just read about the concerns Scotland has .. ”

            ‘Scotland”? You know any Scots, Peter?

            If so, how many, five, ten, ten thousand?

            You’ve read an article written by one person and extrapolated that to six million?

            Sounds a little like ‘Fake News’, if you ask me. You should probably take more care what you read.

        • Richard1
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 3:03 am | Permalink

          Scotland is not a country & just voted that it did not wish to become one, it preferred to remain a part of the UK – which is a country. The point stands.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted December 29, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            @Richard1: As I read it, Scotland is a country within a United Kingdom, with e.g. its own parliament and government.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 29, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

            But it was the United Kingdom as a whole that voted in the referendum on the EU issue.
            An Act was passed in Parliament by a huge majority to hold that UK referendum.
            Individual Cities or regions inside the UK can be analysed as to their particular result but just like a general election the final result is the final overall result.
            Scotland recently voted by a decent margin to remain part of the UK and current polls still show a majority continue to want to be part of the UK .

    • Newmania
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      It was clear that agreement to membership of the UK was contingent on its staying within the EU,the SNP made the referendum trigger a manifesto commitment , so there can be no doubt.
      Ruth Davidson argued forcefully and effectively for Remain. She cannot support a Brexit UK which will destroy Scottish Banking and services and expect to be taken seriously . Unionism in Scotland, which might have gathered new life has been killed at birth.
      The likelihood that the UK would break up was made crystal clear, Brexit voters chose not to care.

      What is complicated about this ?

      Reply T is untrue. The polls show a majority wish to remain in the UK out of the EU

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Newmania – When it comes to English nationalism you are revolted. Yet Scotland has a nationalist party and you use it as an argument to keep the UK in the EU.

        • Newmania
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          I find the extreme Nationalism on both sides of the border equally childish and the fact each thinks the other is uniquely terrible rather amusing
          My concern is for the services the country needs the National debt we cannot pay back the worth we forgoe and the business we will push under . ..and much more

      • Newmania
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        .. Not so .They consistently elect the SNP in big numbers who want the reverse and voted against Brexit.
        A disinclination for more change/ referendums there is. Support for Brexit Britain North of the border demonstrably does not exist

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          The ‘border’ is symbolic. You are trying to cheat again.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 29, 2016 at 3:06 am | Permalink

        Of course the vote was not ‘contingent’! The Scots voted to remain in the U.K. nor is there any evidence of an increased support for separatism post the Brexit vote. Looking at how countries like Greece and Portugal are getting on in the EU I think it’s extremely unlikely scots would vote to leave the U.K., join the EU and accept everything that comes with it (the euro etc).

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: From an England perspective this may certainly seem true. But from a Scottish perspective? The interesting question may become what terms the EU-27 would be willing to give to a Scotland which remains inside the UK. For starters Scotland may request its citizens to remain EU citizens and keep free movement and residents rights, (maybe Scotland would like to reciprocate such rights to would-be immigrants to Scotland as it doesn’t have the same problems with immigrants as England seems to have), maybe it will want to continue to be part of the Erasmus+ scheme, Scots Gaelic is already a recognized EU language in which Scottish may wish to petition the EU parliament or ombudsman, and then I haven’t even touched on economical rights (a Norway-like model?) After all, Scotland is a country, not a county.

      Reply Scotland is part of a member state so the EU will not offer it special terms!

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        For a man who has claimed to want Brexit done as quickly and smoothly as possible you seem determined to complicate things, PvL.

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          PS, Are you even slightly aware of how many Scots live in England and the large numbers in high positions ?

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          @Anonymous: A quick and smooth Brexit takes all opinions and serious concerns into account, doesn’t cause itself to be taken to a high court or even supreme court and tries to build on a 52%-48% outcome, not a 100%-0%!
          You may have noticed that all the complications so far were home-grown in the UK.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 29, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Is there any vote below 100% v 0% you would consider a majority?

      • rose
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        “(maybe Scotland would like to reciprocate such rights to would-be immigrants to Scotland as it doesn’t have the same problems with immigrants as England seems to have)”


        “seems” is the right word. Scotland had such a problem that when asylum seekers were sent up there to ease the pressure on overwhelmed England, (there were alleged problems leading to their return to England ed)
        Other problems are that asylum seekers don’t like the isolation of being in Scotland. What immigrants seem to like is living in an English city which is why the population of England is now so enormous whereas the populations of the three “devolved regions” are tiny. And don’t forget, we have taken large numbers of your asylum seekers into our English cities as well. What was their problem in Holland that they preferred to come to England on their EU passports? You are not alone in being shunned in this way: we have taken asylum seekers from Finland, Sweden, and Denmark as well.

      • rose
        Posted December 29, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        “(maybe Scotland would like to reciprocate such rights to would-be immigrants to Scotland as it doesn’t have the same problems with immigrants as England seems to have)

        Actually, Peter, although the SNP and the Media keep very quiet about this, one of the reasons Scots vote SNP is that they are simply horrified by what has happened to England, and want to separate themselves from that rather than from England.

    • James Matthews
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Once again, one has to ask, why should is Dutchman apparently care so much about the unity of the UK? The answer is that he doesn’t. This is just more trolling.

      On the substantive question the English voted by a large margin to leave the EU. If the Scots care about the unity of the UK (unlike the Dutch they actually have a stake in the issue) they will live with the fact that the will of the UK majority should prevail. If they don’t care about that unity the English can happily live without them. No one needs a reluctant partner, especially one that is routinely subsidised.
      (The EU, of course, has a reluctant partner which routinely provides a subsidy.)

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        @James Matthews: My family is partly Scottish (although living abroad) and I’m only raising some questions. Some of you chose to steamroll, some may actually think a little longer . . . What is gained by not listening to the Sottish majority?

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          We English get shafted by listening to the Scottish majority (a UK minority by their officially decided preference.)

          Student fees, care costs… the Lothian question. We English give a lot in this relationship already. Too much in fact.

          (My children will be hundreds of thousands worse off than many of their Scottish contemporaries by virtue of these disparities)

    • libertarian
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink


      As I’ve endlessly explained to you Scotland did not have a vote in the EU referendum. It was a one person one vote of all citizens of the United Kingdom a place that the citizens of Scotland chose ( unfortunately) to remain a part of.

      For someone who bangs on about democracy you have a very tenuous grasp on how it works.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian: Scotland constitutes part of your 48%, and as a country has time and again expressed its wish to remain in the EU. It would be very democratic of you to take their concerns seriously and see how any can be met.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink


          Basically, Scotland cannot have its cake and eat it too. They either want to be part of the UK and therefore have to abide by the rule of law and the democratic vote of its people or leave. The SNP are only voted in because Labour is weak and because they know the SNP hate England so much but manage to bribe many concessions from the UK governments which are subsidised by the rest of the UK such as those we are all talking about on this blog. Maybe when the Scottish electorate grow up they will elect a grown up devolved parliament. Most of us are fed up hearing about what Scotland wants. If they get concessions then what about Wales and NI????? It could go on and on. Just get over it and get on with helping to deliver the best Brexit for the UK as a whole.

    • rose
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      And Peter, don’t forget what I told you a little while ago: many Scots say they voted Remain to avoid giving Mrs Sturgeon another excuse for an independence referendum. The SNP are not the Scots – only the means by which the Scots got rid of the Scottish Labour Party. Now they have to get rid of the SNP.

      Furthermore, the Scots are not united as a people. They consist of Highlanders and Islanders on the one hand, and Lowlanders on the other. The Lowlanders in their turn consist of Scots and Irish, Protestants and Roman Catholics. There is not much love lost between these various groups.

      When you have a situation like this, home rule is not always a good idea.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        @rose: You as a Scot would know better how complicated the actual situation and divisions among Scottish people are, I acknowledge that. Some may have voted SNP to get rid of Labour, but some may have very genuine liking for the SNP (its government got majorities under a proportional voting system – that is better than the 64% of British who did NOT vote Conservative at the last general elections). Although it is not really my problem (being a foreigner, living abroad), I see an unwillingness to think creatively and make attempts to take the Scottish government seriously. For instance, why should Scottish not continue to enjoy freedom of movement and residence (in the EU) or take part in programs they like? In terms of reciprocity, a simple stamp in a British passport could denote that an immigrant is only legal in Scotland and not in the rest of the UK. I’m not suggesting that Scotland should leave the UK, that would be a real pity, but more can be done to assuage their anger about Brexit.

        Reply This is a nonsensical idea. Do you think East Anglia that voted strongly for out should be able to sever more ties with the rest of Europe?

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          @reply: One cannot compare East Anglia to Scotland. A county is not a country. (e.g. no East Anglia parliament or government in sight)

          Reply There is plenty of government in East Anglia – counties and districts

          • Edward2
            Posted December 29, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

            One minute you are arguing about numbers of voters the next you fall back on countries.
            This isn’t logical.
            As I said before some countries have less population than some cities as in the UK
            Are you counting total votes or by countries or counties or regions or cities now?

          • anon
            Posted December 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Depends on how far back in history you look?

  6. alan jutson
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    This is what happens when you start the fiasco of so called devolution, they always simply want more and more power, want more socialism, but wish to be less responsible for the financial chaos that it causes.

    Unfortunately the cat is out of the bag now, the only true way to deal with this is to offer them full independence with a new referendum, withdraw all UK financial help, and give them the opportunity to let them govern their own Country.

    Sometimes foolish people (some scottish politicians) need to learn a lesson the hard way, but somehow I think the Scottish people are rather more sensible.

    One thing is for sure, the unjust Barnett formula has to be abolished as it is well past itself by date.

  7. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Something one never hears about is that, speaking as someone who visits the Borders often, if Sturgeon gets what she wants there will need to be an nth referendum there because they to a man want to stay in the UK–And not just the Borders because The Highlands, and even more so the Islands, have historically had. and largely still have, little truck with the Lowlands in general.

  8. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    There is no hope for the English in England with Theresa the Appeaser and all the other fanatical unionists in government and the Tory party.

    She and they will concede any number of convoluted arrangements to keep the Scots sweet, afeared as they are of their threats and demands.

    Let us hope that one day the English will find a couragous champion who will truly and unequivocally represent them above all others.

    The English must not put their hope and faith in those who propose and support half-baked ideas and start from a position of compromise.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink


      I agree , I am still staggered that no politician has bothered to see that England needs representing and that for the most part England has a fairly consistent set of beliefs that they vote for. We really do need an independent England, free from the rest of the UK and the EU with our own democratically elected parliament

      • JoolsB
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Oh they see it alright – they just choose to ignore it. After all an English Parliament would see a reduction in their numbers by at least two thirds.

  9. Old Albion
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The SNP exist for only one reason; to break Scotland away from the dominance (intentional or accidental) of the Auld Enemy, the English. They love our money but hate us.
    They were given a chance with their referendum and failed. They failed for many reasons but notably Salmonds claim he would “keep the pound” Plus the then falling oil price which destroyed his economic figures.
    Their nation is indeed muddled, unable to see leaving the (dis)UK and staying in the EU means they will still not be independent.
    But then, I couldn’t care less. I hope they have a second ind.Ref. and I hope they win it.

    The chance to keep the (dis)UK together has gone. England should have been given its own Parliament five years ago, but Westminster politicians failed us. We could now be living in a UK Federation. But self-serving England hating MP’s wouldn’t listen.
    It’s time now for an independent self-governing England free of the EU and Scottish burdens.

  10. Tim L
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink


    Seasonal greetings to you sir and long may your blog continue. I also pay tribute to my fellow contributors who often add clarity to subjects once beyond my understanding.

    A few questions to throw out there on Scotland remaining in the ‘single market’;

    Would Scotland retain Royal Navy ship building if it remained in the single market and subject to EU regulation and competition rules?

    Surely this activity among many others would have to be moved out of Scotland for the simple reason that the UK could adopt a buy British policy?

    Would the UK have to pay tax to the EU for the purchase of ships made within the single market, if that ship was made in Scotland?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Tim L,

      I think you are right to be concerned. As we know the EU (France) would not sell Russia the Mistrals it was building. It is worrying that the UK is going to start building its frigates in Scotland next year, when the SNP are so pro-EU and anti-UK.

      The Scottish should be given another (once in a lifetime) quick referendum for total independence from the UK with no drawn out campaign, just the time to arrange it. There has been enough said and given during the previous two referenda. If Scotland did finally vote to leave the UK then that is fine off it goes and the rUK potentially has another trade border with the EU (if the EU accepts Scotland). Transitionally I guess the Clyde/West Glasgow may have to be a rUK enclave/leased territory for 10 or 20 years. (Moving the defence presence on a couple of decade timescale ought to be possible, there would be no need for a Gibralatar, Ceuta, Melilla, Kalingrad … ).

  11. turboterrier
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Got it right in one John.

    To understand the SNP all you have to remember is the first letter and word in their nationalist dictionary. It is F: Funding.

    All these so called free handouts in health, education all have to be paid by somebody, when you look at key areas within dictatorship Scotland, NHS, Police, Education, Energy all are to be found wanting.

    The covering of this once iconic scenery by turbines is more than partially due to the “community funding” from the developers. My little hamlet will get £750k over a 25 year period and that is only from one windfarm. The farmers are receiving £125k/year for each turbine (12). The parliament and local authorities are freeloading on the back of these handouts. If when the SNP achieve their goal who will continue these subsidies? That is the reason they are so keen to be attached to somebody/anybody that can keep the funding flowing.

    Sadly for Empress Nick and her followers they cannot will not accept it is the dreams of La La Land and even more worrying is that the Westminster still bow to the pressure and threat of leaving the UK. Westminster should start to think long and hard out of the box.
    The whole Scotland situation as is, is unsustainable.

  12. JoolsB
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    In whose name do our out of touch politicians speak when they beg Scotland to stay in the UK? Certainly not in my name. I for one and many others I know now think it is high time they went their own way and then if they wish to chain themselves to the EU instead, so be it, that’s if the EU would have them which I doubt.

    Of course the Scots would never choose to leave the UK, why would they when they can have the best of both worlds thanks to our supine politicians. It’s time to take off their rose tinted glasses and realise that the so called union they seek to maintain at any cost no longer exists. It is now a very lopsided and unfair union where three parts of it are given much more money per head plus their own self determining legislatures whilst the largest part of this so called union, is denied any such privilege. I am sick of seeing UK Governments of all colours, even a Tory one, pander to Scotland’s every whim whilst shamefully and deliberately choosing to continue ignoring the English Question.

    Why has May invited the devolved nations to be involved in EU talks at Downing Street? Of course as usual there is no-one to represent England in these talks. She is the UK Prime Minister and the UK voted out – end of. Why doesn’t she have the guts to tell them that’s the way it is and get on with it.

    Let the Scots have another referendum and if they vote to stay in the UK, which they will, it must be on condition that either the devolved Governments are disbanded forthwith or that England too is given her own parliament, her own First Minister, her own Secretary of State and of course equal funding.

    Of course, our self serving politicians who put their own careers and their own self interests first will never agree to an EP. To do so would be like turkeys voting for Christmas. Big mistake John, especially now Paul Nuttall, the new UKIP leader is proposing one. The Tories, just like Labour before them, have betrayed England for too long and it now time therefore for another party to become ‘the English party’ because the current one has failed England miserably.

  13. William Long
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    The SNP’s position is typical of any position that is based on emotion rather than logic, which is also true of the supposed rationale behind the EU itself and, above all, the Euro. The only cement keeping all these things together is wishful thinking and eventually this will be rumbled by the electorate which is not so stupid as most politicians think, as we saw on 23 June. There has been no surge in popularity for Scotch independence from the UK since then and we are now beginning to see signs in the press of light dawning on the opportunities that Brexit will bring for the UK and a growing wish for Mrs May to get on with it. I think before very long light will dawn on her that more prevarication will become the greatest potential danger to her continuing in office.
    My guess is that Mrs Sturgeon will get her come-uppance next time Scotland votes, because as you say, how she has placed the SNP is untenable.

    • Newmania
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      This is KPaxian

      48% of our trade the position of the City as the financial centre f Europe is a not a dream wish or thought it is the reality that pays for everything.

      • zorro
        Posted December 29, 2016 at 1:19 am | Permalink

        Wrong…… 82% of our countries trade within the UK, of the 18% outside of the UK, just over 40% (diminishing every year) goes via the EU (notwithstanding the Rotterdam effect), and the rest is with ROW…..

        So to say that the EU deals with 48% of our trade is baloney. We mainly trade within the UK. Try and keep a grip on the facts therwise people might think that you overegg your pudding ?


  14. Bert Young
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    There is Scotland and there is that woman Sturgeon ; what she wants is some sort of idiology that suits her misguided notion of a Scotland entirely free from England . She is unmindful of how the Scots voted to remain in the UK and equally unmindful of the support England makes to Scotland’s economy and to its individuals . Her rhetoric is stirred by her psychology of power seeking ; her feet are not on the ground and certainly not in the best interests of the Scots .

  15. APL
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    JR: “The SNP government’s tortured prose stumbled over the contradictions in their position.”

    The whole SNP platform has been based on a fundamental contradiction; “independence within Europe” ( Meaning of course the EU ).

    I wonder how they’d have gotten on arguing with Napoleon for Independence within the French Empire?

  16. Prigger
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    “…They (SNP )want a Scotland …..sharing a Head of state with the rest of the UK…”

    Mr. Humza Yousaf,, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands,MSP for Glasgow Pollok stated affirmatively and most clearly on our national television in a studio debate on the Referendum just prior to June 23rd 2016 that “we” were only advocating HM The Queen as Head of State of Scotland as a ruse or ploy in the Independence of Scotland campaign and after achieving Scottish Independence “The Queen ” would eventually not be Scotland’s Head of State.

    Mr. Yousaf has worked as Parliamentary assistant for MSPs including Anne McLaughlin, Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond .

    As far as I am aware Mrs Sturgeon, Mr Salmond nor Ms McLaughlan nor the SNP MPs in the UK Parliament have publicy disassociated themselves with Mr Yousaf’s statement/desire for HM The Queen not to be their Queen. Nor have they or he explained who exactly the “we” are who are against our Queen.
    They should be asked.

  17. Fred
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    As always the Scots want a free ride. They want massive public spending at England’s expense, they want to be part of the EU but free access to England, they want all the revenue from oil but none of the responsibilities, they want to be defended but not from bases in Scotland. Most of all they want England as a scapegoat for their failings. Just more of the same old rubbish.

  18. alte fritz
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    England has long been Scotland’s and Ireland’s alibi, or at least the alibi of parts of their political classes and of people who do want to face life as it is. The US A is much of Europe’s alibi; the political classes generally dislike the USA but have no problem in that country carrying the major part of the cost of protecting the continent.

    It really is a bit pathetic.

  19. fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    When is the English/UK government going to come to terms with the fact that all the time we have an undemocratic nationalistic administration in Scotland they will always want more, more, more? They hate and despise the English even though it is English money propping up the system here in Scotland. They will never be satisfied until they achieve what they think they want and that is independence at any cost to the Scottish people. Alas, they cannot forget the Thatcher years even though the poor woman is dead and so with Labour in a pathetic state of disarray the only choice open to them is Sturgeon and co. Ruth Davidson is proving to be a good leader for Scotland but stands no chance and Kezia Dugdale is a non starter. The SNP are very good at manipulating the economic figures making it appear that Scotland will be just as well off out of the UK as they are now. During the last independence referendum many Scots (who lets face it, have a poor education) thought that the benefits they receive from Westminster (pensions etc) would continue!!!!! Hello??? They need to realise that while they get free dental checkups, free eye tests every 2 years, free hospital parking, free prescription and free university education, people in England don’t. I am fed up with every UK government falling over backwards for the Scots and meeting most of their demands. The latest being fishing rights. They were given the jobs in ship building that could have stayed down south. They are not happy though. Just make it clear to Sturgeon that she either supports the rest of the UK or that she can have her precious independence and all that goes with it tomorrow. That will not include Faslane, ship building or extra fishing quotas and especially not the disgusting subsidies given out willy nilly for wind farms which are prolific all over Scotland now. Lets’ get in the real world and let’s remember who is paying for most of her demands.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Sorry, that should read – Ruth Davisons is proving to be a good Conservative leader for Scotland and not Ruth Davidson is proving to be a good leader for Scotland

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      I was at a folk night in England a week ago. It featured several Celtic acts which were bitching about the English and not in too friendly terms either. Where else could a ‘foreigner’ have done that to a host people except in England ?

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        They sound like small-minded people. Both the Celts and English have their great and negative points like all nationals.

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 29, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          My point is the English’s tolerance.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted December 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

            I agree with you.

    • rose
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Appeasement never pays. Neither in England and Wales, nor in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It only breeds contempt and encourages further alienation. Let’s get them back their fish and let them get on with it earning their living as the Norwegians (their role model) do. They still have a bit of oil to mange too. No more favourable treatment to appease their anglophobia, just equal treatment as a kingdom in union with England. They will however need help to keep the ferries running which will now no longer be against EU law.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 30, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Personally I would impose tolls on the Skye road bridge and bridges North of Edinburgh until and unless the Dartford crossing fees are stopped.

        Just impose rule from London to do it.

        And strip all the supposed Scottish government of their chauffeur driven cars.

        Force Scotland to contribute and spend the same as England.

        If they don’t like it lets have a referendum in England for independence from Scotland.

        • rose
          Posted December 31, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          And don’t forget the Severn Bridge tolls which go to a French company – in perpetuity it seems.

    • David Ashton
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Your comment about the wind farms is very pertinent. The SNP believe that if they encourage large numbers of wind turbines, producing, on a windy day, more electricity than Scotland needs that they can export this to England. However, electricity from wind turbines needs subsidies in the form of ‘feed in tariffs ‘ etc. At the moment the cost of those subsidies is carried by all UK electricity customers. If Scotland becomes independent those subsidies will be paid by Scottish electricity users, the English electricity industry would only pay the prevailing wholesale or spot rate, which for the vast majority of the time would not cover those subsidies. In addition, there would be no requirement for the English electricity industry to give priority to Scottish renewable power over English fossil fuel derived electricity, which is the current position.

      Independence would be a disaster for Scotland.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        @David Ashton

        As one who formed the first Scottish anti wind farm group (CATS – Communities Against Turbines Scotland) I am in full agreement here with you.. The Scots would not be able to afford to put their cookers on let alone their heating if it were independent for precisely the reasons you quote. Community benefit is given often as the first reason for a new wind farm to be erected. This benefit is being paid for by the poorest in the UK as well as the richest. I am fed up with renewables with subsidies being championed when it is the rest of us who cannot afford to install these things who are paying for those that can to have cheaper energy. All an utter disgrace and Scotland is getting the biggest share.

  20. The Great Ear
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    It is odd MPs of English constituencies do not sit in the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh. The SNP MPs of Scottish constituencies sit in what they insist is the English Parliament of Westminster, London. It is not that SNPs contribute anything worthwhile in London. Why are they being paid? I suppose it is OK if they sit in the Gallery and keep quiet, not eating crisps.
    Ms Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh SNP MP for Ochil and South Perthshire is always popping sweets into her mouth, chewing, sucking and plonking on her communication device in Parliament but she is good enough to do all silently and does not offend.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      What many do not realise is that not only do MPs with English constituencies have no say on devolved matters for Scotland, Wales and NI but those MPs sitting in the UK Parliament representing the devolved nations have no say on devolved matters for their own constituents either yet they have 100% say on those same matters affecting England. Time to put an end to this farce we call democracy!

  21. Andy
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    It is high time this mess of Devolution was revisited and sorted out properly. We need an English Parliament and we need to abolish Barnett. The Scottish Parliament should raise the bulk of what it spends with any subsidy from H.M. Treasury being ‘per head’ and transparent.

  22. Old Albion
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    On the subject of Devolution.
    I see car parking profit from English hospital trusts has risen by 5% to £120 million over the last full year. Meanwhile, almost all hospital parking in Scotland and Wales is free (as it should be)
    ‘United Kingdom’ my ar*e

  23. Tad Davison
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Well put.

    It might be the case that the SNP have reached the high water mark and their popularity will ebb away now the Scottish people can see through their flimsy and often unworkable, fanciful policies. It was interesting to read the Taxpayer’s Alliance’s take on the SNP’s position recently, and by how much the Scottish government would need to raise taxes if the latter actually had their way.

    There are a lot of people in Scotland who do not wish to belong to the EU, yet they are presently disenfranchised. The SNP want to remain, Labour want to remain, the Lib Dems certainly want to remain, and the Tory, Ruth Davidson is herself a remainer. There seems to me to be an opening for a party not so disposed, to speak for all those who have seen just what a nonsense the EU is, and how damaging belonging to it could be. If only that party could get their act together!

    Tad Davison


    • rose
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      And Scots, true to their stereotype, well understand what a bad deal the EU is.

  24. James Matthews
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I think the substance of this post is preaching to (mostly) the choir here. The problem is that until Westminster stops pandering to Scotland – something common to all governments since 1997 – the Scottish overweening sense of entitlement will continue as will their relentless progress from unreasonable demands to impossible demands. Tell them no more concessions, period. If they don’t like it give them another binding independence referendum whether La Sturgeon wants it or not and campaign for a leave vote.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      For a start the UK government could publicly remind Sturgeon:

      a) That by law the UK’s international relations, explicitly including relations with the EU, are not among the policy areas which the UK authorities have devolved to the Scottish authorities; instead they are expressly reserved to the UK authorities, and she has no legal standing in the matter nor any right to use public funds to pursue her own foreign policy without prior authorisation.

      b) That by law she cannot hold a second independence referendum without the same kind of authorisation from the UK authorities that was given for the first referendum following on the Edinburgh Agreement, which bears her signature as well as that of Salmond.

    • rose
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      They also need to be told very firmly to use the devolved powers they have already been given. At the moment Wee Nicola is just prancing around on her high heels pretending to be an international stateswoman instead of administering her country’s affairs.

      • APL
        Posted December 29, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        rose: “need to be told very firmly to use the devolved powers they have already been given.”

        Exactly, the Scotish Parliament has had the authority to vary the income tax rate by as much as +/- 3% since the Parliament was established.

        Burns could have been describing Nicola Sturgon and wee Alex when he wrote;

        Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie
        O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

  25. Antisthenes
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    SNP is the perfect example of what happens when children are allowed to play with grown ups toys. They are clueless as to how to operate them and turn the whole game into a farce. When they do not get their own way and are frustrated that the game does not play by their immature rules they throw hissy fits. This is of course the aspiration of all those who espouse left wing causes and support left wing political parties.

    A quick glance at the likes of Plaid Cymru, SNP, Greens, Lib-Dims and Labour and we see delusional and muddled thinking in abundance. They see nothing wrong in being contradictory, hypocritical and arriving at counterproductive results. As for them all that is important is the intent to arrive at what they perceive to be social justice. If they achieved that it may have some merit but they do not. All they achieve is impoverishment of standards especially for those who are already the worst off in our society. The better off except for those who are politically privileged (crony capitalists and party supporters) are also effected adversely.

  26. Newmania
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Yeesh those Scots. They think they think they can have the benefits of being in the Union and make none of the political compromises required? Who sold them that Dundee cake-and-eat-it theory ?
    What sort of (person ed) would risk their largest market by far on the basis of hoping they can find some other way to make a living ? For what; to rid themselves of the foreigners they childishly blame for everything ? The old lies are truly the best ones.
    True, they consistently elected a Party whose purpose was independence. Now if they are deluded , what sort of insanity must have overtaken a country who ignored such a Party. If the scots did all this on the basis of an dim witted and inconclusive opinion poll then you really would despair .Even the fiendish Picts are not that crazy and, to be fair, they do stand to lose their hugely important banking sector so it’s bad news either way.
    Let us hope they did not think the English, who they have insulted and slandered will fail to ensure they suffer the consequences of their own stupidity
    No special deals, they have lost all good will , and it would not be possible anyway .

    It’s tragic and yet delicious

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Newmania – You are etc ed

      Your country had a vote after an extensive democratic process. It voted to Leave the EU. Either get behind it or shut up.

      You do your damnedest to make the worst happen because that would spare you and your towering ego the humiliation of being proven wrong.

      The last thing on earth you want to see is a successful and independent UK.

      (Nobody blamed foreigners but they did blame politicians and the celebrity/intelligensia elites.)

      • Newmania
        Posted December 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        If you think that a democratic process always produces the right result you will have some interesting policies to defend from 20th century Europe . We have a democratic process every few years called a General Election which has produced a consistent majority for staying in the EU.
        EU membership is far form the only question on which the popular vote would differ markedly form the result we get . One obvious example is higher taxes on the rich which is always popular
        Of course if you know they are likely to reduce revenue then your support would disappear but that requires some understanding of how an economy works that most people do not have .

        ..and no; foreigners were blamed for low wages (lie ) , housing shortages (lie) the inability of a young lady to get her old mum in to see the doctor in one appalling advert and much more all of which was either a lie or so lacking in balance to be just as bad .

  27. Nationalist
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    For a set of politicians, the SNP much to its chagrin, is more and more looking like a set of politicians.
    In all movements such as theirs was,- the blood courses in the heart, a passion so long ago half forgotten and stilled, a land , your own land is stood proud in relief invigorating the soul of you in everyone as everyone. Then up pops the dud SNP and in a stroke to the national heart plunges you into the EU???!
    It is said the SNP may stand candidates in England and Wales. No thanks, we can sleep a nightmare of our own without your over-generous clubfoot help.

  28. oldtimer
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Are Sturgeon and her fellow SNPers the current embodiment of “canny Scots” or have the real “canny Scots” long since left for more promising environments?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      From what I hear many have already worked and lived in England and had no problems with that and respect was given to both. However, many have come back to Scotland when retired but are embarrassed and ashamed of the SNP and how they portray their country. Many would, if possible, come back to England if their age allowed. What a shame that the SNP has brought disgrace to most Scots.

  29. Ancient migrant
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    My ancestors way back came from Northern Ireland and before that Scotland. The vast majority of people in England and Wales have such ancestors recent and ancient. We are known in these islands throughout the world as all related to one another but in denial for we love civil warring and are agin inner family disputes.
    So it is hurtful when you are born English because your Scottish ancestors had ants in their pants and couldn’t stay put and you get Mrs Sturgeon talking down to me south of the border. Ok, my Scottish ancestors were aspirational and went where the food was, her’s not. No shame in that. We are all dealt a hand of cards at birth: my ancestors were exceptionally bright.

  30. DaveM
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    This nonsense has to stop. Scotland voted to remain in the UK. End of chat. They still have MPs in Parliament voting on English and UK matters yet they have their own parliament which has an undue influence on UK matters. To start with, how about giving us proper EVEL at every stage with dedicated sittings at Westminster? And appointing an English First Minister to cover the possibility of a non-English PM? Then give devo max to Scotland, get the hell on with Brexit, then ask the Scots if they want independence in every respect – like Ireland.

    Or here’s a thought: how about asking the English what they want? How many English people are going to want to have Scotland clinging to them when the truth about Scotland’s Barnett payments and attempts to thwart Brexit are published in the papers?

    It’s about time Mrs May told Sturgeon to get back in her box and stop her greetin’. And it’s about time MPs in English seats started standing up for their constituents.

  31. UK is our land
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    The SNP motivation is one of hatred and contempt not love.
    They look at great names across the globe and see Scottish surnames in commanding heights politically, culturally, artistically in America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and of course in Ulster, Republic of Ireland, Wales and England. They shudder when they pick up a phone directory in these lands and see names which to non-Scots do not even look Scottish but are. They shudder because the number of Scottish surnames is very many more times the number of Scottish names in Scottish phone books. They shudder when looking at any regional/city and town phone book in the SNP enemy country England. But we..we…we.. the Scots and those of old Scottish families in England are more than you the Scots in Scotland. And you dare to try take our Scotland from us and attempt to make it independent of us in England? Enough, stop your ignorant spite lest we lose our tempers with you! Who do you think you are?

    • DaveM
      Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      Good post. You sound like every Scotsman I am priveleged to call a friend! I lived in Scotland for 5 very happy years – I had no idea there were quite so many ‘teuchters’ until the recent successes of the SNP.

      I lost count of the times I heard “I hate the English – you’re all right like but the rest of em….. ”

      Little Englanders….ha! The littlest Englander looks cosmopolitan in comparison to the average SNP politician.

  32. fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    It is high time the SNP started to support the UK instead of trying to thwart every new policy it tries to bring in. Surely to God they can see that if the UK flourishes so will all areas of the UK including Scotland. Their only role, it would seem inside parliament is to frustrate and overrule the UK government thereby holding back every member of the UK. If they gained independence then there is nothing to say they would be accepted by the EU and every reason to conclude they would in fact not be granted membership. What Sturgeon needs to remember is that the EU is in financial difficulties at the moment and I cannot see them wanting to give handouts to Scotland like sweeties as the UK does now. They will have to pay to belong to the club if they are granted membership in the first place and if not – then what? Out on their own they would be like a ship with no rudder and no safe harbour to shelter in. Well, bring it on. That is what Sturgeon says she wants and she is always telling us she speaks for Scotland. Well, I can tell her that she does not. Living in Scotland (not for much longer) she seems oblivious to the fact that not every Scottish person agrees with her views. If she gets permission for another referendum then please make sure it is the last as she is doing long term damage to Scotland and therefore to the UK as a whole. One thing she is doing is making the UK government look weak.

  33. Donald Supporter
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    When you think about it, the true nature of the SNP’s dark shadow on the Scottish landscape is exemplified by its contempt and nastiness against the “hasn’t he done well!” son of a Scottish woman: President-Elect Donald John Trump. (The Donald ) He will be leader of the most economically, militarily powerful nation on Earth.
    Any administration of whatever nation on earth who had their grandson in such a position would be so proud, so happy, so breathtakingly serene.

    The SNP is a sneering, nasty, anti-true independence party parasiting itself on a noble people.
    By contrast the nation of Donald’s wife Melania , Slovenia, has Prime Minister, Miro Cerar who is taking the opportunity to say his small nation will act as mediator if so desired between Donald (USA ) and Putin (Russia) .
    Mrs Sturgeon and her SNP have tried to ban Scotland’s grandson Donald from entry to the UK. The SNP is a disgrace to Scotland and the UK. They are not fit to oversee a back garden goldfish pond let alone a nation. What a shower!

  34. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Watching any editions of Question Time that have taken place in Scotland since June 23rd it strikes me that many Scots know that the SNP’s posturing is just that – posturing. The economic case for leaving the UK is not an ‘economic’ case – it is a basket case. And the majority of Scots know that. The SNP’s position is beyond absurd.

  35. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    This piece is all about how to devolve even more powers to Scotland. Not a word about the interests of the English.

  36. Original Richard
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Scotland voted for the UK to remain in the EU.

    It did not vote for Scotland to remain in the EU and outside of the rUK.

    There is a big difference.

    When the UK leaves the EU, Scotland should be able to hold another referendum to decide whether to remain in the rUK Single Market or re-join the EU Single Market.

    Should the decision be to leave the rUK and re-join the EU, then I expect Mrs. Sturgeon will negotiate their re-entry terms with the EU and put these terms to the people of Scotland via a second referendum.

  37. Commoner
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    You get fed up of hearing “Scotland voted to stay in the EU” . No it didn’t! A certain number of people in Scotland voted Remain. A certain number did not. Will Mrs Sturgeon, if she had the power, allow the individuals, families and streets who voted Leave to stay out of her tax area. Let them pay their taxes, rents, to the United Kingdom? Why should they pay them to Holyrood. They voted Leave.
    Of course Mrs Surgeon is being irresponsible with not a care for the safety and well-being of Scotland. She is playing straightforwardly party-politics. Nothing to do with independence except the economic salaried independence of SNP MPs . It is a shame. But Scotland has always been “blessed” with such politicians. We’re hardly better in the rest of the UK with creating decent politicians either. Scottish people are afflicted in the same way as the rest of us. We have so much in common!

  38. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    John – Nice piece and quite a subject – The above responses show clearly where English thoughts lie. Some excellent points, but the first one from Mark B says it mostly.

    I would add though that the SNP’s position is a typical socialist one – they want all the perks with no responsibility.
    Currently this Scottish government can blame the Engish for all of their woes – as well as feeble minded they are half blind.

    Like many of the feebled minds in the UK who want to stay beholding to the EU, the SNP have this strange STARTREK dream regarding the EU – They just believe that the EU is the future, never mind the problems, they don’ exist for these dreamers.

    Strangely, the SNP believes that Scotland would be better off inside the EU – >/b> They look at the smaller EU countries getting countless £millions in subsidies, and truly inagine that as a small independant EU nation, the EU would fund their excesses and make them all rich…..

    In contrast, the rest of us understand all too well, that if Scotland left the UK and joined the EU, they would quickly become paupers and their financial incompetence would bring them pretty close to becoming a new Greece.

    Oh what absolute loonies we English have for Northern neighbours

  39. JasG
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    The general nastiness demonstrated well in the comments here by little Englanders and their assumption that Scotland should ‘like it or lump it’ and just learn to shut up because they are only 5 million versus 55 million is exactly the reason why there is so much support for independence. This arrangement may be many things, we may even be ‘better together’ but it is not democracy if Scotland votes different from England but always gets what England wants.

    Bad assumptions are no substitute for actual knowledge.
    Yes the SNP do want independence and they mostly prefer the Euro to the pound but they find it a hard sell due to the anti-Euro London-based press.
    No they don’t give a fig about retaining the queen as head of state.
    Yes they want the same border-free access that Ireland (part of the EU) has.
    Much of Scots law is already fundamentally different from England.
    It’s only muddled if you delude yourself with false assumptions.

    By the same logic as JR uses it is tortured logic to argue we are ‘better together’ while arguing for a EU exit. Obviously things are just a little bit more complicated.

    Here’s a question…why do so many little Englanders moan about the supposed subsidies that Scotland gets yet still complain about Scotland wanting independence? If they really wish for English independence thye should stop being so petulant and snotty about Scotland. In reality Scotland and England spend much the same and produce much the same. If the budget is less or more after independence (and despite the London press lies nobody actually knows since the major part of the so-called ‘expenditure’ is utter guesswork) then the SNP quite obviously are prepared to cut their cloth. As it stands they are currently allocated money by big brother and told to spend it all.

    Like JR I believe the solution is devo max. It was promised pre-referendum and not delivered. Hence the reason 53 out of 56 seats are now controlled by the SNP. A mandate for anything surely!!!

    • rose
      Posted December 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Why is there no phrase: “Little Scotlanders”?

  40. JasG
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    In fact those born in Scotland voted for independence. The vote was swayed back down to 45% by the English and other foreigners resident in Scotland. Of course the project fear campaign was tried and tested in Scotland first and many pensioners were made fearful. Others were persuaded no doubt by the false promises of devo max. A new referendum would likely be very different.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 29, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Countered by 1.5m Scots in rUK.

      • DaveM
        Posted December 29, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        The majority of Scots in England would probably have voted No if they had been allowed a vote. As they should have been because it is they who would have been affected the most.

        The SNP did everything it possibly could to try and sway the vote and still failed.

        • JasG
          Posted January 2, 2017 at 1:44 am | Permalink

          I give you the facts. You 3 serve back speculation and hearsay. I would speculate that most Scots in rUK would either honestly abstain since they have already voted with their feet or would vote yes because like me they are fed up of the snotty arrogance and sheer brass neck (eg from where comes this fable that Westminster/England is more fiscally competent despite the obvious evidence to the contrary?) of the little Englanders that they have to work beside.

          Lastly, if any Scots anywhere had been given a vote about the suicidal, irresponsible and downright stupid Longannet closure would they have approved?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 29, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      In fact those born in Scotland voted for independence.

      Again, you are putting all those born in Scotland into the same basket. I was not born in Scotland but know plenty who were and I only know a couple who would and will vote for independence. Two of our closest friends who are both Scottish born and bred and proud of Scotland are now in their 70’s and are currently up for sale but not staying in Scotland but moving to England. They have had enough of the political turmoil. There are many more like this but only stay because of age and the grandchildren. NOT ALL SCOTS VOTED FOR SEPARATION!!

  41. mike fowle
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Trouble is that the Scottish referendum was a fix. Scotland was bribed with English taxpayers’ money (the Barnett formula etc.) and England was not allowed to vote (get shot of the whingers would have probably been the result), so although it is nominally correct to argue that Scotland voted to remain in the UK, and thus abide by the EU referendum, it does not really stand up to analysis.

  42. Maureen Turner
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Many of us up here, North of the Border, never wanted a devolved Parliament. The SNP once known as the tartan Tories has over the years, going back to AS’s term in office and further morphed into a Party way to the left of even old Labour. It was devolution that gave them the opportunity they were waiting for, ie., to split the Union and they jumped at the chance. Every Labour seat bar one went to the SNP at the 2015 GE. These constituencies could very easily return a Labour MP in 2010. Now where does that leave us?

    The good news as far as us Scots are concerned (most sane ones anyway) note recent polls showing both the First Minister and the SNP are on the wane. Devolution and the Barnett formula were used by Westminster as sops to hold the Union together but sadly it had the very opposite effect. The Union didn’t need holding together the SNP created division.

    Ms. Sturgeon rabbits on about independence from the UK but can’t wait to hand it over to the EU. Some independence. Pres. Tusk has advised her the EU isn’t interested in regions plus Scotland’s finances would require it to be more financially stable before they would consider membership. Seemingly our deficit has a black hole of around £ 15 bn. Whst NS craves would, on the latter point alone, most likely see Ms. S. removed from office and a Brussels technocrat installed in Holyrood.

    The Barnett Formula. As some of you have mentioned this was intended to be temporary but like all monies granted is difficult to withdraw. Perhaps the funds Scotland receives through the English taxpayer should, when it comes to how this money is spent, be overseen by Westminster. This subject certainly and understanably raises the hackles of many commenting on JR’s blogs when he writes on Scottish matters and has been the case for quite some time. The only alternative is to stop paying it immediately or phase it out over several years.

    Most of us in Scotland like our English kith and kin as neighbours and we genuinely want things to stay that way. Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

    • JasG
      Posted January 2, 2017 at 1:20 am | Permalink

      Read some of the comments here to see what they actually think about you.

  43. Lithgae Dave
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Well said.

  44. Chris S
    Posted December 28, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    My blood pressure is invariably low and well controlled until That Woman appears on the TV. As soon as she comes into view I feel the tension in me rising uncontrollably.

    It is about time one of our Political Leaders grasped the reins of power properly and told her some home truths. I don’t care if Scotland votes to leave the UK or not as long as the inequality of financing and England’s Democratic deficit are both brought to a rapid end. I’m pretty sure that this is the view of a majority of English and Welsh voters.

    The Scots deserve the self determination they seem to want. In the interest of fair play there are a number of things that have to be changed, even if that means that as a result Scotland does decide to vote to leave. In fact I would go further and propose a series of changes and invite the SNP to hold another referendum – if they dare.

    There is no point in repeating the arguments for and against here- everyone posting here knows them ad nauseam but the changes needed are :

    1. Tax and Spend.

    Each home nation to be offered full control over its tax rates and spending but must raise everything that it spends from its own taxpayers. The alternative pn offer will be an end to the Barnett Formula and complete control of tax and spend from Westminster. Spending per head will be equalised in each Home Nation with special arrangements for Northern Ireland. ( Peerhaps Ireland would like to contribute to the NI budget ? ) There will be no more free prescriptions, University Tuition or subsidies for Wind Farms or anything else in Scotland.

    2. Democratic representation to be equal in each Home Nation.

    Each Home Nation to have its own Parliament. In the case of England, Westminster to sit as the English Parliament three days a week. MPs to have their salary reduced across the board to 40% of the current rate. Those who are chosen to be members of both the English and UK Parliament would therefore be paid the same as they are now.

    Scottish MPs or MSPs can decide whether they want to stand for election as both MSPs and UK MPs in which case they will be paid the same MP salary as now. Otherwise they will be paid either the 40% or 60% rate, depending on which role they want to stand for.

    To implement this measure there will need to be an equalisation of the numbers of members of National Parliaments to that of Westminster using the new Westminster Parliamentary boundaries.

    Scotland has 129 MSPs but is due to have only 53 MPs when the Boundary Commission proposal to equalise the size of constituencies is introduced. It is obvious that the country is grossly over represented at Holyrood. The workload of MSPs must be a small fraction of that experienced by English MPs.

    The situation is even more out of balance in Wales where there are currently 52 Assembly members but there will only be 29 MPs after 2020 ! What on earth do they all do ????

    3. Clearly defined areas of responsibility.

    International negotiations and treaties, defense( including the Nuclear Deterrent ), to be re-affirmed as areas of responsibility for the UK Parliament at Westminster alone. National Parliaments will have no role in any of these areas of responsibility nor will they be entitled to hold any meetings outside the territory of their own country with any foreign governments of bodies such as the EU or UN. Sturgeon can, of course, host on home soil anyone who is prepared to come to Scotland. Her friend Donald Trump would certainly be happy to come !

    MPs of each Home Nation will obviously be able to represent the view of their National Parliament at Westminster. To reinforce this, the elected Leader of each of the National Parliaments would have speaking rights at Westminster as leader of their Country’s MPs without the need to represent a Westminster seat.

    I’m sure others can come up with many more desirable changes but the important point is that in the interest of fairness this needs to be tackled and soon. Yes, it will be controversial but it is necessary and the Scots in particular can always chose to go their own way but without the Pound or the backing of the Bank Of England.

    But whatever route they choose, the subsidies from England have to end.

  45. Derek Henry
    Posted December 29, 2016 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Excellent John,

    Well said.

    The only way Scotland can truely be free is if it creates its own central bank and floats its own currency or it will always be a currency slave.

    Prof Bill Mitchell, Warren Mosler and Stephanie Kelton could produce a 1000 strong team that would make Scotland very wealthy indeed.

  46. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 29, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    As your last paragraph highlights the SNP’s raison d’etre is very confused. With 56 out of 59 MPs in Scotland logic should say that is a clean break vote. Added is the First Minister trying to justify the sunny Highlands of Scottish independence as a stand alone member of the EU, completely ignoring many hurdles not least the likes of Spain vetoing membership. In short their politics is a sham and at some point before they do real damage the residents of Scotland will need to wake up to the SNP’s delusions.

  47. ChrisS
    Posted December 29, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Pleased to see Peter Van Leeuwen posting here again with a vengeance !

    Hardly anyone agrees with what you say, Peter, but it’s good to hear your contrary views.
    We could do with a few others.

    I’ve sent a much longer post which is in moderation but in principle, we need to call (Sturgeon’s ed) bluff and hold another Scottish Independence referendum in 2017.

    If we don’t the whingeing will never stop.

    I would go further and propose as part of the referendum campaign we make it clear that if they vote to remain within the UK, the next Conservative manifesto will include the end of the Barnett formula with expenditure per head in Scotland being brought into line with that in England over the course of the next parliament.

    In the interest of fairness, a commitment will be given that Holyrood’s MEPs will be offered the alternative choice of having full tax and spending powers devolved to them as long as all the money they spend is raised within Scotland but they will not be allowed to run a deficit any larger than that in England.

    I still expect that the Scots will vote to remain but it will put an end to Sturgeon’s constant complaints about England and Brexit.

    • They Work for Us?
      Posted December 29, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Since the Scots don’t vote for the Conservatives any more or at least to return Conservative MPs then cancelling the Barnett formula in the next Conservative manifesto is a no brainier. Great stuff!

  48. old salt
    Posted December 29, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Well said John with clarity as always.

    One can hardly blame the Scot’s for milking their situation for all it’s worth, after all, one must not forget how they got to where they are.

    Meanwhile- looking forward to a ‘clean’ Brexit, despite the Remainers and some Leavers muddying the waters and also milking it for all it’s worth. Which makes one wonder just how was the promise of our previous PM to invoke Article 50 the next morning on an ‘out’ vote going to work?

    Happy new year to one and all.

  49. James Matthews
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    A general comment on trolling.

    Thirteen out of the 133 comments on this thread come from Peter VAN LEEUWEN .

    That is an awful lot for a supposedly disinterested foreigner acting as a private individual, even one who appears to have strong and direct past links to the EU. You may find him commenting in a similar vein elsewhere on the net. Clearly it is not just the Russians who like to use it to interfere in other peoples politics.

    Withholding food is probably the best policy.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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