Scotland’s First Minister, the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, has called for another referendum on Scottish independence, to be held in the latter stages of Brexit negotiations – between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019.
In choosing a time when the Brexit negotiations are likely to be at their most sensitive, Sturgeon is, of course, cynically aiming to capitalise as much as possible on the fact that 62 percent of Scots voted against Brexit in last year’s EU Referendum.
Otherwise, this would be a stunningly inappropriate time to hold another vote – for Scotland, and for the United Kingdom as a whole. The SNP might be prepared to fight another independence referendum, but Sturgeon’s blueprint for an independent Scotland is sorely lacking, and appears to still have many questions to be answered, not least, do the Scots want it at this time?
The basic logic behind this referendum is absurd. In a fit of outrage over the Government ignoring their demand to keep the UK in the EU’s Single Market after Brexit, the SNP have decided to try to keep Scotland in the Single Market through independence. This even though last week Spain become the latest EU member state to tell them such a seamless transition would be impossible.
The idea would mean trading one internal market for another – the EU’s over the UK’s despite the fact 63 percent of Scotland’s exports go to the rest of the UK, as opposed to just 16 percent which go to the EU. If leaving the EU’s Single Market would be damaging to Scotland’s economy, then Sturgeon’s independence plan would surely be four times worse.
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