A Tale of Two Referendums – Fear of Leaving EU has Little Effect on Pro-Independence Scots
Fear of not being in the EU may be a factor in motivating some people to vote ‘No’ to an independent Scotland. 36% of ‘No’ voters said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso’s comments about the difficulty of an independent Scotland joining the EU would make them even more likely to vote ‘No’ to independence.
– Funny how this didn’t get a lot of airtime before indyref…
In the months and years leading up to the independence referendum, Scotland’s place in the EU was assumed to be a good thing by both sides. The main argument involving the EU was between the Yes side claiming independence would allow continued EU membership, and the No side saying independence would jeopardise it. Very little of the debate was about whether leaving the EU might be something the people of Scotland wanted – there was just an assumption that Scots wanted to remain in the EU.
How things change, eh?
It’s no wonder the establishment are desperately trying to promote the “Scots are more Eurosceptic than you think” meme, as well as undermine the SNP’s conditional mandate for indyref 2. They don’t like being forced to keep promises they made in a panic, so they’re shifting the goalposts in fallacies and misrepresentations that get more brazen by the day:
Euroscepticism in Scotland soars to record high
Survey findings contradict SNP claims that referendum could take Scotland out of EU against its will
… According to the research, based on the annual Scottish Social Attitudes survey carried out between July 2015 and January this year, 43% of respondents want the EU’s powers reduced and 17% want to leave, more than at any time since 1999.
– The Guardian, 24th February 2016, manages to spin 17% of Scots wanting to leave the EU as a “record high” for Euroscepticism
Think a Brexit vote would push Scotland out of the UK? Think again
Even if Britain leaves the European Union, there are many hurdles facing any renewed bid for Scottish independence – as the SNP well knows
– Martin Kettle picking up The Guardian’s spin on the SSA research
Is Scotland becoming more Eurosceptic?
Scotland may not be as pro-European as we are led to believe.
GENERAL consensus holds that Scots feel more positive about EU membership than those south of the border, but new data suggests this gap may be narrowing.
– as does Ian Montagu in The Scotsman
Scots ARE Eurosceptic despite SNP claims – report says 60% have doubts over the EU
THE majority of Scots are Eurosceptic, according to a new poll which shatters claims that the country’s attitude to the European Union could tear the UK apart.
– and Kieran Corcoran in the Daily Express
When we vote to leave I think a majority of people in Scotland will also vote to leave as well. And I think when we vote to leave it will be clear that having voted to leave one union, the last thing the people of Scotland will want to do is to break up another… If we vote to leave then I think the union will be stronger.
– Michael Gove proves he knows about as much about Scotland as he did about health
Meanwhile, in a different reality from the one right-wing newspapers inhabit…
Scotland has four of the top 10 most europhile areas of Britain
FOUR of the top 10 least eurosceptic regions in Britain are in Scotland, a new poll has found.
And the only area of Scotland that may have eurosceptic leaning is Moray.
– 1st March 2016
EU Referendum: Record poll shows over three-quarters of Scots will back Remain – and it could swing the UK result
OUR poll shows that a huge 76 per cent of Scottish voters will back a vote to stay in the European Union – meaning that England could be kept in despite voters there backing leave.
– 9th May 2016
They’re trying to convince the Scots that they aren’t quite as Europhilic as they thought they were, hoping we forgot that everyone treated the Scots’ place in the EU as one of the biggest things under threat with a Yes vote. This, even though all throughout the independence campaign, the idea that maybe being taken out of the EU might be an argument for a Yes vote was never given serious consideration by anyone. Why, then, this sudden change in heart, that maybe Scots do want out of the EU – even though by that logic, they should’ve voted Yes in September 2014?
From the currency union, to the special UK terms for membership of the EU, to the belief that the rest of the UK will simply agree to pay for Scottish renewables, the white paper has proven breath-taking in its casual assumptions that Scotland will be unaffected by independence.
The fundamental choice in the referendum is a clear one: either to maintain these important and fruitful unions and to reform them on a federal basis with a bigger Scotland or, as a result of a Yes vote, to leave these unions and then endeavour to negotiate a way back in to them on, inevitably, poorer terms, if at all.
– Campbell II, The second report of the Home Rule and Community Rule Commission, Page 7
The experts, including Jean Claude Juncker, Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy have made it clear. If we vote to leave the UK, we vote to leave the EU.
– Better Together Spokesperson
They have no answers on the EU. The experts, such as President Juncker, his predecessor Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy have all been perfectly clear: if we vote to leave the UK we vote to leave the EU, and would have to reapply to get back in.
– Better Together No Thanks website
It’s disingenuous of Patrick to say that No means out and Yes means in, when actually the opposite is true. No means we stay in, we are members of the European Union.
– Ruth Davidson
A Yes vote is the only way to guarantee Scotland’s exit from the EU.
– David Cameron, as paraphrased in The Daily Mail
The Conservatives have promised that if they win the 2015 general election they will hold an in/out referendum on the UK’s EU membership in 2017. Now, in my view this is likely to happen only if the Conservatives win an overall majority in 2015 – and precious few psephologists are predicting that – and, even if it does happen, an “In” vote is much more likely than an “Out” vote. All three main UK parties (plus the SNP) will campaign for an “In” vote, even if a minority of Tory hardliners break ranks to campaign with Nigel Farage’s Ukip for “Brexit”. The issue is a dangerous one for the Tory party, whose divisions over the EU have been apparent since the days of the Maastricht rebels twenty years ago. But there is little real danger of the UK leaving the EU. Any Yes campaigner arguing in 2014 that the only way of securing Scotland’s membership of the EU is to vote Yes is scaremongering, plain and simple.
… What is clear, however, is that were we to vote Yes, we’d inevitably not be a full member state of the European Union by the SNP’s projected independence day in March 2016. An independent Scotland would start her life outside the EU; even thereafter Scotland would enjoy EU membership on terms far less beneficial and generous than those enjoyed now by the UK.
– Adam Tomkins (now MSP)
Some argue the independence referendum is a false choice. Irrespective of independence, Scotland would inevitably have a close relationship with the UK and be a member of multiple unions, British as well as European.
– If Scotland Says No: What Next For The Union? The Constitution Society
The question of whether Scotland should remain or leave the EU is not being offered to us. According to the No campaign, we were already asked that question – in September 2014. They claimed that a Yes vote would take Scotland out of the EU – and, therefore, only a No vote would keep Scotland in. So if it was true Scotland could only remain in the EU with a No vote, as Better Together said, then haven’t we already voted to Remain in 2014? From Better Together’s perspective, I’d say we have – as Scotland, as Scots, as the Scottish People. This time, we are voting as a region of the United Kingdom – as Britain, as Brits, as the British People.
The UK government made that so. The question was put to us as One Nation: there was no acknowledgement of the distinction of Scotland as one of the two signatories of the Treaty of Union, of Scotland’s status as one of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom, of Scotland’s right to self-determination as affirmed in the 2014 independence referendum regardless of the result. What Scotland wants is irrelevant: what Britain wants is what matters.
But don’t think this is just on the Leave camp. We will never forget that the Remain camp were adamant – only by voting No can you secure Scotland’s place in the EU. Voting Yes means you’ll definitely (translation: not definitely) be out: voting No will guarantee it. Yet as soon as the UK Government party gained a majority, they chose to fulfil their manifesto commitment to a referendum that could easily throw that guarantee to the four winds – and in doing so, break that promise. Not only that, many individuals who actively campaigned for a No vote are now seeking to break that promise, and ensure that the Scottish people’s place in the EU is lost.
If the UK Government were really interested in securing Scotland’s place in the EU – a tacit acknowledgement that the people of Scotland are significantly more pro-EU than in the rest of the UK – then they would have ensured it would be possible for that choice to be respected. You could even argue that they wouldn’t have called the referendum in the first place, if that was a promise they were willing to honour. But by calling a referendum less than two years later, and refusing to consider any of the SNP’s proposals – mindful that they represent the largest number of Scottish voters in Westminster, and their MPs represent 95% of Scotland’s constituencies – they have proven they are not willing to honour that promise.
It isn’t as if this is a shock. The history of Scotland and Westminster is a book of broken promises.
They promised that all the powers of devolution were possible. They broke that promise.
They promised that Holyrood would be a permanent fixture of the UK. They broke that promise.
I won’t be viewing my Remain vote as an endorsement to David Cameron or Gordon Brown. It is a demand for them to stand and deliver. Scotland remaining in the UK is a promise that many in the Remain camp made to the people of Scotland. If they will not keep that promise of their own accord, then I – and, I hope, the great majority of other Scots – will make them keep it. And if it proves not to be enough, because the rUK wants out? Then it shows what their promises are worth.
My vote to Remain is no endorsement, no sanction, no approval of the UK Government, the Blairites, the neoliberals, and the capitalists. My vote is a brand which I will sear into the leather of everyone who promised that the only way to ensure we Remain was by voting No to our independence. My vote is not saying “I am with you, I support you, I am on your side.” My vote is saying “you promised this to me, to us, to the people of Scotland, in a previous vote – and we will never forget a broken promise.”
Vote Remain for love of the EU if you will. Vote Remain for the calculated scenario for indyref2 if you wish. But if nothing else, vote Remain to send Westminster a message – that we don’t want you to be have any more control over us.