So a lot of folk in Scotland are quite angry just now, and I’m rapidly running out of patience for those who deliberately refuse to see why.
I’m going to do my best to explain why people like me are angry. Normally this would be the part where I say “I understand if you disagree, but please try to see it from our perspective.” Because in this case, I don’t think I can understand. The Phoney Union is reaching its breaking point, & the endgame for the Union is approaching close.
“We entered the UK as One United Kingdom, so we’re leaving as One United Kingdom.”
That doesn’t explain why there is no mention of Scotland’s individual needs and wishes.
“But Scotland is mentioned – it’s part of the United Kingdom!”
So is Northern Ireland, yet it is mentioned distinctly dozens of times.
“You know full well why: Northern Ireland shares a land border with the EU, & has a complicated history.”
And? Northern Ireland is still part of the UK, and it has different policy in the draft agreement. If one part of the UK can have a differentiated deal, then so can other parts. We’re not asking for the exact same deal as Northern Ireland, we’re just asking why Scotland has the exact same deal as England & Wales despite neither voting to leave, nor facing the same challenges. Plus you’re ignoring the fact Scotland shares a sea border with the EU, and that England (through the Channel Tunnel) also shares a tiny land border.
“Northern Ireland is a special case and I think it’s crass you’re comparing it to Scotland.”
It’s crass to compare one part of the United Kingdom with another part of the United Kingdom? After all that cant about being One Nation Britain? Either you have a UK-wide deal, or you don’t. According to this document, you don’t. So you can’t say Scotland has to abide by a UK-wide deal when it isn’t a UK-wide deal at all. Unless you’re going to argue Northern Ireland isn’t “really” part of the United Kingdom.
“But there’s no mention of England or Wales either!”
That’s because Britain is England Plus Three. The UK Parliament is the de facto English Parliament. Scotland and Wales are subsidiaries to England LLC. Therefore, the deal which applies to England is explicitly applicable to Scotland and Wales as sub-units within the UK. Plus, England and Wales are getting what they voted for: Scotland is not. Northern Ireland and Gibraltar are being compensated for a “UK wide” decision they voted against. Scotland is getting nothing.
Well by that logic, why doesn’t London get a different deal? Or Midlothian? Or Bearsden?
London isn’t a country. Midlothian isn’t a country. Bearsden isn’t a country.
Scotland is a country. It isn’t being treated like one by the UK Government.
“Come on, quit the mock outrage and grievance-hunting”
You think this is mock outrage? You think we’re pretending to be angry seeing Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU completely and utterly disregarded while other remain-voting countries in the UK have differentiated deals which grant them close ties to the EU?
“For goodness’ sake, the only reason Northern Ireland and Gibraltar have differentiated deals is because Ireland and Spain are forcing us to. If it were up to us, it would be a UK-wide approach.”
But they are, and it isn’t. This is the situation we’re in, and we have to deal with it. Since you cannot have a UK-wide approach in Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, you have the choice to extend that to Scotland. Rather than this pathetic “UK wide deal *except Northern Ireland & Gibraltar” nonsense, you could tailor it to address Scotland’s democratically expressed wishes. It’s what you promised in 2014, isn’t it?
Scotland voted No based on the idea of having a stronger voice in the UK, and your response is to disenfranchise our Members of Parliament, ignore our counsel for the Smith Commission, and renege on your empty promises. Scotland voted in 56 SNP MPs, and your response was to reject every single amendment they put forward for the Scotland Act. Scotland voted – every single constituency in Scotland voted – to remain in the EU, and we are getting nothing different from Wales and England which voted by the slimmest of margins to leave. What more does Scotland have to do to make you listen to us?
A rhetorical question if ever there was one. Scots who support independence already know the answer – why do you think so many of us think the way we do? This means the UK is not a “Union of Equals.” This means the UK is not a “Family of Nations.” This means every platitude the UK Government bombarded Scotland with – “lead, not leave,” “let’s stay together,” “our precious union” – is only so much steam from a tired old kettle.
But all this is pointless, as it assumes that the deal will a: be supported in the UK Parliament, b: supported by the devolved administrations, c: supported by the EU itself. I’ll happily concede if I’m wrong, but something tells me that this deal was never meant to pass. This deal is the UK Government’s plausible deniability card – to show that they really did try their best to do something, anything, to stop the chaos of No Deal Brexit, but those awful foreigners in Brussels made completely unreasonable demands.
But don’t think we’re oblivious to the game you’re playing. We see you throwing terms like “vassal state,” “colony,” “prison,” “surrender,” “domination,” “slavery” and other violent rhetoric around. We see you stoking the flames of civil war – predicting “political anger the likes of which none of us in our lifetimes have ever witnessed,” “blood on the streets,” and worse. We see you goading us all with talk of the UK “becoming independent,” “reclaiming sovereignty,” “not letting other countries do what they tell it to do anymore” – as if you think the people of the UK actually believe that the UK isn’t an “independent, sovereign state” already. All while you tell us to sit down and eat yer cereal. It’s almost as if you’re goading us into abandoning our peaceful, civic movement in favour of something else – you want us to rise up, cause a ruckus, blow up postboxes, disrupt infrastructure. Because you know how to deal with that.
It won’t work. It cannot work. Because despite everything you’ve thrown at us, we refuse to go away. We’re not going to give you an excuse to destroy us. We’re not going to compromise our visions and our collective souls by emulating terrorism. We’re going to win this without violence, without bullets, without bombs – because as long as that way is open to us, we will do everything we can to walk it.