Scotland more independent in UK than it would be in EU
How often would an "independent" Scotland win a fight in Brussels? That is not a rhetorical question. The answer is clear: Never. If Scotland did leave the UK and join the EU it would have far less independence than it does now, and the SNP should be honest about saying so
When Nigel Farage says something, there are some people -- quite a lot of them in Scotland it seems -- who reject it out of hand. But whatever you think of him, the fact that he says something does not automatically make it wrong.
Nicola Sturgeon's call for another referendum on "independence" is a case in point, and if she doesn't think it through and then back track quickly she is likely to be heading out on the fast lane to political disaster.
Speaking on Sky NEWS yesterday Farage pointed out that if Scotland votes to quit Britain and join the EU that will not make Scotland an independent state. Even if we leave aside the fact that Scotland would have to join the euro -- a currency that has brought disaster to several small European states and given benefits to no states except Germany -- Sturgeon and company need to start being honest with Scottish voters about what their plans would mean for them.
Scotland has a 300 year history in a British state which, for all its faults, has learned to accommodate Scottish interests. Scotland knows how to navigate the Westminster system. When it wants something it knows how to fight for it. It doesn't always get everything, but it wins its fair share of victories, as we have seen in past years with devolution.
How often would an "independent" Scotland win a fight in Brussels? That is not a rhetorical question. The answer is clear: Never. Technically, countries can exercise a veto on some issues. But you try being a country the size of Scotland and going against the other 27 member states and the weight of the European Commission. If the European Union wants something that clashes with the expressed interests of a small state, the small state gets steamrollered.
Witness the appalling spectacles of the repeat referendums in Ireland on the Nice and Lisbon treaties. The Irish people voted to reject something. Brussles didn't like the result, and forced them to vote again until the wishes of Brussels were met.
This is not a particularly difficult argument to understand, which is why Scottish voters will reject the package that the SNP says it wants to offer them.
And that would be the end of Nicola Sturgeon just as surely as the last defeat in an independence referendum was the end of Alex Salmond.
One wonders whether Sturgeon's survival instincts are sufficiently developed to perform a U turn.
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