Today is a milestone in the slow but inexorable march of the UK to vacating its seat at
the European Union and Commission table within the requisite two year timeframe of Membership terms. In spite of the sustained lobbying and legal obstacles placed in the path of the Government (our Government) to proceed with the wishes of the voting majority of the UK electorate - a constitutional mandate now has been sanctioned to inform the Brussels bureacracy that we are heading for the exit door.
Ironically at the same time as this juncture is reached in Westminster up pipes the Leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party to announce the intention of the Scottish Government to drag its own electorate through yet a further Referendum on that
country's desire for independence. Notwithstanding clear economic signals that show such independence will penurise the Scots; nor the absolute certainty that an EU acceptance of application by Scotland for Membership will be vetoed by Spain, and
possibly other Member States Ms Sturgeon puts on a great show of bravado. Nor any unwillingness to comprehend the possibility that Scotland could face a hard border with England were it to actually manage some form of EU affiliated membership following the UK's own withdrawal. Such arrangement will require controls and checks of goods and people in both directions across the narrow belt of the English border from Carlisle to Berwick.
Peversely this is exactly what the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland politicians are fighting to avoid in their conjoined border; knowing as they do the economic and social consequences, let alone the political ones, of a policed line of demarcation between two countries. But ignoring these serious imperfections and without any consultation whatsoever with their own population (do you or do you not want a further referendum on Scotland's independence - within two years?) Ms Sturgeon's SNP ploughs on with another star turn in front of the cameras in Edinburgh. Perhaps unwittingly she has exposed herself as a one trick pony intent only on a personal ambition above the interests of a Union of over 60 million people.
It might be worth the UK Government putting forward their own referendum to the
English, Welsh and Northern Ireland electorate - would they approve of the SNP being permitted to yet again have another go at the ballot box having declared the last one was to be 'once in a generation' opportunity for the people of Scotland. I have seen a hard border in action in Northern Ireland, with blowing up tracks and unpoliced crossings and monitoring day in day out through covert surveillance. This is the unintended consequence of the SNP's unyielding mantra. And then of course there is the small matter of currency to deal with. Independence means independence Nicola Sturgeon. Many English tax payers would feel far better to be relieved of the largesse sent north to subvent the Scottish Assembly's handouts. Nationalism is a dangerous game to play - even for the well intentioned. Sometimes it does work for the better. In this case I have yet to meet one Scot south of the border wanting to have to relocate north; or finding merit in the SNP's siren calls of Nicola Sturgeon.
Having Scottish ancestry through my grandfather - a lot of Woodman's in former fishing families on the Solway Firth, and incidentally a great affection for my youthful travels in the great industrial city of Glasgow when trams (caurs) ruled the streets; I have much sentiment for Scotland and the Scots. But this does not extend to bending to sentimental tunes of supposedly bonny times. The world has moved on.
Happy days in Glasgow - youthful memories. Image : John Woodman