Friday, August 30, 2019

Scotland Breakaway

Scottish independence is no longer a distant dream. If things continue the way they are, it may be sooner than we think. 

Brexit is the game-changer. When 52 percent of British voters chose to leave the European Union in June 2016 – the Scots had other ideas. 

Scotland had voted to Remain by 62 percent versus 38 percent who wanted to quit. 

If you didn’t already know, in their manifesto for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, the Scottish National Party had argued that “Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will” would justify a second vote on independence. 

Interestingly, an April 2019 Panelbase survey found that there was 53–47% lead for No in voting intention for a second referendum (excluding ‘don’t knows’) – however, the same survey found that in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, enough voters said they would change their vote that Yes had a hypothetical 52–48% lead. 

Brexit is playing into SNP’s hands. 

More than three years later, a divorce deal is yet to be agreed on, while the Brexit issue has become a political morass. 

This has led to the resignation of Theresa May as prime minister and the installation of Boris Johnson (right) as party leader to take her place. And he has vowed to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal on October 31. 

Johnson's 'Do or die' pledge means the most blatant disregard for the views of the Scottish people, who voted, lest we forget, to remain in the EU. They refuse to be railroaded out of it by a Westminster parliament run by a minority of English Conservative MPs, with a prime minister elected by 92,000 Tory party members, overwhelming, white, male, rich – and English. 

These Tories could scarcely have come up with a more “English” prime minister if they’d tried. Already Johnson is shoving Tories into a tight corner insofar as Brexit is concerned. 

The middle path has disappeared. No compromise. No concession. No accommodation. 

SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon (left) had declared that whatever happens over Brexit will have an impact on the decision about the timing of indyref2. 

She maintained it was not democratic to block the right of the people of Scotland to choose. 

Even Johnson’s own Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson is not totally with him on the Brexit conundrum. 

Sure, she had accepted the 2016 referendum result – but she favored a soft Brexit to protect Scottish industry. And for that stance, Davidson is branded a Remainer by Brexiteers. 

Never mind that – because on Thursday, Davidson (right) quit after eight years in the job. 

In her role, she was the most influential voice for Scotland remaining a part of the UK at a time when support for Scottish independence has risen amid widespread opposition to Brexit. 

And she has been widely credited with turning around her party’s fortunes in Scotland. She boosted the number of Scottish Tory MPs from one to 13 at the 2017 election, allowing May to remain in power (just). 

Johnson may come to rue her departure – more so, if an autumn general election is looking more likely by the day. 

The general opinion is that an early election would have been problematic for Scottish Tories even with Davidson at the helm – but no one would have a better chance of cushioning the blow than her. 

The prospect of 'No Deal' is fueling support for a second 'exit UK' referendum and for a breakaway! 

It is noteworthy to mention that very telling numbers of Britons of all political shades oppose leaving the EU without hammering out a deal with the bloc beforehand. 

But the Tories are something else. 

According to a highly significant YouGov poll, 63 percent of their membership would rather Brexit takes place – even if it meant Scotland leaving the UK. 

As I have reiterated before, independence for Scotland to me is about national pride and self-determination. 

Brexit has made the choice that much clearer for the Scots. 

Undeniably, Brexit will soon be at our doorstep, like it or not – and it is going to turn the Scotland-England relationship into an acrimonious affair. 

As Sean O’Grady wrote in The Independent on August 05, 2019: “The marriage is over, even if the two parties can’t quite believe it. They will both be poorer and they won’t agree on the divorce terms. It will end in tears. Sounds familiar”. 

Anyway, we will know soon enough. A bad Brexit will surely ensure independence for Scotland! 

Yesterday, Celtic thumped AIK 4-1 in Stockholm, Sweden and therefore, secured a 6-1 aggregate to progress in the Europa League. 

James Forrest started the ball rolling with his genius shot in the 17th minute – although that goal was cancelled out by a Sebastien Larsson penalty (33). This was followed by an own goal from goalkeeper Oscar Linner (34), and strikes from Christopher Jullien (87) and Lewis Morgan (90+3) – to give us an emphatic victory. 

This is the second time in successive seasons Celtic have competed in the Europa League group stage after dropping out of the Champions League qualifiers.

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