Tele column – 17th March 2017

The Brexit process of scrutiny which involves the legislation being hammered out between the House of Commons and House of Lords didn’t take very long at all. The process known as ping pong was completed within a few hours and article 50 was put on a plate just waiting for the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to serve it. Earlier on Monday, in Bute House, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, had made it crystal clear that once the details of Brexit were known, the people of Scotland shall have the opportunity to vote in a second independence referendum. Given the timescale allowed for negotiations and ratification, it is fair to say that the referendum will be between autumn 2018 and spring 2019. 

We don’t know what the constitutional situation will be in Ireland by then and what border will exist between Gibraltar and Spain. The United Kingdom government has manoeuvred itself into one unholy mess and I can guarantee you they will try everything they can to keep Scotland in the UK. Last time we were made promises that were not kept. We were told if we stayed in the UK it would protect our place in the EU, we did, and it didn’t. We were told we would be amongst the most powerful devolved governments in the world. We aren’t. 

Day in day out, away from the public ear, I hear Members of the UK government talk reasonably about a range of subjects. But this falls apart when it comes to Scotland’s independence. They plead their love for Scotland. They holiday in Scotland. They own homes in Scotland. They and their offspring have or do gain from further education in Scotland’s universities. They love Scotland so much they want to keep it. I love Scotland so much, I want to set it free.