Tele column 18th January 2019

Five years ago, the UK Government released a paper entitled “EU and International Issues” the paper extolled what it claimed were the many benefits to Scotland of the UK’s membership of the EU. It said “The UK uses its influence within the EU to Scotland’s advantage on a whole host of issues of particular interest to people and businesses in Scotland, such as budget contributions, fisheries, agricultural subsidies and Structural Funds. Scotland benefits from this and from the UK’s strong voice in Europe, where it contributes to and participates in discussions and negotiations from its position within the UK.” And look where we are now. Scotland and Inverclyde overwhelmingly voted to remain in the E.U. and yet we are being ripped out. The Conservative and Unionist Party has engaged in a civil war and the casualties will be the citizens of the U.K. When the Labour Party should have been holding the U.K. Government to account, it was incapacitated by indecision. Even now with less than ten weeks to go Labour can’t unite on a peoples vote and they lodged a vote of no confidence at a time when they knew it would fail! The U.K. Government should now rule out a “No Deal”. The Prime Minister should request an extension to the Article 50 process from the E.U. And the UK Government should bring forward a proposal to legislate for a second EU Referendum based on the full knowledge of what leaving the E.U. actually entails. But unless they have a blinding epiphany of self-awareness they won’t do any of those things. If we can take one thing from this Brexit debacle it is that Westminster is not fit for purpose and has no interest in legislating for the good of the people of Scotland. Fortunately we have another option. And when that option is put in front of us, as it will, we can choose Scotland. What could possibly be better for Scotland than the people of Scotland legislating for the people of Scotland?