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Rutherglen Reformer - - Memory Lane -

There can be no doubt that the vote to leave the EU is the big­gest po­lit­i­cal event in a gen­er­a­tion.

The ef­fect of this earth­quake is still send­ing tremors through the coun­try.

In the po­lit­i­cal world, we have seen the res­ig­na­tion of Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron and the in­stal­ment of new PM Theresa May in a short pe­riod.

There is no doubt in my mind that David Cameron and the Tories must shoul­der the blame for the dras­tic sit­u­a­tion that we have been left in. Let’s be clear, David Cameron called this ref­er­en­dum to try and calm down crit­ics in the right wing of the Tory party.

I t has turned out dis­as­trously for both him and the coun­try.

The re­sult was also bad news for lo­cal peo­ple in Ru t h e r g l e n and Cam­bus­lang.

Those head­ing off to hol­i­days only need to look at the fall­ing ex­change rate to see how this has vote has hit their hol­i­day spend­ing money. We have also al­ready seen the im­pact on busi­ness with some busi­nesses an­nounc­ing that they will leave the UK.

In Scot­land some have fo­cussed on the whether this means that there should be another in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.

Per­son­ally, I think that this would be en­tirely the wrong call. The main fo­cus of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment and the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment just now should be on is­sues like im­prov­ing our NHS and pro­vid­ing skilled and well paid work.

Clam­our­ing for another in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum dis­tracts from the big is­sues that Holy­rood needs to be get­ting on with.

The re­ac­tion of the SNP to a po­ten­tial ref­er­en­dum has been in­ter­est­ing. Ni­cola Stur­geon was very bullish about it in the hours af­ter the Brexit vote say­ing it was highly likely that there would be another ref­er­en­dum.

How­ever in re­cent days they have backed off and be­gun to hedge their bets.

There is lit­tle won­der that this has hap­pened as the Brexit vote makes it more dif­fi­cult for na­tion­al­ists to make the case for in­de­pen­dence. The EU exit has made peo­ple fo­cus more on the eco­nomic im­pact of such de­ci­sions.

This means that in any fu­ture in­de­pen­dence vote peo­ple will rightly want to know how this will im­pact on their stan­dard of liv­ing. With what we spend be­ing £15bil­lion greater than what we take in on taxes, peo­ple will start to re­alise that this could mean £15bn of either pub­lic spend­ing cuts or tax rises.

Some might ar­gue that we could bor­row to cover the deficit. How­ever, be­com­ing in­de­pen­dent and re-join­ing the EU could mean sign­ing up to a Euro cur­rency. This would limit our on- go­ing deficit and we would be then forced to make cuts or raise taxes to cover the £15bn short­fall.

As I have watched and lis­tened to SNP politi­cians in re­cent weeks, it seems to me that the penny has fi­nally dropped and there is now a de­gree of cau­tion as the SNP mull over their op­tions.

I will be watch­ing their next moves with in­ter­est.

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