They work for you
The roads are busier and the pace of life in Rutherglen households is hotting up as the schools have gone back.
Yet a pall of uncertainty hangs over our country following the June referendum decision to leave the European Union.
Theresa May has called a special cabinet meeting in Downing Street this week to sort out the government’s position on “Brexit” - with reports of turf wars between the chancellor and the ministers responsible for negotiating Britain’s future relationship with Europe.
It is pretty ludicrous when government ministers support wildly contradictory versions of what leaving the EU actually means. The legacy of the Conservative government’s ill-fated European referendum is a constitutional, economic, political and social shambles.
There is a strange sense that the country has been holding its breath to see what will happen – but the evidence is growing that it will be mostly bad.
Every family holidaying abroad this summer has felt the falling value of the pound caused by the EU decision. Every day has seen announcements of companies moving outside the UK and second thoughts about investing here. All this costs jobs and hurts our economy.
Financial services make up around eight per cent of our economy, not just in London but in Edinburgh and Glasgow too. Bankers in Frankfurt are rushing to take over this business which some Tory ministers are ready to sacrifice in their ideological desperation to exit Europe. Reduction in the 11 per cent of tax take from financial services will damage local schools, hospitals and services.
As if this was not enough, the SNP are muttering darkly about a further referendum to separate Scotland from the United Kingdom. Only 17 per cent of Scottish exports go to the EU compared to 63 per cent to the rest of the UK. Europe is important but the UK is vastly more crucial to Scotland’s future. The 2015/16 Scottish Government’s GERS figure should give Nicola Sturgeon sleepless nights – Scotland has a running deficit of around £14.8billion a year, currently cushioned by the UK partnership. No one in their right minds would add this burden onto the other uncertainties of Brexit.
The way forward is difficult. Once the price of leaving the EU is known, voters should have the chance to say whether we still want to leave Europe. And the SNP should fold away their independence tents indefinitely.
Liberal Democrats want Scotland in Britain and Britain in Europe.