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Rutherglen Reformer - - 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.

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