Brexit hypocrisy

The Scotsman - - Perspective / Letters To The Editor -

It was very in­ter­est­ing lis­ten­ing to the new SNP deputy leader, An­gus Robert­son, speak­ing on STV’S Scot­land Tonight pro­gramme about Brexit and a sec­ond Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum. The mis­in­for­ma­tion and hypocrisy em­a­nat­ing from the man were just as­tound­ing.

Like Ni­cola Stur­geon, he com­menced with the old chest­nuts that 62 per cent of Scots voted to Re­main in the EU and that the peo­ple of Scot­land are there­fore en­ti­tled to their demo­cratic right to a sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum in the event of a “hard Brexit”.

In fact, that 62 per cent he speaks of was 62 per cent of the 2.68 mil­lion who ac­tu­ally voted, not 62 per cent of the 3.98 mil­lion Scots who were el­i­gi­ble to vote.

In re­al­ity, then, only 1.66 mil­lion of al­most four mil­lion Scots voted to Re­main in the EU while just over one mil­lion voted to Leave and 1.3 mil­lion (33 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion) didn’t bother to vote at all. This sig­nif­i­cantly al­ters the in­ten­sity of what the SNP calls “the voice of the Scot­tish peo­ple”.

As for the “demo­cratic right to a sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref- eren­dum”, the SNP is still fu­ri­ous with David Cameron for grant­ing the peo­ple of Bri­tain a demo­cratic vote on the EU, a right that they and oth­ers res­o­lutely de­clare should have been de­nied us. Yet now they de­mand the right to a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum on in­de­pen­dence, hav­ing al­ready been ac­corded that priv­i­lege just two years ago. What about “the voice of the Scot­tish peo­ple” in 2014, a voice that said NO in pro­por­tion­ally greater numbers to sep­a­ra­tion from the UK?

So here’s where we ac­tu­ally stand on true democ­racy. By the demo­cratic voice of the Scot­tish peo­ple we re­main part of the UK, and by the demo­cratic voice of the Bri­tish peo­ple we are leav­ing the EU. At­tempts to un­der­mine this free and unan­i­mous choice of the peo­ple with na­tion­al­ist pro­pa­ganda is not democ­racy, it’s a form of anar­chy.

Fur­ther­more, if David Cameron, then Prime Min­is­ter of the fiftth largest econ­omy in the world, could not per­suade the un­elected bu­reau­crats who run the EU to grant a few ur­gent con­sti­tu­tional con­ces­sions to the UK, then what chance does Ni­cola Stur­geon think she has per­suad­ing them to act in Scot­land’s in­ter­ests?

Like the old Supreme Soviet of the Cold War era Brus­sels has be­come the cen­tralised gov­ern­ment of Europe. Its ap­pa­ra­tus ex­ists to grad­u­ally erad­i­cate na­tional iden­tity and sovereignty from in­di­vid­ual mem­ber states, pri­mar­ily by the bait of the sin­gle mar­ket, and bring all un­der the con­trol of un­sym­pa­thetic and un­touch­able for­eign dic­ta­tors. Our mil­i­tary per­son­nel fought and died in two great wars to pre­serve us from just such a fate.

Woe be­tide us, then, if we sever the bonds of a 300-year suc­cess­ful union with the rest of Bri­tain in or­der to shackle our­selves to a cen­tralised gov­ern­ment in Europe. It would be the equiv­a­lent of sell­ing our­selves into slav­ery. MARTIN BLACKSHAW

Glen Road, Liv­ingston It was re­fresh­ing to hear An­gus Robert­son’s mea­sured tones in his in­ter­view with Gor­don Brewer re­gard­ing ne­go­ti­at­ing a good Brexit deal for Scot­land.

I hope Ni­cola Stur­geon, Theresa May, Mike Rus­sell and David Davies take their cue from this and get into a pri­vate room and try to ham­mer out some agree­ment and a work­ing re­la­tion­ship.

I don’t think the SNP want a ref­er­en­dum any time soon and both they and the Con­ser­va­tives will gain a lot of good­will by tak­ing a co-op­er­a­tive ap­proach to such a huge ne­go­ti­a­tion and de­ci­sion. AL­LAN SUTHER­LAND Wil­low Row, Stone­haven

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