Exchange of the week Scotland’s love of Brussels
To The Times
Alex Massie says that the intellectual case for Scottish independence is “coherent” and “robust” (“Brexit hasn’t put Scots independence to bed”), and can be summed up in the phrase “control must be taken back”. One wonders, then, what the English are supposed to make of the fact that, in the view of the SNP, taking back control involves leaving one union (the UK), but remaining part of another union (the EU)? This is especially puzzling because the union they want to leave is one forged of family ties, a common language and shared history, whereas the one they want to be part of is none of these.
One doesn’t necessarily expect nationalism of whatever stripe to be logically consistent, and maybe that isn’t necessary for it to qualify as “robust”. But “coherent”? Not by any normal definition of the word. Robin Aitken, Oxford
To The Spectator
A neat but delusional mythology appears to be gaining currency that the Brexit referendum can be understood as a conflict between metropolitan elitists voting Remain and the frustrated masses beyond the M25 longing to Leave. This analysis may chime satisfyingly with recent trends in some other democracies, but it distorts what happened in this one. In the two UK countries furthest from London, the votes went against Brexiting by bigger margins than the Uk-wide Leave majority: 56-44 in Northern Ireland and 62-38 in Scotland. London vs The Rest only works if The Rest ends at Carlisle.
Incidentally, both these margins were clearer than the supposedly definitive outcome of Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum. Keith Aitken, Montpellier, France