Linda Fabi­ani

East Kilbride News - - NEWS -

Well here we are in 2019 – I hope the fes­tive pe­riod brought you at least some of what you wanted. It is said of course that we should “be care­ful for what we wish for”.

In my case that was cer­tainly true – I wished for rest and sleep and ended up in bed with that aw­ful lurgy that af­flicted so many over the fes­tive pe­riod. Serves me right.

So, hopes for the New Year? Cer­tainly that East Kil­bride pros­pers, with recog­ni­tion given to the town’s po­ten­tial to forge a new path in tech­nol­ogy and en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­cel­lence: For Scot­land, that we are able to forge our own path to­wards our as­pi­ra­tions for our own and our chil­dren’s fu­tures.

Scot­land’s fu­ture. I do have con­cerns about this year, the year we may well end up out of the Euro­pean Union – with a deal, or with­out a deal. Ei­ther way is against what Scot­land voted for back in June 2016 when we over­whelm­ingly voted to remain with our Euro­pean Union part­ners, pro­tect­ing the single mar­ket and cus­toms union; when we voted to main­tain the re­la­tion­ships that have been built up in health, in busi­ness, in ed­u­ca­tion, in academia and re­search across a whole range of dis­ci­plines, in travel and cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence.

So here, at the be­gin­ning of 2019, hurtling to­wards the 29th March dead­line for leav­ing the Euro­pean Union, where ex­actly are we at?

Well, the UK Prime Min­is­ter has ne­go­ti­ated a deal with the other 27 coun­tries that are mem­bers of the Euro­pean Union.

That deal, by com­mon con­sent in­clud­ing her own Con­ser­va­tive Party, has no cred­i­bil­ity at all so may well be voted down in the House of Com­mons next week.

What then? The UK Gov­ern­ment rhetoric seems to be that this would re­sult in a cat­a­strophic ‘no deal’ with the UK hav­ing to leave the EU, with or with­out a deal by 29th March. That con­tention is disin­gen­u­ous –the UK Gov­ern­ment could put it to the Par­lia­ment that the no­tice of with­drawal from the Euro­pean Union (Ar­ti­cle 50) could be de­ferred or re­voked: As con­firmed legally.

The Prime Min­is­ter’s deal could then be put to the peo­ple in a fur­ther ref­er­en­dum, with vot­ers now hav­ing a much clearer per­spec­tive on the im­pli­ca­tions of leav­ing the Euro­pean Union. If this is the case then surely Scot­land’s po­si­tion must be re­spected this time, along with that of the other de­volved na­tions. You may re­mem­ber that as well as Scot­land, North­ern Ire­land voted ‘remain’.

I cer­tainly be­lieve that in a part­ner­ship of na­tions, which the United King­dom pur­ports to be, then each com­po­nent part should have to vote ‘leave’ be­fore that would ap­ply.

That seems only demo­cratic and fair to me.

Of course Scot­land could de­cide that we should pro­tect our own eco­nomic and so­cial in­ter­ests and remain in the Euro­pean Union as an in­de­pen­dent na­tion, like all of the oth­ers from Aus­tria to Swe­den, from Malta to Ger­many.

In­ter­est­ing that we were told dur­ing the lwast In­de­pen­dence cam­paign that vot­ing to leave the UK would mean we couldn’t remain in the Euro­pean Union, and here we are now be­ing dragged out against our will!

Yet an­other Gen­eral Elec­tion? Well, if the UK Gov­ern­ment has such lit­tle sup­port, even amongst their own MPs, Party Mem­bers and vot­ers, then that may well hap­pen!

Mind you, I am not con­vinced that Jeremy Cor­byn’s Labour Party has a clear po­si­tion on Brexit ei­ther – they seem very con­fused too.

It re­ally is time that the West­min­ster par­ties sorted out their in­ter­nal dif­fi­cul­ties and recog­nised that at this cru­cial point it is the ‘big­ger pic­ture’ that must take prece­dence. The long term in­ter­ests of all of the Bri­tish isles are of prime im­por­tance.

What­ever the next few weeks brings, whether it’s the Prime Min­is­ter’s deal, no deal, fur­ther ref­er­en­dum or Gen­eral Elec­tion, one thing you can be sure of is that the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the SNP in both Holy­rood and West­min­ster will al­ways act in the best in­ter­ests of Scot­land.

As is said, “we live in in­ter­est­ing times”. All the best for 2019.

You may re­mem­ber, as well as Scot­land, North­ern Ire­land voted to ‘remain’ as well...

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