I’m not sure why Dr Kirsty Hughes imagines that Nicola Sturgeon’s hand would have to be “forced” over a new Scottish independence referendum. The SNP Conference earlier this month surely left no room for doubt that the SNP is gearing up for #ScotRef. How might anybody be left wondering about this after the party’s Depute Leader declared in the most unequivocal and unambiguous terms possible. “There will be a referendum!”? Having listened to the conference speeches from Angus Robertson, John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon, how could anyone continue to suppose that the SNP doesn’t have a plan for every eventuality?
Curiously, Dr Hughes herself makes a pretty good job of setting out the reasons why the date of the new referendum is not a mystery. In particular, with this observation,
“The massive internal re-engineering of UK, and devolved, regulatory frameworks and laws that Brexit requires adds to the political challenges.”
That sentence must set off a cacophony of alarm bells in the minds of even the most minimally politically aware. Especially when we have the example of current events in Catalonia serving to bring home the message with all the skull-crunching force of baton wielded by some uniformed Fascist thug.
Does Dr Hughes seriously think Nicola Sturgeon and those around her might be oblivious to what is implied for Scotland and the other devolved administrations by the phrase “massive internal re-engineering”?
Does she really think Sturgeon would have to be “forced” to act in defence of the Scottish Parliament? Was there something unclear about the warning she issued to the British government?
“Hands off Scotland’s Parliament!”
And does anybody suppose that, having been cruelly pushed off a Brexit cliff by a British political elite plainly in the grip of an intellectually debilitating ideological frenzy, Scotland must await the landing in order to figure out that it’s not going to end well?
There is no soft landing. There is no ‘deal’ which negates the democratic choice made by the people of Scotland when we voted 62% Remain. There is no way in which that “massive internal re-engineering” of the UK does anything other than massively disadvantage Scotland and the other devolved administrations. That re-engineering must inevitably be driven by the ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist agenda which now prevails within the British political system.
You don’t have to be the director of the Scottish Centre for European Relations and a former European Commission official to figure out that #IndyRef2 was going to be held no later than September 2018. That was obvious from the very moment Article 50 was invoked.
When, in spring next year, Nicola Sturgeon announces the date of the new referendum, it will not be because her hand has been forced. This was always one of the options available to and anticipated by the SNP administration. It is what has been planned for over a period of many months.
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