5th Nov 2016
NICOLA Sturgeon has got the SNP into a Brexit fankle with a fatal flaw in the party position, says Jim Sillars.
NICOLA Sturgeon has got the SNP into a Brexit fankle. Her many official statements are based on a false interpretation of the referendum result.
Yes, 1.6million Scots voted for the UK to Remain with the EU, but there is no evidence that they made a side decision for an independent Scotland, through Indyref2, to re-join it, if England, Wales and Northern Ireland left it. The referendum ballot paper posed a specific question and that alone was the one we answered.
During the campaign, Scotland’s position was an issue but the fact that Nicola, Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale voted the same way, does not mean that the latter two, and their supporters, take the same position as her.
There are not 1.6million in favour of Scotland leaving the union with England to join a bigger union that would rule us from Brussels. Opinion polls show that to be the case.
That the question posed to us on June 23 was about only the UK’s membership of the EU was endorsed by Nicola herself the moment she crossed the Border and sought to persuade the English to vote Remain.
In doing so she legitimised Cameron’s claim that this was about the UK and the UK alone.
Having started out on a false premise, her string of claims and demands have exposed someone whose tongue has run way ahead of the brain.
There’s a fatal flaw in the SNP position. It is blind to the real nature of the EU run by an unelected elite who are contemptuous of democracy, and uncaring about people. SNP parliamentarians pour peons of praise on Brussels but never mention Greece and Portugal under their cosh of primitive austerity.
Two weeks ago, Greek police tear-gassed OAPs, who were protesting about yet another cut in pensions by a left-wing government taking instructions from Brussels.
In Portugal, a socialist government has been told to ladle on more misery despite there being 2.6million people in absolute poverty.
Why would the SNP want us to join an outfit who do that to people?
The EU that existed in the 80s, when I fashioned the party’s policy of independence in Europe is no more. Then, member states had extensive veto power and so could be said to be substantially independent. But treaty after treaty has eroded state sovereignty, with power transferred to an arrogant unelected commission.
Looking at the EU now, why would the SNP seek to escape from the union with England, then surrender ourselves to a far larger union where, as Germany’s dictation to Greece shows, a small country can be bullied into submission?
Nicola’s position is a mix of confusion and delusion. She harps on about the single market, and does not seem to understand that there is a difference between that and access to the market. The single market gives access at a price that virtually means staying in because it has rules including public contract procurement and power exercised by the European Court of Justice.
Nicola keeps quiet on the single market rules that forced the Calendonian MacBrayne contract to go out to tender, and stopped the Scottish government making public contracts conditional on the winning company paying the living wage. Nicola should pay more attention to trade statistics than a daily headline, because whereas the UK exports some £228billion annually to the EU 27, they export £290billion to us, facts that make the chances of a free trade agreement outside single market rules a distinct possibility.
Next time she goes to Berlin and Brussels, she might point out their £62billion trade advantage is not something they should throw away. Instead of inventing a new Project Fear about Brexit, Nicola should concentrate on extracting from the negotiations cast-iron guarantees that fisheries, employment law and agriculture will be Holyrood’s responsibility and not Westminster’s.
As for Indyref2, it is wise to wait until the final Brexit agreement, because it is our relationship with England (which takes 64 per cent of our trade compared with 15 per cent to the EU) that is going to determine how we frame the next independence campaign. DailyRecord
- FOURTH #SNP #DUNDEE COUNCILLOR REVEALS PLAN TO STEP DOWN
- ‘Up to six’ SNP MSPs who voted for Brexit urged to go public
4th Nov 2016
NICOLA Sturgeon has been accused of “gagging” her own MSPs in an attempt to maintain the appearance of party unity over Brexit.
Two nationalist MSPs said yesterday that they had been told to refer media enquiries to party officials after former SNP minister Alex Neil admitted that he and other Holyrood colleagues had secretly voted Leave.
Meanwhile, Angus MacNeil, one of Ms Sturgeon’s most senior MPs and the chair of Westminster’s International Trade Committee which will have a vital role as Brexit approaches, refused to confirm how he had voted in the EU referendum leading to speculation that he had also backed withdrawal.
Contacted by The Herald and asked whether he was willing to say how he voted, he replied: “No, not really, no… I don’t think I’m going to say anything.” Pushed over whether he would reveal if he voted Leave or Remain, he said: “I’m not going to say anything at the moment.”.READ IN FULL
The SNP’s “silent Brexiteers” have been urged to come forward after a former Scottish Government minister revealed that he and other SNP MSPs had secretly voted for Brexit.
Alex Neil, a senior figure in the party who served under Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond, decided to vote Leave around 10 days before the EU referendum in June and questioned why rule from Brussels would be better than being part of the UK.
The former health minister told The Telegraph that he had since been approached by “a number” of Nationalist MSPs who also voted to leave Europe, in contradiction of the First Minister’s strident pro-EU stance. READ IN FULL
3rd Nov 2016
- Sturgeon says Scottish Government could join Brexit legal battle
- Nicola Sturgeon warns ScotRail they could lose contract
- Pensioner’s five-month delayed hospital discharge ‘unacceptable
2nd Nov 2016
The SNP’s most prominent business supporter has undermined Nicola Sturgeon’s warnings that Brexit will inflict economic devastation on Scotland and the UK by stating it is “not as big a deal as people are making out.”
Sir Brian Souter, the Stagecoach transport tycoon, said critics of the EU referendum decision are “overestimating the damage” and Britain could be in a “positive place” if there is a deal for the financial services sector. READ IN FULL
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- John Swinney quizzed on impact of free tuition policy
1st Nov 2016
SUPPORTERS of Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a second referendum have been dealt an embarrassing blow after a crowdfunding campaign calling for an “international rescue” raised no money.
The fundraiser, organised by suspended SNP member James Scott, was set up two months ago entitled “Scotland needs international rescue” and hoped to rely on the generosity of supporters.
But the pitiful campaign, which backs Ms Sturgeon’s dreams for Scottish independence, fell flat on its face raising £0 in two months.
Mr Scott who was suspended by the party for his behaviour during the General Election in 2015 along with another member set up a fringe group calling itself the Scottish Resistance.
Their members became a viral embarrassment after they were pictured smashing up a box of Tunnock’s Teacakes with a hammer in a bizarre online protest against ‘secret teacake eaters’ after the Scottish biscuit company put the Union flag on its products. READ IN FULL