In my view, the key thing that swung the election for the Tories was Nicola Sturgeon saying she was committed to getting them out of Number 10.
Rather than convince people to vote Labour and get a Lab/ SNP coalition (although Ed M distanced himself from any formal arrangement this is surely where we would have ended up) it caused large swathes of the Country to do anything possible to stop Ms Sturgeon. For although many people (myself included) admired her rhetoric and statesmanlike appearances on the TV debates none of us wanted the Scottish tail wagging the UK dog. The result was the opposite of what the SNP wanted.
Another SNP paradox is their desire to be a member of the EU – with whom they have little in common, and little historical connection – while striving for independence from the UK where the opposite is true. This article sums up the situation nicely;
“Whatever the cost, she wants to end our union with the United Kingdom, yet, whatever the cost, it appears she wants to keep our union with the European Union.
If that isn’t illogical enough, the SNP is also still of the view that, in its parallel universe, an independent Scotland would keep the British pound and reject the euro.
The only way it is possible to maintain both these positions is if you accept that the laws of political reality stop at the Scottish border.”
Ms Sturgeon has already gone on record saying that any mandate to leave the EU should include a majority in favour in all four of the UK nations not just an overall majority of the UK population. But actually if she is serious about her pro-EU anti-UK agenda then a UK withdrawal is her best option.
I say this for one simple reason – if she had gained independence last autumn, Scotland would NOT have been able to join the EU, of this I am sure. There are other areas of Europe also seeking independence – Basques and Catalans for a starter. Both their campaigns would be massively buoyed by an independent Scotland being allowed to join the EU as a new nation and so it is certain that Spain and France (as a minimum) would have vetoed any attempt by Scotland to join.
However, if the UK votes to leave then three things are subsequently very possible; a greater appetite for another referendum in Scotland (especially if they vote to stay In and are defeated by an English majority in favour of Out), a much greater chance of success in that referendum and subsequently a much better chance of being allowed into the EU. If for no other reason than to “stick it” to the rest of Britain.
Finally, I can’t ignore Ms Sturgeon’s statement in the above article where she repeats the now completely debunked myth about leaving the EU costing jobs;
“In Scotland there are roughly 300,000 jobs dependent on our exports to other European countries, which are made possible because of our membership of the single market.”
As she even alludes to in the above statement – jobs are associated with trade and not with political union. It’s perfectly possible to have one without the other.