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pasbury on 12 Jun 2018

Please can someone explain to a simple fellow like me what is going in the House of Commons today?

I’m bamboozled by the amendments to amendments and as to whether this is really a meaningful vote on how meaningful the meaningful vote will be. And when the meaningful vote is made what will it mean?

MG - on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Brexiteers have taken back control. Unfortunately not to parliament, as advertised, but themselves. They will now continue to f*ck up negotiations while we haemorrhage jobs and reputation. But, you know, its all worth it - blue passports and no more foreigners 

pasbury on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

As a gut reaction I concur. But really have they not just ‘kicked the can down the road’ (heard that phrase a few times over the last few days)? And if so what does that mean when in a few months time we reach the final denouement?

My faith in our parliament and government has not been reinforced today.

what the hex on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> But, you know, its all worth it - blue passports and no more foreigners 

Don't forget the misshapen bananas, thank Christ Brussels can't dictate the shape of our bananas

balmybaldwin - on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

It feels to me like public opinion is beginning to swing towards a new vote due to a number of factors

1. Unicorns don't exist and some brexiteers now realise this

2. Senior Brexiteers themselves have been caught out promising EEA or Single Market options as part of the Leave campaign

3. Ireland/Northern Ireland Border issue

4. Revelations about Russian involvement in th eleave campaign and dodgy campaign breaking various rules

5. Trump in the Whitehouse doesn't look very trade friendly

6. Global political instablity (the nuclear clock went forward earlier this year, and international relations are the worst they've been since the fall of the soviet union)

7. People are waking up to what this will actually mean

Hopefully when this gets bounced back by the lords, the politicians will have a different view over what will keep them on the gravy train by then

Wild Swan - on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

… oh yes, the good old fashioned blue passport... you can just picture it in a couple of years time; hundreds of 'Brits' abroad waving said passport in the air proclaiming loudly "but I'm British"...

pasbury on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> It feels to me like public opinion is beginning to swing towards a new vote due to a number of factors

I don’t know if it is really. Hence my bemusement/disgust about today’s machinations.

It’s enough to keep the loons from frothing at the mouth for a few more weeks. But ultimately some decisions will have to be made.

I think the bald fact is that no-one is prepared to take responsibility for decisions that are bad. Bad decisions are the only ones available.

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

The other thing that happened today was Westminster voted to rewrite the devolution settlement and take back powers devolved to Scotland 19 years ago with 20 minutes debating time in which the only person allowed to speak was a government minister.

The provocation is probably deliberate and calculated in the hope the SNP recall their MPs or call Indyref 2 too soon.

Eric9Points - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

As I understood it there was likely going to be a committee set up to decide what goes where. Everyone seemed to concur on that.

Do you have a link to something that defines precisely what was decided yesterday?

tom_in_edinburgh - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Do you have a link to something that defines precisely what was decided yesterday?

https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/snp-threaten-to-pull-out-of-power-grab-talks-after-brexit-debate-damp-squib-1-4753574

There isn't much, it's part of one of the Brexit bills that were approved yesterday.   Changing the devolution settlement is just a footnote to the Tories, the same kind of contempt they have for the Irish border issue or anything else outside of London.

 

MG - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

SNP now in a faux huff in PMQs

Wanderer100 - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> SNP now in a faux huff in PMQs

Children dancing to the Pied Pipers tune!

Post edited at 13:01
tom_in_edinburgh - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> SNP now in a faux huff in PMQs

Nothing faux about it.   There's no point in having devolution if Westminster can take back whatever powers it likes with a clause in the middle of another bill which gets 20 minutes of debate consisting of a government minister making a statement.

The last devolution referendum was won on the basis of a last minute pledge of extra powers for Scotland that came to absolutely nothing.  Now they are taking back powers Scotland has had for 19 years.   They're thinking about over ruling the legislative assembly in Norther Ireland over abortion.  They are getting out of the EU.  The whole Tory agenda is centralising all power in Westminster.   

They are also consistently making promises they don't intend to keep when the other side in a negotiation has leverage and then 'reframing' them as soon as the leverage is gone.   They played that game with Scotland just before the independence referendum, then the EU and now the pro-EU MPs in their own party.   Nobody can trust them which means negotiating with them is pointless.

The SNP MPs walking out is hopefully just the start of a protracted campaign.  

krikoman - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> - blue passports and no more foreigners 

Except farmers are now asking for relaxed measures for foreign farm workers

I doubt we could write a more depressing, convoluted f*ck up than this reality we're currently concocting.

 

 

krikoman - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Have to agree with all you've posted, I don't want Scotland to devolve but I think it's inevitable considering what's happened since their referendum.

Promised all sorts and given next to nowt, lies and spin continue to be the bread and butter of British politics.

timjones - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Was anyone naive enough not to realise how complex it was going to be before we voted?

stevieb - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> Was anyone naive enough not to realise how complex it was going to be before we voted?


Most of the shouty people on question time?

I voted to leave! WHY AREN'T WE OUT YET!

krikoman - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> Was anyone naive enough not to realise how complex it was going to be before we voted?

I hope you had you're tongue firmly wedged in you cheek with this post.

I'm pretty sure most of the people voting thought we could just walk away and set the table ready for tea. After shoeing away all those nasty foreigners first of course.

MG - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

The government are shit, we know that. 

A staged walkout in PMQs is just a planned theatrical act still, however. 

krikoman - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> The government are shit, we know that. 

> A staged walkout in PMQs is just a planned theatrical act still, however. 


What do you suggest they could have done, 15 minutes doesn't seem much for anything. I've taken dumps that needed longer than that.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> The government are shit, we know that. 

> A staged walkout in PMQs is just a planned theatrical act still, however. 

Yes, its a planned theatrical act.  I think May was hoping the SNP would do a Sinn Fein and bring its MPs home so she had a larger majority.  This is more calculated, it is OK to start with,  but it is nothing like enough.

timjones - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Are implying that my trust of the intelligence of our fellow voters is misplaced ;)

Eric9Points - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

You're getting a bit carried away.

a) I believe Scotland would have remained part of the UK with or without the promise of new powers but we'll never know.

b) We were given lots of new powers by the Smith commission. It's just that the SNP haven't used them. Except in the case of tax raising where this year they were forced to do so by other parties because they wouldn't countenance the level of cuts the SNP wanted to pass on to local governments.

c) You might as well forget about another referendum. Not only has opinion not changed since 2014 but over 60% of Scots don't want one, check out the latest YouGov poll if you don't believe me. Further, the Cuts...sorry Austerity..er no sorry the Growth Commission report is Nicola's way of telling you that what everyone else said in 2014 was right and that we'd be an economic basket case for years *even* if the wildly optimistic growth predictions used in the report came true.

 

MG - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Limited options. Honestly I think they should be talking to Tory potential rebels if they care about EU membership. There is no other way to stop a hard brexit that includes Scotland. 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

The specific promises in the 'pledge' were not met.  Then we got a commission dominated by unionists which crafted a set of powers designed to be a poisoned chalice.

There will be another independence referendum, the only question is when.   It's just a case of waiting until the Tory government does something so provocative - and rewriting the devolution settlement is on the way there - or Brexit becomes economically so disastrous that it is winnable.

RomTheBear on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Another confirmation that Westminster is a complete and utter joke.

pasbury on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

I suppose that under normal circumstances we accept it's eccentricities as Labour and Tories take turns at the helm and most decisions taken are relatively unimportant. Now there is something important to be decided they seem utterly helpless.

Dr.S at work - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

On the abortion point Tom, do you not think that repealing parts of the 1861 act is not a rather elegant solution, especially given the lack of a sitting assembly in Stormont and the recent court ruling?

Wingeing Old Git - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The other thing that happened today was Westminster voted to rewrite the devolution settlement and take back powers devolved to Scotland 19 years ago with 20 minutes debating time in which the only person allowed to speak was a government minister.

> The provocation is probably deliberate and calculated in the hope the SNP recall their MPs or call Indyref 2 too soon.

This would be the devolution settlement which the SNP wants to totally destroy by having an independent Scotland. The devolution settlement was based on the ideas of the Scottish Constitutional Convention. The SNP refused to take part in the Convention's deliberations. For these two reasons the SNP has no grounds for complaint. Of course, as always, it does complain.

RomTheBear on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

> This would be the devolution settlement which the SNP wants to totally destroy by having an independent Scotland. The devolution settlement was based on the ideas of the Scottish Constitutional Convention. The SNP refused to take part in the Convention's deliberations. For these two reasons the SNP has no grounds for complaint. Of course, as always, it does complain.

Nonsensical. The Scottish Constitutional Convention doesn't even since the 90s. Nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Post edited at 07:16
jkarran - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> Was anyone naive enough not to realise how complex it was going to be before we voted?

You've met people right, you understand they're not all like you?

jk

tom_in_edinburgh - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

> This would be the devolution settlement which the SNP wants to totally destroy by having an independent Scotland. The devolution settlement was based on the ideas of the Scottish Constitutional Convention. The SNP refused to take part in the Convention's deliberations. For these two reasons the SNP has no grounds for complaint. Of course, as always, it does complain.

As the elected governing party in Scotland the SNP has every right to complain about powers being withdrawn unilaterally from the Scottish Parliament.     The Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly not to give legislative consent for these powers to return to Westminster.  Not just the SNP, every political party in Scotland except the Tories voted against it.  

The Scottish Constitutional Convention is ancient history from the days when Labour ran Scottish politics.   The SNP chose to leave because it refused to even discuss Independence as a constitutional option.  The whole thing was bogus anyway with a bunch of unelected religious leaders taking prominent positions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Constitutional_Convention

timjones - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to jkarran:

People certainly hold a vast array of different opinions, but I would tend to believe that the vast majority are smart enough that there was going to be substantial upheaval surrounding such a major change.

Rob Exile Ward on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

Ian Duncan Smith and Jacob Rees Mogg still appear to have no idea at all what a Pandora's box they have opened.. Though that's not quite the right metaphor - more something along the lines of pulling a support from the foundations then being amazed to see the entire edifice come crashing around them.

And it's never as easy to put something together as it is to destroy - I don't suppose any of them are familiar with the laws of thermodynamics, but that is what they are playing with.

timjones - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I'd tend to suspect that they are aware of it. They just think that it is worth the upheaval.

thomasadixon - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

You are talking about powers that the EU currently hold, and that the SNP think that the EU ought to continue to hold, right?

Saying that these are being taken away implies they've currently got them, or at least that they've ever had them, which is just untrue.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> You are talking about powers that the EU currently hold, and that the SNP think that the EU ought to continue to hold, right?

> Saying that these are being taken away implies they've currently got them, or at least that they've ever had them, which is just untrue.

They were explicitly devolved to the Scottish Government under the Scotland Act which set up the devolved government.   The Scottish Government does not have a problem with being in the EU and having the EU exercise those powers.   However, if the UK is stupid enough to leave the EU and drag Scotland with it then obviously the powers which were devolved to Scotland should return to Scotland.    By seizing the powers after being refused consent by the Scottish Parliament Westminster is rewriting the devolution settlement.   At a practical level the way the EU is using the powers is reasonable from a Scottish perspective compared with some of the things the Tories might do. 

 

MG - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

What powers are these?

jkarran - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> People certainly hold a vast array of different opinions, but I would tend to believe that the vast majority are smart enough that there was going to be substantial upheaval surrounding such a major change.

The vast majority would be smart enough to understand the situation is highly complex and the range of possible outcomes huge if they were well engaged and well informed, unfortunately most were and remain neither.

I think you forget/ignore how much exposure you have to this debate on here and likely elsewhere in life, for most people their understanding of the situation is snatched from headlines passed in the corner shop, from the TV news, from the odd social media link, from chats with opinionated colleagues. It's patchy if I were to chose a kind descriptor.

Walk up to a random person in the street and ask what EURATOM is and why the version of brexit we're pursuing causes problems. Do you seriously think you'd get a sensible answer now and do you seriously believe you'd have got a sensible answer 2 years ago?

Your faith is touching.

jk

jamscoz on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

  • agriculture, forestry and fisheries
  • education and training
  • environment
  • health and social services
  • housing
  • law and order
  • local government
  • sport and the arts
  • tourism and economic development
  • many aspects of transport

http://www.parliament.scot/visitandlearn/12506.aspx

MG - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to jamscoz:

Where is the suggestion that Westminster will control education, for example?  Or law?  That doesn't sound likely to me.  Sounds like SNP being melodramatic,

L lanarose902 - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

strongly aggried

jamscoz on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

Who knows what they will do/want to control in the future.  No one can stop them either way...

MG - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to jamscoz:

In principle that has always been the case.  Sounds like this is just an excuse for a fuss

jamscoz on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

For sure - after yesterday they have shown they are willing to take devolved matters back without debate

krikoman - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> I'd tend to suspect that they are aware of it. They just think that it is worth the upheaval.

Here's me thinking you we joking!!

Most people I know, who voted out, had / have no idea of how difficult it was/is going to be.

In fact most people I know, seemed to think we'd just stop paying money, stop foreigners coming in and spend £350 million on the NHS and get on with eating bendy bananas, wearing our massive condoms and eating our meaty British sausages. They are angry at how drawn out the process is and are blaming the EU for this.

Post edited at 12:01
MG - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to jamscoz:

> For sure - after yesterday they have shown they are willing to take devolved matters back without debate

I'm still trying to find out what powers are apparently being taken back?  Do you know?

timjones - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

It might be worth noting that I was replying to a post stating that "Ian Duncan Smith and Jacob Rees Mogg still appear to have no idea at all what a Pandora's box they have opened."

 

thomasadixon - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

They weren't transferred to Scotland because they weren't held by the UK to be able to transfer them to Scotland.  The UK isn't seizing them from Scotland because Scotland's never held them.  It's a daft bit of sophistry.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

> Where is the suggestion that Westminster will control education, for example?  Or law?  That doesn't sound likely to me.  Sounds like SNP being melodramatic,

https://www.parliament.uk/site-information/glossary/sewel-convention/

"The Sewel Convention applies when the UK Parliament legislates on a matter which is normally dealt with by the Scottish Parliament as part of its work. Under the terms of the Convention, this will happen only if the Scottish Parliament has given its consent."

The Tories are not playing by the established rules.

If the Tories do a trade deal with Trump they may sign up to allowing US healthcare companies access to the UK market.  That could mean forcing Scotland to privatise areas of the NHS.   

Rob Exile Ward on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

Yes, and although I appreciate your comments I still don't agree.
Listening to IDS on R4 the other day he seemed to be blaming the French for everything, and thought that we could switch shipping from Calais to Rotterdam as easily as changing lanes on a motorway. Has he ever DRIVEN along the A14 or M20? Our entire infrastructure is build around European trade.

jamscoz on 14 Jun 2018
timjones - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Yes, and although I appreciate your comments I still don't agree.

> Listening to IDS on R4 the other day he seemed to be blaming the French for everything, and thought that we could switch shipping from Calais to Rotterdam as easily as changing lanes on a motorway. Has he ever DRIVEN along the A14 or M20? Our entire infrastructure is build around European trade.

Sadly this sort of posturing was inevitable from the moment that it became apparent that the negotiations were going to be a crazy media circus.

It might just have been better if we had defined our own impossible set of demands and then left a team of negotiators to it until they reached the point when they could reveal the deal that they had negotiated.

Then we would have to debate whether or not we should have a second referendum on whether or not to accept the deal

 

wercat on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Ian Duncan Smith and Jacob Rees Mogg still appear to have no idea at all what a Pandora's box they have opened.. Though that's not quite the right metaphor - more something along the lines of pulling a support from the foundations then being amazed to see the entire edifice come crashing around them.

> And it's never as easy to put something together as it is to destroy - I don't suppose any of them are familiar with the laws of thermodynamics, but that is what they are playing with.

I look forward to them being a bit more consistent in future.   After all, why should we sacrifice our sovereignty and total control over our military destiny.   What should military freedom of action be any different from economic freedom.   It seems we spend a lot on NATO participation and all that does is COST US MONEY AND SOVEREIGNTY.   Damn all that NATO command structure that generates RED TAPE (STANAGs for instance, and all the time we have to spend in compatible training and compatibility of communications, logistics and munitions!)  Shorely we should loose our fredom by having to cowtow to those foreign jonnies telling us what to do!!!!!!  Trump kno the way, any fule kno.

We shud be free to make treetis with any state we want

Post edited at 12:34
tom_in_edinburgh - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> On the abortion point Tom, do you not think that repealing parts of the 1861 act is not a rather elegant solution, especially given the lack of a sitting assembly in Stormont and the recent court ruling?

I don't like the abortion ban in Northern Ireland (or quite a lot of other things that happen there).  However, when the UK handed power over abortion to the Northern Ireland assembly that ship sailed and Westminster can't just look for 'elegant' ways to get round the devolution settlement when something happens it doesn't like.   

The way to solve the impasse in Northern Ireland is for the Tories to get out the pocket of the DUP.  The fraudulent energy scheme that triggered the crisis is pretty bad and they are ignoring it so as to protect their mates in the DUP and the votes they need for Brexit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_Heat_Incentive_scandal

krikoman - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

 

> The way to solve the impasse in Northern Ireland is for the Tories to get out the pocket of the DUP.  The fraudulent energy scheme that triggered the crisis is pretty bad

Pretty bad!! understatement, it's criminal and it's not good for the environment either.

stevieb - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I think there is a world of difference in the level of understanding between IDS and JRM. I think JRM has a pretty good understanding of the impact at a general level, he just thinks it's worth the upheaval for his principles or opportunities. IDS is just blundering around sounding like Nigel Farage's stupid brother.

krikoman - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to stevieb:

A firm co-owned by Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has launched an investment vehicle in Dublin that warns of the risks of hard Brexit.

Official documents filed by Rees-Mogg's business say hard Brexit may "increase costs" for the business "or make it more difficult to pursue its objectives". Remember that next time he says there's nothing to worry about.

Wicamoi on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

One area of specific concern would, for example, be the Common Fisheries Policy. This will be written over into UK law, and will likely be one of the areas that is soonest modified by Westminster - given all the promises that the Brexiteers have made with regard to the CFP. 

Scottish Parliament would very much like this to be done in Scotland for Scotland, and argue that Fisheries are part of the devolved powers that should naturally fall to them.

I don't think this is either trivial or unreasonable. Though the walk out was certainly melodramatic. Needs must.

Big Ger - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Is this what you were talking about?

Labour’s divisions on Europe broke out into the open on Wednesday night when, in an extraordinary breakdown of discipline, more than half the party’s backbenchers defied the party whip.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jun/13/labour-jeremy-corbyn-backbench-revolt-75-mps-brexit-vote

Let's not forget, 7 out of every 10 labour held constituencies voted leave. 

Wanderer100 - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

The Sewel Convention:

However, as its name suggests, it is merely a convention and there is no legal requirement for the UK government to seek Holyrood's permission - or to respect its decision if it says "no".

This was confirmed by the Supreme Court last year, when it ruled on the case brought by Gina Miller about the triggering of Article 50, which started the Brexit process.

Judges ruled that the Sewel Convention was not a legally enforceable rule despite being inserted into the Scotland Act.

This meant that the Scottish Parliament did not have a veto over Article 50 or, by extension, the EU Withdrawal Bill.

MG - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Wicamoi:

It's certainly a reasonable area for discussion but I don't see how the SNP can claim Westminster is grabbing powers.  Fishing was an EU matter and (way) before that a UK matter so if it reverts to the UK, that seems a reasonable default.

Scotland is certainly being done over by Brexit in general but I don't see that the government is being unreasonable on these issues specifically.  If anything it looks like an attempted power grab by the SNP.

jkarran - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Labour’s divisions on Europe broke out into the open on Wednesday night when, in an extraordinary breakdown of discipline, more than half the party’s backbenchers defied the party whip.

Good. Labour's official position is a total mess.

> Let's not forget, 7 out of every 10 labour held constituencies voted leave. 

Also worth remembering the Remain/Leave split among Labour voters was 2/1

jk

MonkeyPuzzle - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Let's not forget, 7 out of every 10 Labour held constituencies voted leave. 

Which would be more pertinent had not the vast majority of rebelling MPs voted *for* the amendment.

Wicamoi on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

I understand your point of view. Probably you can understand why from Scotland the SNP's point of view seems reasonable too. 

The language being used is imprecise, but the fact remains that new powers relating to a policy area that was part of the Scottish devolution settlement are, for the time being at least, being claimed by the UK government.

MG - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Wicamoi:

Actually, how does this work currently?  There is a common EU fisheries policy but I see fisheries are also somehow listed as devolved to Scotland.  How can both be the case?  Are there different bits of fishery policies?

Wicamoi on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

I'm not an expert, so hopefully someone will correct any mistakes in the following, but as I understand it.... 

CFP is agreed at member state level. So DEFRA is in charge, but because fisheries is a devolved policy area DEFRA talks to the devolved administrations in, so far as I am aware, a civilised way, and matters are arranged accordingly.

Implementation of the CFP however is devolved to Scotland - for example, the administration, the actual fishing that takes place and quotas set and so forth. Also EU fisheries funding relating to, say, stock assessment as part of the CFP are claimed as the devolved authorities see fit to arrange matters. I think funding is actually claimed jointly and distributed by DEFRA to the devolved authorities pro rata.

Does that answer your question at all?

Wingeing Old Git - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Nonsensical. The Scottish Constitutional Convention doesn't even [exist?] since the 90s. Nothing to do with the issue at hand.

So I'm wrong to refer back to the 90s. What about Scottish Nationalists continually harping on about the 1707 Act of Union, to say nothing about going on independence marches dressed like Bonny Prince f****** Charlie?

timjones - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Also worth remembering the Remain/Leave split among Labour voters was 2/1

Is that a figure derived from polling?

 

With their piss poor record we would be well advised to ignore all of the alleged numbers that they quote.

 

Post edited at 16:07
RomTheBear on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

> So I'm wrong to refer back to the 90s.

Yes, quite so.

> What about Scottish Nationalists continually harping on about the 1707 Act of Union, to say nothing about going on independence marches dressed like Bonny Prince f****** Charlie?

What about British nationalist continually harping about the EU ?

Wingeing Old Git - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Yes, quite so.

> What about British nationalist continually harping about the EU ?

Don't know. I'm not a British nationalist [or any kind of nationalist for that matter.] Also, I voted Remain, unlike about 30% or so of Scottish Nationalist supporters.

Dr.S at work - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I’m not sure the DUP will agree with SF even if the Tories somehow ditch them - if the impasse continues then at some point doesn’t the NI sec have to take back control anyway? Total mess.

rogerwebb - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to jamscoz:

 

> education 

 

> health and social services

 

> law and order

These are not part of the devolution settlement, the first and third are from 1707, the second from the foundation of the health service. 

I think the problem we now have arises because no one even considered the possibility that we might leave the EU when the Scotland Act was drafted. 

Common sense suggests that, in the absence of independence, UK wide frameworks should be put in place in many of these areas unfortunately it also suggests it might not be wise to trust the current government to do that wisely. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RomTheBear on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

> Don't know. I'm not a British nationalist [or any kind of nationalist for that matter.] Also, I voted Remain, unlike about 30% or so of Scottish Nationalist supporters.

Sure, I am as appalled by the increasing proportion of bleeding idiots amongst independence supporters as you are.

But the point is, you know something is seriously messed up when parliamentarians have to make a backroom deal with the executive, which of course was broken the next day, just to actually have a mild say on the most important policy decision for 40 years...

Of course Scotland in all of this completely ignored, but it doesn't surprise me at all, I've said all along since 2014 that Westminster would make a big joke of the sewel convention and the Scotland act.

Post edited at 20:18
jkarran - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> Is that a figure derived from polling?

Of course it is, how else could it possibly be determined.

> With their piss poor record we would be well advised to ignore all of the alleged numbers that they quote.

There are polls and then there are polls. The source in this instance is a YouGov exit poll. Please, convince me there is any reason whatsoever to suspect those figures are more than a few points out at worst.

jk

Smelly Fox - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

You are aware it’s the Scottish National Party, not the Nationalist party aren’t you? Or is that a sly dig...

The underlying principles of the SNP are more centre socialism, rather than nationalism. The nationalist name is rather insulting to say the least...

FactorXXX - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Smelly Fox:

> The underlying principles of the SNP are more centre socialism, rather than nationalism. The nationalist name is rather insulting to say the least...

Isn't the fact that they want independence an indicator that they're Nationalist and that they're quite happy to have that independence regardless of the detrimental effect it might have on the rest of the UK?
Sounds fairly Nationalistic to me...

 

Smelly Fox - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

Yeah by the letter of the word you are right. It just bugs me that SNP supporters are portrayed as chest beating gingers wearing kilts and banging on about freedom.

A lot of the SNP supporters I know are more keen on setting up a more socially progressive society. If that means starting a new country, so be it.

If the UK government was more progressive in this way, I’d vote for them, as I’m sure most SNP supporters would.

Nationalist crackpots are the minority.

Alasdair Fulton - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Smelly Fox:

Precisely. I know quite a few people who believe Scotland can forge its own way, unshackled from the decisions England makes. Scotland, as part of the UK, has little influence on monetary policy, foreign policy, strategic policy (where to invest, how to structure and pay for the NHS, how to operate the social security services, which industries to promote for growth - renewables, decommissioning, medical tech, film; inclusivity, immigration).

Yes, Scotland will have less global "influence" alone than the UK does, but we can chose our own path and align more closely with our Northern European counterparts. It's not going to be some nirvana, but it's also a lifeline from the sinking ship with May at the helm.

 

FactorXXX - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

> Precisely. I know quite a few people who believe Scotland can forge its own way, unshackled from the decisions England makes. Scotland, as part of the UK, has little influence on monetary policy, foreign policy, strategic policy (where to invest, how to structure and pay for the NHS, how to operate the social security services, which industries to promote for growth - renewables, decommissioning, medical tech, film; inclusivity, immigration).

A lot of that sounds suspiciously like the reasons given for Brexit...

 

Smelly Fox - on 14 Jun 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

Except they are reasons based on fact rather than fiction.

Wingeing Old Git - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to Smelly Fox:

> You are aware it’s the Scottish National Party, not the Nationalist party aren’t you? Or is that a sly dig...

> The underlying principles of the SNP are more centre socialism, rather than nationalism. The nationalist name is rather insulting to say the least...

It was not a "sly dig." I was referring to supporters of Scottish nationalism in general rather than supporters of the SNP. I am sure that most supporters of the SNP who want Scottish independence would describe themselves as Scottish Nationalists. I don't agree with your statement that central socialism rather than nationalism is the underlying principle of the SNP. I don't think Fergus Ewing or Ian Blackford, for example, would agree with your statement either

girlymonkey - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to Alasdair

> Yes, Scotland will have less global "influence" alone than the UK does, but we can chose our own path and align more closely with our Northern European counterparts. It's not going to be some nirvana, but it's also a lifeline from the sinking ship with May at the helm.

Indeed, I voted no in 2014 on the assumption that no one would vote us out of EU. I don't agree generally with breaking down political unions in an ever more international world. I was willing to stick with the idiots in Westminster to this end. 

However, then Brexit happened. Now there is no good option, but independence seems better than  being tied to the aforementioned sinking ship. Even if we are not able to rejoin the EU as an independent Scotland, we can work as closely as possible and maintain the high standards that we have enjoyed as part of that union rather than lowering our standards to get some rubbish trade deals that screw us over.

French Erick - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

 

unfortunately you are correct but I would still rather sink with the Edinburgh crew I understand, albeit slightly dislike (SNP), than the Westminster crew which doesn't know me and think my role in life is solely to scrub the deck

> A lot of that sounds suspiciously like the reasons given for Brexit...

Depressingly you are correct in the analogy. However:

If I imagine myself as a sailor on a ship. I would rather  try not to sink with a smaller ship which has a local -Edinburgh-crew I understand (shared values, ideas...) even though I do not particularly like its Captain. This instead of being a de facto unimportant crew member to a larger ailing /foundering ship (UK) whose commanders (Westminster) systematically look down to me as some canon fodder/desk scrubbing. The captain I loathe, her lieutenants I abhor. From my peripheral position on the deck I see the ship heading for rocks and everytime I say something those commanders look at me as if being gifted with speech is a right I shouldn't having been born with!

rogerwebb - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to Smelly Fox:

> Except they are reasons based on fact rather than fiction.

I am sure most Brexit supporters would say the same.

rogerwebb - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to French Erick:

I follow your reasoning but to me both Brexit and Independence are based on the same wishful thinking. That all 'we' want will be granted and 'they' will see the wisdom of 'our' ways.

Unpicking 40 years of the EU has revealed obstacles and problems that were not imagined, unpicking 300 years of Union is unlikely to be less traumatic.

Governments come and governments go. This one will be gone soon.

 

neilh - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb

Splitting Scotland from England will be even worse-. If we think splitting from the EU is complicated, then just look at the Scottish/EU economic and social welfare links. Nightmare.

 

john arran - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

  > Except they are reasons based on fact rather than fiction.

> I am sure most Brexit supporters would say the same.

Yes, but would they be able to provide any facts to justify saying that?

Smelly Fox - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to john arran:

Beat me to it ;)

rogerwebb - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to john arran:

>   > Except they are reasons based on fact rather than fiction.

> Yes, but would they be able to provide any facts to justify saying that?

Not that I have seen, but then neither in my mind have the nationalists. 

 

 

Post edited at 09:20
elsewhere on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

> Splitting Scotland from England will be even worse-.

That's the starting argument for independence as it's not splitting Scotland from England. 

It's splitting Scotland from a UK and Westminster that barely realises England  is not the uk.

 

 

wercat on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

You can hear a BBC drama series about the Balkanisation of the UK following BREXIT here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b5stvj

Big Ger - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Outside of the usual half-dozen committed Brexiteers on the Labour benches, there exists a growing number of MPs who recognise the realities in their communities. Who know that the reasons for which people voted Leave will not be answered by the EEA and consequently understand the electoral cost of breaking the trust of our voters in our coalfield communities, our towns and our small cities. These MPs will no more be whipped to vote for an EEA amendment than those advocating it as our salvation would be whipped to vote against.

Most Labour MPs are in seats that voted Leave. My constituents could rightly ask whether we have really left the EU if we are still subject to all the rules, regulations and obligations that come from membership. What message are we, as a Labour Party, sending to voters in these seats if we simply turn away from the spirit of the referendum result? What hope can we have to win back those traditional seats we need to win in order to form the next government if we tell the voters in those communities that we know better than they do?

Those seats may not be won or lost on the EEA alone but how we approach this issue will be symptomatic of how we present ourselves to traditional communities who think we have turned our backs on them. They stopped trusting us because they stopped believing we listened to them. Voting for the EEA amendment this week would just prove that they were right all along.

https://labourlist.org/2018/06/gareth-snell-the-eea-isnt-the-answer-we-cant-lose-the-trust-of-leave-voters/

Gareth Snell, Labour MP for Stoke on Trent central.

john arran - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

All the more reason for a People's Vote on the deal May agrees. Then all can be satisfied the outcome has been democratically agreed, assuming of course that the press doesn't again lie through its teeth for the personal gain of its owners or editors.

Youknow it makes sense.

pasbury on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

I suspect that when you lose your job the subtleties of representation will suddenly become a lot less important.

MonkeyPuzzle - on 15 Jun 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

That the Gareth Snell who had to beat UKIP's Paul Nuttall in a seat that the kippers had sunk all their money into? Wonder why he's publicly expressing that opinion.

George Ormerod - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

My constituents could rightly ask whether we have really left the EU if we are still subject to all the rules, regulations and obligations

Maybe he could explain that even with a free trade agreement we'd be subject to the rules and standards of the EU, and surrender sovereignty to a dispute resolution process that would look a lot like the ECJ:  whatever we do now, Brexit means that we will be a vassal state; that or commit the economic suicide of a hard Brexit.

Shame Rees-Mogg doesn't see representing his remain voting constituency in the same way.

 

RomTheBear on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

> In reply to rogerwebb

> Splitting Scotland from England will be even worse-. If we think splitting from the EU is complicated, then just look at the Scottish/EU economic and social welfare links. Nightmare.

True, but given how the U.K. treats its own citizens (see Windrush) it's becoming increasingly clear that taking the hit will be worth it.

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> True, but given how the U.K. treats its own citizens (see Windrush) it's becoming increasingly clear that taking the hit will be worth it.

That does sound so like the argument for brexit. 

The UK/EU isn't perfect so, despite all evidence that the Uk/EU has and is evolving, that the UK /EU is a much better place than it was, because the UK /EU is going through a rough patch we will rip it all up, leave and proceed to a new paradise where all will be wonderful.

And if it looks like the journey might be rougher than we thought, and the destination sub standard, don't worry the hit will have been worth it because we will have taken back control. 

Surely better to stay and continue to reform than to leave?

Post edited at 07:13
elsewhere on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

That's an argument for Scotland staying in uk/eu and was my preference in both referendums.

> Surely better to stay and continue to reform than to leave?

Not any more. Westminster is just too inward and backward looking to be worth it. 

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> That's an argument for Scotland staying in uk/eu and was my preference in both referendums.

> Not any more. Westminster is just too inward and backward looking to be worth it. 

It may well be for now,  but that is a very short term problem that will pass. The consequences of more disruption will be considerably more long term.

Brexit is bad enough on its own. 

elsewhere on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> It may well be for now,  but that is a very short term problem that will pass. The consequences of more disruption will be considerably more long term.

> Brexit is bad enough on its own. 

Is there no positive argument in favour of the UK or Westminster? 

 

Alasdair Fulton - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

"That does sound so like the argument for brexit."

On the face of it, I can see why you would think that:

"we don't agree with their decisions"

"We're not represented"

"we want to tread a different path"

However, what makes Scottish independence entirely different in substance is the "whys":

"To look outward, be more inclusive, protect the environment"

"To never, ever, ever again instigate war in foreign lands for our own geopolitical reasons"

"to not sell the NHS up the river"

And to me, the approach is so, so different. We had the white paper in 2014. It had omissions and some fantastical projections, but it was a vision, something tangible, something to discuss, to doubt, to mull over. Brexit had none of that. It had lies on buses, vacuous sound bites. No plan, no vision, nothing to get behind.

We now have the growth commission report. I'm a little disappointed to see it's not been particularly progressive and is sticking with austerity. But again, it's thought through, backed up, checked and referenced. Again, it has a plan, both for Independence and non-independence. Is that not a breath of fresh air in the stench wafting up from Westminster and the brexshitshambles?

What Brexit has hit home is:

It won't be easy.

It won't be quick.

But it can be done. It just needs better planning, stronger leadership, vision, will and effort. Lots and lots of effort!

 

I'm just going to leave this here:  https://www.scotsman.com/news/young-s-seafood-puts-450-jobs-at-risk-in-scotland-1-4717964

And: "From SUPPORT AGREED TO SECURE SEAFOOD JOBS, Insider Media Limited, 13 August 2015 (although the same text is repeated newspaper after newspaper):
"Members of the authority's cabinet heard the council has successfully secured cash from a major government programme to help Young's Seafood invest in its two sites in Grimsby"
"Following urgent talks which have also involved the area's two MPs, the council has been working with central government to extend its Regional Growth Fund programme to be able to help Young's. This will give the company the opportunity to further develop their investment plans for the Grimsby sites and bid for this funding"
"Up to 1.346m will be now made available to Young's to help it secure its future in the town. It is estimated that as a result of this, up to 200 jobs could be created and another 250 jobs safeguarded in Grimsby"

Better together. Hmmmmm......

neilh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

I bet if you are in Hull( which is hardly the South-east of the uk ) you have a different perspective. 

neilh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

I bet if you are in Hull( which is hardly the South-east of the uk ) you have a different perspective. 

elsewhere on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

> I bet if you are in Hull( which is hardly the South-east of the uk ) you have a different perspective. 

Yes because the regions of England have so famously thrived.

r0x0r.wolfo - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

Hard to draw anything from those two stories. But if you wanted a reason why, it sounds like you would need to be having a word with the local council.

Post edited at 11:44
RomTheBear on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> That does sound so like the argument for brexit. 

It doesn't, it's diametrically opposed.

The main argument in my view to leave the U.K. is that it would enable us to retain freedom of movement and stop the persecution of immigrants, whilst Brexit was about doing the exact opposite.

Moreover, I regard Westminster as highly dysfunctional, undemocratic, and unfixable. The EU institution don't have this problem in my view, and in any case it doesn't matter as it's a voluntary club, unlike the U.K.

 

Post edited at 13:24
tom_in_edinburgh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

My view is the trend towards larger political and regulatory units is unstoppable because it is driven by technical and economic forces beyond the control of any state.    Scotland needs to be part of a larger economic unit and the EU is a better opportunity than the UK.   The EU is 500 million people where the UK is 60 million, the EU has a proper federal structure, it does not centralise economic activity in Brussels and it interferes in far less areas than the UK. 

The next stage in globalisation will be deep trading deals between large economic blocks : the EU to NAFTA, EU to China, EU to India.  That will start to converge regulations for many industries at the global level and the EU will be at the centre of it.   The deals between the large blocks will set the framework and the post Brexit UK will be a 'rule taker' no matter what it does.

If Scotland is in the EU then it doesn't need to be in the UK.  The EU is providing the most important service: access to a large common market and the leverage of a huge trading block.  The Euro is a more useful currency than the pound.    We don't get anything by having our representation at the EU level passing through the UK government in London: all that happens is that our views get out-voted by the 10x larger population of England before they even get to the EU.  Far better to be in the EU directly as a small nation like Ireland and have the opportunity to negotiate directly.

The best outcome would be both Scotland and the rest of the UK being in the EU and an additional treaty providing for close co-operation in other areas within the British Isles.   That could reconstruct pretty much all the advantages of the UK while breaking Scotland free from Westminster and allowing it to diverge on social, economic and immigration policies to suit its own circumstances.

Brexit is a problem for Scottish Independence because without the EU providing border-free trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK there will be far more economic disruption.  However, Brexit and the distinct shift towards the lunatic right in UK politics also provides a far stronger motivation for Independence.  The UK is not reforming and getting better.  It is heading into the past, against all the established trends of technical and social progress.  It is completely futile and the consequences are bound to be painful.   The next Independence referendum is not going to be about selling a vision of a better future it is going to be about selling a potential escape from an increasingly dire situation in the UK.

alastairmac1 - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

The last week in Westminster has demonstrated explicitly that the Scottish parliament, the devolution settlement and ultimately democracy in Scotland are all under attack. I think the response will be to accelerate the speed at which the union is dissolved. The current government has no mandate in Scotland and no mandate to rip up historical and contemporary rights, institutions and agreements voted for by the Scottish people. Over 7,500 new members for the SNP over the last 48 hours or so is just one indication that things are on the move.

neilh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Scotland’s biggest export market is the UK, not the EU.Your economic future whether you like it or not is with the UK .Just like Eire..most Scottish jobs are tied to the UK with the odd exception.

And.....which currency......£ or Euro........still unanswered despite all the political bluster.

elsewhere on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

> Scotland’s biggest export market is the UK, not the EU.Your economic future whether you like it or not is with the UK .Just like Eire..most Scottish jobs are tied to the UK with the odd exception.

> And.....which currency......£ or Euro........still unanswered despite all the political bluster.

Doesn't matter, ditching your biggest trading partner is the future.

Eire is a good example of exactly how it can work both in terms of trade and currency pegged to Sterling for fifty years or now the Euro.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

> Scotland’s biggest export market is the UK, not the EU.Your economic future whether you like it or not is with the UK .Just like Eire..most Scottish jobs are tied to the UK with the odd exception.

Eire is far more successful as an independent country within the EU than Northern Ireland is as a region of the UK, even though its largest market may be the UK. 

The UK's economic future is in the EU and eventually in the Euro.  This Brexit thing is an aberration which can't succeed, it will be extremely unpleasant and will eventually be reversed.   The technical, demographic and economic forces behind globalisation are far stronger than the pathetic rear-guard actions we are seeing from Trump or the Brexiters.   Scotland doesn't need to go along for the ride.

> And.....which currency......£ or Euro........still unanswered despite all the political bluster.

If it was my call I'd go straight into the Euro.  I suspect if there is an option to stay in the pound the SNP would go for that as being initially less disruptive and an easier sell to older voters.   There's never going to be a fixed answer because it will depend on a negotiation but either option could be made to work.  In the medium term it won't matter because the Euro will have replaced the pound as well.

 

alastairmac1 - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

Scotland wouldn't stop trading with ( and exporting to ) England and Wales as a result of independence. And the reverse is true. Which means adopting a regressive tariff regime would be damaging for all involved. If you look at recent export led performance I think you'll find Scotland is making great progress as a result of sectors like food and drink, space an satellite technology, life sciences and digital/creative. Not the case elsewhere in the UK. With reference to your point about currency it's worth having a look at the recently released growth report produced by Andrew Wilson. That might answer your question. The old shibboleths about Scotland being dependent upon the rest of the UK are no longer even remotely justified, although that doesn't stop the Daily Mail and Express from repeating tired old uninformed lies. Many of the businesses I work with in Scotland are now understandably very worried about being tied to England as the economy there atrophies and the social and economic infrastructure of the country erodes post brexit. The wholesale abandonment of employment rights, environmental legislation, food standards and the remaining protection of state owned assets like the NHS.....being inflicted on a country that voted resoundingly to stay in the EU makes staying in the union look like a very poor option. 

Post edited at 15:41
MG - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

> Scotland wouldn't stop trading with ( and exporting to ) England and Wales as a result of independence. And the reverse is true. Which means adopting a regressive tariff regime would be damaging for all involved. 

Substitute UK and EU, and that is word for word what we were hearing about brexit prior to  the referendum! The economic case for Scotland leaving is still very weak. 

alastairmac1 - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

On what basis do you say that? I think there is compelling evidence to suggest that Scotland would prosper more outside the union and being part of the UK has actually damaged investment, opportunity and growth in Scotland. And beyond the economic case there is an overwhelming case ( at least in my opinion ) for social, cultural and political sovereignty.  

 

 

 

MG - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

> On what basis do you say that?

As above, one reason is that we know breaking economic ties is much harder and more costly than blithe assurances suggest. Another is the instability of small economies is risky, particularly, as with Scotland, when based on a few sectors.

 >. And beyond the economic case there is an overwhelming case ( at least in my opinion ) for social, cultural and political sovereignty.  

Possibly. Given Brexit, I no longer think an independent Scotland is obviously stupid, but I still think it would be unwise and unfortunate.

 

alastairmac1 - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to MG: I agree that the early years of independence would involve disruption costs and considerable uncertainty. I think that's been the case for most if not all smaller nations that have gained their independence from a bigger neighbour or colonial power. But I don't think any of them would now surrender that independence. And the chaos of Brexit seems likely undermine any argument that the union provides stability and security. Just the opposite. 

 

john yates - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to jkarran:

And your continued arrogance is the source of what you consider the mess we are in. Are you suggesting people show ks be subjected to some form of psycho-political tests before being qualified to vote? The cruel fact is the majority voted against your preferred option. You lost but could suck it up. The present ‘chaos’ if that is what it is, should be evidence enough that the EU is inimical to the interests of the people. One thing I might agree on with all the bleating UKC folk is that bad things will happen. But they will happen because the EU is doomed to implode. Only a very tiny minority want a United States of Europe: the model is so badly flawed. All those who talk of the benefits ignore the pain it has caused. Massive youth unemployment in club med, forced austerity on those whose economies suffer to make Germany stronger, the politics of the last three years plus the parlours state of EU Banks all indicate that it is EU not U.K. that is heading to a cliff edge. As for Scotland. Let them take back control. And maybe then they will  stop blaming others for their basket case economy and atavistic politics. 

john yates - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

7500 in a few hours. How gloomy. More backward looking, chip on the shoulder, blame someone else bollocks. Do hope you vote independence. We could build a wall. Might drown out the very loud whining noise. 

neilh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

Where is the wholesale abandonment of employment rights, enironmental issues etc etc? I am a remainer and quite frankly such claims are ridiculous.You do yourselves no favours by claiming such things.

 

Post edited at 18:06
neilh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

The Euro???? Good grief it was about the best decision that the Treasury and Gordon Brown ever made not to join.

A vote loser all round if that is what you think.

r0x0r.wolfo - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

> being inflicted on a country that voted resoundingly to stay in the EU makes staying in the union look like a very poor option. 

Scotland unfortunately had some of the poorest turnouts in the UK, only 56% of Glasgow voted whilst being a population centre and staunchly remain. 

Nothing is being inflicted on Scotland as far as Brexit is concerned, no more than Scotland is inflicting Brexit on London due to failing to turn out.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> Scotland unfortunately had some of the poorest turnouts in the UK, only 56% of Glasgow voted whilst being a population centre and staunchly remain. 

> Nothing is being inflicted on Scotland as far as Brexit is concerned, no more than Scotland is inflicting Brexit on London due to failing to turn out.

I remember voting in the EU referendum and thinking how few people were about and how little was going on.   It didn't feel like a real thing in central Edinburgh, when compared to the Independence referendum, nobody was that bothered there weren't any demos or much campaigning at all.  Everybody just assumed it would get rejected by a massive amount.  Obviously, down in England there were a lot of places where it was a big deal and we should have been more worried but that wasn't that visible from Scotland.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

> The Euro???? Good grief it was about the best decision that the Treasury and Gordon Brown ever made not to join.

My wife is German and I go to Germany a fair bit.  They don't seem overly worried about the Euro and economically it doesn't seem to be doing them much harm.   The 'Euro is a disaster' thing is just a fetish of the UK press.

> A vote loser all round if that is what you think.

Many sensible policies are vote losers  which is why I said the SNP would probably stick with the pound if they had the choice.     If Scotland did go with the Euro I'm pretty sure that over a ten or twenty year window we would do better than sticking with the pound.

 

john yates - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

John Major. But you are right. 

r0x0r.wolfo - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Yes, you're right and there will have been voter fatigue from the independence referendum as well. 

Lots of people were suprised about the result in England too. Look at UKC, pretty much 90%+ remain so the people you know aren't necessarily representative of public opinion. 

Post edited at 18:53
john yates - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

A glance at the FT this weekend? The voting trends in Germany. They are largely unworried because the system benefits them. Disaster for Spain, Italy, Greece and accession. And it so makes me chuckle that SNP think it’s in their gift to join. Not sure EU would want another country to join them that’s only interested in poncing off them. as always with the Natz they want not only want their cake and eat it, they want someone else to provide the ingredients and bake it. Ha

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> Is there no positive argument in favour of the UK or Westminster? 


311 years of social and economic progress and constitutional change delivered since 1746 without revolution or appreciable violence (I am talking about Scotland, England and Wales here as we all know Ireland has a darker story).

During that time we have progressed from royal and aristocratic rule to full suffrage acquired a welfare state and all are equal before the law (at least in law). The Westminster system has been sufficiently flexible to deliver change including devolution and a referendum on independence for part of the UK delivered peacefully without politicians being arrested or state police attempting to violently prevent the vote. The standard of living for all has improved massively to one of the best in the world and has continued to do so until recent years. Currently we are in a moribund state but we have been here before and are capable of getting out of it. This is a good place to live currently far more people want to come than leave.

Personally I think that the brexit vote was an appalling mistake but to believe that the UK will be a basket case outside the EU is as irrational as believing that Scotland would be a basket case outside the UK. 

I don't think the game is over as far as brexit is concerned, I doubt we will stay in but I also doubt very much that we will be as isolated as much as people fear.

This country is in a bad place but it won't stay there forever. If we compound the folly of brexit with separation again we won't all be in a bad place forever but it will be worse and it will take longer to extract ourselves.

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

>

> However, what makes Scottish independence entirely different in substance is the "whys":

> "To look outward, be more inclusive, protect the environment"

> "To never, ever, ever again instigate war in foreign lands for our own geopolitical reasons"

> "to not sell the NHS up the river"

These still sound like brexit arguments, different words but the same song. It all sounds nice until it hits reality. In fact 1 and 3 were used by them (remember the £350 million and being open to the world). I don't think many will object to 2 but given that Norway, Denmark, Holland, Estonia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy Spain to name but a few have all taken part in the recent wars may mean its hard to stay out.

> And to me, the approach is so, so different. We had the white paper in 2014. It had omissions and some fantastical projections, but it was a vision, something tangible, something to discuss, to doubt, to mull over. Brexit had none of that. It had lies on buses, vacuous sound bites. No plan, no vision, nothing to get behind.

I'm sorry you have lost me there, to me the 2014 white paper read like a brexiteers vision of leaving the EU, full of fantastical projections and blind optimism.

> We now have the growth commission report. I'm a little disappointed to see it's not been particularly progressive and is sticking with austerity. But again, it's thought through, backed up, checked and referenced. Again, it has a plan, both for Independence and non-independence. Is that not a breath of fresh air in the stench wafting up from Westminster and the brexshitshambles?

It is indeed quite refreshing but it cannot 'again' be 'thought through backed up and referenced' if it represents reality then the White Paper cannot have been 'thought through backed up and referenced'

> What Brexit has hit home is:

> It won't be easy.

> It won't be quick.

> But it can be done. It just needs better planning, stronger leadership, vision, will and effort. Lots and lots of effort!

>

No arguments there but I would add that what Brexit has hit home is 'its probably not a very good idea'

(I am not doubting your rationality or sincerity in holding your views, I just disagree with them)

john yates - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

Not. At. All.

 

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It doesn't, it's diametrically opposed.

I don't see that.

> The main argument in my view to leave the U.K. is that it would enable us to retain freedom of movement and stop the persecution of immigrants, whilst Brexit was about doing the exact opposite.

Given events in the EU recently if you are predicating that response on an independent Scotland joining the EU immigrants look likely to get an equally tough time there, if you are referring solely to EU citizens I suspect and hope that that is a matter where the end result may look more like thestatus quo than you and I fear.

> Moreover, I regard Westminster as highly dysfunctional, undemocratic, and unfixable. The EU institution don't have this problem in my view, and in any case it doesn't matter as it's a voluntary club, unlike the U.K.

I think at the moment Westminster is dysfunctional but it is eminently fixable.

In any event the UK is also a voluntary club, that is what the 2014 referendum was about.

 

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> My view is the trend towards larger political and regulatory units is unstoppable because it is driven by technical and economic forces beyond the control of any state.    Scotland needs to be part of a larger economic unit and the EU is a better opportunity than the UK.   The EU is 500 million people where the UK is 60 million, the EU has a proper federal structure, it does not centralise economic activity in Brussels and it interferes in far less areas than the UK. 

I agree with the opening line, but disagree with the rest. I think that smaller nation states within the EU are in for a tougher time dealing with the major economies and I don't think the UK will be left as isolated as you fear.

> The next stage in globalisation will be deep trading deals between large economic blocks : the EU to NAFTA, EU to China, EU to India.  That will start to converge regulations for many industries at the global level and the EU will be at the centre of it.   The deals between the large blocks will set the framework and the post Brexit UK will be a 'rule taker' no matter what it does.

No arguments there, but then again so would an independent Scotland.

> If Scotland is in the EU then it doesn't need to be in the UK.  The EU is providing the most important service: access to a large common market and the leverage of a huge trading block.  The Euro is a more useful currency than the pound.    We don't get anything by having our representation at the EU level passing through the UK government in London: all that happens is that our views get out-voted by the 10x larger population of England before they even get to the EU.  Far better to be in the EU directly as a small nation like Ireland and have the opportunity to negotiate directly.

Except that the hard border between Scotland and rUK if Scotland is in the EU, and that is very much an if, will have a hugely detrimental effect upon our economy, and I feel it is unlikely that Scotland will be able to impose its views on a population 100x its own.

> The best outcome would be both Scotland and the rest of the UK being in the EU and an additional treaty providing for close co-operation in other areas within the British Isles.   That could reconstruct pretty much all the advantages of the UK while breaking Scotland free from Westminster and allowing it to diverge on social, economic and immigration policies to suit its own circumstances.

I think the best outcome would be the UK to stay in the EU, given that is unlikely I am still hoping for quasi EEA.

> Brexit is a problem for Scottish Independence because without the EU providing border-free trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK there will be far more economic disruption.  However, Brexit and the distinct shift towards the lunatic right in UK politics also provides a far stronger motivation for Independence.  The UK is not reforming and getting better.  It is heading into the past, against all the established trends of technical and social progress.  It is completely futile and the consequences are bound to be painful.   The next Independence referendum is not going to be about selling a vision of a better future it is going to be about selling a potential escape from an increasingly dire situation in the UK.

As I think I have said before governments aren't forever and by any measure the UK is reforming and getting better. Compare UK 2018 with UK 1968 with UK 1918 with UK 1868 etc

 

elsewhere on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I think at the moment Westminster is dysfunctional but it is eminently fixable.

Not whilst more than half of the MPs are in safe seats and think this is wonderful. 

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

I think you take too short term a view!

I doubt many seats are as safe as they were. Remember when Labour could put anyone up in Scotland and they would get elected? 

john yates - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

The EU is not the US or China. In a borderless, increasingly virtual world, blocs are a thing of the 1990s. The EU is utterly dysfunctional, elites have lost touch with the voters, economically and financially it is a bomb waiting to go off. The far right hasn’t gone away with the rise of Macron. You guys live in some fantasy world if you think Scotland can hack it alone or inside the EU. Or that the EU is heading anywhere but for a break up. 

elsewhere on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I think you take too short term a view!

35 years of voting so far, should my long term view extend to the afterlife? 

> I doubt many seats are as safe as they were. Remember when Labour could put anyone up in Scotland and they would get elected? 

Great.  Once in a lifetime 50 safe seats changed.

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

First time someone's called me a nationalist I think, but good idea or not I think Scotland could hack it alone or in the EU. I think we would do better to stay in the UK but that doesn't mean the alternative is disaster.

I think your views on the EU represent the same kind of odd justification for leaving the EU that nationalists use for leaving the UK.

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

well in 35 years you have seen homosexuality legalised in Scotland, the devolution settlement, the Good Friday agreement, Maastericht (ok that ones going backwards), gay marriage, various anti hate laws, general liberalisation, Thatcher, Thatcher gone, black Friday, economic recovery, Tony Blair, Blair losing it. An Independence referendum, the removal of hereditary peers and lots more.

I can't help thinking that 2018 with all its problems looks better than 1983. It certainly looks better than 1977 when I started voting.

 

elsewhere on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

I see no change to two party politics frozen in by fptp in which gaining votes or losing votes in 400+ safe constituencies makes no difference to the result for any party.

Andy Hardy on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> . You guys live in some fantasy world if you think Scotland can hack it alone or inside the EU. 

If Brexit can happen, Scottish independence can happen, and in the long run probably will.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

>  You guys live in some fantasy world if you think Scotland can hack it alone or inside the EU. Or that the EU is heading anywhere but for a break up.

Eire left the UK and is doing fine as a small state within the EU.  It also uses the Euro.  Northern Ireland which stayed in the UK has not done as well as the republic. 

Scotland is about 10% larger than Eire in terms of population and has more natural resources and a more favourable geographic position.  If Ireland can prosper within the EU then so can Scotland.  That's not a fantasy that is a reasonable prediction based on evidence.

I very much doubt the EU is heading for a breakup.  That is a fantasy of the English right wing press. However,   I see it as a major strength of the EU that it has not only mechanisms for countries to join but also for countries to leave by agreement.  The UK and Spain could learn from the EU by providing an Article 50 style mechanism for regions like Scotland and Catalonia to invoke should they choose to do so.  

 

Sir Chasm - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The UK and Spain could learn from the EU by providing an Article 50 style mechanism for regions like Scotland and Catalonia to invoke should they choose to do so.

Like maybe having some sort of vote where the population could indicate their choice?

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

I guess we will have to revisit this in 10 years or so to see which of us is closer in our predictions... 

elsewhere on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

I predict no change to labour tory fptp politics at westminster in ten years.

What's yours?

rogerwebb - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

I predict both parties split. 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Like maybe having some sort of vote where the population could indicate their choice?

The point is that under the EU constitution the UK has a right to leave.  The EU doesn't get to dictate the arrangements or timing of the Brexit referendum or whether it needs to be a referendum rather than a vote in Parliament or to refuse permission.

MG - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

>  We could build a wall. Might drown out the very loud whining noise. 

This is where "walls" lead, not that you'd care.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/15/politics/dhs-family-separation-numbers/index.html

 

RomTheBear on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> The UK is not the US or China. In a borderless, increasingly virtual world, nation states are a thing of the 1990s. The UK is utterly dysfunctional, elites have lost touch with the voters, economically and financially it is a bomb waiting to go off. The far right hasn’t gone away with the EU referendum. You guys live in some fantasy world if you think the UK can hack it alone. Or that the UK is heading anywhere but for a break up. 

Fixed that for you.

r0x0r.wolfo - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

What makes Scotland geographical position better than Ireland? I'm guessing not the weather... oil?

tom_in_edinburgh - on 16 Jun 2018
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> What makes Scotland geographical position better than Ireland? I'm guessing not the weather... oil?

Scotland is better placed to trade with the EU and the rest of the UK.   You can sail straight across the North Sea to Rotterdam from a port on the east coast of Scotland whereas for Ireland the UK is in the way so you either end up with a longer journey or two ferries.

One of the things I thing Scotland should do after independence is look at the possibility of building a bridge or tunnel between Scotland and Ireland.

 

john arran - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I can't help thinking that 2018 with all its problems looks better than 1983. It certainly looks better than 1977 when I started voting.

And I can't help noticing that this period of national improvement you're talking of coincides almost exactly with the 40 years of our EU membersip. Coincidence?

summo on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> My wife is German and I go to Germany a fair bit.  They don't seem overly worried about the Euro and economically it doesn't seem to be doing them much harm.  

That is because when the euro kicked off it was effectively pegged at the Deutsche mark rate, nearly everyone else's currency was devalued and Germany had an immediate and long lasting market advantage. Ask a southern European the same question. 

 

summo on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to john arran:

> And I can't help noticing that this period of national improvement you're talking of coincides almost exactly with the 40 years of our EU membersip. Coincidence?

Correlation is not causation. Or what about post war modernisation.. other countries outside Europe have the same improvements. Canada, nz etc..  or perhaps it is the weakening of unions that were holding back many aspects in their 1950/60s mentality.  If the eu was responsible then the early adopters of the eec, emu etc  would be in better shape than the slightly later arrivals like the UK, sweden, Norway, Finland, denmark etc.. but these countries aren't exactly in bad shape and certainly no worse than the Benelux group. 

Post edited at 06:37
rogerwebb - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to john arran:

> And I can't help noticing that this period of national improvement you're talking of coincides almost exactly with the 40 years of our EU membersip. Coincidence?

In this case yes as it refers to the periods that 'elsewhere' and I have been voting for. You can take it back further if you like. Are we better off than we were in 1960, 1930, 1900?

 

 

Wingeing Old Git - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

>  If Scotland did go with the Euro I'm pretty sure that over a ten or twenty year window we would do better than sticking with the pound.

I would doubt whether an independent Scotland would be allowed to join the Euro, at least not for quite a few years until the deficit was reduced. I am basing this argument on the figures in the Growth Commission report.

 

alastairmac1 - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

There's obviously a spectrum of sincerely held and well argued views on this thread with reference to the desirability or otherwise of Scottish independence . I'm sure that won't change as events unfold in Scotland. But I hope there might be a general recognition that the current government are riding roughshod over the Scotland Act which promised to reassert in law the primacy of the Scottish Parliament on all devolved matters. Three out of four Scottish voters supported the return of the Scottish Parliament almost 20 years ago. And supported staying in the UK on the basis of those promises made during the referendum campaign. Including an extension of meaningful home rule. The current government view now seems to be that Westminster can overrule Holyrood and discard the Sewel Convention (and the idea that the UK is a union of nations) whenever it suits them. Ultimately they want to dismantle the devolution settlement and restore unitary rule from Westminster. That disregard for Scottish voters sets a worrying precedent for democracy, not just in Scotland, but for the rest of the UK as well.

Post edited at 09:31
john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

Clever but wrong in all aspects

j

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

How many souls have perished at sea making for a borderless Europe. 

rogerwebb - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

Whilst I share your distaste at the way the present uk government presents itself I think the current clash is as much the fault of the Scottish Government. It's refusal to acknowledge that these are exceptional circumstances (in relation to the Sewell convention) and its failure to compromise at all even for a prescribed period (7 years) is as much to blame for this dispute as the actions of the UK government. 

There is also a tendency to forget that the vast majority of repatriated powers are going direct to the devolved governments  

Whether or not the current uk government wishes to restore unitary rule is open to question but in any event they cannot in terms of S63A of the Scotland Act without first holding a referendum in Scotland.

 

 

Dr.S at work - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

Is the (disaster) that is Brexit not a rather unusual situation that involves massive re-arrangement of the structures of governance when it may be more practical to do as the UK Gov plans to do - temporarily manage some devolved issues centrally - and then return them to their appropriate layer of management once the EU is exited? 

I appreciate that it can be seen as the thin end of the wedge mind!

Post edited at 10:02
alastairmac1 - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

Maybe I'm just too cynical, but does anybody really believe that after seven years of Westminster "overseeing" our parliament, they'll hand powers back to Scotland willingly? I think not. And I do think the behaviour of Westminster has made it almost impossible for politicians in Scotland to demonstrate any kind trust or compromise. I'm afraid the mindset of the current government is not based on working in partnership with Scotland but on "putting Scotland and Scottish voters back in their place". When dyed in the wool Unionists like Murray Foote publicly convert to the cause of independence it's a sign of quite how far we are down the road on constitutional crisis.

BnB - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to summo:

> That is because when the euro kicked off it was effectively pegged at the Deutsche mark rate, nearly everyone else's currency was devalued and Germany had an immediate and long lasting market advantage. Ask a southern European the same question. 

That’s not how i understand it. The prevailing argument goes that the creation of the Euro was a mechanism for preventing  Germany’s currency from rising relative to its partners in the Euro, and indeed the wider world. The effect has been to boost Germany’s exports and provide the benefit (if you see it that way) of high end German products to your beloved Southern European basket case economies whose currency is buoyed by the strength of the German economy.

Whenever markets are assailed by fear, investors will flock to safe haven currencies like the yen, dollar or Swiss franc, and, before the creation of the Euro, the Deutschmark. The effect is to raise their values and the international price of their exports. Now, flights to safety have few deleterious effects on the price of German products, just as the success of its economy is no longer a constant threat to the appeal of its exports.

Post edited at 10:21
rogerwebb - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

I think you are too cynical! Remember Westminster handed considerable powers to the Scottish Parliament in the Scotland Act 1998 and again in 2016. 

Equally the mindset of the current Scottish Government is not to trust or compromise but to always act in the furtherance of independence. In general that means seek confrontation with the UK government rather than agreement and then cry foul. The problem with that approach is that when there is a genuine point (like the 15 minute debate) it is lost in the posturing.

In this issue the Scottish Government is seeking a constitutional crisis not trying to avoid one. Is that really in our interests? 

 

 

Dr.S at work - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

Seems to be good enough for the Welsh assembly, and the Tories are weak actors in that nation as well. 

I would be delighted to see Brexit scuppered, but I think that the SNP approach is more about seeking confrontation with Westminster in a fight it knows it won’t win to fuel separatists sentiment - perfectly reasonable for them to take this tactic of course!

alastairmac1 - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

Don't forget that it's not just the current Scottish government that takes the position that consent must be given by Holyrood for any and all of the measures contained in the Withdrawal Bill. Every party in the Scottish parliament bar the Tories back this position. SNP, Labour, Greens and Lib Dems. But I don't disagree that a growing number of people in Scotland now feel that we're reaching the point where we need to confront an increasingly undemocratic right wing government that has no mandate in Scotland.....before it's too late. And in my opinion a constitutional focus for that may not be such a bad thing.

rogerwebb - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

No argument from me concerning the vote in May but since then compromises appear to have been proposed and rejected without further reference to the Scottish Parliament.

This is an issue that could and should have been resolved. The Welsh managed to find a compromise that worked for them. I believe that there is a workable compromise for Scotland but it will take both parties working in good faith and at present I doubt the good faith of the Scottish government as much or more than the UK government. 

As for mandate we had a vote in 2014 to be part of the United Kingdom, as a result the United Kingdom government has a mandate here . Whether or not you or I like that government it is a legitimate one. 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> In this case yes as it refers to the periods that 'elsewhere' and I have been voting for. You can take it back further if you like. Are we better off than we were in 1960, 1930, 1900?

Of course we are but it has nothing to do with the competence of the Westminster government.  The actual question should be is the UK making progress as fast as other countries.  I don't think we are. In the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s you could argue the UK was leading on a lot of issues.   Since the end of the second world war many countries have modernised much faster than the UK.   We don't have proportional representation, we still have the monarchy and the house of lords, we don't have a proper federal system, we don't have a constitutional court and if we leave the EU a lot of the structure which has been making our own constitutional failings less important will be gone. 

If we were still leading we wouldn't just be catching up with European countries like Germany  we would be thinking about how to use technology to restructure the whole political process and make it more efficient and effective.  However, the system we have is very useful to the Tories and Labour and neither have a motivation to change it.

RomTheBear on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to BnB:

> That’s not how i understand it. The prevailing argument goes that the creation of the Euro was a mechanism for preventing  Germany’s currency from rising relative to its partners in the Euro, and indeed the wider world. The effect has been to boost Germany’s exports and provide the benefit (if you see it that way) of high end German products to your beloved Southern European basket case economies whose currency is buoyed by the strength of the German economy.

Unfortunately, this is a folk myth based on an outdated (Victorian ?) understanding of trade, and ignorance of both the quantitative and historical evidence.

1) Trade in the 21st century is dominated by integrated global value chains, which means that exports are made of many imported inputs, which means that, in turn, the strength of a currency actually doesn't make that much difference. The UK is probably the perfect "live" demonstration here: despite a large, persistent fall in trade-weighted GBP, the boost to competitiveness was only very short-lived, as eventually, the rising cost of imports had to be passed through.

2) Trade balance doesn't necessarily reflect export competitiveness. Most of a country trade balance is in fact determined by its internal consumption and investment decisions, not export competitiveness or currency. German demography, alone, explains almost a third of its surplus. Their low level of public spending explains another third. Adjusted for these factors, their trade surplus is actually modest.

3) Germany actually pursued a policy of strong currency post-war. Indeed their objective was to boost their industries through increased productivity and innovation rather than currency devaluation. This proved to be a better strategy than the cycle devaluation and hyperinflation the southern Europeans countries were in. 

Post edited at 12:32
RomTheBear on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> As for mandate we had a vote in 2014 to be part of the United Kingdom, as a result the United Kingdom government has a mandate here . Whether or not you or I like that government it is a legitimate one. 

The vote in 2014 was a vote to stay in the UK, not a vote to undo or frustrate the devolution arrangements, on the contrary. 
The core of the issue is that the UK has no proper constitution, the Scottish parliament could be terminated with a simple majority vote in the commons. As long as this is the case the argument for independence will go on.
If there was a proper constitutional revolution in the UK, that brought about both federalism and human rights guarantees, that would make staying in the UK a safer bet. Unfortunately, I don't see any on the horizon.

Post edited at 12:45
alastairmac1 - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

Sorry Roger. I disagree. I don't think it's that black and white. The current minority Westminster government has been overwhelmingly rejected by Scottish voters. As have their policies. The democratically elected Scottish government and parliament are being stripped of powers without their consent and without the consent of Scottish voters. On the basis of a Brexit they actively opposed. The referendum in 2014 provides no justification for that. It was held on the basis on keeping Scotland in Europe, giving the Scottish Parliament more powers and effectively  "home rule" within the UK. The opposite has or is happening. All the promises have been casually discarded. To expect Scotland to passively accept "direct rule" from Westminster for the next seven years is I hope unrealistic. To do so would surrender the future of Scotland to a parliament in Westminster that we've learned not to trust. And to politicians that we didn't vote for.  

tom_in_edinburgh - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> In this issue the Scottish Government is seeking a constitutional crisis not trying to avoid one. Is that really in our interests? 

It's the Tories that are trying to seize powers which were given to the Scottish Parliament.   That is what is creating the constitutional crisis.  Wales has never had the same degree of devolution as Scotland and never really wanted it.

The reason they want the powers is because if they get their way on Brexit they will try to move the UK from the EU to the US sphere of influence.   To do that they will need the powers to sign up to a trade deal which has huge consequences.   They will need to allow US agricultural products whether they are GM or washed in chlorine or whatever free access to our market.  They will need to open the NHS to competition from US health care companies.   To get deals with China, India, Australia and African countries they'll need to make concessions as well.   Their free-trade wonderland can't be done without government by dictat because devolved governments or parliament carrying out their normal duties would never allow half of what these other countries will try and get written into legally enforceable trade agreements.  So they need Henry VIII powers and to neuter the devolved government in Scotland.   

The fact that this is to do with Brexit isn't a reason to give them a free pass to avoid a constitutional crisis its a reason to fight them twice as hard.  Not just the Scottish Government but the whole remain campaign should stop playing nice and be completely confrontational until they give up on hard Brexit entirely and either stay in the EU or move sideways into the EEA.

RomTheBear on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Exactly that. The irony is that this massive shift of power to the executive is probably going to be as bad for the English as it will be for the Scots. 

 

Post edited at 12:54
john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

It really does look like Theresa May is presiding over a massive shift of power to the executive. So much power to a united executive. Her cabinet is as divided as the country. It reflects the mood of the country. Scotland is nothing more than a side show. With a very small but noisy audience. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

I really doubt that someone as simple as you could understand. 

rogerwebb - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Why is the improvement nothing to do with the competence of the Westminster government?

I would not design a system as we have but the difference between the UK and other major European countries is that all that progress has occurred without revolution. 

As to written constitutions they are a double edged sword as the Catalan referendum demonstrated. 

The only point you make that I unequivocally agree with is the need for proportional representation.

RomTheBear on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> It really does look like Theresa May is presiding over a massive shift of power to the executive. So much power to a united executive. Her cabinet is as divided as the country. It reflects the mood of the country. Scotland is nothing more than a side show. With a very small but noisy audience. 

You're exemplifying the issue. Scotland is considering a sideshow in Westminster and essentially they can just ignore it and do what they want. Obviously many Scots don't see it that way.
There might be a willingness in England to turn towards a more authoritarian form of government, but I don't think that's the case in Scotland.

rogerwebb - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

(and to Rom)

The 2014 vote was a vote to stay in the UK. It was not qualified by any other conditions.

There is no plan to impose 'direct rule from Westminster'. There is a plan to retain some powers that were exercised by the EU in Westminster for a limited period. You may may or may not agree with that but it cannot be described as 'direct rule'

(I think that kind of hyperbole alienates as many people as it attracts)

The Scottish Parliament cannot be abolished by an act of the UK Parliament without first having a referendum in Scotland under Section 63A of the Scotland Act 1998.

In theory if they thought they would lose such a referendum they could repeal S63 first but in reality  if you consider the conditions that would pertain if that was the case it is a none starter. It would be the quickest way to a disorderly and perhaps violent break up of the UK I can imagine. We would probably be on the same side of the barricades. 

And Rom I completely agree that in the absence of EU membership we should be going all out for the EEA.

In the same way the Scottish referendum wasn't qualified by any conditions the EU one wasn't. 

We voted to leave the EU, fine I disagree but accept it, but I didn't see anything on the ballot paper about not joining the EEA. 

Going to London on Saturday ? 

alastairmac1 - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb: I'm not I'm afraid. But if you're going that's great. I hope there's a massive turnout.

 

RomTheBear on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> (and to Rom)

> The 2014 vote was a vote to stay in the UK. It was not qualified by any other conditions.

> There is no plan to impose 'direct rule from Westminster'. There is a plan to retain some powers that were exercised by the EU in Westminster for a limited period. You may may or may not agree with that but it cannot be described as 'direct rule'

I've not qualified it as direct rule, you are making things up.

I simply observed that significant devolved power will be exercised by the UK government. If you believe this is temporary, I think it is really naive.

With the powers the Scottish parliament currently has, once the UK leaves the EU, the Scottish parliament would have the power to seriously disrupt the integrity of the UK internal market, by diverging on policy that are currently EU policies. They could block and/or shape future trade deals. That would give the Scottish government an incredible leverage on the UK government. Do you really think they'll let this happen just out of respect for the Scotland Act ? I don't believe it one second.

> (I think that kind of hyperbole alienates as many people as it attracts)

> The Scottish Parliament cannot be abolished by an act of the UK Parliament without first having a referendum in Scotland under Section 63A of the Scotland Act 1998.

Problem is, this is compeltely worthless given that, as pointed out, that this is an act of parliament that can be repealed and amended with a simple majority vote.

> In theory if they thought they would lose such a referendum they could repeal S63 first but in reality  if you consider the conditions that would pertain if that was the case it is a none starter. It would be the quickest way to a disorderly and perhaps violent break up of the UK I can imagine. We would probably be on the same side of the barricades. 

Of course, but what they can do is find all sorts of excuses to undo and frustrate the devolution settlement little by little, step by step, until the Scottish parliament is just an expensive talking shop with no real power. Which is exactly how it is seen by a large faction of tory MPs.
 

rogerwebb - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I've not qualified it as direct rule, you are making things up.

I never said that you did. My reply was to alistairmac1 and you. He did you didn't. 

 

> I simply observed that significant devolved power will be exercised by the UK government. If you believe this is temporary, I think it is really naive.

Well I have to disagree with you as the 1998 and 2016 acts suggest otherwise. 

> With the powers the Scottish parliament currently has, once the UK leaves the EU, the Scottish parliament would have the power to seriously disrupt the integrity of the UK internal market, by diverging on policy that are currently EU policies. They could block and/or shape future trade deals. That would give the Scottish government an incredible leverage on the UK government. Do you really think they'll let this happen just out of respect for the Scotland Act ? I don't believe it one second.

Hence the need for internal frameworks 

> Problem is, this is compeltely worthless given that, as pointed out, that this is an act of parliament that can be repealed and amended with a simple majority vote.

Section 63A is far from completely worthless  Consider the politics if a UK government was so frightened of losing a S63A referendum it decided to repeal S63A.

> Of course, but what they can do is find all sorts of excuses to undo and frustrate the devolution settlement little by little, step by step, until the Scottish parliament is just an expensive talking shop with no real power. Which is exactly how it is seen by a large faction of tory MPs.

Why would they want to do that? The trajectory of power transfer including within the withdrawal bill is towards not away from the devolved administrations. 

 

Post edited at 17:32
tom_in_edinburgh - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> With the powers the Scottish parliament currently has, once the UK leaves the EU, the Scottish parliament would have the power to seriously disrupt the integrity of the UK internal market, by diverging on policy that are currently EU policies. They could block and/or shape future trade deals. That would give the Scottish government an incredible leverage on the UK government. Do you really think they'll let this happen just out of respect for the Scotland Act ? I don't believe it one second.

Yes, this is about positioning for the second and larger fight that will come if Brexit happens.  The Brexiting Tories are going to want to make trade deals that break the UK out of the EU sphere of influence and into the US sphere of influence and they are going to want to do it as quickly as possible to lock in the transition away from the EU in binding treaties that can't easily be reversed. 

The demands from the US in a trade negotiation will give the Tories the "we have no choice" pretext to do what they want to do anyway i.e. turn the UK into a US style economy with the state security net replaced by financial services (provided by their mates in the city) and weaker regulation on employment, environment and food.  Rather than the EU court binding the UK to moderately socialist policies we'll be subject to whatever US-influenced court enforces NAFTA binding the UK to free-market policies.  An added benefit is that it will block future Labour governments from pursuing their own socialist dream world.

 

Post edited at 18:07
neilh - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

 The trade deals will be a recognition of the growing economic prowess of Asia. 

USA/ Uk trade is pretty equal. 

 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

There’s a trend also evidenced in the Industrial Strategy towards ‘place-based’ measures arrived at by key local/regional institutions and actors. So the centralising argument is too simplistic. The Scottish and Welsh governments do not have a great record when it comes to innovation and growth, rather their motivation seems inward looking and atavistic. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Weaker environmental legislation? Like the VW emissions scandal? No prosecutions. It US much more powerful environmental agencies to bring the scandal to light. Always an assumption here that US is bad and EU good. Total bollocks. Parts of US, California in particular, leading the world in de-carbonising economy. 

MG - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

What planet do you live on? The US has just pulled out of the Paris agreement, has a climate denier as president and another leading its environment agency and is massively expanding fossil fuel production. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

Where is the massive shift in power to the executive? Fantasy stuff. It’s the fact that the executive arm of government is weak that is allowing noisy minorities in Scotland and Ireland/N Ireland to have influence and impact beyond their usual means. Personally, I’d favour Scottish independence but the jocks don’t have the cajones to even vote for it. More’s the pity as their whining is even more pathetic than the re-moaners. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

A group of Scottish voters who don’t like U.K. policies can’t absent themselves from laws passed by a democratically elected government. Scotland did not vote for independence - more is the pity - so, like the remainers who didn’t get the result they wanted, they should at least have the good grace to accept that U.K. government or Queen in Parliament is sovereign. Until you leave the Union you are bound by its laws. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Let them walk all the way home! 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

You’re doing a good job at concocting all sorts of imaginary cock ups. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Shoeing? Is that a form of booting out? 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Love the way you guys characterise those with whom you disagree. Loons frothing at the mouth. Most of what comes out of yours emerges from an orifice lower down the anatomy. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Have you tried Senakot. Usually works. Lots of folk on here seem to use it, judging by all the faecal matter flying around.

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

Nice one Eric. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

Labour and Tories don’t take turns. They are voted in or out. As for not deciding important matters - you’re probably right, most of these are made in Brussels. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

You can’t play with the laws of thermodynamics. That’s why they are called laws. The second law, on entropy, seems most apt. 

john yates - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

Conflate Trump with US if you like. In 2016 US investment and build of renewables second only to China. EU bumped into fourth place by India. How much climate data and research in world is led by US scientists. I live on same planet as you. But the VW scandal has killed more EU citizens thus far than climate change. And EU did nowt about it. 

Smelly Fox - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

Crikey! I hope I never meet you in real life... lol!

krikoman - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> You’re doing a good job at concocting all sorts of imaginary cock ups. 


You'll have to help me out a bit, I don't know which post you're replying to here.

krikoman - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Have you tried Senakot. Usually works. Lots of folk on here seem to use it, judging by all the faecal matter flying around.

You'll have to help me out a bit, I don't know which post you're replying to here.

krikoman - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Shoeing? Is that a form of booting out? 

You'll have to help me out a bit, I don't know which post you're replying to here.

Oh! I get it now, you're having a go at my spelling, well done, you're right I'm thick as pigs shit, and I shouoldn't be allowed to post anything.

I do apologise, and bow before your eloquence and superior knowledge.

I will serve penance by beating myself (not off) with birch twigs.

Post edited at 22:50
RomTheBear on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I never said that you did. My reply was to alistairmac1 and you. He did you didn't. 

> Well I have to disagree with you as the 1998 and 2016 acts suggest otherwise. 

I suggest you to read them again. They allow for Westminster to legislate on devolved areas. And this is exactly what is happening.

That makes a joke of the "devolution" settlement.

 

 

Alasdair Fulton - on 17 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

VW emissions scandal, RBS banking scandal, BP Deepwater Horizon. The US loves to flex muscle and slap exorbitant fines on foreign companies when they can.

HSBC funding organised crime? Hmm...let's let that one slide. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs....no...it was RBS that was the bad guy!

Yes, some states have better regulations that we do, but they're hardly to be held as a beacon of light showing the path to environmental nirvana!

Post edited at 23:39
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> You'll have to help me out a bit, I don't know which post you're replying to here.

> Oh! I get it now, you're having a go at my spelling, well done, you're right I'm thick as pigs shit, and I shouoldn't be allowed to post anything.

>

if he's picking fault with your spelling, that would be ironic, given that he accused Scots, somewhat bizarrely, of not having the drawers to vote for independence....

Personally, I’d favour Scottish independence but the jocks don’t have the cajones to even vote for it.

maybe he meant we don't have sufficient  numbers of Peruvian percussion instruments, which is probably true, but just as unfathomable.

or maybe he's just not as clever with his borrowed Spanish expressions as he thinks. 

if so he probably should give ad homs based on other people's spelling a miss.

 

 

 

 

Post edited at 01:26
john yates - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Fair cop. Cojones! Shoe and shoo was a poor attempt at a Dad joke. I reply on phone and it’s full of literals. So agree, a case of kettles and pots. Forgive me. Having said that, this site is  just such a miserable place. Full of people who think the world is going to end when we leave the EU, the Americans are the bad guys and the EU is pure heaven, Corbyn is the new Messiah, the NHS is a being wrecked by privatisation, the English are nasty to the Scotch (sorry couldn’t resist). See you in down the trail. 

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

In what way do they make a joke of the devolution settlement?

It is a devolution settlement not an independence settlement.

 

RomTheBear on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> In what way do they make a joke of the devolution settlement?

> It is a devolution settlement not an independence settlement.

It's hardly a "devolution" settlement if the central government can override it as will.

The whole point of devolution is to devolve powers, if they are, in effect, exercised by the U.K. government whenever it suits them, what is the point ?

Post edited at 07:39
rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

Devolution, to delegate. 

The point is to delegate power. The Scottish Government exercises power on behalf of the UK government.  The Scottish government's status is enshrined in UK law and it requires a referendum of the Scottish people to remove it.

In exceptional circumstances, by convention, the UK government may exercise powers normally exercised by the Scottish government.

That does not make a joke of devolution. 

 

Wingeing Old Git - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to alastairmac1:

> Ultimately they want to dismantle the devolution settlement and restore unitary rule from Westminster. 

You may be correct but I genuinely don't believe this. We could argue for ever about this so I think I'll just bow out.

neilh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to MG:

And there is the paradox. The USA is still expected to beat its carbons emissions targets......

most Americans get the issue.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Devolution, to delegate. 

> The point is to delegate power. The Scottish Government exercises power on behalf of the UK government.  The Scottish government's status is enshrined in UK law and it requires a referendum of the Scottish people to remove it.

To make it real it needs to be beyond the power of Westminster to remove.  It needs to be written into a constitution which takes measures beyond a vote of the Westminster parliament to change and is enforced by a constitutional court.    There needs to be a second house of parliament representing the regional governments which has the power to veto legislation to create a balance between central and regional government.   That would be a true federal system, what we have now is a typical British hodge-podge with only some regions having devolved governments, different devolved governments having different powers and Westminster able to do whatever it likes to change the rules.

> In exceptional circumstances, by convention, the UK government may exercise powers normally exercised by the Scottish government.

Which means when push comes to shove the only thing that can stop the Tories in Westminster doing whatever they like is Independence.  The sort of things they will likely do in the course of negotiating a trade deal with the US are not small changes and those powers will never come back in a useful way.   Once the UK signs up to a trade deal with the US which specifies US health care companies must be allowed to compete to supply services in the UK market 'returning' power over health to Scotland won't bring back the NHS it will just be power to administer the new system.

It's interesting that although the Brexiters shout about taking back control what they actually will do is to give control away.   The EU has meant many UK policies have been bound by a moderately left of centre EU policy and were beyond the control of  Tory UK governments.  What they want is to bind UK policies to right wing, free market policies like those in the US through trade deals and take them out of the control of future Labour governments and the devolved governments.

 

jkarran - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to neilh:

> And there is the paradox. The USA is still expected to beat its carbons emissions targets...... most Americans get the issue.

Or the combination of an economically driven switch to fracked-gas, the exclusion of leaked methane from the emissions totals and the offshoring of heavy industry conspire to deliver change with or without public understanding and support?

jk

thomasadixon - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

We don't want a federal system, that's why we're not getting one.  What you've got is regional government and there was never any agreement to give anything more.

You guys had the option to leave, you chose not to take it and despite your rhetoric the polls show that Scots still don't want to leave, with things as they are.  Unless you leave you've got to accept that you're part of another country and are subject to national decisions.  Scotland doesn't get a veto over UK policy, and nor should it.

The SNP will, as part of their policy to create division between Scotland and the rest of the UK, keep saying that "Scotland" is being ignored when the UK makes decisions the SNP doesn't like, of course.  Just like Plaid complain that the UK makes decisions without listening to the "Welsh", ie Plaid.

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Devolution is real, else what exactly is the Scottish Government doing?

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Devolution is real, else what exactly is the Scottish Government doing?

Making the best of the limited powers it has and trying to gradually improve things.

summo on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Making the best of the limited powers it has and trying to gradually improve things.

With the exception of NI Scotland gets more money per capita than the rest of the UK and because of its many remote constituencies has more MPs per capita in Westminster than the rest of UK. So it has the cash and over representation. I just don't get what the constant bleating is about, it is not the 1100s or 1700 and whatever anymore.. it's 2018 and Scotland has a much better deal than pretty much anywhere else.

neilh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

So why has the SNP vote in effect maxed out? Why are the Tories regaining votes, amongst other things.Just maybe the SNP has had its day.

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Making the best of the limited powers it has and trying to gradually improve things.

Which indicates that the devolution settlement is very real and effective. 

pasbury on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Love the way you guys characterise those with whom you disagree. Loons frothing at the mouth. Most of what comes out of yours emerges from an orifice lower down the anatomy. 


Oh the irony.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to summo:

> With the exception of NI Scotland gets more money per capita than the rest of the UK and because of its many remote constituencies has more MPs per capita in Westminster than the rest of UK. So it has the cash and over representation. I just don't get what the constant bleating is about, it is not the 1100s or 1700 and whatever anymore.. it's 2018 and Scotland has a much better deal than pretty much anywhere else.

If Scotland has a better deal it is because the Scottish government is more competent than the Westminster government.   The electoral system in Scotland is superior to the one for Westminster elections, the procedures in the Scottish parliament are more modern and the SNP is a more moderate and generally pragmatic party than either the Tories or Labour.  That is a reason to give more power to the Scottish Parliament.   One of the reasons the Tories want to get the Scottish Government under tighter control is because on things like the NHS and higher education it is making them look stupid.

Scotland is not over represented at Westminster: it is completely under represented because there is ongoing collusion between the Tories and Labour to force a two-party system at the UK level by refusing to get involved in alliances or coalitions with other parties.    Labour and the Tories want people to believe that there is no point in voting for anyone else in UK elections.   Right now UK politics is effectively the internal politics of the Tory party.   Nobody else has influence because Corbyn refuses to do his job and build an alliance which can defeat the government on Brexit.

The 'more money per capita' argument is total bullsh*t.    The parts of government spending that are measured are small compared to the influence of government policies on economic development.  When government puts the main law courts, the central bank and all the main decision makers for government departments in London and spends huge amounts of money on transport infrastructure for London and on projects like the London Olympics the effect is to concentrate private sector economic development around London and this is far more significant than measurable state spending on things like benefits.  

RomTheBear on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Devolution, to delegate. 

> The point is to delegate power. The Scottish Government exercises power on behalf of the UK government.  The Scottish government's status is enshrined in UK law and it requires a referendum of the Scottish people to remove it.

> In exceptional circumstances, by convention, the UK government may exercise powers normally exercised by the Scottish government.

> That does not make a joke of devolution. 

As you pointed out, the U.K. government does not "normally" legislate on devolved areas for Scotland. It is that underlying understanding that will be irreversibly shattered. The whole point of devolution is that some powers are transferred. if it becomes clears that these powers can be taken away whenever it suits the U.K. government, then yes, it makes a joke of devolution.

summo on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> If Scotland has a better deal it is because the Scottish government is more competent than the Westminster 

There was me thinking Scottish comedians saved their best material for the fringe.

> The 'more money per capita' argument is total bullsh*t.    

I presume you have no objections then to scraping the Barnet formula and having the same funding as say Yorkshire, Cumbria or Northumberland..?  

RomTheBear on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Which indicates that the devolution settlement is very real and effective. 

And we would like to keep it that way.

neilh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

LOL . Just remind me of the areas that NS identified where they need to improve. Education being one of them.

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> As you pointed out, the U.K. government does not "normally" legislate on devolved areas for Scotland. It is that underlying understanding that will be irreversibly shattered. The whole point of devolution is that some powers are transferred. if it becomes clears that these powers can be taken away whenever it suits the U.K. government, then yes, it makes a joke of devolution.

How on earth does legislating in the abnormal circumstances of brexit irreversibly shatter the understanding that the Uk government does not normally legislate in devolved areas?

Or are you suggesting that the circumstances of brexit are somehow 'normal'? 

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> And we would like to keep it that way.

Absolutely.

RomTheBear on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> How on earth does legislating in the abnormal circumstances of brexit irreversibly shatter the understanding that the Uk government does not normally legislate in devolved areas?

> Or are you suggesting that the circumstances of brexit are somehow 'normal'? 

Given that Brexit will be permanent, this is be the new "normal", whatever is decided that impacts devolved areas will be permanent.

unless you are suggesting that Westminster would allow the Scottish government to undo what Westminster has done once Brexit is complete, which of course is extremely naive, and would be really stupid, and in any case, this whole process will take decades.

 

john yates - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Scottish independence now so we don’t have to listen to this drivel any more. A price worth paying. Did you hear the English when the top three cabinet roles were all Scottish. Get over it and get on with proving Scotland isn’t heading fast down a nationalist dead end

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Given that Brexit will be permanent, this is be the new "normal", whatever is decided that impacts devolved areas will be permanent.

Well yes, the post brexit framework will be the normal state of affairs, and within that framework devolution continues.

Seems reasonable to me. I understand that you might wish it otherwise but we have chosen to remain in the UK and the UK has chosen to leave the EU. Those frameworks that were set up in Brussels and covered the whole of the EU will need to be replaced by ones that cover the UK. 

If at a later date Scotland becomes independent it would then be reasonable to replace those frameworks with Scotland only ones. 

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Or are you suggesting that the circumstances of brexit are somehow 'normal'? 

None of the really important decisions which set the course of things for ten or twenty years are 'normal'.   The Scottish Government can work patiently for years to build up the NHS only to have Westminster kick the table over and impose privatisation as a side effect of a trade deal.  If it is lucky the Scottish Government may then have the power to do the day-to-day administration under the new rules handed back to it.  That isn't devolving power over health.

The Tories have shown themselves to be masters of framing questions and sequencing decisions to manipulate the process to get their own way.   The time to fight them is before Brexit because if Brexit happens and we are in dire need of a trade deal with the US things that seem unacceptable now are going to look unavoidable.

 

RomTheBear on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Well yes, the post brexit framework will be the normal state of affairs, and within that framework devolution continues.

> Seems reasonable to me. I understand that you might wish it otherwise but we have chosen to remain in the UK and the UK has chosen to leave the EU. Those frameworks that were set up in Brussels and covered the whole of the EU will need to be replaced by ones that cover the UK. 

Yes, and that is where the problem is, in the process of replacing the EU framework, areas that are currently devolved should stay devolved.

Take for example fishing. It is currently devolved. As the U.K. negotiated with the EU, the Dutch might say: we'll give you financial services access, and in exchange you give us fishing rights.

What the UK government want to be able to do is say, well, we just ignore that fisheries are devolved, and we can do whatever deal we want regardless of what the Scottish parliament says, even if it's a devolved area.

Well it seems to me that if those devolution agreements can be ignored when they are inconvenient, then it makes it quite obvious that are not worth the paper they are written on. 

Which to me was quite obvious from that start of the Scotland act anyway, not people seemed to assume it would work anyway as MPs would just respect convention. Of course this turned out to be very naive.

> If at a later date Scotland becomes independent it would then be reasonable to replace those frameworks with Scotland only ones. 

Yes, not given that Scotland would need permission to get independence anyway, this is not a realistic lever.

 

 

 

Post edited at 17:25
jkarran - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> And your continued arrogance is the source of what you consider the mess we are in. Are you suggesting people show ks be subjected to some form of psycho-political tests before being qualified to vote?

If I was suggesting that John I would say as much. I didn't and I'm not.

> The cruel fact is the majority voted against your preferred option. You lost but could suck it up.

Could but won't. Democracy is a process, it doesn't start or end with a vote.

> The present ‘chaos’ if that is what it is, should be evidence enough that the EU is inimical to the interests of the people. One thing I might agree on with all the bleating UKC folk is that bad things will happen. But they will happen because the EU is doomed to implode.

Here we agree on a very narrow point, the implosion of the EU probably will be a very bad thing when it occurs. How you think our leaving it insulates us from that or how our possibly hastening it benefits us I don't understand.

jk

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Which other decision since 1999 has been abnormal?

This situation is unique. It involves powers that the UK gave up to the European Union.

 

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Yes, and that is where the problem is, in the process of replacing the EU framework, areas that are currently devolved should stay devolved.

I think better to have a common framework within the free market in which we will be operating.

> Take for example fishing. It is currently devolved. As the U.K. negotiated with the EU, the Dutch might say: we'll give you financial services access, and in exchange you give us fishing rights.

They might, they might not, all of the UK has fishermen all of the UK has financial services

> What the UK government want to be able to do is say, well, we just ignore that fisheries are devolved, and we can do whatever deal we want regardless of what the Scottish parliament says, even if it's a devolved area.

Or produce a common framework for all of the UK

> Well it seems to me that if those devolution agreements can be ignored when they are inconvenient, then it makes it quite obvious that are not worth the paper they are written on. 

But that is not the situation is it?

> Which to me was quite obvious from that start of the Scotland act anyway, not people seemed to assume it would work anyway as MPs would just respect convention. Of course this turned out to be very naïve.

Why, who is not respecting it. If we accept that brexit is abnormal then one might equally argue that the Scottish Government is ignoring the convention.

> Yes, not given that Scotland would need permission to get independence anyway, this is not a realistic lever.

It's not a lever it's a choice. At present we have chosen to be part of the UK. As part of the UK it makes sense that some areas have a common regulatory frame work.

This could and should have been dealt with by compromise that it has not is as much the fault of the Scottish Government as the UK. Neither have covered themselves in glory.

You and I will never agree on this.

RomTheBear on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> But that is not the situation is it?

It is precisely he situation.

> It's not a lever it's a choice. At present we have chosen to be part of the UK. As part of the UK it makes sense that some areas have a common regulatory frame work.

Yes, but in the case in touches area that are devolved, the convention is that the Scottish parliament should give its consent. Breaking this convention every time there are important decisions to take makes it clear that the devolution settlements are in fact not worth the paper they are written on.

As I've said it doesn't surprise me, even though the Scotland Act was sold to the Scottish people as having constitutional value, it was always obvious to me that it had none and Westminster would wipe their arse with it at the first opportunity.  

You may be fine with this situation and that's absolutely fine, but let's not pretend that the situation does not exist.

Post edited at 19:43
tom_in_edinburgh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> This could and should have been dealt with by compromise that it has not is as much the fault of the Scottish Government as the UK. Neither have covered themselves in glory.

What compromise?  The Tories aren't going to negotiate anything substantive because their voters quite enjoy the sight of them asserting Westminster's power over Holyrood and they want to have carte-blanche in future trade negotiations.  Their goal is Henry VIII powers in the control of David Davis et al to trade off any way they please.    

Scotland is quite open to using these powers in a co-ordinated manner with the rest of the UK.  That's just being reasonable and pragmatic.   But there would be red lines such as fishing being used as a bargaining chip or forcing aspects of the NHS in Scotland to be privatised.  

john yates - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to jkarran:

Don’t conflate an individual vote and the obligation that went with it, with democracy. You guys do all you can to discredit the decision of the voters _ they were stupid, gullible, lied to, didn’t understand, need a second vote (you would not, i hazard, have been arguing for second ballot if the vote had narrowly gone your way. Certainly it is possible that a future government might be elected on a re-entry ticket. Until then, let’s get on with turning the verdict into action and not mewling from the sidelines. 

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

The convention is that the Scottish Parliament gives consent in normal circumstances. These are abnormal. 

Given this is the first time this has happened makes it hard to understand your assertion that it is 'broken every time there are important decisions to make' .

The fact that the Scottish Parliament exists despite your assertions that the 'Tories' wish to get rid of it indicates that the devolution settlement is real, effective and 'worth the paper it is written on'. 

Mr Lopez - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Weaker environmental legislation? Like the VW emissions scandal? No prosecutions.

 

Ooops... https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44517753

 

john yates - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

My statement was correct. Good to see some action, if belated. Thousands of premature deaths in London attributed to diesel. Point remains it took US to bring this out in the open. Debra no longer monitors emissions. Left to York and Manchester academics to carry out the work. 

john yates - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to Mr Lopez:

Oh and this is an arrest not a prosecution. No formal charges have been brought that I can see. It’s a fishing exercise. Let’s see what they get. 

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> What compromise?  The Tories aren't going to negotiate anything substantive because their voters quite enjoy the sight of them asserting Westminster's power over Holyrood and they want to have carte-blanche in future trade negotiations.  Their goal is Henry VIII powers in the control of David Davis et al to trade off any way they please.    

Evidence for that? 

> Scotland is quite open to using these powers in a co-ordinated manner with the rest of the UK.  That's just being reasonable and pragmatic.   But there would be red lines such as fishing being used as a bargaining chip or forcing aspects of the NHS in Scotland to be privatised.  

One would hope so. I wouldn't bet on the Scottish Government putting fishing before financial services though anymore than the UK one. 

 

RomTheBear on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> The convention is that the Scottish Parliament gives consent in normal circumstances. These are abnormal. 

What you don't seem to understand is that Brexit is not a temporary thing, it's permanent, it therefore impacts the devolution settlement permanently. You can't say it's exceptional circumstance once it becomes a permanent feature. Do you really believe, that once Brexit is done, and we go back to "normal" circumstances, the UK government will go ask for consent to the Scottish parliament every time it needs to negotiate a trade deal that impacts devolved area ? Really ? I don't believe it one second.

> The fact that the Scottish Parliament exists despite your assertions that the 'Tories' wish to get rid of it indicates that the devolution settlement is real, effective and 'worth the paper it is written on'. 

It's nice to have a parliament and a government but if on all important issues, such as negotiations with other countries that impacts devolved areas, the UK gov effectively decides without seeking consent, then there is absolutely no point, it's just an expensive talking shop. But this is exactly how the Tories, and in fact a good part of the English working class, see the Scottish Parliament : as a shiny plastic toy for the jocks to play with and keep them happy. Don't fool yourself.

Post edited at 21:51
rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> What you don't seem to understand is that Brexit is not a temporary thing, it's permanent, it therefore impact the devolution settlement permanently. You can say it's exceptional circumstance once it becomes a permanent feature.

I think I understand that brexit is permanent. It changes many things and yes one of those things are the structures under which the whole country not just Scotland operates. I think those structures should be UK wide  Clearly you do not . Once those UK structures are in place devolution will work within them rather than the EU structures they replace.

I would prefer that we had remained in the EU but we have not. Something must replace the regulatory structures that will go. 

 

> Do you really believe, that once Brexit is done, and we go back to "normal" circumstances, the UK government will go ask for consent to the Scottish parliament every time it needs to ratify a trade deal that impacts devolved area ? Really ? I don't believe it one second.

Every time? No. Neither did the EU when it negotiated trade deals that impacted on devolved areas. As the EU negotiates on behalf of the whole EU, so the UK must negotiate on behalf of the whole UK. If we don't like that then, as we live in a flexible state that unlike some others allows constituent parts to leave if they wish, we may vote to leave, rather like the UK has voted to leave the EU. Unless and until that happens then as it was reasonable for the EU to negotiate on behalf of all its parts so it is reasonable to allow the UK to do the same.

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> Evidence for that? 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-theresa-may-powers-grab-plans-parliamentary-system-fix-a7935276.html

They've already gone for Henry VIII powers as their preferred way of dealing with leaving the EU.  If they want preferred access to the US market and they need it fast they're going to have to change a lot of regulations from the way they are in the EU to the way they are in the US/NAFTA.  It is a fair bet they'll go for the same approach and use the same arguments 'will of the people', 'frustrating Brexit' and add in 'we've got no choice'.

> One would hope so. I wouldn't bet on the Scottish Government putting fishing before financial services though anymore than the UK one. 

That should be for the Scottish Government to decide.  

 

RomTheBear on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I think I understand that brexit is permanent. It changes many things and yes one of those things are the structures under which the whole country not just Scotland operates. I think those structures should be UK wide  Clearly you do not . Once those UK structures are in place devolution will work within them rather than the EU structures they replace.

Yes, devolved areas that were under EU framework will now be under an UK framework. It's a fundamental change to the nature of Scotland Act.

That such a radical change can be made to the devolution settlement without the consent of the Scottish parliament makes it plain to see that it's not worth much at all.

> I would prefer that we had remained in the EU but we have not. Something must replace the regulatory structures that will go. 

Yep, and they must be replaced with respect to the devolution arrangements, and that means, in theory, obtaining consent from the Scottish parliament if it impacts devolved areas.

> Every time? No. Neither did the EU when it negotiated trade deals that impacted on devolved areas. As the EU negotiates on behalf of the whole EU, so the UK must negotiate on behalf of the whole UK.
> If we don't like that then, as we live in a flexible state that unlike some others allows constituent parts to leave if they wish, we may vote to leave, rather like the UK has voted to leave the EU.

I would agree if that was true, but the reality is that Scotland needs permission from the UK to leave the UK, so let's not pretend that this is a realistic option.

> Unless and until that happens then as it was reasonable for the EU to negotiate on behalf of all its parts so it is reasonable to allow the UK to do the same.

You may think it is reasonable to completely change the nature of the Scotland Act unilaterally. I don't think it is.

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I was wondering what your evidence was for this assertion,

'their voters quite enjoy the sight of them asserting Westminster's power over Holyrood'

Whilst there is a reasonable argument in support of your position as there is for mine I think unsubstantiated allegations about the mindset of people who support the current government or the existence of the UK in general is as unreasonable as typifying independence supporters as anti-English.

 

rogerwebb - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

We are not going to agree here. You think the Scotland Act has been unilaterally changed, I don't. We have probably exhausted the argument. Better we both get on with the rest of life, which for me, if my leg doesn't heal by the weekend means a trip to London to object to brexit (probably pointless but its a while since I've been down)

tom_in_edinburgh - on 18 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I was wondering what your evidence was for this assertion,

> 'their voters quite enjoy the sight of them asserting Westminster's power over Holyrood'

Just read the Torygraph or some of the posts from Brexiters in this thread.  Not all Tory voters but a substantial minority definitely enjoy watching them stick it to the 'jocks'.

I agree, the thread is starting to go round in circles, its time to call it a day.  I'm off hiking tomorrow and away from the screen for a few days anyway

 

RomTheBear on 19 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> We are not going to agree here. You think the Scotland Act has been unilaterally changed, I don't.

You may not agree but it's just a fact. Area under EU framework will go to an U.K. framework, without consent being sought.

 

Post edited at 06:52
RomTheBear on 19 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

The words of n10 spokesman couldn't be clearer today

"But we cannot accept the amendment on meaningful vote agreed in the Lords. Agreeing to amendable motions would allow parliament to direct government on its approach to exiting the EU"

So here we have it, apparently, having parliament directing governement on its approach is unacceptable. 

 

jkarran - on 19 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Don’t conflate an individual vote and the obligation that went with it, with democracy. You guys do all you can to discredit the decision of the voters _ they were stupid, gullible, lied to, didn’t understand, need a second vote (you would not, i hazard, have been arguing for second ballot if the vote had narrowly gone your way.

A second vote on maintaining the status quo wouldn't make much sense though I'm sure as quitter in chief Farage stated when he thought he'd lost had that happened we would indeed be discussing that farce right now.

I wouldn't support a 'second vote' on leaving or remaining except as may possibly happen in the circumstance where the process becomes so significantly delayed, where one temporary emergency deferment rolls over into the next that we're so far out from the original vote there is no certainty whatsoever the act of leaving does still reflect a slim majority of the electorate's will.

I do however want my say on the suitability of the final deal and I want it to be a real choice that ends the uncertainty we've suffered these last few years. I want to be sure the brexit you were sold and your government is securing for us is going to be good for me, for my future, that it consolidates the ties and gains we've made through cooperation and opens up new opportunities beyond. If it is I will happily ratify the decision to leave on those terms. I also want to be damn sure you and all your fellow travellers also still agree it's what you want because if you and they don't then why would we continue? Like it or no democracy is a process we're both going to have to work through toward our goals.

If you doubt there is public support, you fear a ratification referendum might end your dream of leaving then the correct course of actin is to a) lobby your government to pursue a better outcome, one that will win people over and b) sell that outcome to the people when the time comes. The incorrect option is to plough ahead regardless of public opinion for fear your fellow voters may no longer actually support leaving in light of the real consequences and costs. That is not the action of a democrat, it's the act of an autocrat and a coward. If you don't doubt brexit still commands public support what have you got to fear by asking the public to confer legitimacy to the settlement? We're going to live with it for at least the next decade probably two, let's agree we actually want it.

> Certainly it is possible that a future government might be elected on a re-entry ticket. Until then, let’s get on with turning the verdict into action and not mewling from the sidelines. 

Pass, that's not how this works. I'm going to continue my opposition until the process is stopped or I'm won over to the cause by a convincing evidenced argument that there is some point to this and that it is worth the hardship. If that opposition extends to electing a pro-rejoin government in the future then that is an option, it is not the first-choice next option!

You of course are also free to keep trying to stifle opposition as you see fit though I'd prefer you were able convince people of the merit in what we're doing instead.

jk

Post edited at 16:22
john yates - on 19 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

Parliament is the legislature not the executive. What’s new or puzzling about that.

rogerwebb - on 19 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You may not agree but it's just a fact. Area under EU framework will go to an U.K. framework, without consent being sought.

That is a fact. 

That the Scotland Act has been changed is an opinion based on a particular interpretation of that act and associated convention. 

The former we agree on, the latter we do not. 

john arran - on 19 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Parliament is the legislature not the executive. What’s new or puzzling about that.

Nothing new, nothing puzzling. Until such time as the executive tries to assume legislative powers. Then it starts to look suspiciously autocratic.

RomTheBear on 19 Jun 2018
In reply to rogerwebb:

> That is a fact. 

> That the Scotland Act has been changed is an opinion based on a particular interpretation of that act and associated convention. 

No it's not an interpretation, references to the EU framework have to be removed from the Scotland Act and need to be replaced by an UK framework. If that's not a fundamental change I don't know what is.

Post edited at 20:50
Gordon Stainforth - on 19 Jun 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Parliament is the legislature not the executive. What’s new or puzzling about that.

But a government is always answerable to parliament which is executing what it's been given a mandate, through parliament, to do. It can't bypass or detach itself from parliament. The PM is the 'first servant'.

pasbury on 19 Jun 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

Yup, it means you elected guys have no further input.

thomasadixon - on 20 Jun 2018
In reply to pasbury:

No, it means that Parliament don't get to direct what the executive do, because that doesn't allow the executive to do their job.  If Parliament aren't happy with the executive they have the power to replace them (so our MPs still have the final say).  The problem for people like Grieve is that they don't want to replace May, but they do want to restrict her actions.

RomTheBear on 18:24 Wed
In reply to thomasadixon:

> No, it means that Parliament don't get to direct what the executive do, because that doesn't allow the executive to do their job.  If Parliament aren't happy with the executive they have the power to replace them (so our MPs still have the final say).  The problem for people like Grieve is that they don't want to replace May, but they do want to restrict her actions.

Yes, but legislative power should stay with the MPs.

 

 


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