The UK, overall, voted to Leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. The problem for the Government in Westminster is that neither Scotland, nor indeed Northern Ireland, echoed that view, with both voting to Remain. Moreover, Scotland’s most popular political party, and the one currently in power in Holyrood, with a large majority of Westminster MPs, is the SNP, which is both pro-Remain and indeed pro independence.
So it was no surprise when one of the first requests to land on the desk of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson after his election victory last month was from the First Minister of Scotland, wanting another referendum on independence. Nicola Sturgeon has made no secret of her objective: for Scotland to become a completely independent country, and ultimately to rejoin the EU as its own member state.
Bozo’s first tactic in dealing with this potentially serious problem was to do nothing, and this he did for almost four weeks, before today telling Ms Sturgeon where she should put her request. telling her “I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums”. And there was more.
“You and your predecessor made a personal promise that the 2014 independence referendum was a 'once in a generation' vote. The people of Scotland voted decisively on that promise to keep our United Kingdom together, a result which both the Scottish and UK Governments committed to respect in the Edinburgh Agreement … The UK Government will continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise that you made to them”. Which, freely translated, means No.
No account is taken of the 2016 EU referendum result, which as Bozo knows full well is a prime mover behind Ms Sturgeon’s request. So what say she? “Tories are terrified of Scotland’s right to choose - because they know that when given the choice we’ll choose independence. Tories have no positive case for the union - so all they can do is attempt to deny democracy. It will not stand”. The SNP will decide before the end of the month.
And although she has “ruled out holding an unofficial referendum similar to the one in Catalonia two years ago”, the predicament in which she now finds herself is not unlike that facing Catalan leader Carlos Puigdemont at that time. He wanted a referendum on Catalan independence from Spain; the Government in Madrid would not give him one.
So he went ahead anyway. His problem was that the Madrid Government is amenable, and has been in Catalonia and elsewhere in Spain, to giving autonomy to the regions, especially when it comes to local languages. But that same Government is not, and probably never will be, amenable to any move that breaks up the Kingdom of Spain.
Hence Puigdemont is now living in exile in Belgium, fearing arrest should be cross the border from France into Spain. So Nicola Sturgeon has to ask herself one question: does she feel lucky? Lucky enough to call Bozo’s bluff and take the step which many Scots already believe she should take. How would Westminster react to Scottish UDI?
Yes, the 2014 referendum was a “Once in a generation” vote. Until England and Wales decided to leave the EU. The facts have changed, and so Bozo should change his opinion. He won’t do so voluntarily. So now has come Nicola Sturgeon’s Puigdemont moment.
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