Should Scotland Actually Vote Leave

I am still slightly undecided on how I will vote in the up and coming referendum on our membership of the European Union.

Both the Tory Leave and the Tory Remain campaigns have been both uninspiring and stupid at best. From Boris Johnson’s comparing the EU to Hitler in its aims and agenda, to David Cameron predicting World War 3, is it any wonder that many people are either sick of the debate or have completely switched off from it.

The sane part of the Remain Campaign talk about peace and stability, jobs, trade and regulation, farming and the environment and the freedom to move around the EU without borders. The sane part of the Leave Campaign talk about the money we will save in our membership fee, 13 Billion Pounds per year, how we would regain seats at the table of the World Trade Organization etc. For some it’s about sovereignty, for others controlling immigration.

I think there is agreement that the EU has become a bloated system, that there is a great deal of corruption, and that it serves the larger countries most but that Britain’s influence as one of the largest contributors financially is very limited, while the EU shows little interest in actual reform. Some argue that there is also the issue that Britain is in fact not very well liked within the organization and is viewed as a very reluctant member state.

For many other people they see the EU as a barrier to free trade, many see the EU as undemocratic and distant from the voters while others feel that Britain does not have the infrastructure to cope with ever-increasing enlargement as public services are cut and stretched to the limit and more and more EU citizens wish to give Britain a go for a better life.

This leads me on to how Scotland should Vote!

It has been suggested by some people in Scotland, from SNP members, First Minster Nicola Sturgeon, some journalists and YES campaigners, that a UK Leave Vote would be enough to trigger another Scottish Independence Referendum. Many YES voters on social media feel that the end game is more important than our current membership of the EU as part of the UK and that we should vote to leave as a means to an end.

Most politicians in the main parties in Scotland are encouraging voters to vote to Remain, that it is in Scotland’s best interests to be in the EU as part of the UK than out of the EU as part of the UK. They argue that the EU provides Scotland with much-needed protection from the ravishes of an increasingly right-wing and intolerant Conservative Government, and an increasingly right-wing and intolerant narrative from many South of the Border. I have a lot of sympathy with that view to be honest.

I personally don’t think that a Brexit would trigger another independence referendum so those advocating this stance need to be careful and put a little thought into this course of action. While I accept that Scotland may well be the most pro EU part of the UK, I am not so sure that as many agree with this as the polls suggest.

I am still torn in how I will vote, there is a part of me that welcomes the protection that the EU provides, from employment protection to consumer rights and the environment. Very much-needed protection from what I consider to be a morally corrupt Tory Government at Westminster, a Government that is a cancer on this country.

But there is this other part of me that cannot forget how Greece were treated by the EU during their financial meltdown, and how they continue to be treated today. Germany dominated that debate while being the country that were providing many of the loans and issues that caused the Greek financial crisis in the first place, along with Greeces lack of financial regulation, but was that so much different from our own lack of financial regulation.

The other concern I have is ever-increasing enlargement of the EU. I have no doubt that those who come here to the UK in the main add very much to our culture and our economy. However, we have a Government hell-bent on virtually destroying public services via austerity while expecting local authorities across the UK to cope with ever increasing demand with ever reducing resources, that should have us all worried.

So, is the end game of independence and the concerns that I have in relation to the EU enough for me to vote no, or should I look at the benefits and protections that the EU provide, ignoring the many flaws, and vote to remain even though I am committed YES voter and will be in the future. I just don’t know and I suspect many others feel the same.

What do you think? I would love to know as the vote is getting ever closer and it may well be the most important vote for the long-term future of Scotland.

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21 comments

  1. Jim Morris

    The IndyRef2 will only be triggered if Scotland votes Remain while rUK votes Leave. Scotland voting Leave triggers only the consequences of Brexit, which include all European nationals at present with the freedom to live and work here suddenly needing to apply (and pay) for migrant worker visas. London is considering at the moment a level of £35,000 a year as a qualifying salary. Do you personally know any Europeans? Get ready to say goodbye. And as for the Free Trade Organisation – a big fish, or even better a piranha, in a little pond springs to mind.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Jim

      I was thinking the same thing but there are people who believe that it could still trigger a ref2 if the vote is tight but scotland still have a remain vote, say 60 /40. I just don’t think it will trigger one so soon to be honest and we can’t afford to lose 2 referendums back to back for independence. It’s too close to call UK wide I think. I’m still undecided for the reasons I mentioned but probably leaning more towards remain to be honest. Do you really think EU citizens would be asked to leave in the event of a leave vote or do you think it will be an Ireland and a second referendum after more slight changes to the treaty.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. bjsalba

    You ask what others think?

    Well for a starters I am not in agreement that the EU has become a bloated system. That is the meme that the Mainstream Media has been pushing for decades. But is it true? Is it any more or less bloated and corrupt than the UK government? How much do you actually know about how the EU is organized and how big it is? How it works?

    I know from experience that it is not easy to find out about the EU. I have been interested in how the EU works and what is going on there for quite a while. They have a number of websites but they not in an encapsulated form that is easily digestible. I have been in touch several times with a couple of our MEPs (The SNP ones). They are well aware of the situation and have a website and some publications. They have put one out for the referendum.

    It can be found at http://www.scotlandineurope.eu/wee_bleu_book.

    Try to read it before voting, because you are not going to get any detailed information on the Remain side from anywhere else that I can see.

    • grumpyscottishman

      bsjalba

      Some people, many MEPs say the EU is bloated and many others say not enough. Some say the budget is bloated and again others not enough but the eu budget is growing at a time when members states are in various stages of cuts.I don’t think the EU is any more corrupt than the UK so that is a very good point, is there any so called democracy more fixed than our own. I have had a brief look at the bleu book but not read it all yet but I will try to make time. I think both sides have been shocking to be honest and the media even worse, David Cameron would be better just to shut it now as everytime he opens his mouth I am sure more and more people will vote leave.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  3. Alan

    I think of the EU ref(or our participation in it anyway) as IndyRef 1.5. Path only opens if two thirds of Scotland votes to remain and the overall UK result is leave. However, even that may be not enough – if the overall leave result is something tiny like 52% on a ~45% turnout, I expect it will be overturned.

    Project Fear vs Project Fear both are intended to drive the turnout down. Leave, because pro-EU voters are being put off. Remain, because a low turnout is no mandate at all.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Alan

      Very good points, I never considered the impact of a low turn out making a ref result void. I haven’t seen anything on that but it would not surprise me in the least, they did that with the rule in 79 for Scottish home rule. I am still undecided, more remain I will admit, but that could go either way for the reasons I noted in the blog.

      Thanks for taking time to read the blog and comment.

      Bruce

  4. Gary F

    Personally, I’m with Paul Mason on this. The EU is hurtling towards a major schism that will result in it’s destruction so it makes no difference what we vote – it won’t be here for much longer. The Euro project and Schengen have done exactly what they were setup to do by laying waste to the notion of nation state, a precursor to a United States of Europe. I think people are just starting to wake up to this now and do not like what they see.

    Look around Europe, nationalism is rising rapidly and not the nice variety. It isn’t going to end well.

    To be honest, I’m pretty fed-up with the nonsense being spouted about the Social Reforms inherent within the EU. Tell the people of Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy they should look at all these benefits. Tell the people of France currently being hit with labour reforms that the EU and eurozone is there to protect them. The EU is to it’s core a neoliberal economic project. As the project goes on these social reforms will be lost on economic grounds. The proof of this is clearly seen in Greece which is a neoliberal wet dream.

    Free movement between advanced and developing economies is fantastic for the political elite but a disaster for the lower classes who will see their wages stagnating or dropping as there will never be supply shortage for labour.

    Economically, the UK is almost 20% of the whole EU GDP. We also have a large trade deficit with the EU. Anyone who believes that a trade deal will not be forthcoming asap probably believes the “no money left” bullshit perpetuated to justify ideological austerity by the Tory party.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Gary F

      I heard some of what Paul Mason said on QT. I do have a lot of sympathy with your view about a schism breaking across the EU with voters and their choices at recent elections in member states. There is a move towards the more far right and I would class the Tories in the bracket, but it’s more subtle than say Austria but no less harmful to the people. I agree with you about Greece, and the others. Their treatment was pure neo liberal economics when we should have been reaching out to protect the vulnerable the EU made the people more vulnerable and that is something that has stuck with me. I don’t have enough personal knowledge about how trade works to be honest so happy to accept your assessment of any trade agreement. It will be an interesting few weeks leading up to the vote and while I am still undecided there is a part of me that would love to see the smug smile knocked of Cameron’s face and another part of me that would love Scottish votes to keep the UK in becuase the reaction, esp down south, would be very interesting. This is a tougher decision than the Scottish Ref for me.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

      • Gary F

        Bruce

        I am no economic expert but I have a keen interest in Politics and Economics. I get to my economic viewpoint by applying common sense. I don’t care what the IMF, OECD, IFS, ONS, UK Treasury, BoE, etc., because they are all institutions hell bent on the proliferation of the ‘Chicago Boys/Milton Friedman’ school of failed neoliberal economics. Neoliberalism should have died after 2007-08 but the debts racked up by its failure were made public and the show was been allowed to limp on to the next crisis.

        When people with capital are rushing to invest into products offering a negative return on their capital you know the lunatics are running the asylum and the system is failing.

        I don’t want to leave the EU to continue running the same failing neoliberal economics in the UK. As with Scottish Independence I didn’t care what the GERS figures said because I wanted to use independence to change our whole economic model. What would be the point of becoming independent to essentially continue neoliberalism with a new HQ.

        I understand the argument about not leaving the EU because the Tories are in power. I personally despise the Tories, how can anyone vote for a bunch of sociopaths. However, if you had a pest problem with rats and cockroaches you wouldn’t stop removing one of your problems on the basis that you couldn’t remove both of them at exactly the same time.

        Also, the treatment of the southern members of the Eurozone tells me the EU is not at it’s core a socially democratic institution but neoliberal. As globalisation continues neoliberalism demands the social reforms currently valued in the EU will be lost on economic grounds. Sorry I can’t move away from this view.

        So, next month I have the opportunity rid my country of one of the neoliberal institutions I believe to be the root cause of many of the worlds ills at this time. I will take that opportunity and then worry about removing the Tories at the next General Election. That is democracy in action and I fundamentally believe in it – although would appreciate the adoption of more democratic election models!!

        Gary

        • Anonymous

          Gary

          I would agree that the banks etc made a total mess of the world economy and a huge part of that was done by a total lack of regulation and penalties when they about ruined us all and left the tax payer with billions of debt because of them. I would have protected the individual depositors/company accounts and savings but let them fail and the share holders take the hit. Force new banks to form and transfer all the protected accounts to them no matter the disruption this caused, is that not what Iceland did?

          I’m still not sure about the EU vote but I agree they always make the same assumption that an independent Scotland would do things the way they do things now which would not be the case as I believe people would demand change. My YES vote is about democracy mainly, where power lies and where decisions should be made. That for me is Holyrood. I, like you, despise the Tories, the red Tories and the yellow Tories. They really are bastards and they are bringing the UK, and therefor Scotland, to it’s knees. They protect their own, we are under attack every day and it’s about time people woke up and did something about it. I totally agree with you on how the EU treated the Southern Nation member states and that is the main thing that is holding me back from remain, I just don’t really want to be a part of something that just protects the few at the suffering of the many but being left to the whims of the Tories I find really frightening.

          For elections I would like to see PR brought in. I appreciate that would dilute the YES parties to a degree but it would make every vote count, and that is very important, while maybe engaging more people in politics. I would also like to see things like you can’t stand on the list and the constituency, as we see time after time people like Kelly, Marra etc continue to get back to Holyrood after being rejected in the constituency, that is just undemocratic. I would also like to see limited terms, say a maximum of 3 terms no matter who you are. Just some ideas.

          Thanks for taking the time to comment and discuss, I really enjoy that and it is much appreciated.

          Bruce

  5. tris

    I think what the campaign has shown is once again (like the Scottish referendum) we are led by liars.

    The most interesting thing about the “debate” so far is watching one part of the Tory Party goad the other part of the Tory Party into bigger and bigger and ever more ridiculous lies. The one about Turkey is fascinating.

    We were told repeatedly in 2013/14 that if an independent Scotland applied to join the EU, Spain would veto the application.

    According to a government minister, it seems that although Spain would have had that right over Scotland, the UK wouldn’t have that right over Turkey. Odd.

    (In any case, the UK wouldn’t have to use its veto. Greece and Southern Cyprus would see to it long before the UK had woken up.)

    The whole thing seems to be a competition between Boris and Gideon for who is going to lead the UK after it’s over.

    I haven’t a clue what to vote. I want the quickest way out of being governed by this bunch of pathological liars who will say anything, no matter how insultingly ridiculous, to get the keys to Downing Street adn the right to kiss the queen’s ring.

    Negativity is their watchword,rather like the Better Together UKOKs. Why? Well, in the case of the Scottish referendum campaign, because there was nothing to be positive about. UK OK summed it up. The UK’s OK. Nothing more. So, who wanted to live in a place that was just OK? At least the YES campaigned talked about something better.

    But it seems there is nothing much better. We could, of course, have our own Bill of Rights. It Isn’t, though, much of a comfort to know that these rights would be listed by the Tory government that thinks it’s OK to demand that people with Parkinsons go out and get a job, or that a girl born without arms and legs go through the indignity of a yearly check on her disability, lest those recalcitrant limbs suddenly, in her 20s, make an appearance.

    What differences from the ECHR would a Tory government come up with?

    If it’s all the same, I’d prefer a European bill, or a Scottish one.

    Trade? I dunno. You’d have to commit to believing that either the other countries of the EU would allow Britain immediate membership of some sort of trading concession (like they wouldn’t do when Dodgy tried to negotiate a few months ago) or you believe that America would come to our rescue… or the Empire countries…

    It all seems to hinge on how important you consider Britain to be, what “clout” (as Mr Cameron would say) you consider it to have. Of course we could always use the nuclear deterrent to ensure that we get our way, if only the Americans would supply the codes!

    Nope. I’ve no idea what is for the best.

    There’s a part of me that desperately wants to see the UK outside Europe, to watch all the stuff that Boris promised fail dismally to come to fruition. Just like all the stuff the Brits promised us in 2014 when it looked like they were losing. One of these days people just have to learn that politicians will say ANYTHING to achieve their own personal ambitions.

    It would be interesting to see the Tory press have to find someone else to blame for every shortcoming in the country other than the dreaded Brussels.

    I, too, doubt that Scotland voting STAY, and England and Wales voting GO, would trigger another referendum (although the Greens would support that) but it would be one farther step on the path. NI would be kinda mad to vote to a split from Eire. Immigration affects England far more than it does Scotland. Indeed we need immigrants to come and work, and help pay taxes to keep the baby boomers as they get older and live longer.

    It’s another difference between us. One that has already been highlighted (in the arguments over the granting of 2 year visas to foreign students graduating from Scottish universities, which Mrs May was kind enough to scrap). Needless to say she didn’t listen to the arguments.

    It might just help to emphasise yet another difference.

    Interesting discussion, Bruce.

    • Anonymous

      Tris

      I am pretty much of the belief that an EU exit would not trigger another referendum to be honest, I also think that YES would lose until it can come to some sort of agreement about currency, head of state, voting system etc. I just don’t think we are there yet. I said at the time that YES felt more like an argument for federalism than it did for independence at times. My brother voted no because, as he said at the time, YES was not offering anything so much more different as far as he was concerned.

      The debate so far has been absolute shit. It’s Tories fighting Tories, telling more outrageous lies every day to see who can out lie who. What a joke of a so called debate. I hate what the Tories are doing to this country, from their bill of rights which will read bill of ever diminishing rights, to everything else. They really are the scum of the earth and while, as I has noted in some of my replies, I am no fan of the EU, there is a part of me that would love to see that smug smile Cameron has wiped off his smug puss. There is also a part of me that would love Scottish votes keeping the bastards in the EU, and the fun I would have watching that take place. They would hate us even more than they do now lol.

      I am still torn though as there is still so much about the EU that I just don’t like, I also don’t believe the UK has any real clout anywhere to be honest, I don’t think the US would ride to it’s rescue but I don’t know if leaving would be the basket case that many suggest. I’m not so sure that we would fare so badly, I actually think that in some ways the greatest risk is to the EU itself as many more countries might just look at the project and decide that it favors Germany and France too much so time to go.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  6. bringiton

    It’s not just the EU Out that is the problem but the desire of the Tory Leavers who want to strip us of out human rights.
    That is the real issue and would very definitely warrant another Scottish referendum.
    Personally I will vote for Trump.

    • Anonymous

      bringiton

      I’m not so sure on what would trigger another referendum, I don’t think a brexit with a Scottish Remain does it, I really don’t. I agree with you on the Tories being hell bent on stripping us of our human rights and replacing them with Tory Victorian Rights no doubt.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  7. sam

    I am voting No. I am supporting a homeless Hungarian man somewhat scarred by his travels. He lost his job and home when he complained about the corruption and criminality in the Hungarian railways in which he worked. He has been on the road in Greece, Spain and Italy seeing the damage done to the poor in those countries. He loathes Germans and the EU as a result. Many thousands or millions of lives have been blighted by how the EU treated these countries.

    Add to that the absolute mess made of the refugee problem. If this is the best the EU can do in a crisis it beggars belief that we will be safer in it or that it can manage any means of reconciling differences among countries.

    sam

    Hi Tris

    • Anonymous

      Sam

      I’m sorry to hear about the gentleman you are supporting. I have a lot of sympathy with your feelings on the EU and how it has treated it’s own citizens. A part of that problem is ours for voting in the same old crap all the time and I think that is why we are seeing a shift to far right parties in the EU, that is both scary and sad as I think a shift to proper left parties would be better for us all, although I accept there are few if any out there. Even the SNP are only slightly left of centre, but still a hell of a lot better than the other choices out there. I also think that a UK exit could trigger a knock on effect of other smaller EU countries making the move themselves. The elite in some ways are very frightened right now, they see their power becoming less secure. The choice is still a very difficult one and I will vote but I don’t know which way yet but thanks for reading the blog and giving me your views.

      Bruce

  8. lanark

    I honestly haven’t a clue how I will vote. The vote is about the UK. I don’t want to be part of the UK and I want to see IT broken up.

    As for the EU, there are advantages to being in it and benefits of not. I don’t like the leading figures of either campaign and both are talking pish. Like yourself, I would like to see smug Cameron fail.

    I just wish we weren’t in the UK any more and were deciding this as an independent country.

  9. Anonymous

    Lanark

    It is really tough and like you I just don’t want to be part of the U.K. either but we are stuck with it right now but I just haven’t decided yet and it will go the wire I guess.

    Both the Tory campaigns are really poor and don’t help in any way but what can you do. Just have to get the information ourselves and make a choice.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Bruce

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