It’s been two months since the referendum on our membership of the European Union, two months since 17,410,742 of the electorate voted to leave (51.9%) and 16,141,241 of the electorate voted to remain (48.1%). So where are we? Do we suddenly live in a Brexit Utopia or a Brexit Hell? Has the EU had street parties now that the UK has said it’s leaving or has it plunged into its own internal meltdown?
Economically it would appear the markets have been pretty stable after a wee bump, but it is probably too early to say what will happen tomorrow let alone longer term. House prices have allegedly fallen by around 1.5%, not a bad thing but hardly the plunge that many were predicting. Unemployment appears to have fallen but I think most of us gave up trusting those figures a long time ago and the pound took a bit of a hammering against the dollar and the euro.
Article 50, the mechanism by which the UK will eventually leave the European Union probably won’t be invoked for a wee while yet. This would appear to be because no one in Westminster knows what to do so they are concentrating on reducing plastic in our seas. France and Germany both hold elections next year with Merkel rumoured to be thinking of standing down and Hollande looking like he will lose with the National Front looking like they might do well in France causing a lot of problems for the French.
It doesn’t look like much will happen until those elections are out-of-the-way.
Meanwhile the Scottish Government are saying that Brexit will cost the Scottish economy up to £11.2 billion per year and Scottish public finances up to £3.7 billion per year. The Scotsman reports that the First Minister will unveil legislation for Indy2 in the next two weeks with Nicola Sturgeon arguing that “the argument that the UK is somehow a safe harbour for Scotland is no longer true.”
Kazia Dugdale (British Labour in Scotland Conservatives) commenting on the latest GERS figure’s said that these figures should act as a “reality check” for those calling for another independence referendum. She added: “It’s clearer than ever that Scotland benefits from pooling and sharing resources across the UK. Being part of the UK means higher spending on the public services like education and the health service (she doesn’t mention this money is borrowed and we pay it back with interest to Westminster) that we all rely on. That’s a strong, positive case for Scotland remaining in the UK – our most important social and economic union.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie (remember him) said the SNP’s case for independence had been “swallowed up by a £14bn black hole”. He added: “It’s a dark day for Scottish nationalism but it is even darker for the Scottish economy. The oil shock and the Brexit shock should not be compounded with an independence shock.” At least he didn’t call for someone to resign.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson accused the First Minister of “adding to the turbulence and instability” by suggesting a second Scottish independence referendum. “Scotland’s had enough referenda for one lifetime,” she said. “It’s time for government to get back to the day job. It’s time we all got back to the job in hand.” Davidson added Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures published tomorrow will show Scotland is “better off” in the UK.
So basically the First Minister says Scotland is doomed if we stay in the UK, Willie Rennie believes it’s a dark day either way, Ruth Davidson believes we’re better off in the UK and Kezia says what her boss Ruth tells her to. But where are we?
As best as I can tell nothing much has changed yet. The unionists continue to imply we are too wee, too poor and too stupid to govern ourselves, the SNP still want independence, as do I, British Labour in Scotland are still fighting a civil war and are still shite while wee Willie Rennie got off of his bouncy castle to say something that none of us care about or really want to listen to.
My view is still pretty much the same, we can’t really go for a quick indy2 until the thick as shit powers at be at Westminster figure out that the issues are not going to go away by singing the praises of our £274 million pound Olympic Team and waving Union flags around everywhere, while Tesco take the Saltire off of its products because some people in England don’t like the Scottish flag. Basically we need more information, we won’t get it anytime soon so we still need to stand back and continue to let the dust settle.