/ EU elections pre-run of a referendum?

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
MargieB - on 11 Apr 2019

Is this the chance for EU  to sell the EU?

Does the EU intend to  reinforce its  views on its four pillars of freedom?

or  will it consider reform on freedom of movement of people and give an inkling of potential mechanisms it may apply, given it is such an issue in UK?

Will EU adopt  exactly the same hard leave it or take it position  on its vision for itself as in 2016 referendum that in my view contributed to the result of Brexit??

Surely a low turnout will expose the UK's true interest in the EU

OR could we see UK citizens improving their interest in the EU, placing it  more centre stage whereas in the past it has been a side-show?? 

Report
Xharlie on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> or  will it consider reform on freedom of movement of people ... given it is such an issue in UK?

Oh go away. We've done that one to death.

Report
BnB - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

I'm hoping that a pro-EU vote will coalesce around a single party for maximum impact and I will vote for them.

Report
SDM on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> or  will it consider reform on freedom of movement of people and give an inkling of potential mechanisms it may apply, given it is such an issue in UK?

Why would they do that? Most Europeans recognise what a great advantage it is to have the freedom to live and work anywhere around Europe.

There are some far right parties in a few countries that are gaining support but I'm not aware of a greatqqueue of other countries planning to follow us out the door or demanding an end to freedom of movement.

Our media has turned freedom of movement in to a toxic issue over here but we're leaving, why would the EU throw the baby out with the bathwater? 

Report
galpinos on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to BnB:

> I'm hoping that a pro-EU vote will coalesce around a single party for maximum impact and I will vote for them.

Who will that be? Change, Lib Dems, Greens?

Report
skog on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to BnB:

The EU elections use a form of PR, I don't think having one party for a particular issue necessarily maximises the impact:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/en/your-meps/european_elections/the_voting_system.html

Report
summo on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to SDM:

> but I'm not aware of a greatqqueue of other countries planning to follow us out the door or demanding an end to freedom of movement.

What other country in the last decade has even asked their population? 

Europe will only divide further if the eu doesn't address the economic and financial divides in Europe. The problems with euro. Italy etc.. 

It will of course weather Brexit and pretend everything is fine and ignore them. 

Report
jkarran - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> Is this the chance for EU  to sell the EU?

Not really, it's a chance for us to send representatives of our regions and parties to the EU parliament. They will each stand on their party manifestos, some pro, some anti EU. Whatever other policies the have I expect will be drowned out with the election treated as an ugly and distorting proxy for an in-out referendum re-run.

> Does the EU intend to  reinforce its  views on its four pillars of freedom?

They've stood strong and united behind them until now. I don't see we've changed that before or after 2016.

> Will EU adopt  exactly the same hard leave it or take it position  on its vision for itself as in 2016 referendum that in my view contributed to the result of Brexit??

I'm not sure how this relates to the election of MEPs. If we want even more half in half out than we are already we can do as Norway does, it's pointless, mildly harmful and we clearly don't actually want it but let's not pretend we don't have options inside or out. Problem is we can't decide what we want and frankly we're ascribing far too much importance to the whole EU issue, fiddling while home burns.

> Surely a low turnout will expose the UK's true interest in the EU

I don't think turnout will be low. Pro-EU grassroots groups are fund-raising, organised and motivated. Seems there's plenty of noise form the other side of the fence too.

> OR could we see UK citizens improving their interest in the EU, placing it  more centre stage whereas in the past it has been a side-show?? 

Hasn't that already happened? It's never going to be centre stage, for most people national/international politics is and will remain something done to them not for or by them but awareness of the EU and interest in Euro elections can never have been higher in the UK.

jk

Report
oldie - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

I don't think most people will take much interest, as previously. After all its still  likely that UK will leave and UK representatives would then be irrelevant. Unless there's a huge UK turnout there probably isn't much significance re Brexit, though some factions may try to play on it.

Report
Sir Chasm - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to summo:

How does leaving the eu insulate us (the UK, not Sweden) from problems with the euro and Italy?

Report
jkarran - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to summo:

> It will of course weather Brexit and pretend everything is fine and ignore them. 

Maybe you should start agitating to ruin your own home now you've comprehensively fu*ked ours up.

jk

Report
tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to BnB:

> I'm hoping that a pro-EU vote will coalesce around a single party for maximum impact and I will vote for them.

Remainers should definitely turn the EU elections into the referendum the Tories and Labour won't let them have.  A huge vote for explicitly pro-EU parties will kill Brexit and let business get back to work.

The pro-EU English parties should spend their time and effort in England, except perhaps in a couple of Highland constituencies where the Lib Dems actually have a chance.  The SNP is going to kill the Tories and Labour in the EU elections.

Report
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to SDM:

I’m not aware of *us* demanding an end to freedom of movement - don’t 70% want it kept in polls?

in my experience the main movement people want to end is that of Muslim refugees, which frankly has naff all to do with the EU, though leavers tend to think it does.

jcm

Report
The New NickB - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to skog:

Even under PR, with regional lists and 8 MEPs per region, the reality is that if you poll less than 15-20% you are unlikely to get any MEPs.

Currently my region has 3 ex-UKIP, 3 Labour and 2 Conservative, all polled 20%+. The proportionality is affected by the number of seats available, if it was a national list for 70+ MEPs the final line up would look different, certainly having Lib Dem and Green representation.

Report
skog on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

True, but I think it also creates situations where having multiple pro EU parties with significant votes can actually return more pro-EU MEPs than FPTP would.

It doesn't help the -really- small parties, but overall it should return a more representative sample and it doesn't really make sense to switch your vote between major pro-EU parties to maximise the pro-EU vote.

Scotland returns 6 MEPs, they're currently 2xSNP, 2xLabour, 1xTory, 1xUKIP.

SNP and Green are pro-EU, I don't know where Labour stand, the Tories and UKIP are anti-EU, and I think the Lib Dems are pretty much out of the fight (their traditional vote going mostly to Green and SNP when not anti-independence, and Tory when anti-independence).

How many pro-EU MEPs we elect will depend on where Labour stand (on the fence, I suspect), and on whether the Tories manage to make this about Scottish Independence again (if they do, they'll get the Brexit and the UK-Uber-Alles votes and might even manage 2 MEPs).

I'd certainly prefer to see the Kipper replaced by, say, a Green, rather than re-elected; that might be possible.

I'll stick my neck out and say I think Scotland might elect 2xSNP, 1xGreen, 1xLabour and 2xTory MEPs, which would be a 3:2 majority for the pro-EU parties by my reckoning (Labour neutral).

Report
HansStuttgart - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Remainers should definitely turn the EU elections into the referendum the Tories and Labour won't let them have.  A huge vote for explicitly pro-EU parties will kill Brexit and let business get back to work.

then remainers have some work to do....

current polls:

Soft brexit (Labour) 38%

Hard brexit (Conservative) 23%

Idiotic brexit (UKIP and Brexit party) 18%

Remain (SNP, CUK, LIB DEM, Green, etc) 20%

data from: https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-elections-2019/news/poll-tories-facing-crushing-defeat-if-uk-holds-eu-elections/

Report
HansStuttgart - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> Is this the chance for EU  to sell the EU?

The EU simply is. It is a chance for political parties in the EU to sell their vision for the future of the EU, get support and then shape that future.

> Does the EU intend to  reinforce its  views on its four pillars of freedom?

The four pillars are embedded in the most fundamental treaty. No party is thinking about a new treaty in the next parliamentary session.

> or  will it consider reform on freedom of movement of people and give an inkling of potential mechanisms it may apply, given it is such an issue in UK?

No party in the EU wants to change freedom of movement. Even the eurosceptic ones are pro FoM, because they loose too many votes if they don't. The question whether it is an issue in the UK is not relevant.

> Will EU adopt  exactly the same hard leave it or take it position  on its vision for itself as in 2016 referendum that in my view contributed to the result of Brexit??

There is a wide variety of visions among the different parties. All want to change the EU. But none of them want to change the fundamentals of the power structures, as determined by the treaties.

European integration will continue. It is simply driven by the necessity to protect the single market. For example, a single market needs a boundary. This is the external border of the EU. The border requires some level of control. Once a nation fails in controlling that border, an EU border force becomes necessary. This is why we have FRONTEX now. (a nice historic parallel, btw, is the foundation of the US army. That started with a coast guard to act against smuggling.)

Even the far right now has a vision about european integration, based on a shared Christian identity that needs to be protected from a wider world....

> OR could we see UK citizens improving their interest in the EU, placing it  more centre stage whereas in the past it has been a side-show?? 

I hope so.

Report
L Pefa on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

I think a new EU referendum will take place since the chief UK brexit minister has now started to tentatively put this out into the public domain. 

Thereby a new vote which will by hook or by fiddling the result..... result in us staying in the EU and this big show for the PUBLIC (and it us just a big show to pretent there is democracy) that they have been putting on since the EU referendum result can end and the curtain will drop forever on the UK leaving the EU. 

Post edited at 17:41
Report
tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Apr 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

Actually, I just care about Scotland, England has gone mad.

I want to see a landslide for the SNP in the EU elections.   If that coincides with a landslide for Remain parties in England then its a mandate for the UK to stay in the EU.  If England goes the other way then its a mandate to hold an independence referendum, leave the UK, and stay in the EU.  

Report
birdie num num - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

Hi MargieB,

that’s like six Lemming questions rolled into one. 

I’d count all the answers and divide by the number of folk who answered, multiplied by six and divided by the number of conflicting views for your answer.

Alternatively you could seek clarification from the myriad of media commentators and pick the one that best aligns with your own opinion and disregard the rest.

Report
Lusk - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Actually, I just care about Scotland, 

People go on about Little Britain ... Hahahaha, oh deary me!

Report
tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to Lusk:

> People go on about Little Britain ... Hahahaha, oh deary me!

When the Telegraph starts pitching Mark Francois as a future Tory leader and PM it's time for Scotland to look out for itself. 

"Yesterday, something extraordinary happened in the Brexit saga. Mark Francois, vice-chairman of the European Research Group (ERG), entered the public’s consciousness for the first time as a potential leader for sorting out the mess."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/04/10/every-mp-like-mark-francois-brexit-britain-would-much-better/

Report
MargieB - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Yes, I think you have pointed out its greatest significance namely a full revival of the Scottish Independence debate. It is a critical point in time and a most important election.

You can tell that from the vibe here in The Highlands of Scotland.

And I'm not a fan of independence, but a fan of a reformed federalist UK system,[and until that happens Eu important to growth here and would always be, I feel } but I recognize that.

Post edited at 09:17
Report
skog on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Actually, I just care about Scotland, England has gone mad.

I want independence too, but I still care plenty about England (and the rest of the UK).

(a) There are people living there

(b) I know some of them

(c) Anything that makes free movement harder between closely-aligned countries is bad; there will be a solution to this but it will at least be a bit of a hassle

(d) It's Scotland's biggest trade partner, any restrictions on trade with it are bad for Scotland

(e) It's Scotland's biggest trade partner, anything that's bad for its economy is bad for Scotland

(f) It has knock-on effects for the rest of Europe

An independent Scotland inside the EU (probably following a short rejoining period), and the rest of the UK at the very least in the common market, is my preferred outcome.

But I'm a big fan of treating the two issues (Brexit and Scottish Independence) as separate ones, they're too important for messing around playing games. Although messing around playing games does seem to be what's actually happening.

Report
rogerwebb - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I think that if you want that SNP landslide then it would be wise to take an independence referendum off the table until after the next Holyrood elections. You might then attract a significant proportion of the 55%.

An independence referendum before knowing the outcome of brexit would involve so much speculation and extravagant claims as to the benefits/downsides it is unlikely that the losing side would be anymore accepting of the result than Remain in the Brexit referendum. Adding to that the negotiations with an rUK government that didn't know what it's future relationship with the EU was might be torturous and it would be unlikely that the EU would negotiate with Scotland until its relationship with rUK was sorted.

Chaos added to chaos whereas after Brexit is sorted all these things would be easier apart from the problems following any close vote. 

Report
jkarran - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> When the Telegraph starts pitching Mark Francois as a future Tory leader and PM it's time for Scotland to look out for itself.

LOL (in abject despair). I really don't know what to say anymore. Francois is a verbally incontinent overgrown amoeba in packed into a sweaty shirt, he makes Leadsom look qualified and reasonable. Which I expect is rather the point of the piece, he's got to be a stalking horse for someone fractionally less ridiculous.

jk

Post edited at 09:39
Report
timjones - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> Surely a low turnout will expose the UK's true interest in the EU

According too the statistics that I can find online it would hard to gauge anything by viewing it as a  protest vote.

If absolutely no leave voters turned out and all the remain voters did it could still be  one of the largest turnouts for an EU election in recent years.

Report
Martin Hore - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

It's a pity that the strong Remain vote will be split in the EU elections between Lib Dem, ChangeUK and Green (and SNP, PC, in Scotland, Wales). It may result in fewer seats going to these parties under the D'Hondt system than if the Remain vote was not split. But I think the number of votes cast for Remain parties will be as important an indication of current public opinion as the number of seats gained, and that will not be affected by there being several flag-bearers for Remain.

It will be very interesting to see how the Tories and Labour try to retain their Remain voters in the EU elections. I don't think the Tories have any means of achieving that, but Labour could move towards a Peoples Vote (they're not far from that at present) and that would put them in a stronger position.

Caroline Lucas has been a star performer on the Remain side, but I'm not sure that can be said for the Greens in general. I co-ordinated the cross Party effort for Remain in our area in 2016. We had good support from Conservative IN and Labour IN (and of course Lib Dems) but the Greens locally were conspicuous by their absence. (And we lost - 59% to 41%).

Martin

Report
tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to skog:

> But I'm a big fan of treating the two issues (Brexit and Scottish Independence) as separate ones, they're too important for messing around playing games. Although messing around playing games does seem to be what's actually happening.

I agree it is a shame about what is happening in England but Scotland represents only 1/10 of the UK electorate.  We don't have the ability to make England change course.  

Both Brexit and Scottish Independence are about the centralisation of power in London.

They are also completely intertwined in that once Brexit is established it will be far harder to make independence work economically or get back into the EU.    Also, the post Brexit UK if Tories like Johnson or Francois are in charge is likely to gradually remove power from the Scottish Government and refuse consent for a second independence referendum.

It will also be harder to get a majority for independence when EU citizens in Scotland are removed from the electorate.   Last time a lot of EU citizens and their families voted No to independence because the unionists were saying that was the only way to stay in the EU.  If we get a second referendum before Brexit they will all vote Yes.   There's an added incentive to jump quickly in that senior EU officials are now saying Scotland can stay in if it gets independence before Brexit is concluded.

Report
The New NickB - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> When the Telegraph starts pitching Mark Francois as a future Tory leader and PM it's time for Scotland to look out for itself. 

You underestimate the English, we might be stupidly self destructive, but you have to draw a line somewhere and that line must surely be a long, long way before tolerating an imbecile fantastist like Francois as PM.

Post edited at 11:37
Report
Dr.S at work - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Given how tight the question is, 10% of the electorate is pretty significant.

You continue to consider England as an electoral monolith, which it’s clearly not  - on Brexit or on other issues. The ‘othering’ game that you and the SNP play is distasteful.

Report
skog on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I agree it is a shame about what is happening in England but Scotland represents only 1/10 of the UK electorate.  We don't have the ability to make England change course.  

It's unlikely, certainly (but perhaps less so through influence, than directly through voting).

If Scotland does try to help the rest of the UK through this and succeeds, then great.

If we try and fail, then at least we tried, and it's another strong argument for independence.

So the way I see it, if you -are- gaming it, it's "win/lose a bit less", rather than the "lose/win a bit less" we get if we don't bother.

Report
skog on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> You continue to consider England as an electoral monolith, which it’s clearly not

To be fair, neither is Scotland, but it's generally referred to as a monolithic region in these discussions.

> The ‘othering’ game that you and the SNP play is distasteful.

I'm not sure it's any more othering than, say, referring to 'the North' when referring to the bit to the south of Scotland in a discussion about the UK - that makes it pretty clear that we're 'other' up here.

But I've failed to persuade on this one before! ;-)

Report
rogerwebb - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I agree it is a shame about what is happening in England but Scotland represents only 1/10 of the UK electorate.  We don't have the ability to make England change course.  

> Both Brexit and Scottish Independence are about the centralisation of power in London.

> They are also completely intertwined in that once Brexit is established it will be far harder to make independence work economically or get back into the EU.    Also, the post Brexit UK if Tories like Johnson or Francois are in charge is likely to gradually remove power from the Scottish Government and refuse consent for a second independence referendum.

> It will also be harder to get a majority for independence when EU citizens in Scotland are removed from the electorate.   Last time a lot of EU citizens and their families voted No to independence because the unionists were saying that was the only way to stay in the EU.  If we get a second referendum before Brexit they will all vote Yes.   There's an added incentive to jump quickly in that senior EU officials are now saying Scotland can stay in if it gets independence before Brexit is concluded.

If an independence referendum was so close that it relied on the votes of non citizens (who would not get a vote in a constitutional referendum in any other EU county) then it is unlikely that it would be any more quietly accepted than the brexit one.

Quite how a country that is not a signatory to any of the EU treaties could 'stay in' is an interesting question. I would imagine an application to join would be accepted but would be unlikely to be sorted until all the brexit mess was over.

Why do this messily now when it could be done cleanly in the not too distant future when both sides of the argument will be clearer?

If there is one lesson from brexit it is that any such big change must be unequivocally supported by a substantial majority, whether or not that exists for independence will be apparent after the next Holyrood elections. 

Report
SDM on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

> You underestimate the English, we might be stupidly self destructive, but you have to draw a line somewhere and that line must surely be a long, long way before tolerating an imbecile fantastist like Francois as PM.

We've tolerated an incompetent, close-minded, closet racist who wasn't even elected by their own party.

The jump to someone like Francois or Raab no longer seems so huge. 

Report
The New NickB - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to SDM:

Mark Francois makes Theresa May look like a great leader.

Report
tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> LOL (in abject despair). I really don't know what to say anymore. Francois is a verbally incontinent overgrown amoeba in packed into a sweaty shirt, he makes Leadsom look qualified and reasonable. Which I expect is rather the point of the piece, he's got to be a stalking horse for someone fractionally less ridiculous.

Francois is the English version of Trump.   The Republicans in the US made Trump their candidate even though he was obviously a moron with a track record of financial and sexual misdeeds.  Then Trump won.

Report
tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> If an independence referendum was so close that it relied on the votes of non citizens (who would not get a vote in a constitutional referendum in any other EU county) then it is unlikely that it would be any more quietly accepted than the brexit one.

They are EU citizens and Scotland is in the EU.  They are the ones with most at stake and they have every bit as much right to have their voices heard as some dickhead lager lout or geriatric that's never been to Europe and believes the sh*t in the Daily Mail.   The EU citizens who have been in the UK for decades and are basically being robbed by the UK state.   How would you like to have all your pension and social security rights tied up in UK schemes and then to be made unwelcome in the country when you are in your fifties or sixties.

> Quite how a country that is not a signatory to any of the EU treaties could 'stay in' is an interesting question. I would imagine an application to join would be accepted but would be unlikely to be sorted until all the brexit mess was over.

Guy Verhofstadt was pretty clear in a BBC interview that if Scotland became independent and asked to stay in the EU before Brexit took effect it wouldn't be a problem.   Things are different now in that nobody believes that the unionists and Tories can speak for the EU.  It's actually amazing that Theresa May is still making statements about how hard it would be for an Independent Scotland to get into the EU as if she had an iota of credibility to state the EU position on anything.

> Why do this messily now when it could be done cleanly in the not too distant future when both sides of the argument will be clearer?

Brexit will inherently involve moving away from the EU rules and create a barrier to getting back in.  It will also hand power to the right wing of the Tory party.   If someone like Johnson or Francois is Prime Minister the existing devolution settlement is in danger, we have no chance of getting a second independence referendum approved and if we tried to do one unilaterally they'll quite likely respond with state violence.

> If there is one lesson from brexit it is that any such big change must be unequivocally supported by a substantial majority, whether or not that exists for independence will be apparent after the next Holyrood elections. 

There's always an argument to wait for more information but there's a stronger argument that when things are only going to get worse the sooner you move the better.   The Brexit chaos and dislike of Westminster is creating sympathy for Scotland within EU countries and institutions and making the path to becoming a member state in our own right straightforward.  Even the Spanish have said there's no problem with an Independent Scotland staying in.

Report
jkarran - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Francois is the English version of Trump.

While Trump is a genuinely repulsive person he has that brash American gangster appeal and he does know how to play a crowd and the media. Francois is a haemorrhoid with opinions, he's just the stalking horse for some other compliant halfwit with ambitions well above their ability.

As far as I can tell the main reason we're seeing more of him now is not because of his easy charm or evident leadership quality but because the tory right's erstwhile poster boy Rees-Mogg's rank hypocrisy is following him around like the impossible to ignore gassy aftereffects of a pheasant vindaloo.

jk

Report
Dr.S at work - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to skog:

I've no problem with referring to geographic regions by their proper names, but I do object to Tom's attempts to portray the English as being radically different to the Scots, they are not in the main.

Setting up a 'them' and 'us' mentality is a key step to persuading people to vote to break up existing political unions - clearly seen in both the Brexit and Scottish independence campaigns. 

Report
rogerwebb - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> They are EU citizens and Scotland is in the EU.  They are the ones with most at stake and they have every bit as much right to have their voices heard as some dickhead lager lout or geriatric that's never been to Europe and believes the sh*t in the Daily Mail.   The EU citizens who have been in the UK for decades and are basically being robbed by the UK state.   How would you like to have all your pension and social security rights tied up in UK schemes and then to be made unwelcome in the country when you are in your fifties or sixties 

I think you have picked that point up incorrectly.

How close would an independence referendum be if its success depended on non citizen votes? Would such a tiny majority make for an uncontentious transition? 

> Guy Verhofstadt was pretty clear in a BBC interview that if Scotland became independent and asked to stay in the EU before Brexit took effect it wouldn't be a problem.   Things are different now in that nobody believes that the unionists and Tories can speak for the EU.  It's actually amazing that Theresa May is still making statements about how hard it would be for an Independent Scotland to get into the EU as if she had an iota of credibility to state the EU position on anything.

The idea that Scotland could 'stay in' without an accession process is not really credible. .Given that the EU is a treaty organisation it is not hard to see why. That of course does not mean it couldn't be done quickly but it would be an odd treaty that ignored its own terms  

> Brexit will inherently involve moving away from the EU rules and create a barrier to getting back in.  It will also hand power to the right wing of the Tory party.   If someone like Johnson or Francois is Prime Minister the existing devolution settlement is in danger, we have no chance of getting a second independence referendum approved and if we tried to do one unilaterally they'll quite likely respond with state violence.

If there is a clear mandate for an independence referendum after the next Holyrood elections I cannot see any UK government objecting.

> There's always an argument to wait for more information but there's a stronger argument that when things are only going to get worse the sooner you move the better.   The Brexit chaos and dislike of Westminster is creating sympathy for Scotland within EU countries and institutions and making the path to becoming a member state in our own right straightforward.  Even the Spanish have said there's no problem with an Independent Scotland staying in.

If that sympathy exists now why would it have evaporated by 2021?

Post edited at 17:41
Report
oldie - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> They are EU citizens and Scotland is in the EU.  They are the ones with most at stake and they have every bit as much right to have their voices heard as some dickhead lager lout or geriatric that's never been to Europe and believes the sh*t in the Daily Mail.   The EU citizens who have been in the UK for decades and are basically being robbed by the UK state.   How would you like to have all your pension and social security rights tied up in UK schemes and then to be made unwelcome in the country when you are in your fifties or sixties. <

Similarly I believe expatriate UK citizens couldn't vote in the EU referendum (but can in a GE) but have a lot to lose in a no deal Brexit. If we did leave with no deal and did not pay the divorce bill then logically it might be a precedent for Scotland to avoid payments including taking on any portion of the huge (one trillion?) UK national debt, which would be a nice clean sheet to begin statehood. Might encourage Wales and Northern Ireland to go for it too.

> Guy Verhofstadt was pretty clear in a BBC interview that if Scotland became independent and asked to stay in the EU before Brexit took effect it wouldn't be a problem.   Things are different now in that nobody believes that the unionists and Tories can speak for the EU.  It's actually amazing that Theresa May is still making statements about how hard it would be for an Independent Scotland to get into the EU as if she had an iota of credibility to state the EU position on anything. <

Agree its hardly likely that an application by an independent Scotland would be rejected. A big practical difficulty after independence would be after a UK no deal with the Irish border problem unresolved there could be a major border problem for both Scotland and England.

> Brexit will inherently involve moving away from the EU rules and create a barrier to getting back in.  It will also hand power to the right wing of the Tory party.   If someone like Johnson or Francois is Prime Minister the existing devolution settlement is in danger, we have no chance of getting a second independence referendum approved and if we tried to do one unilaterally they'll quite likely respond with state violence. <

I can't imagine there would be any violence....I remember an Austrian taxi driver being incredulous when I said Westminster would not act to stop Scottish independence after any vote and I still believe that, possibly naively. UK public opinion would not stand for it, even under right wing Tories.

Report
MonkeyPuzzle - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> As far as I can tell the main reason we're seeing more of him now is not because of his easy charm or evident leadership quality but because the tory right's erstwhile poster boy Rees-Mogg's rank hypocrisy is following him around like the impossible to ignore gassy aftereffects of a pheasant vindaloo.

And from despair comes poetry. You sir, are a wordsmith.

His prevalence is testimony to the same compliant British press who basically willed Farage into existence. Any loud mouth tw*t who gets your readers, viewers or listeners angry or agitated, for or against, gets prime time.

Report
skog on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> I've no problem with referring to geographic regions by their proper names

I think it's very easy to do a bit of othering, without even realising you're doing it.

Still, nobody's getting hurt.

Report
Dr.S at work - on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to skog:

In terms of social cohesion, and probably economically people are getting hurt.

Report
skog on 12 Apr 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

I meant nobody was getting hurt by the unintentional othering you won't acknowledge you're doing, but if you disagree..!

Report
Jim Fraser - on 13 Apr 2019
In reply to MargieB:

The EU is the greatest political adventure in human history and it is a success. Why would it change for the stupid British? 

The problem was always Westminster, not the EU, and now we have just lived through the final proof of what a primitive and ineffective institution it really is. Scotland is most fortunate amongst the home nations in that it has an alternative escape plan. England had better come round to the truth of European success or, as Westminster's primary victim, with no buffer to protect it, it is really screwed. 

And low turnout isn't just for Euro elections. Only about a third of voters turn out for English council elections. 

https://www.facebook.com/JonathanPieReporter/videos/1221362721319952/

Report
tom_in_edinburgh - on 13 Apr 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> If there is a clear mandate for an independence referendum after the next Holyrood elections I cannot see any UK government objecting.

There's a clear mandate from the last Holyrood elections and a vote in the Scottish Parliament to approve it.   Nevertheless Theresa May has said flat out she won't give permission.   She's also used her Westminister majority to remove powers from the Scottish Parliament with no debate.

Why would Johnson or whoever the Tories replace her with be any better?

If Westminster do say yes they will push it back until Brexit is locked in by new trade treaties with the US, EU citizens and UK citizens with strong links to the EU have left and businesses which are dependent on the EU have either failed or reconfigured.

Report
rogerwebb - on 13 Apr 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> There's a clear mandate from the last Holyrood elections 

Is there? Whilst the SNP stood on a manifesto that quite clearly called for a referendum in the current circumstances the Greens did not.

The Greens test involved 'a million people clamouring for another referendum'  and described this as being evidenced by a petition.

If an independence referendum is to happen it must be so clearly legitimate that everyone takes part. If not it risks a boycott and that is trouble for all. 

Report
Jim Fraser - on 13 Apr 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

UN Treaty Collection.

Vienna Convention 1983 on the dissolution of states. 

Rarely ratified of course because that would involve turkeys voting for Christmas. However, in practice, it is normal for things to move toward the Convention's positions. Sensible negotiators will take it as a starting point instead of a finishing point thus saving a lot of time, money and, in some cases, blood.

Report
rogerwebb - on 13 Apr 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:

'sensible negotiators' would be a good starting point!

I fear they are rarer than they should be at moment. 

Report
MargieB - on 10:16 Mon
In reply to MargieB:

I found this article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/16/freedom-movement-euroep-foreign-posted-workers-eu

Finland has now showing signs of a shift to the right and is considered to be about to place a more right wing set of EU candidates into the EU Parliament. 

The Eu should have confronted this issue sooner but because it didn't in some form confront it we have created a fracturing idea in leaving the EU altogether. A little reform  within EU saves the whole from fracturing apart. 

So which party would you vote for if you wanted reform in a moderate sense and not dissolution of EU like Ukip/ Con advocate? 

Report
john arran - on 10:49 Mon
In reply to MargieB:

Whichever party pledging to Remain that has the best chance of being elected. Because if we aren't in it, we can't help reform it. Beyond that, the differences between specific party policies on EU reform - while significant in themselves - pale into insignificance.

Report
stevieb - on 11:04 Mon
In reply to MargieB:

> So which party would you vote for if you wanted reform in a moderate sense and not dissolution of EU like Ukip/ Con advocate? 

I think even if we did find a way to stay in the EU, it would be important for us to shut up for a while. No one is going to welcome the UK shouting for reform of the EU after the past few years. The best solution would probably be to put our weight behind the New Hanseatic League and keep a low profile in Brussels.

Report
MargieB - on 09:07 Thu
In reply to stevieb:

Not much on the EU itself in general media except Labour needs to support a referendum to oust Ukip and the Greens are set to get MEP at least in Scotland. There should be more discussion of the EU  and how it functions in our media.

Report
dh73 - on 15:53 Thu
In reply to MargieB:

I may well be being thick but I am struggling to see what effect MEPs can have on brexit (in terms of whether we hold a second referendum etc)? whatever their personal views, they are operating with the EU political structure, and any change need to come from our domestic politicians? I cannot remember any MEPs being cited of being of any importance whatsoever in the brexit debates with the EU to date?

Report
stevieb - on 16:39 Thu
In reply to dh73:

> I may well be being thick but I am struggling to see what effect MEPs can have on brexit (in terms of whether we hold a second referendum etc)? whatever their personal views, they are operating with the EU political structure, and any change need to come from our domestic politicians? I cannot remember any MEPs being cited of being of any importance whatsoever in the brexit debates with the EU to date?

The MEPs will have almost no direct political impact on Brexit decisions in the UK parliament.

But (a) the European elections will be an indication of the current views of the country, a pre-referendum. There is a very high chance that the farage party will win most seats, but it is possible that anti Brexit parties could get an equivalent number of votes between them. And (b) if we elect a huge number of Brexit / Conservative / UKIP MEPs, then the EU will be even less inclined to compromise.

Report

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.