England’s decision to leave the European Union changes everything. Early reports from the BBC’s journalists around Britain highlighted the regret of many Brexit voters who woke this morning asking “What have I done?” when they heard the news of the Leave campaign’s victory. It has been well understood that exiting the European Union will be harmful to the United Kingdom, and many, thinking it would not actually happen, voted Out as a protest against the “Establishment,” and in doing so have naïvely walked us all to the gallows. The immediate collapse in the currency market, sending the exchange rate of the Pound plummeting against the Dollar and the Euro, showed the so-called “Project Fear” to be more of a Project-don’t-stick-your-finger-in-that-socket.
Dark clouds now hang over Britain. This morning’s result is final. Anyone stepping into Number 10 knows that to backtrack on this decision will make a mockery of democracy. Britain’s next Prime Minister will have the unavoidable job of being the state’s executioner. This morning’s result has been felt right across Europe and the world, and Brussels will not take this lying down. What England’s voters have done has posed a real and significant threat to the existence of the EU, with fears mounting everywhere in Europe that Britain’s departure will catalyse the complete and total fragmentation of the European project. Brussel’s most pressing task is now the consolidation of the EU, and that will not include pandering to the petty demands of little Englanders.
Britain has posed Europe with an existential threat and, now that its patience is exhausted, the EU will respond in its own better interests. London’s childish hope that Europe’s finance and business with the United States and the rest of the Anglophone World will continue through Britain because of the common language it shares with them is pathetic. Europe has another English speaking member state. Little England’s Dad’s Army has made its bed, and now it must sleep in it. Scotland and Northern Ireland at least still have some options open to them.
Both Scotland and Northern Ireland, who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, have economies that are dependent on trade with their European Union partners, and know that their interests are best served within the EU. During Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum Scottish voters rejected independence because Britain’s Better Together campaign, which cynically employed its allies in Europe to convince us that we would be ejected from the EU in the event of a Yes victory, convinced us that a No vote was the only way to guarantee our place in Europe. Less than two years later it is our union with England that has become the single greatest threat to our membership. We are now faced with the “democratically unacceptable” threat of being torn out of Europe against our will.
What is process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting yes. #scotdecides—
Better Together (@UK_Together) September 02, 2014
The EU is Scotland’s largest export market, sustaining prosperity and employment, and this Brexit result leaves us in the most vulnerable position we have been in since the U-Boat blockade of the Second World War. England’s Brexiteers’ optimism is wholly unfounded. Few industries in any part of the UK produce anything the EU cannot source elsewhere, and – from what we know of every economic bloc – EU importers favour member state producers.
Brexit forces the hand of Scotland. Continuing with Westminster in this death pact will be economic suicide, and we all know this to be true. It is for this reason that separation from the United Kingdom is absolutely imperative for the survival of our country. It is not the case that we are leaving England, not any more. Brexit was England’s decision to leave us, and we have no obligations now to anyone but ourselves. With or without the consent of the Westminster government that has turned its back on us the government of Scotland must now prioritise a second independence referendum or, by some other means, sever our dangerous union with England.
Of course there are curmudgeons the likes of Jim Sillars, lovable as they can be, who are telling us that our power over such decisions is in London, and that another referendum is now impossible. This is simply untrue. At no time since 1320 and the Declaration of Arbroath has the sovereignty of Scotland been anywhere else other than with the Scottish people. This power of the will of the Scots is the very cornerstone of Scots law, and to deny this now is to deny everything that makes us a nation distinct from our neighbours. The people of Scotland, together with their democratically elected government, have had, have, and will forever continue to have the freedom to call a referendum on independence when they see fit. Or, failing that, we have the example of other nations who never felt obliged to ask permission before declaring their independence.
Union with England is no longer an option for Scotland, and so we must now prepare ourselves to force either another referendum or a declaration. As things are at the moment, we are looking down the barrel of two years of UK negotiations with the EU, and in that time – while the Scottish government is fully involved in those talks – we must make ourselves ready to part company with England with the rest of our European community. This is of the utmost importance for Scotland; it is the only course of action now available to us to protect our country, our families, and our future. We are going nowhere; let England leave if it wishes.
The Butterfly Rebellion