Where are we?

The United Kingdoms of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had an advisory referendum in June on whether to leave the European Union. 51.89% of the public who bothered to vote, did so to leave. 48.11% of these voters wanted to remain. This meant that the government were going to remove us from the European Union on a vote with a majority of 3.78%. In my book that is hardly a decisive majority. I would say it was too close to call!

So we all panicked. Argued over what it was going to mean to our different sections of society. Scotland’s First Minister immediately started a round of talks with representatives of other Countries and with representatives of European families living and working in Scotland.

Meanwhile the Tory government squabbled over who would replace David Cameron who, rather than stay and sort the mess out he had created in misplaying his hand to the far right, was standing down as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party.

Having replaced him with what turned out to be the anointment of the sole remaining candidate, not much has been done. Oh Teresa has had one or two cosy chats but HEY! it’s Westminster recess time.

Meanwhile, Labour MPs have decided they really don’t like their scruffy leader. Just not the standard we have come to expect, what?! So we now have 2 candidates for their leadership, both claiming to be from the left and for the working people. One in non conformist attire for government, the other in a shiny suit totally acceptable by the rebelling MPs (for now, anyway). The MPs do however seem to have forgotten that they are employed by the public purse and elected by the public. Possibly the more interesting time will be the next Westminster election selection process when these MPs want nominated again by the members who don’t agree with their choice of leader. For another day!

Summer is always the ‘mad’ season when the Parliaments are in recess. The activists are not in recess. They are working away at community events and campaigning on street corners. Through lack of leadership momentum I see that many yes groups have reformed and are keeping the conversation going.

STILL there is no whiff of what might be happening in Brexit land.

At the start of this week the French have challenged the UK government on the special arrangements regarding immigration points on the French side of the channel. To be honest I can see where they are coming from. Why should they have to deal with the immigration camps when it is Westminster who are refusing to process the people wanting to come to the great England they have heard of?

Fear not though. Two months (8 WEEKS!) after the referendum Teresa May has called a cosy summit at her new home at Chequers. This will apparently be the FIRST time her cabinet has had the chance to get together to discuss the result of the referendum. It is held against a backdrop of deep uncertainty about what the Tories are planning – and now in-fighting between ministers about what Brexit will look like and what it will  mean to families and businesses across the country.

Stephen Gethins comments

“The lack of action is in complete contrast to the work of the SNP Government with the First Minister convening an expert group to explore all options for retaining Scotland’s EU status, unveiling a £100 million economic stimulus package to support jobs and alleviate uncertainty and having an open dialogue with EU nationals resident in Scotland to air their concerns.”

If you have been abroad all summer, or on the moon, you will notice that we are no further forward in what our future hold for us. The only significant change I have seen is in the letter from my bank telling me the interest on my savings is now at 0.something.

By the time you read this we may have heard from Teresa May and her cabinet about what they are going to do about this mess. On the other hand, I am not holding my breath.

Meanwhile in Scotland Ruthie is shouting ‘stop talking about an Independence referendum’, Kezia is sticking the boot in her scruffy UK leader and wee Willie is awfy quiet (sigh). Oh, let’s not forget Broon. He wants to give us a wee drop more constitutional powers. Just give us them all Gordie, and be done with it!


  1. Excellent summary of the situation.

    1. Maybe, but let’s remember one particular detail, if there are still ambitions for Scotland to enter (not “remain in”) the EU. The latter’s inflexible rule is that member states’ indebtedness must not exceed 3% of GNP. The last figure I recall seeing for Scotland’s debt/GDP ratio was 9.4%, more than three times as high.

      There is no possibility that the EU would accept a new member in such an economic position. Furthermore, the figure implies that sooner or later there will have to be drastic retrenchment in government policies in order to achieve some kind of a balance. Remember the first rule of economics, that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch – or free medicines, free bus rides, free university places and all the rest. I am all in favour of the latter, but they have to be fully backed up by Scottish economic resources and an indigenous Scottish wealth creation system, above all manufacturing industry. And I don’t see how membership of the sub-regional EU group is going to help in any significant way to this end. This is something we have to get right on our own.

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