One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

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Owen Paterson

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Sir John Major

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Villain of the day

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THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack: Silly Sturgeon wants to quit a successful union and join a failed one

What sort of person would want to destroy what is probably the most successful political union ever in order to join a failing, inefficient, bureaucratic, sclerotic political union? Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, of course. Make no mistake the desire of the SNP to remain by hook or by crook in the EU is driven by a desire to smash the UK.

For over 300 years the UK has proved of benefit to its members, especially the smaller nations. Together we have thrived culturally, economically and socially. The UK has been a world leader in just about every field imaginable, a hive of intellectual activity and invention, and a civilising force throughout the world. Yes the UK made mistakes, what great power hasn’t? But overall the existence of the UK has been a blessing to the world.

Today, with the UK’s international influence greatly reduced and our economy needing the revitalisation of freedom from the Brussels stranglehold which is holding us back, the SNP want to sow dissension. In Scotland’s Place in Europe published just before Christmas, Nicola Sturgeon sets out the SNP position. They want Scotland to remain in the single market which is, in effect, to remain in the EU whilst the rest of the UK leaves.

Pursuit of the SNP position of remaining in the single market will seriously affect the UK government’s negotiation powers with the EU. But as far as Sturgeon and her allies are concerned that is the icing on the cake.

Charles Grant, of the pro-EU Centre for European Reform and a member of the First Minister’s Standing Council on Europe, has said quite clearly that it was “extremely difficult” to see how Sturgeon’s plans were even plausible. “Legally, politically, technically, it’s extremely difficult for Scotland to stay in the single market if the UK as a whole does not, the basic point being that there would have to be one set of business regulations applying to England and another set applying to Scotland.

“So that would require the devolution of all business regulation matters to Scotland, which clearly isn’t going to be on the cards in the foreseeable future.”

Charles Grant is not alone in his opposition to the paper. He is the third member of the Sturgeon’s Brexit council to go public with his lack of faith in the SNP plans. Another of them, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, the Scottish peer who wrote the Article 50 process, told the BBC Sturgeon’s proposals were not possible.

Sturgeon also knows that the other nations in the EU will not seriously consider her proposals, however much they may wish to punish the UK for Brexit. EU members would be concerned about the possibility of Scotland becoming a “back door” route for goods from the rest of the UK into the EU.

It is a delusion to think that the other nations will consider Scotland a ‘special case’. Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Czech Republic and Spain all have separatist movements of varying importance wanting independence. They are hardly going to exacerbate their own problems merely to please Scotland and make life difficult for the UK.

Sturgeon argues that Scotland could still retain free trade across the UK as well as the EU, although freedom of movement for EU nationals would only apply north of the border. Such an arrangement would be incredibly complex to enact and would inevitably mean border posts between Scotland and the rest of the UK, something which could not be tolerated for long.

Scotland remaining in the single market while the rest of the UK leaves is a fantasy, but one the SNP will pursue relentlessly. Ultimately, this paper is a tactical push for a second referendum. When these unrealistic proposals are rejected, Nicola Sturgeon will cry ‘Foul’ and demand that Scotland goes to the polls once again. As with the EU she intends to keep on having votes until she gets the ‘right’ result.

Even if Scotland were unfortunate enough to leave the UK, entrance into the EU would not be a simple matter. The EU would likely put Scotland’s entrance negotiations on hold while it sorted out the Brexit negotiations. Negotiations would take years, and they might not be as rosy as the SNP imagine. Like any country applying to join the club, Scotland would find that it had to accept the terms imposed on it by the other member states and EU institutions. For example, Scotland would have to accept the euro, a failing currency. Neither would Scotland get a share of the UK’s rebate on its contribution to the EU budget.

Blinded by their desire to gain independence from the UK, the SNP is prepared to consider any proposal, no matter how far-fetched, which will damage the Union and create a climate of opinion in Scotland that might lead to independence.

(Image: ALDE Communicaton)

Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack

  • David Keighley

    A brilliant, succinct skewering of the SNP’s fundamental, Marxist-driven idiocy!

  • derek

    Good job the two in the picture aren’t considering breeding. And yes, that is the best I can do considering my opinion of Verhofstadt and Sturgeon.

    • Andy

      They should both be neutered.

      • Foxy Loxy

        Happily, old mother nature has already taken care of that in Sturgeon’s case.

  • Tricia

    Whilst on holiday in Scotland just after the Referendum, I was asked by a Scotsman in an amazed tone “Why did England and Wales vote OUT?” I replied “Why does Nicola Sturgeon want to leave a Union in which Scotland is the second largest country, to be part of a 28+ member Union where Scotland is a minnow in the pool?” To which he had no reply. He obviously had not considered the question, nor had there been any debate in Scotland about why we are better out of the EU.
    The Scots need to start getting educated about the machinations of the EU, the danger of the collapse of the Euro and kick wee Nicola out on her *rse as soon as possible.

    • Owen_Morgan

      Despite the thirty (count ’em) months of the Scottish independence campaign, precious little debate ever occurred in Scotland during the course of it, mainly because Alex Salmond notoriously used to make up policy on the spur of the moment and neither he nor anyone else in the SNP was keen to be pinned down on his latest caprice. Combined with the nationalists’ carefully cultivated sense of permanent grievance, this gave rise, inter alia, to the absurd idea that BBC Scotland had a pro-Union bias.

      All the SNP ever really does is campaign (or complain – one of those), so that it can be running Scotland, incredibly badly, for years, while blaming every ill on the Sassenachs and posing as the resistance. It routinely blames Westminster for deficiencies in areas, such as the Scottish NHS, over which it has itself complete control. This strategy worked for the party in the 2015 Westminster election, only marginally less well in the 2016 Holyrood election, in which the SNP fell just short of an overall majority.

      With Sturgeon’s Holyrood busily centralising power, e.g. by creating a single Scottish police force, and stifling dissent, such as by extending political control over Scotland’s universities, don’t expect to see much in way of debate breaking out in the public forum. The average SNP voter has never set foot in England.

      I recall the story of a family, a married couple with a daughter, who lived just up the coast from Berwick-upon-Tweed. Despite the fact that Berwick had all the best shops in the locality, the father flatly refused to go there, because it was English; the mother and daughter would sneak into Berwick when he wasn’t around. It was the daughter, by the way, who told me the story. Her father’s attitude, which sounds as if it belongs in the fourteenth century, is not uncommon in Scotland and the SNP does all it can to foster it.

      • Shazza

        There is a very apt old saying for people like this, including Sturgeon – ‘cutting your nose off to spite your face’.

        Rather than admit to being wrong, they are prepared to sacrifice their country’s prosperity and future on the altar of their stubborn, pig headed ideology – much like Angela Merkel and the rest of the EU ‘leaders’, including the UK when it comes to the ‘so called’ refugees and their Dark Ages belief system and culture.

      • Andy

        A friend of a friend lives in Scotland, but has a cut glass English accent. The level of abuse this poor woman suffers is quite extraordinary, all the more so because she belongs to an old and noble Scottish family. Hate of the English, constantly stoked by the Tartan Nazis, is a huge force in Scottish Politics.

        • TheRightToArmBears

          I wonder whether the anti-English sentiment (I know, a softer euphemism for prejudice) is encouraged by the under-lying Irish element in the Scottish population, bringing with it the ancient Irish sentiments.

  • It’s a funny name for them really. Scottish Nationalist, when really they are EU Federalists. Amazing how they have managed to get away with it.

    The SNP are addicticted to other people’s money. The EU is attractive for them because they can get more greater subsidies than they can from England.

    • Davidsb

      The SNP are addicted to other people’s money. The EU is attractive for them because they can get greater subsidies than they can from England.

      I was under the impression that, as one of the more wealthy regions of the EU, an independent Scotland would in fact be a net contributor to the EU budget – and a substantial net contributor if further expansion (Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and perhaps Turkey) takes place in future.

  • Urban Spaceman 69

    ‘What sort of person would want to destroy what is probably the most successful political union ever in order to join a failing, inefficient, bureaucratic, sclerotic political union?’

    Someone who holds such extreme anti-English views that they would rather cut off their nose to spite their face. I sometimes suspect that their enthusiasm for the EU is a cloak with which to hide their bigoted views about the English.

    • RingedPlover

      If I’m racist for wanting the UK to leave the EU isn’t it racist for Scotland to want to leave the UK?

      • Don’t be cruel!

        Honestly… making the Left think like that.

  • North Angle

    The SNP was co-founded by a fascist who urged his Scottish followers to ignore conscription during World War II and plotted to set up a puppet National Socialist government in Scotland. Says it all really.

  • Colkitto03

    Last year Bourbon sales overtook whiskey sales in the UK for the first time ever. The oil in the north sea now has a higher extraction price than its sell price.
    And now a third of players in the Scottish premier league are English!!!!!!!
    http://eurorivals.net/abroad/english-players-in-scotland.html

    As Private Fraser would say ‘were all doomed’!!

    • choccycobnobs

      The EU club seems to be needing net contributors. Is Scotland in that bracket or is Sturgeon criminally insane?

  • Craig Martin

    The SNP care about power and control, not about the Scottish people.

  • Alaric the Vis

    The desire to leave a real union, where their opinion counts, to join the EU is baffling. They would be a tiny supplicant begging for scraps from an arrogant and nearly deaf organisation. After getting control back over fishing in their own waters, they’d be giving it away again. A hard border and passport controls would be needed, exactly what everyone is saying they don’t want in Ireland. Somehow a border, interest rates set in Germany and a disaster of a currency would be just the thing for Scotland.

    Scotland would be an independent country with no control over its own affairs.

    This is about identity, not logic.

  • Foxy Loxy

    One might ask the question of the SNP: why, if the EU and the Single Market is such a great bonanza for Scotland, after 43 years of membership of both does Scotland sell nearly everything it produces to England and Wales, but virtually nothing to the rest of the EU?

    Clearly those 43 years have proven the EU to be useless for Scottish businesses and its economy – so why do you deem it so important?

    Yet here is Sturgeon trying to separate her country from their overwhelmingly biggest trading partner (England and Wales).

  • NogbadTheBad

    Campbell Campbell-Jack, may I present Boutros Boutros-Ghali?