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.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

.

THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Tom Gallagher: Sturgeon’s gamble relies on English complacency

Yesterday, the press pack outside the Scottish First Minister’s Edinburgh residence, as she announced she was asking the Prime Minister to give the go-ahead for a second independence referendum , was actually meagre. This will have disappointed the ruling SNP, which often appears more like an extended media machine, or propaganda outfit, than a conventional party.

Scotland’s parliament is a mile away in the Holyrood district but it might as well be renamed Holywood. Since entering government in 2007, the SNP has behaved as if Scotland is little more than a cheap Holywood stage set where the same B-movie is being endlessly re-filmed.

The SNP has an obsession with narrative, image and optics like perhaps no other party in the Western world. It is obsessed with creating psychodramas that will persuade enough restive Scots that England is their adversary, preventing the march of a nation towards a glowing separate future.

Back on terrestrial heather and concrete, there are real and mounting problems with health, education and policing that Nicola Sturgeon has promised to fix but shrinks from tackling. She may well fear that she is losing her hold over a country that she and her predecessor fired up in 2014, when David Cameron unwisely granted the SNP a referendum on terms very much favourable to the nationalists.

A growing number of Scots are speaking up to insist that ‘the party of Scotland’ fix a backlog of problems that are impairing the quality of life in Scotland. The country now has one of the most powerful devolved assemblies in the world. But the SNP is absorbed in stoking up a non-stop melodrama around imaginary grievances. Fiscal transfers make up for the collapse in tax revenue from North Sea oil. They ensure high spending levels on often poorly run public services.

Sturgeon forgets that the SNP had campaigned in 2014 on the independence referendum being ‘a once in a generation opportunity’. When the pro-Union ‘No’ side won a bigger percentage victory than Labour had enjoyed in the ‘landslide’ of 1945, the emphasis remained on finding any pretext for painting the rest of Britain as ‘the other’.

Already in 2014 it was clear that a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union was likely. All it would take for it to be triggered was a Conservative victory in 2015 against two unpopular challengers. Polls already indicated in 2014 that if it was held, the pro-withdrawal side stood a good chance of victory.

But the SNP now contends that because of Brexit the material circumstances of the Union have profoundly changed. The Union is no longer what it was even though the 2016 EU referendum was an all-British vote with no specific Scottish, Ulster, London or Welsh dimension. Sturgeon contends that she was left with no alternative but to throw down the gauntlet by Prime Minister May refusing to accept her compromise proposals. This involved a differential or ‘bespoke’ solution in which Scotland remained a semi-detached part of the UK but at the same time part of the EU single market.

Scotland sells £49.8 billion worth of goods and services to the UK, compared with £12.3 billion to the EU.

During the lengthy EU referendum campaign, the SNP had not actively campaigned for Remain. Indeed, it had spent less in the EU campaign than in a previous Westminster by-election. Of course, the SNP insists that it is ardently pro-EU. But it has no strong views on what the nature of the entity should be as anyone who has attended boiler-plate debates on Europe at Holyrood soon discovers. The EU’s sole purpose is to act as a prop for the nationalists  to differentiate Scotland from the rest of the UK. The SNP is untroubled that control of borders, agriculture, fishing, etc would be retained by Brussels once full sovereignty was restored to the rest of Britain.

After 23 June there was no dramatic leap in favour of independence even though Scots voted 62-38 to remain in the UK on a turnout lower than in the rest of the country. Certain Scots professions feel strongly attached to the EU, particularly in academia and the media. A recent YouGov survey showed the number of Scots identifying as either British or some combination of British and Scottish at 67 per cent.

By contrast a 2014 poll showed just 9 per cent of people in Scotland chose ‘European’ from a list of various geographic or national identities that might describe them, compared with 15 per cent of people in Britain as a whole.

Moreover, fewer than 15 per cent of voters in 2014 considered EU membership to be an important factor in making their referendum decision.

In the face of misgivings within her own party, Sturgeon is gambling on rebalancing Scottish politics around the European issue. She is pressing the Scottish electorate to choose between two different unions. Her desired referendum date (between September 2018 and March 2019) means Scots would be unclear about what would be the terms on which a post-Brexit Britain would exist. It can be guaranteed that Scots would also be firmly on the dark about what would be the terms on which Scotland would belong to the EU; the currency it used; the amount it paid into EU coffers; etc.

What is clear is that the EU is moving in an increasingly centralised direction in which national parliaments head towards being consultative assemblies in which issues of tax and spend gradually slip from their control.

A loud lamentation is heard about an issue that is not central to the identity of most Scots and that (on her own side) really animates core SNP backers, groupies depending on state patronage, the party’s media arm, celebrities, actors as well as  professional Anglophobes, all of whom revolve in the Sturgeon orbit.

Local elections in May will show the extent to which Sturgeon is capable of persuading Scots to shelve their unhappiness at government incompetence in running their affairs. Her personal popularity has slumped as Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives has been Scotland’s most popular figure for the best part of a year. Most prominent Scottish Tories were pro-Remain in 2016 but (with no exception I am aware of) they have all closed ranks to resist an early referendum and insist the SNP commit to doing the day job rather than eternal campaigning.

Sturgeon must energise the SNP base which does not share the enthusiasm of the still influential Salmond for an early referendum where the chances of success look uncertain. Perhaps she feels that as the SNP enters its second decade of rule, then the party’s lack of appetite for governing well will make it even harder to win a referendum after the details of Brexit have been worked out - so the sooner the better, otherwise too many Scots will tire completely of the SNP.

It would, however, be folly to assume that events may not move in her favour. What happens in European politics is crucial.  Right now she is  busy forging alliances with Socialist and Green politicians in Western Europe, especially Germany. If Macron and Schulz are in charge of France and Germany by the autumn, then I would not rule out a bid to sabotage Brexit or disable Britain by sponsoring a Scottish breakaway. It still looking a long shot but it might grow more likely if the ardent pro-EU leader of the opposition Michael Martin takes over in Dublin and presses for a united Ireland.

The SNP is also busy wining and dining influential academics in North America and Europe as well assorted VIPs from diplomacy in the hope that  they will prove a pro-Indy pressure group globally. The British government is making no such preparations or so it would seem. The Spectator, the supposed voice of English conservative thought, publishes article after article by Alex Massie which effectively imply the Union is on skid row.

Think tanks like Policy Exchange and the Bow Group steadily ignore Scotland. It encourages the rash view among a still small minority of English Conservatives that Scotland is expendable and a time of contentment surely beckons if it is placed permanently beyond the borders of Britain.

Sturgeon is facing growing high-quality Unionist opposition in Scotland. It will be difficult to rally the housing schemes of Scottish cities on a Europhile programme that many can figure out means hard times for them. She  is relying on friends in Europe, as well as blunders in the Unionist camp on a much bigger scale than in 2014, to enable her to pull off the dissolution of the UK.

A vote for separation  seems unlikely, considering people in Scotland receive £1,500 more public expenditure per head of population than those in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and the country has a huge £10 billion deficit.

But so, a short time ago, did Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and Erdogan emerging as a huge European menace. Never, not even during the era of regular IRA bombings, have separatists committed to breaking up the UK actually been so formidable. The longer London fails to grasp this fact, the more likely a Scottish earthquake could match Brexit in magnitude.

(Image: Christine McIntosh)

Tom Gallagher

  • Colkitto03

    Sturgeon has made a huge miscalculation. People hate being asked the same question repeatedly. They also hate political opportunism. More than anything they dont like all the news being dominated by campaigns.
    But why swap Westminster for Brussels? Simple, the Scottish Government will always need someone else to blame for their problems. They don’t do accountability.

  • Aaron D Highside

    History will regard Cameron, Blair, Clegg and the rest of the privately educated PPE-type graduates as political pygmies in the wake of Mrs Thatcher, a giant with a few forgiveable flaws. Imagine Crankie up against Maggie! I can hear it now: N0! N0! NO!

    • Tethys

      How about supporting lung disease in her retirement as she did?
      Forgivable to you perhaps.

      On the other hand the Good Friday agreement was special.

      • Reborn

        Very wise.
        Since most Scot Nats are poorly educated & smoke like chimneys
        Only drawback is that their healthcare, like everything else in
        Scotland is paid for by the English.
        Actually, this is quite fun.
        I’m three quarters Scots myself &, family apart, I’ve only met a couple
        of Scots I disliked.
        The Scottish financial services are very good, and very small.
        They have all opened up UK registered offices in London, just
        in case the Rab C Nesbitts discover the multiple votes handed them
        by Blair, via the postal voting racket.

  • skynine

    The question that needs to be asked is: Do the English want the Scots? Answers on a postcard please.
    The other question is: Does the Republic of Ireland want Ulster? I suspect they rather liked Ulster being a thorn in the UK side, but really wouldn’t want the problems associated with it.

    • StaffsBrief

      Answer on a postage stamp: No.

    • StaffsBrief

      Answer on a postage stamp: No.

    • Bik Byro

      I suspect the reason that the English increasingly don’t want the Scots is the result of a successful deliberate strategy by wee krankie and all her useful idiots to make the visible face of Scotland appear to be a bunch of pathetic, irritating moaners.

      • skynine

        Except that the Scots voted overwhelmingly SNP at the last General Election and thereby voted to be part of the opposition then complain that they are not part of government. It isn’t just Krankie and friends that are useful idiots.

        • Alan

          The nats got a lot of MPs as Labour disintegrated. Half or more of those seats will be lost next time.

      • 3aple

        That side of Scotland’s face has been turning increasingly towards us for decades. Long before the SNP were anywhere near power in Scotland.

  • Debs

    I thought SNP were elected to make life better in Scotland for all Scots. The SNP should get on and run the country.Independance won’t make services or the economy better .A competent devolved government should.
    Blaming England for their own shortcomings won’t wash forever.The Scottish people are too intelligent not to realise.

    The irony is within the UK ,Scots Welsh and Irish have retained their own individual identities ,something that the EU is trying to extinguish in ever closer union.

    • TJB

      I’ve said elsewhere that the Conservatives both in Scotland and Westminster should make more noise about areas where the SNP have responsibility in Scotland but are failing to take action to fix.

    • Bik Byro

      Services in Scotland are often abysmal, but the SNP are able to hand-wave over that by waving a big banner with “Scottish Independence” written on it.

      • Alan

        That tactic has been overplayed; people in Scotland are (finally) realising just how awful the nats are.

  • Graham Reakes

    It is worthwhile remembering Devolution was ostensibly sold as
    giving more power to Scotland, Wales and NI. This really was only
    a smoke screen for the dismemberment of the UK. Under EU plans
    England was to be carved into 9 regions .England does not even
    appear on the EU plan as an entity!.
    I whole heartedly support the Union, do not let short term vainglorious
    politicians destroy this.
    If Scotland left the UK, We would have a German run vassal State on
    our northern borders.

    • Reborn

      My support of your position has vanished.
      Let me put it this way.
      The EU is run by Germany & for its long term interests.
      Not all Germans know or like this.
      Historically, the Scots Nats have shown themselves to be happy with this situation,
      nothing trumping their hatred of the English, who currently support their clapped
      out country.
      When the UK regains its independence, the French will have to fill much of
      the gap left by UK’s ceasing to pay Danegeld.
      Let’s see if the Auld Alliance stands up to that.
      The French, as well as the Spanish & Italians have their own would be breakaway
      regions to consider also.

      • Tethys

        You neglect to mention that Germany is the most populus EU state and it’s biggest overall contributor.

        • Reborn

          And your point is ?
          We all know that Germany pays most, with the UK second & France
          third.
          Now Germany & France will have to pay more in order to support
          the economic basket cases that the Euro has created elsewhere.
          The Germans know that paying more in order to expand both their customer base & their power is much preferable to previous
          bellicose versions of the same thing.

    • Reborn

      ‘My support of your position has vanished.’
      Not sure what I meant.
      Sorry, I support your thesis.
      Put it down to my affection for Scotland’s nicest export.

  • Salmondnet

    Speaking as one of the “small minority” of English Conservatives who think Scotland is expendable, Scotland is expendable. Better the Scots go now than the inevitable continuation of the “if you don’t do this we will leave” blackmail which will go on, and on, and on, until they eventually depart at a time of their choosing rather than ours.

    • TJB

      I have hope that Ruth Davidson is turning the tide somewhat. The SNP are deflecting right now as they furiously try and prevent the Scottish electorate from noticing the shambolic state of so many areas for which the SNP has responsibility. Things such as https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/politics/scottish-politics/385408/exclusive-plea-for-parents-to-teach-maths-amid-staff-shortage-at-john-swinneys-local-school/ for example. If more of these sort of things start appearing then those new converts to the SNP may rethink their support and look elsewhere.

    • Mike Hunt

      Absolutely if they want to go , just carry on . I see this as win win either sturgeon or Scotland goes. Hopefully it will be stuegeon

      • TJB

        I have a feeling it’ll be Sturgeon. Yesterday’s announcement seems to have generated far more anger from those of us who voted No last time around than it has enthusiasm from those who voted Yes.

    • The_Pr1soner

      Plus, how many of the Unionists in Scotland are only in it for the money (and would happily leave, if their quality of life could be guaranteed)? England isn’t a charity; if there is nothing more than pure, selfish financial gain to Scots’ unionist sentiment, better they go now.

      • 3aple

        I recall a poll run a couple of months before the independence referendum, which asked Scots how they would vote if leaving the Union meant that they’d be £1,500 better off, versus how they would vote if leaving the Union meant they would be £1,500 worse off.

        Needless to say, the money massively swayed the vote. So that’s the price of proud Scot’s independence.

        I too wish the rest of the UK had a vote on Scottish independence, as with the current price of oil, there’s no hope we’ll be rid of their resentment.

        .
        .

        • Mandy S

          It’s a bit like the old music hall joke, the one that ends …
          “What kind of girl do you think I am!”
          “I’ve already established that, now I’m just trying to work out the price”

  • Rzzr

    The SNP were always going to find a reason for another referendum. If it wasn’t Brexit it would have been Trident or something else. I believe that Alex Salmond even said that having Boris Johnson as PM would be a reason.
    Time is key as they can’t guarantee that they will be in a position to call one after the next election in 2021.

  • grimble55

    “The SNP has an obsession with narrative, image and optics like perhaps no other party in the Western world. It is obsessed with creating psychodramas that will persuade enough restive Scots that England is their adversary, preventing the march of a nation towards a glowing separate future.”

    I guess they’ve learned well at the feet of UKIP, the Conservative Party, The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express, who have spent 40 grindingly long years “obsessed with creating psychodramas that will persuade enough restive English people that the EU is their adversary, preventing the march of a nation towards a glowing separate future.”

    • Little Black Censored

      Well, thank heavens it worked!

  • I don’t believe that the SNP genuinely want independence , it is just a ploy to get more say in UK matters on top of their already disproportionate representation at Westminster.
    Theresa May should call Queen Nicola’s bluff, and insist that a referendum is held for the rest of the UK on the same day as any Scottish referendum, asking the rest of the UK whether they wish Scotland to remain in the UK.
    I suspect Queen Nicola would then back-pedal as fast as she could!

  • grimble55

    Incidentally this statement is a blatant lie:

    “People in Scotland receive £1,500 more public expenditure per head of population than those in England, Wales or Northern Ireland”.

    Spending per head is significantly LOWER in Scotland than in Northern Ireland, and is only slightly greater than that in Wales.

    A simple apology from Mr Gallagher, or this site’s administrators, will suffice.

    • Salmondnet

      Which suggests that England would be also better off without NI.

      • 3aple

        At least the majority of the people of Northern Ireland are not constantly whinging about their proud heritage whilst venting their spleen at us.

        • grutchyngfysch

          Well I’d not perhaps go that far (whinging is a national pasttime here as much as anywhere else in these fair isles) – but yes, apart from the obligatory Sinn Fein annual harrumph over a referendum, polls consistently show that a majority in NI know the South couldn’t afford them. (I’ve actually often wondered whether a real poll – which constitutionally would need to be held in RoI as well – might not potentially result in the embarrassing spectacle of the South saying “er no thanks”.)

          • 3aple

            I agree. I’m inclined to think think exactly that.

    • grutchyngfysch

      The comparison (I am guessing) being made in the article is between the UK average per capita and Scotland’s per capita, which is a little bit over £1,500 difference – however that’s not apples vs apples.

      If you aggregate it into “rUK” (which seems appropriate in the context), Scotland still gets around £600 per head more than England, Wales and Northern Ireland (combined). But you’re correct to note that it is spending per capita in England which significantly drags down that combined average and that as a region, the conflict-recovering Northern Ireland is indeed receiving slightly more than Scotland. [Edited – I wrote “less” but meant “more”]

      Which is remarkable when you think about it – just what the heck justifies 8% of the UK’s population running up 29% of the UK’s annual deficit? At least NI can point to the Troubles as a reason.

      • simonstephenson

        “Which is remarkable when you think about it – just what the heck justifies 8% of the UK’s population running up 29% of the UK’s annual deficit?”

        It’s a routine fiscal transfer, which is an essential feature of a single-currency region where there is considerable geographical divergence in economic advantage. London and the South-East have an advantage over the rest of the UK, both because they contain the political and financial headquarters of the nation, and also because they are geographically closest to our major markets on the European continent. The single currency allows London and the SE to trade in a currency which is considerably weaker than would be a currency for their region alone, yet condemns areas of economic disadvantage, like Scotland and Northern Ireland, to having to trade in what is, for them, an overvalued currency.

        The situation is comparable to the Eurozone, with the exception that there is no formally agreed (or politically possible) set-up of fiscal transfers from the areas of economic advantage (Germany and the Netherlands) to the areas of economic disadvantage (Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal)

        • grutchyngfysch

          So if Scotland is as deprived as a region which experienced decades of paramilitary violence, what on earth possesses the SNP to believe that it can possibly sustain independence without some form of bailout from another entity or its own currency to devalue?

          I’m stumped as to how it can be both ways: either Scotland is a thriving modern economy – in which case the SNP’s fiscal governance is evidently shambolic – or it’s a deprived region that needs substantial external funding to even gain close to parity with similar nations – in which case Scotland’s independence will always be conditional on someone “transferring” wealth (I’d love to see how that’ll go down on the application for EU member status after it loses one of it’s biggest net contributors).

          • simonstephenson

            If Scotland became independent, there’s really no future in continuing to use sterling, even if the rUK was prepared to allow this to happen.

            And if an independent Scotland were to rejoin the EU it’s hard to see how they would be allowed to do this without committing to join the Euro. In which case, unless the Eurozone had in the meantime set up a politically-agreed fiscal transfer system, Scotland would be on a par with, if not Greece, then Portugal. And all the moaning and groaning of the Sturgeons and the Salmonds would have no more effect than have the moaning and groaning of Tsipras and his supporters in Athens.

            The only hope for an independent Scotland would be for it to have its own currency.

  • The Sage

    After 23 June there was no dramatic leap in favour of independence even though Scots voted 62-38 to remain in the UK …….Surely, you mean EU.

    • grimble55

      Reading the rest of the fact-free bilge in this column, I suspect it was thrown together in 10 minutes at the end of a heavy night.

      • Landphil

        Same as “Scotland’s Future” of 2013.

        • grimble55

          And the same as the government’s plan for our future relationship with the EU.

          No, I take that back, because of course it has no plan at all.

          • Landphil

            61/21 – get over it Jimmy.

          • grimble55

            As T. May said yesterday, politics isn’t a game, Cecil.

          • simonstephenson

            Not a game? It is for the teenage-minded, self-gratifying Left of which you seem to be one. It always has been.

          • simonstephenson

            The plan is to negotiate with the rest of the EU to get the set of arrangements that is most advantageous to us at the end. It would be idiotic to tie oneself to a more detailed plan before negotiations have even started, and even more idiotic to start publicising what ones intentions are in advance. Perhaps its the idiocy of these positions that makes them so attractive to you?

      • Little Black Censored

        Back to the South Pacific with you!

      • simonstephenson

        I appreciate that for people with a C-stream teenage mentality, like you, facts and realities which don’t fit in with their tunnel-visioned, totalitarian outlook are not classified as facts or realities. Perhaps this is why you’re not able to recognise the facts in a column that is brim full of them?

  • grimble55

    One does wonder exactly when Theresa May had her senses of self-awareness and irony surgically removed.

    Because to accuse SOMEONE ELSE of pursuing “tunnel vision” “regardless of the consequences”, and “creating economic uncertainty” is a proposition of Trumpian surreality.

    • BaconLord

      Except it was the British people who voted to leave the EU and not a unilateral move on the part of PM May.

    • Little Black Censored

      We are not being removed from our largest export market. We are going to increase trade with other countries whilst continuing to trade with Europe. (As of course you well know.)

  • Politically__Incorrect

    If Scotland leaves the Union it will have to apply for EU membership. According to EU rules, when Britain leaves the EU Scotland leaves too. Its application for EU membership could take years and success is not guaranteed. Membership depends both on Scotland and the condition of the EU, which looks to become increasingly fractured and may lose the Euro altogether. So Scotland will have to provide its own currency for some time. Will businesses want to invest there given the political and economic uncertainty? Add to that the need for a hard border, possible loss of trade with other regions of the UK and what we see is not a very rosy picture.

    Nicola Sturgeon is one of those elitist crazed ideologues. She will get support from other elitist crazed ideologues around Europe. Will the Scottish people buy it though? I have my doubts.

    • BaconLord

      Not to mention the idea that Spain might veto a Scottish membership application.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Quite. Last December Spain rejected Sturgeon’s plan to keep Scotland in the Single Market after Brexit. They don’t want anything that encourages the Catalans

        • 300 Spartans

          And the Basques. Especially the Basques.

      • Lorelle

        Now that would be amusing

    • Bik Byro

      I’d be interested to see the day that English fishermen regain control of their own waters while Scottish fishermen have to sit back and watch all the European Trawlers come round Scotland’s coastline.

      • Little Black Censored

        Don’t you find it sinister that Government ministers hardly ever mention fishing? I fear they may not insist on getting it back.

      • The_Pr1soner

        Unless May gives ours away in negotiations! Isn’t there some sort of rule, governing where the border between England and Scotland extends out to sea, which would change post independence (in England’s favour)? Damned if I can remember its name. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?

    • 3aple

      We can help each other. The rest of the UK can have a referendum and vote to leave the Union. Scotland (a net receiver) can stay in the EU and the UK (a net contributor) will have to leave the EU and re-apply for membership – if it wants – which it doesn’t.
      .

  • James Chilton

    If the Scots do finally break up the union and become an “independent” nation, I don’t mind at all – provided those of us left in the UK don’t have to pick up the tab.

  • Bik Byro

    No, Sturgeon’s plan relies not on English complacency but on the hope that the English will get so irritated by the SNP’s constant wingeing and whining that we will actually encourage Scottish devolution just to get rid of their whining. I can see it starting to work already.

    • Andrew Tettenborn

      I fear you’re right. One (very Sassenach) friend of mine years ago joined the SNP precisely because he wanted to get rid of the Scots.

      • Andrew Tettenborn wrote:

        One … friend of mine … joined the SNP precisely because he wanted to get rid of the Scots.

        I reduced taunting Scotch colleagues to silence and impotent glares when I assured them that I would join the SNP if I lived in Scotland (I worked there but lived across the border, in England’s bastion against the Jock, Berwick-upon-Tweed.) because I wanted to get rid of Scotland. This was fifteen years ago.

    • Paul Robson

      I think you are bang on here. It’s also working. I know many people who would happily dump Scotland because the visible voice of Scotland is not people like Ruth Davidson, it’s the pathetic whining spoilt SNP mob. Very few people I know who aren’t Scots think anything other than “get rid of them” or “let them go if they want”

    • photon

      The attitude of SNP members in the House of Commons looks consistent with that.
      The time-wasting giving way to eachother during the Brexit Bill debate just one example.

    • Ravenscar

      I think there is much truth in that, fishhead krankie is a skillful operator, she’s calculated probably correctly that, the best way to sever the arm is to get the body to cut it off.

      • John C

        I disagree. I think she is unhinged, infantile, just a shrieking toddler throwing tantrums all the time to draw attention to herself.

        • simonstephenson

          Yes, but there are hundreds of thousands with the same mental set-up, who regard the fact that the First Minister behaves in this way as legitimising their own refusal to embrace and tackle the complications of adulthood.

        • Ravenscar

          OK, she’s a lass and lasses do – just that.

          “I think she is unhinged, infantile, just a shrieking toddler throwing tantrums all the time to draw attention to herself.”

          I’ve heard tell, read about some – me old dear watched one in a supermarket t’other day and quote, “that little girl had her parents in thrall” – very manipulative kids, imps who clearly know of what they’re about.

          • John C

            “lasses do – just that” – what utter drivel.

          • Ravenscar

            There isn’t a woman whose ever been born who doesn’t play the little girl card – or do you know different?

          • John C

            Yes, I know quite a few of those ‘women who have never been born’.

  • bs

    Any plan that relies wholly or partly upon English complacency looks pretty damn likely to succeed to me on the present trajectory of travel.

  • Claphamomnibusbloke

    Petition Another Scottish independence referendum should not be allowed to happen
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/180642
    Petition 180642

    • 3aple

      I most certainly will not support such a petition. I’ve long since had enough. I want them gone.

      • 3aple wrote:

        I most certainly will not support such a petition. I’ve long since had enough. I want them gone.

        Here, here.

  • Forlorn Hope

    Sooner or later, Scotland will secede, Ireland will re-unite. Lets just get it over with.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      No. Surrender merely means new demands. We gave up the empire on this logic; and found we had to fight in NI.

      • Blowmedown

        Yes we did, but mostly with one hand tied behind our backs and sometimes with both. The SNP want power, but clearly not responsibility otherwise they would knuckle down and govern and make a success with what they’ve already got.

  • Hampsteadpinko

    So, Sturgeon wants a referendum.
    If the result is in her favour this is what Scotland has to look forward to:

    No currency
    No central bank
    Duties on exports to the rest of the (former) United Kingdom
    Border controls on Scots and those coming from Scotland into the rest of the (former) UK
    No pubic expenditure support from the rest of the (former) UK
    Taking on responsibility for a fair proportion of the UK national debt
    Trading with the EU without a trade agreement until Scotland gets membership of the EU
    Unlimited immigration from EU members after joining the EU
    Contributing to EU expenditure on olive farms in Greece and chicken houses in Romania

    The list goes on.

    Are Scots competely mad? Will they really support the farrago and nonsense of this foolish woman?

    • Bik Byro

      English fisherman in control of their own waters while the EU fleet of trawlers fishes off the coast of Scotland.

      • nanumaga

        Entirely possible. Would the Scottish Unionists have the wit to launch a campaign based on ‘Scottish fishing rights for Scottish’ fishermen’? Given the highly emotional level of debate I’d guess this is worth 10 points for the Unionists if done well.

        • Alan

          Indeed, and such a campaign wll be run.

          • nanumaga

            I’m an English staunch supporter of the Union with some ties, ancient and modern, with Scotland. I’m also a fatalist. I understand that the next SNP campaign will be very like the last insofar as it’ll be 85% emotion vs 15% logic. I get that and I campaigned for some years to get our country out of the EU using no small amount of emotion. I know that the involvement of English political party leaders will be about as well received as a Coca Cola in a glass of malt whisky – David Cameron’s last minute bribes will never be repeated. I am certain that the next referendum in Scotland has to be won, or lost, by Scots Unionists with no, repeat, no intervention from Westminster. I, and my English friends of the same belief will support our Scottish family and friends in whatever way they ask us to do this so long as it doesn’t involve shipping Boris Johnson, Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn further North of Carlisle. I’m bloody sure that a) ‘Scottish fishing rights for Scottish fishermen’ is a guaranteed proposition which is worth at least another 20,000 jobs by Year 2 of Brexit and; b) Any arguments over EEZ between England and Scotland will be settled very easily – the West involves the Irish – free access to Irish waters is their problem. UK will have both patrol boats and a licenced trace on all vessels. Illegals will be shot at and holed below the waterline. All landings are recorded and will be coordinated with our neighbours in Norway and Iceland. In actual fact, post Brexit we will probably have dozens of Icelandic and Norwegian consultants telling us how to do it! It’s going to be a bumpy ride but I’m damn sure it’s a ride in the right direction.

      • Hampsteadpinko

        Nicola Ninny would want nothing less.

      • choccycobnobs

        The ‘Great Leader’ would evidence that as an example of burgeoning trade with their EU partners.

      • <Bik Byro wrote:

        English fisherman in control of their own waters … ‘

        And England’s fishing quotas returned to England, along with England’s North Sea oil and England’s North Sea gas (95% of which lies beneath what will be English waters). Scotland currently has 70% of the ‘U’K’s fishing quotas. About fifteen years ago Henry McLeish, then both an MSP and a Labour cabinet minister, stripped Northumberland fishermen of their mackerel quotas and gave them to Scotch fishermen. Not long afterwards, line fishing from beaches in Northumberland was also banned.

        We could levy tolls on Scotch rail and road cargoes passing through England, and deport all those Scots living on benefits in England, and there are hundreds of thousands of them.

        Scots wa hey? Too right.

    • 300 Spartans

      Yes they are. And yes they will

  • tomthumb015

    Truthfully most English people are sick and tired of the SNP and the whinging Scots. If there was a ref in England tomorrow for Scotland to LEAVE the UK union, it would be a landslide. PLEASE GO ASAP.. Then 10 years later when Scotland is bankrupt through the SNP’s fantasy socialism economy, we can all say – you brought it all upon yourselves.
    Scotland is now like the grumbling Quebec to Canada, It will never be satisfied or content, will always demand more concessions, more special status. GO, leave, PLEASE.

    • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

      Interestingly, at the threat of secession the banks moved from Montreal to to Bay Street Toronto.

      Toronto while admittedly is very dreary indeed, it is extremely rich and polished. I bit like Zurich but not pretty in parts.

      Montreal is a tired mess of a place.

    • Labour_is_bunk

      I wonder how many Canadians of Scottish descent get all dewy-eyed at the prospect of Scots independence, whilst bitterly denouncing Quebec nationalism?

      Funny old world.

  • Steve Nunkey

    As the first independence vote did not take Brexit into consideration and leaving the EU is a once in a generation event, I think Scotland should have another independence referendum.

    Theresa May should also offer referendums on independence to Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland on the 4th May 2017, alongside the local elections to get the whole issue out the way as soon as possible.

    Scotland is only 8% of the UK population, 8% of UK GDP and 8% of Westminster MP’s.

    The GDP of England, Wales and Northern Ireland is the 6th largest economy in the world and Scotland on its own would be 46th.

    If Scotland decided to leave the UK, I doubt England, Wales and Northern Ireland would notice any difference?

    If Faslane moves to Barrow-In-Furness and RBS moves to London, Scotland will notice.

    It is Scotland decision, they should make it this year, but be careful what you wish for.

    • 3aple

      I think we would notice a difference. For the better.

      • The Banana

        If I saw or heard about Sturgeon and the SNP as much as I hear or see about whoever is the Taoiseach of Ireland – ie not at all – then I would for one would notice an improvement.

        • Alan

          You and me both, mate, and I am a Scot living in Edinburgh

          • The Banana

            I do feel sorry for the unionist Scots…. but it seems to me a bit of a hopeless cause ATM, no?

    • Steve Nunkey wrote:

      Theresa May should also offer referendums on independence to Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland on the 4th May 2017 … ‘

      Why not to the people of England? England is not the ‘U’K. We in England are the only people in the ‘union’ not to be represented by a Parliament dedicated only to our interests and England is therefore the last British colony. Why shouldn’t we have the opportunity to vote for our independence?

  • nanumaga

    Rather than relying, yet again, on the English, complacent or otherwise, wouldn’t it be rather a good idea for the Scottish Unionists in the Conservative, Liberal and Labour Parties to start today by making IndyRef2 the major issue in the upcoming Council Elections in Scotland? I can pretty well guarantee that there will be no further concessions under devolution offered by the PM in the desperate, and idiotic, manner of David Cameron. Beyond public statements from the PM, Labour and Liberal leaders in Westminster that they value the Union and the Scottish membership of same, I see little role for the English political class in this next God-awful pantomime performance. By the same token – if the majority of the Northern Irish decide that Brexit tips the balance on their continued ‘membership’ of the Union and want to go for independence or absorbtion into the Republic of Ireland, that’s fine with me but I see little value in British political leaders getting involved in such a tribal debate.

  • Bogbrush

    I’m not complacent on this issue. I’m desperately keen that they vote for independence.

    • John C

      Me and all.

    • Bogbrush wrote:

      I’m desperately keen that they vote for independence.

      I’m desperately keen that we are allowed to vote for their independence.

  • gray cooper

    There is no difference between Sturgeon and May as they have violated intellectual property and with the tobacco tax escalator they have both shot themselves with their arrogance. Anti-business politicians are rejected and remain disrespected.

    • John C

      LOL. Not that absurd hobby horse again.

      • gray cooper

        It is the politicians with their arrogance who continue to be absurd and unelectable.

  • Sheik Rhat el Anrhol

    I am still of the opinion that the opportunist chancer Sturgeon has no intention whatsoever of following through with a new referendum. She Is far too canny for that.

    This is displacement exercise to deflect the electorate’s collective gaze from the twin disasters busily unfolding within the Scottish education and health sectors.

    She knows full well that a referendum win or loss would finish her career. Loss would be instant but win would take not much longer.

    She is in business to retain power and she is mostly the cleverest person in the room.

    • John C

      I doubt that she is canny. She strikes me as a far-gone ideologue with scant connections to reality.

  • grimble55

    May is either being incredibly badly advised, or (and there’s increasing evidence for this) she’s on the point of becoming a voluntary patient in the same locked ward as Boris, Werrity Fox and John Deadwood…. or she doesn’t give a sh*t.

    Because everything she says these days, especially since yesterday, is simply a free gift to the SNP. Every single statement is so gobsmackingly and shamelessly ironic when set against her stance on Brexit, is a PR free shot for Sturgeon. The SNP just have to sit there, and she showers them with campaigning tools.

    Surely someone can take her to one side, and gently but forcibly point out to her what the indisputable effect on public opinion would have been if, say, the EU had turned round to the UK and said “OK, you can have your referendum, but not now, only at a time that suits us in a few years’ time”……

    • Blowmedown

      Or, she’s been well advised and is actually playing hard-ball with the SNP. If they want to go then let them go.

      • bevinboy

        Agreed, I do not want them to go, but what is plain that the half of Scotland (roughly) that is the tail, cannot continue to wag the whole British Lion.

        They will do what they will do.

        If they go, no food parcels.

        I quite like Irish Whiskey.

        • Choam Nomski

          Believe it or not, Welsh whisky is pretty good too. Try Penderyn.

          • John C

            Ah yes, didn’t see yours when I wrote mine above. We love Pendryn in my house.

          • Mojo

            We buy Penderyn here in South West

        • So I’ve found is English Whiskey (Whisky, not sure), at least the stuff made in Norfolk. For that matter bourbon ain’t half bad, either, although different.

          • John C

            Welsh whisky is excellent.

          • D. A. Christenson wrote:

            So I’ve found is English Whiskey (Whisky, not sure) … ‘

            English whisky, which is so much smoother than the rough, paint stripper like Scotch offerings. I dislike Scotch whisky very much and have only drunk Plymouth gin (and very occasionally Greenall’s and Juniper Green) and rum for years. However, my brother gave me a lot of English whisky at Christmas and I was very pleased by it.

            Another reason the Scotch hate us?

          • Bob

            Whisky is Scots. Whiskey is Irish. The difference is from the gaelic translations.
            Bourbon is also delicious 🙂

          • Thanks, always wondered about the where distinction came from.

            It is rather good. 🙂

  • Reborn

    Until WW2, Scotland was a highly productive member of the UK, providing
    disproportionately scientific & artistic talent.
    The Scots were at the heart of the British Empire project.
    Since WW2, & especially since the 1970s it has become a basket case with only its
    excellent, if small, financial services industry, plus whisky exports to be proud of.
    Half the (devalued) oil belongs to England/UK.
    Scots Nats are a nasty bunch.
    I’d be sorry to lose the nice Scots, but the English are sick of being abused by representatives
    of a small nation that is part of the UK & subsists on handouts from the English.
    As ever Labour are at the heart of the destruction of the UK, since they gave us
    the Barnet Formula & the vile Scottish Parliament.
    I’m surprised some human rights lawyers haven’t taken up a reasonable case for once.
    The discrimination against non Scottish, UK university students in Scotland.
    What a nasty country it has become in recent years..

    • Reborn wrote:

      ‘ … providing disproportionately scientific & artistic talent.

      A common Scotch claim but baseless, and shown to be so some time ago.

      What a nasty country it has become in recent years.

      Nothing recent about that; it’s always been a nasty little country and the sooner we are rid of the burden they are and have always been the better.

  • RavenRandom

    Sturgeon can see the economic problems, the likelihood of the Holyrood majority been lost, and so see seeks what dictators often seek, a short foreign war to make everybody look away from the parlous state of the country she is supposed the be governing.

  • Fubar2

    To hell with them. Let them go. The voters have to understand that there are consequences to their decisions.

  • Blowmedown

    We’re not complacent, we’re just waiting for them to stop sponging off us and go and takes their chances, and their chancers, somewhere else. If a vote on the union were taken on both sides of the union, why would we want to remain with these losers?

    • Choam Nomski

      Quite. There’s a growing number of people south of the border who will be more than happy to see Sturgeon and her whingeing nats disappear over the horizon into the arms of Germany.

    • John C

      Indeed.

    • Alan

      Because not all of us Scots are Nats, chief. More than half the population loathe Sturgeon and co, and that number grows daily. The natsies have peaked and been found out; the only way for them is down. This indyref2 bollocks is the desperate last throw of the dice from a failing gambler.

      • Blowmedown

        You’re right, I shouldn’t have lumped all Scots together as chancers or spongers. I guess it’s up to the half that are not Nats to rein in the rhetoric of the rest and vote against the SNP at the upcoming elections.

  • Choam Nomski

    Sturgeon is becoming more and more like Cristina Fernández de Kirchner the former President of Argentina who relentlessly tried to invoke anger against the UK to distract voters from the dire state of the country.

    • 3aple

      Oh, no! Don’t tell me they’re going to invade Derby again! Am I going to have to rejoin the Royal Marines?

      • John C

        Let them try.

  • captainslugwash

    Let them have another vote, but make it clear that a vote to stay in the Union will mean the end of their ridiculous devolved Parliament.
    The same goes for Wales and Ulster.

    • John C

      Hear, hear!

    • captainslugswash wrote:

      Let them have another vote … ‘

      Rather let the people of England have our vote and let the Scotch, the Welch and the Northern Irish do as they will after.

  • Mill House

    I’m English and of all the other English people I know – and that is quite a lot – all of them are in favour of Scottish independence and the sooner they are gone the better.

    Why some people are in favour of the Union I do not know. There has been nothing “united” about the UK since Scottish devolution and how we can be considered “united” when young Scottish people get free university education while their English counterparts pay around £9,000 per year is totally beyond me.

    • James Chilton

      Some are in favour of the union – particularly the Queen – for the sake of sentimental attachment.

      • John C

        She doesn’t suffer the financial and political disadvantaged.

        • James Chilton

          I know. That’s why I said it’s a sentimental attachment.

        • Be-Bop Evola

          Did you mean disadvantage?

      • James Chilton wrote:

        ‘ … particularly the Queen – for the sake of sentimental attachment.

        Notwithstanding that she is the Queen of the United Kingdom of … she’s also bound by the Act her predecessor signed into law three hundred and ten years ago.

        I’m confident, as a republican, that when the British parliament asks her to dissolve the ‘union’ and re-establish the English Parliament she will do so.

    • John C

      Quite so.

  • Dr Evil

    Have your vote. I hope you go independent. But you cannot come back to the union. I hope NI buggers off and joins the republic too. Good riddance to both of you.

    • John C

      NI is British.

      • Salmondnet

        Well some of it, but these days only just. Thanks to Blair/Major probably a lost cause. Who now is going to put the resources in to assert its Britishness by policing the border and the resultant terrorism?

      • John Shill wrote:

        NI is British.

        Not so. Northern Ireland is part of the ‘United’ Kingdom but not part of Great Britain, so not British. The people of Northern Ireland are Irish, even if they call themselves ‘Ulster Scots’, and the sooner we English are rid of the trouble they cause in their refusal to accept the fact the better.

        • John C

          Oh, just do one, sad pillock.
          Blocked.

          • John Shill wrote:

            >Intellectually deficient and immature response deleted<

            Is it possible to block those one disagrees with here? I haven’t seen the option, not that I would use it. If not then John Shill has made a bit of a fool of himself, again. Oy vey!

        • Chingford Man

          The Falkland Islanders are even further away from Great Britain, so are they deluded as well?

          Alanbrooke, Alexander and Dill were Field Marshals in HM Forces during WW2 and all came from Ulster families. Presumably they weren’t sufficiently British for you.

  • Jan

    “It encourages the rash view among a still small minority of English Conservatives that Scotland is expendable…”

    Who has asked the English? I would like someone somewhere to give just one good reason why England should carry on sending more money per capita to Scotland than is allowed per capita in England? Why we should keep bailing out people who appear to hate us. Their constant whinging and boasting is beginning to get on my nerves.

    • John C

      Been getting on my nerves for years. They are mollycoddled beyond all reason (and that’s putting it mildly), and keep stabbing us in the back.

    • Jan wrote:

      Who has asked the English?

      We will not be asked because the British are afraid that the English will say enough and no more. We English are more powerful than too many of us understand: we alone can determine the future of the ‘United’ Kingdom and we alone have decide the fate of the European Union. Once we as a people have woken up to the destruction the non English British have wrought in England the jig is up, and we are waking up, fast.

      I would like someone somewhere to give just one good reason why England should carry on sending more money per capita to Scotland than is allowed per capita in England? Why we should keep bailing out people who appear to hate us.

      They hate us because they cannot beat us, depend wholly upon us and would like to be us. That aside, there are no good reasons and all you have to do is say that in supermarket queues, restaurants, pubs, cinemas and anywhere else anything produced in Scotland is offered for sale in England. As an earlier commentor here said, ‘Scotland sells £49.8 billion worth of goods and services [within] the UK’ yet they still need a massive handout from the English tax payer. Stop buying Scotch products and they’ll soon feel it where it hurts the Jocks most – in their purses.

  • Andrew Mitchell

    I’m a proud Scotsman and I think the best way for Mrs May to handle this is to agree with the SNP, say that they can have the referendum when ever they want, that would scare the crap out of them, why? It doesn’t take the wisdom of Solomon to get it that this referendum would fail more than the last for two very clear reasons, 1, my fellow countrymen and women will look back to the 1st referendum and ask, what would Scotland be like today had the vote gone the other way? And the fact is had that vote gone the other way, Scotland today would be bankrupt. 2, they will know also that Scotland would demand power from Westminster, then hand that power over to the EU, that will go down like a cup of cold sick, then the fun would start, like having to adopt the euro, the only constantly failing currency in the world, they would be members of the single market, the only reducing market in the world, and they would be part of freedom of movement, the only failing border/immigration system in the world, these facts would insure only one outcome of a referendum and it isn’t one that would make the SNP happy, yes the SNP keep saying that 62% voted to remain in the EU, that was based on the UK remaining in the EU, keeping the pound, the rebate, and our borders, and there wasn’t any party or organisation in Scotland campaigning for leave!

    • Andrew Mitchell wrote:

      I’m a proud Scotsman and I think … ‘

      An increasing proportion of Englishmen and women decreasingly care what the Scotch think. More and more of us would love to see the back of you.

    • getahead

      As an Englishman living in Scotland I totally agree. Pay no attention to Het and bigotted. He thinks that all Scots support Glasgow Rangers.

  • flippit

    For heaven’s sake, will people stop warning UK government. They know there’s trouble here and high risk but seems everyone feels they have to warn the government to “do something”. Maybe there’s nothing to be done, if Scots don’t do it for themselves, if they themselves don’t care enough to fight to be in the Union, what’s the point of everyone else doing it for them? There are local elections coming up, and if there’s more SNP surge at those elections, then the rest of the UK should just give it up.

    • John C

      Do you mean, let them float off and be moored at Bremen & shackled to Germany? That is a very attractive proposition 🙂

    • getahead

      “everyone feels they have to warn the government to “do something””
      Do they? I must have missed it.

  • John C

    “But the SNP now contends that because of Brexit the material circumstances of the Union have profoundly changed” – does she EVER make sense?

    • ratcatcher11

      I’m sure the Scots know a fast talking chancer when they see one.

      • ratcatcher11 wrote:

        I’m sure the Scots know a fast talking chancer when they see one.

        They’re a nation of chancers, which is why they voted for a government of chancers. They’re also a nation so blinded by Anglophobia that they’d cut of their Scotch noses to spite our English faces. They bring nothing to the ‘British’ table and England would be better off without them.

  • ratcatcher11

    A lot of guff about nothing. All Teresa May has to do is offer to return Scotland’s fishing grounds to pre 1972 levels and the associated fleet maintenance and processing facilities and the coastal towns will all vote against Sturgeon en masse. ~They stand to gain this from Britain but will lose it again if Sturgeon goes for independence and EU membership once more. Who do you think they will vote for?

  • STV

    Disappointing to see the usual soft bigotry rearing its head in the comments where people deliberately conflate the SNP with the entirety of Scotland (as if the results of the last referendum didn’t disprove that theory firmly enough).

    The truth is the people arguing for Scotland to go are receding into their own nasty brand of nationalism every bit as bitter and twisted as the SNPs.

    If you are too stupid and lazy to argue for a united Britain and the British people then not only do you not have a single clue about the history of our people and our land and how we came populate the length of it from North to South but you certainly do not deserve a say on the future of it.
    I blame the schools.

    • STV wrote:

      The truth is the people arguing for Scotland to go are receding into their own nasty brand of nationalism every bit as bitter and twisted as the SNPs.

      You’ll have to do better than that. The truth is that we in England are bigger than that. However, the truth is also that the people of England are increasingly sick of a nation that contributes nothing to the ‘union’ but asinine sneers and Anglophobia from those Scots who regard themselves as educated and drunken, self-pitying whining and Anglophobia from those lower down the scale who think their failure to amount to anything in the world is all the fault of England.

      I worked in Scotland for two years and I know what a nasty, narrow minded and hateful lot you Jocks are, and I’m not fooled by Scotch denials of anti-English sentiment and Scotch claims to moral and intellectual superiority.

      That you have the audacity to accuse those Englishmen and women who have had enough of you of bitter and twisted nationalism is all too typically Scotch.

      • ethanedwards2002

        Here here. Let the Scot Natzis sod not inconsiderably off.
        I for one am sick of them taking financial advantage of England. We’ll do great on our own.
        Imagine a world where we don’t hear from the ginger nagger ever again…Bliss!

        Away with ye!

    • Colonel Mustard

      Hardly surprising when the SNP themselves continually conflate the SNP with the entirety of Scotland and presume to speak for the Scottish people all the time. And their Anglophobia is so apparent in the logic fail of their Union bigotry (EU Good, UK Bad) that it is hardly surprising that it is often met with an equal animosity.

      • getahead

        The SNP are still trying to reverse the defeat at Flodden.

    • John C

      “If you are too stupid and lazy to argue for a united Britain … you certainly do not deserve a say on the future of it” – so anyone who disagrees with you on having a united Britain, does not deserve to have a say.
      Moronic bigotry.

      • Typical bigoted leftist.

        • John C

          What ARE you on about? I am not a leftist.

          • No, not you, referring to the object of your last comment, STV, was it? Not worth looking back to see.

  • Mojo

    By the very nature of modern governing our Establishment never see what is coming at them full throttle. They don’t understand, even now, the importance of Brexit outside London, and they certainly didn’t see Mr Trump’s fantastic achievement coming. They were extremely rude to him and they have been rude to Ms Le Pen too. But ordinary folk are never surprised by these developments because they are seeing and hearing the groundswell.

    Nicola Sturgeon is different. She will keep barking at the heels of the government until they make a blunder. She will then bite them hard and they will have to react. If she plays her cards well she will take Scotland out of the U.K. And we will probably have another Darien episode. However, the one difference between her and Brexit, Trump and the groundswell in EU is all those movers and shakers have achieved momentous change and still carry the promise of more change that benefits the people they speak for. Nicola Sturgeon achieved power but didn’t change anything. She is losing her grip on Holyrood and she is upsetting the very people who voted for her.

    And in all this we are forgetting that this 62%Remain vote is not that significant when only 4million people voted. It is about 2.7 million Scottish citizens who actually voted to remain in the EU. That is peanuts against the 34million UK citizens who turned out in historically high numbers. And the 17.4 million who voted to leave the EU. We need to get these numbers in proportion. I believe the real danger for Scotland is that England will get fed up with this continual whining and will encourage a referendum in Scotland. Turning the issue on its head we just may find that the good people of England and maybe Wales will be glad to see a referendum and glad to see how strongly the people of Scotland truly feel. If they leave the Union we will know that this isn’t for a generation but possibly for the next 300 years. If Scotland chooses to stay, again it will be for the next 300years and the SNP will end up in the same place as Labour. But at the moment Mrs May is doing the right thing by not reacting on the back foot. She may not realise the full impact these spiteful announcements will have but she certainly needs to show Ms. Sturgeon competent statesmanship and a loyalty to the 17.4 majority who have followed the democratic path.

    • Alan

      ” It is about 2.7 million Scottish citizens who actually voted to remain in the EU.”

      Actually only 1.6 million voted to remain; just over 1 million voted to leave. And this with an utterly inept leave campaign and a very pro-remain media. With a competent and presentable figurehead that vote would have been much closer.

  • Ravenscar

    I am flummoxed and compromised, I don’t want Scotland to leave, but I can see the reasons why England would be ecstatic if they did.

    Next, how can I exhort the people of Scotland NOT to go, when in the same moment I cheer to the rafters for England LEAVING the Berlin empire!

    • Ravenscar wrote:

      ‘ … I don’t want Scotland to leave … ‘

      Nor do I; I want the chance to vote to kick them out of our disgracefully lop-sided ‘union’. Give the people of England a vote on English independence and and I’m confident we’d leave the little nations to their own devices, which is why we’ve never been allowed a Parliament with powers at least equal to that of Scotland.

      Only an English Parliament can represent the interests of the people of England and to hell with the rest of the ‘U’K

      • Ravenscar

        yeah, I know and know it well – precisely where you are coming from and my ‘logical bit’ – the inner being – agrees.

    • getahead

      Let us try and clear this up Ravenscar.
      Scotland costs England money. But Scotland doesn’t rule England.
      The EU (Berlin empire) costs England money but also rules England.
      Are you catching up yet?

  • Scotland sells £49.8 billion worth of goods and services to the UK … ‘

    You meant to write ‘Scotland sells £49.8 billion worth of goods and services within the UK, did you not? Your colours are showing.

    • getahead

      And your pedantry is showing.

  • Tethys

    The Balkanisation of the Union has been probable since June 24th.
    Never mind though, we can take back control of our fruit shapes.

    • Colonel Mustard

      The “Balkanisation of the Union” has been on the cards since New Labour’s “master plan” to disempower the SNP by devolution and the creation of a Scottish Parliament. The resultant imbalance empowered the SNP and made the break up of the UK more likely.

      And a belief that Brexit is just about taking control of the shape of fruit is just a typically leftist sneer.

  • Joshuaatthewalls

    England needs a referendum on whether we want Scotland in the Union

  • NR 19

    France and Germany sponsor a breakaway Scotland, let them, they can pick up the bill. For all the talk of businesses flooding north I am left wondering to where? Edinburgh doesn’t have the infrastructure, not least when the wind isn’t blowing electricity will have to come from rUK, and couldn’t even plan, execute and run a single track tram system.

  • James60498 .

    Not sure why some of you are so admiring of Ruth Davidson. Of course it maybe that you are, unknowingly, under the influence of the gay mafia.

    I see that her latest insult of Sturgeon is to accuse her of “going the full Donald Trump”. At least I assume she meant it as an insult. Do we think she would ever have compared an opponent to Obama or Clinton?

    • John C

      Regardless of the merits of your argument, ‘gay mafia’ is a nasty bigotted term.

      • James60498 .

        No it’s not.

        By “gay mafia” I mean those in the press, on social media, in certain parts of government who demand that everyone accepts gays are not only normal, that they are in no way abnormal and indeed better. Those who have street preachers arrested for quoting the “wrong bits of the Bible”. Those who as in Canada currently are backing a law that would allow the state to remove children from parents who don’t go with “gender theory” and those who in the U.K. who already do not allow children to be fostered or adopted by the same.

        Those in OFSTED who haven’t closed down a single school due to Muslim infiltration but closed down a Christian School in the North East because it wouldn’t teach what “lesbians do in bed”.

        They certainly aren’t all gay themselves and certainly I wouldn’t for a second suggest that all gays are part of the “gay mafia”

        I can think of various gay people in public life. One is indeed very good at his job and I have no reason to doubt that the others are too. But all receive special treatment that would not be given to equally capable people due either to them being employed in gay mafia controlled areas, or due to the fear that their employer has of it.

        I do not necessarily include any of those individuals or Davidson in the “gay mafia” though I rather suspect that one of them I could think of would be certainly. In most cases they are just doing their best and taking advantage of the situation as most people would take advantage where they could.

  • Lamia

    The increasingly embittered Remoaner Alex Massie snipes about Sturgeon’s announcement:

    You were warned, you know. You were told this would happen. And you voted for Brexit anyway. Because you privileged leaving the European Union over not giving the Scottish government an excuse to put the future integrity of the United Kingdom back at the heart of our politics. And then you did it anyway.

    That was your right. Of course it was. But you were told what would happen next and, lo, it has. So do not feign surprise today. Choices have consequences and some of them were not hard to foresee.

    I doubt if any Leave voter (or any intelligent Remain voter) will be remotely surprised or feigning surprise today. Since Sturgeon and her party have shown themselves incapable of running a devolved Scotland, all she ever does is go on and on about another referendum. That’s all she was ever going to do, and all she is ever going to do. She was going to do so even if the UK had voted to Remain in the EU (this is what really niggles Massie). We know that. We’re not surprised. And unlike Alex Massie, we are increasingly not bothered.

    Go, stay, do whatever you want. Just stop going on and on and on about it. And don’t expect us to plead again.