The Scots didn’t vote for Brexit. They didn’t vote for the Conservatives. Their national leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has handled the coronavirus pandemic infinitely better than the incompetent UK leader, Boris Johnson. What’s more, once Brexit was finally done the London government arrogantly decided to keep control over funds that were previously given out by the EU rather than passing on that money to the devolved governments of the UK. In short, say proponents of Scottish independence, there’s no real reason for Scotland to remain in the Union. Opinion polls show, repeatedly, that a majority of likely voters would vote Yes to independence if a new referendum were to be held. And with the Scottish National Party likely to win a majority in the Scottish parliamentary elections in May, momentum towards holding Indyref2 is inexorably building. The time is finally right – let Scotland go its own way.
Are we really having this conversation again? Wasn’t the referendum of 2014 meant to settle this question, says proponents of the Union. Are Sturgeon and her sore losers simply going to keep pushing for fresh votes until they get the result they like? And while they keep the pressure up, they continue to hide the truth from the Scottish people. Because in fact, the gap between what Scotland spends and the revenues it generates has long been wider than the gap in the UK as a whole – and that gap will only grow once Westminster stops sending money to Holyrood. And there are further deceptions: The SNP’s reputation as an efficient, Scandinavian-style social democratic party of governance is wholly undermined by the failings of the Scottish education system and health service. Yes, the time is indeed finally right – to put this question to bed forever and recommit to each other as citizens of a compassionate, tolerant, ambitious and united kingdom.
To be announced.
Speakers are subject to change.