Thoughts on Post Brexit Scotland and NI

Source: SCOT goes POP!

There has been a lot of talk in recent days about devising a model that would allow Scotland, Gibraltar and possibly Northern Ireland to remain part of both the UK and the EU.  Here are a few reasons why that is very unlikely to happen –

1)  Even if England and Wales received Greenland-style exemptions from the treaties, the United Kingdom itself would almost certainly have to remain a member state of the European Union – and it has just voted to Leave.  Continued membership would arguably only be a technicality, but the triumphalist Brexiteers still wouldn’t stand for it.

2) It would be almost impossible to resolve the dilemma of whether Northern Ireland should be in the UK’s “EU zone” or “zone libre”, because its government is split.  The DUP are likely to take the view that leaving the EU is a UK-wide decision and that Northern Ireland – regardless of how it voted – must leave along with the rest of the UK.

3) In many ways, Scotland would become a de facto independent country anyway.  To reverse the catchphrase of the American revolution, you can’t have representation without taxation, and so if only Scotland and Gibraltar were contributing to the EU budget, it logically follows that the Scottish and Gibraltarian governments would control the UK’s vote in the Council of Ministers, and would also be responsible for determining the UK’s negotiating position on future treaties or treaty amendments.  That’s an enormous power that has thus far been reserved for sovereign governments, and in practice would presumably be wielded by the Scottish Government in consultation with Gibraltar (given the huge disparity between the populations, it’s hard to see how Scotland and Gibraltar could be on a completely equal footing).  Can anyone imagine London agreeing to that?

4) There would have to be a real border between Scotland and England.  That would be the case even if Boris Johnson gets his miracle “Norway minus” deal – because even that would involve restrictions on freedom of movement, but only within the UK’s “zone libre”, ie. England and Wales.  So movement between Scotland and England would have to be controlled just as much as movement between England and France.  People will understandably be inclined to think – if all this is going to happen anyway, what is the point in Scotland not becoming formally independent?

 

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Post Brexit Scotland and NI

  1. Iain MacLaren (@iainmacl)

    yup. The only ‘solution’ to the issue is full independence and the attitude of other European leaders will determine this too, since they can’t possibly allow ‘regions’ to have direct/separate representation because of the implications for their own countries, particularly those which are federal. Nation is the smallest unit admissible in the European political structures in that sense.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Could Brexit lead to Frexit – or Czexit? | Marcus Ampe's Space

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