While meetings were going on all over the EU and Nicola Sturgeon was meeting with her cabinet to work out what on earth to do next, likely Prime Minister in waiting Boris Johnson was playing cricket – let that sink in for a second – it would be laughable if this situation wasn’t so serious.
Nicola is intent on making sure Scotland gets to remain in the EU as it voted. This could mean having to vote to leave the UK although there could be options to remain in both and nothing will be off the table when she meets with EU representatives.
Many within the EU have voiced their support for Scotland staying in. Former EU parliament president and now vice president of the European People’s Party Jacek Saryusz-Wolski tweeted that Scotland was welcome in the EU. Guy Verhofstadt, former prime minister of Belgium and now president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe has said over twitter he would be happy to meet with Nicola Sturgeon next time she is in Brussels to which she replied that it would be good to speak with him. These may not be household names, but having people like this on side could be very important.
I was sceptical to say the least when I heard stories of people who were staunch nos in 2014 changing their minds in light of Brexit. After all, if twitter was to be believed everyone and their granny had a damascene-conversion at the polling booth on September 18.
Some polls however seem to be backing this up with one done by Scotpulse for the Sunday Post showing 59 per cent in favour of Scottish independence. This could just be a knee-jerk reaction that will fade with time but it will be music to the ears of independence supporters.
Another significant factor could be that EU nationals living in Britain were not given the vote in the EU referendum. They were in the Scottish referendum and were then likely to vote no as we were assured that was the way to remain in the EU. It’s very different now and they are likely to be inclined to vote yes for the same reason.
If you think it’s bad in Scotland spare a thought for Northern Ireland where hard won peace and return to normal political process could be threatened by Brexit. Sinn Fein has, legitimately, brought up the issue of reuniting Ireland since Northern Ireland voted to remain. It wants a referendum on reunification, something it had become more relaxed about in the peaceful period since the Good Friday agreement. The United Kingdom has never looked less united.
While all this is going on our UK leaders are AWOL. Boris is playing cricket, David Cameron is refusing to do anything, ‘Why should I do the hard shit?’ he reportedly asked an advisor. The answer is simple, because you called the referendum. George Osborne has been posted missing during the worst financial crisis since at least 2008 with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney having to reassure the markets. Perhaps Osborne is holed in no 11 planning his leadership run. If anything its worse for Labour with Jeremy Corbyn facing calls to leave and losing half his shadow cabinet to date, this happened while his deputy Tom Watson was getting muddy at Glastonbury.
Among the resignations was his shadow Scottish secretary. Ian Murray is the only Scottish Labour member of parliament and rumour has it that Lord Jack McConnell may take over the role. There isn’t really an option but to appoint a lord, putting an MP from elsewhere in Britain would surely be worse.
Among this the only person leading is Nicola Sturgeon. She is calm, level-headed yet firm. Whether you agree with her party or Scottish independence that is exactly the kind of leader we need just now.
Now read: Brexit Blog – We’ve been shown the door.