‘Independence’ within EU is SNP myth
I note with interest that Peter Jones (Perspective, 10 July) remembers my opposition to “Independence in Europe” as the reason for my leaving the SNP in 1990.
His summary of the main thrust of my opposition is accurate, as far as can be explained in a few words. The SNP leadership – at the time Alex Salmond had been elected leader in September 1990 and I left the party in December – successfully persuaded the party activists that EU membership offered the people of Scotland a safety blanket as well as “independence”.
Salmond denied that a single currency was even under discussion in the EU, and the leadership went on to ignore all contrary arguments in what became a conspiracy of silence that continued right up to, and even beyond, the collapse of the euro in recent months.
It is worth noting that Jim Sillars, the architect of “Independence in Europe”, has now come round to my way of thinking and while it has been a long time in coming, a majority of Scots now recognise what membership of the EU actually entails in terms of ceding sovereignty.
The reason it has taken so long for the penny to drop is not hard to find. For years, the EU elite has been allowed to feed the people of the EU member states a diet of deceit and bribery – bribery largely financed by member states’ own taxes, together with excessive borrowing by profligate governments such as Greece, Italy et al.
The SNP can no longer hide from the likely consequences of its slavish commitment to EU membership. All the talk of “seats at the top table” and how “small countries do well in the EU” is now seen for what it is – so much hot air.
Despite the increased awareness among the Scottish electorate, the party still finds it difficult to be honest about what EU membership means; witness finance secretary John Swinney’s statement that “it will be at least a decade before an independent Scotland could consider membership of the euro and then, only when the economic conditions are right”.
If the SNP was serious about Scottish independence, it would concede that even if the “economic conditions were right” – whatever that means – the political conditions will never be right because the main condition of membership of both the EU and the euro is the massive surrender of Scottish sovereignty it would entail.
The Yes campaign will do well to continue to remind Scots that the SNP may be the largest political party in Scotland which claims to be in favour of independence, but that it does not dictate the policy of the Yes campaign.
That will become more and more important as SNP policies are increasingly exposed.
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