In Mr Angus Robertson’s woefully weak, yet drearily predictable indyref2 threat on Monday, he said: “I would prefer to remain within the EU together with our friends, neighbours and key trading partners in England, Wales and Ireland north and south.” This will be the England, Wales and Northern Ireland that make up the UK, which thus far we’ve all been led to believe that the SNP despise for holding Scotland back.
Isn’t this a hugely incongruent and massively inconvenient instance of a senior SNP representative unwittingly extolling the virtues of the Union and the UK as a whole?
It appears that it is the SNP’s final admission that England, Wales and Ireland are not only “friends and neighbours”, but also “key trading partners” and thus completely and utterly destroys not only every shred of credibility and logic in Mr Robertson’s life-long political stance, but also leaves in tatters the entire aggressively anti-UK raison d’être of the SNP (and the Yes movement) in one fell swoop – every word having willingly fallen from the SNP Westminster leader’s mouth in public and delivered in such a clear manner that absolutely no misrepresentation or misunderstanding can be read into his statement to the workers at Hewlett Packard Enterprises in London.
How very deeply embarrassing this must be for Ms Sturgeon.
Leading SNP politicians are beginning to queue up to indicate that a second independence referendum is not on the cards, even in the event of a Brexit vote. Thank goodness. Perhaps now the SNP might concentrate on stability and the creation of an economy that will attract more investment.
At the risk of being branded “Volte MacVolteFace”, Nicola Sturgeon might actually win some praise for putting Scotland, and its future, first.
Liberton Drive, Edinburgh
The long-defunct British Empire is a bête noir to Scottish Nationalists and, while excoriating the Leave campaign, Bob Peden (Letters, 7 June) predictably manages to slip in barbed comments about “Little Englanders” and “South Britain”.
The European Union and European co-operation are fine and dandy, but let’s not forget about our beastly southern neighbours. After all, one must make exceptions.
He lambasts “nationalistic strife” in Europe and falls into the trap of saying that the EU was “founded in the name of peace and co-operation” and that, for “over 60 years” EU statesmen’s efforts “have succeeded”.
No. The efforts of Nato –whose leading European power has consistently been the UK with our nuclear deterrent – have maintained the peace in the teeth of Soviet aggression decades before the EU came into being.
Those of us of my vintage were lied to about our national sovereignty in 1975 and we voted trustingly. Once bitten, twice shy.
The Leave campaign do not want to end the trade, which we understood the EEC to be about. We simply do not want rule from Brussels that we were not told about and did not ask for. It does nothing to cancel out our friendship with our European neighbours and Nato allies.
Free trade is a long-held belief in this country. That is what we want from the EU. Why are they so alarmed by that? Is it because they won’t get our money as well?
Andrew HN Gray
Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh
I agree with every word of Bob Peden’s letter. Let us wake up to the dangers of Brexit before the vote rather than after it.
H A N McKenzie
Grange Loan, Edinburgh
The depth of bitterness characteristic of so many Scottish Nationalists was evident in Bob Peden’s letter about the European Union.
With no sense of irony, he interwove his own anti-English hostility with themes of Europe-wide peace and harmony.
He projected all manner of silly and unreasonable views on to Brexiters, reminiscent of the “too wee, too poor and too stupid” line beloved of Yes campaigners but never actually heard from Unionists.
So, Mr Peden, I was born in England but live in Scotland and I want to leave the EU because I do not want my nation to be dissolved into an undemocratic superstate. Does that make me a “xenophobic Little Englander”?
Or can Mr Peden summon the grace to concede that intelligent and well-intentioned people can hold opinions at odds with his own?
If he can’t, I suggest he refrains from further public debate.
In 2002, the Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn warned of the perils of not joining the euro. He said that if we did not join the euro “less assembly activity” would result. The BBC reported that Mr Ghosn said “the Sunderland plant’s future would depend on whether the UK adopted the euro”. What happened? The Nissan plant at Sunderland exceeded all performance expectations.
When the EU referendum was called, Mr Ghosan warned that Nissan “would need to reconsider our investments for the future” if Britain regained her sovereignty by voting to leave the EU. Ghosn was wrong about the euro and he is wrong about Brexit.
Mr Ghosn is typical of the soothsayers of doom who predict our demise as the world’s fifth largest economy. Actually, freed from the directives of “euro central”, Britain will go on to become a model for other European states to follow.
The EU referendum campaign is getting more like the Scottish referendum every day, with both sides exchanging soundbite dire warnings and exaggerated benefits.
And now, as in 2014, the polls are moving in the direction of the Leave campaign and I wonder if we will see a similar last-minute “Vow” issued by Brussels. The rising chorus of doom from the world’s great and good makes me wonder if David Cameron did indeed get a good enough deal and whether there may be a window of opportunity to gain more favourable terms either before the vote or immediately after the result.
It appears there are many flavours of “Brexit” or altered membership being discussed in Whitehall, including “Flexcit” (a staged withdrawal) and “EU2.0” (a fundamental recalibration of the whole system).
It may well require a focused period of negotiation to help us all understand the options and consequences better.
Willow Row, Stonehaven