SO IT’S all over then. Scotland’s mind is already made up over Brexit. A majority of Scots believe the UK should remain in the EU. But according to the same opinion poll (23 May), 51 per cent of SNP voters want to stay, but 38 per cent want to leave, with 11 per cent undecided. And it’s even worse with Conservative voters, 42 per cent of them want to leave, with 11 per cent don’t knows.
But is this really surprising? Unlike Labour, both parties have been lukewarm in their support for the EU. Many SNP supporters seem to think the best route to another independence referendum is for the UK to vote to leave the EU.
Unless Nicola Sturgeon soon stands up to make the case that it is in Scotland’s best interests to stay in the EU, the referendum may end up being lost.
Craiglockhart Road, Edinburgh
Nicola Sturgeon has again warned the campaigns to keep the UK in the European Union to learn the lessons from the Scottish referendum and avoid negative campaigning.
That will be the referendum where she personally led a campaign for a Yes vote, which was positive to the point of absurdity and which ultimately failed. She then led a positive campaign at the UK general election aiming to form a coalition government with Labour which handed the Tories an overall majority, then a year later she led another election campaign after which the SNP lost seats at Holyrood.
If the First Minister really wants the UK to remain in the EU, perhaps she would do best to keep away from any form of campaigning whatsoever.
Easter Road, Edinburgh
The First Minister is spending a lot of her valuable time condemning “fear-based tactics” by the Remain camp – more indeed than she is condemning the Brexit camp for the very same thing. Any neutral observer might be mistaken for thinking she was working for Brexit.
Harvest Street, Stirling
Your front-page article (24 May) reminds me how wrong “project optimism” was at the Scottish referendum. The SNP claim that no-one disputed their figures is wrong. Professors MacDonald and Bell disputed parts of their white paper, so we did know that oil prices could fall drastically, and that we had no guarantee of getting back into Europe.
The Leave campaign in the European Union referendum have the biggest lies to date, with claims we have little influence on European decisions, are prey to burdensome migrants, and pay huge sums to Europe (which ignores the huge amount coming to farming and universities).
The real reason we should ignore “project optimism” is because the economy has become imbalanced. As we depend on invisible earnings – financial industry ones – to hide the realities of our poor export performances, we can’t afford to allow financial markets to become jittery.
This was precisely the point that the Unionist parties made during the Scottish referendum, so why dismiss it now when once again livelihoods are threatened?
Corbiehill Place, Edinburgh
I was astonished at the hypocrisy of Nicola Sturgeon when she, of all people, suggested that threats and scaremongering need to stop, particularly by the Remain campaign.
This comes from a leader who is wielding the threat of an unwanted and divisive second independence referendum like a weapon over the heads of Scottish voters in the hope that they will vote Remain – if that is not scaremongering then I don’t know what is.
It is very obvious why she has come out with this statement against the Remain campaign: she is hoping Scotland will vote Leave and that would trigger a second independence referendum, which she has no authority for. Wake up Scotland and see the scaremongering.
Simpson Square, Perth
There is something fundamentally dishonest about the accusations of “Project Fear”, of which we hear so much from the Remain camp and previously from the SNP. Project Fear is in reality nothing more than what most reasonable people would call sensible caution. “Cowardy custard” is often the mocking chant from those a safe distance from the edge, while the rest of us teeter on the brink.
The ever more outlandish claims and counter-claims of Remainers and Brexiteers teach us nothing, other than to confirm our contempt for the people who make them, but when we look at the record of the institution we are being asked to support, the EU, there is not much to reassure.
There is the “free movement” Schengen area, with its razor wire fences and armed border patrols; the immigration shambles; the humiliation and impoverishment of Greece; the economic performance of the member nations, with years of near-zero growth and near-deflation; the farcical euro; the flirting with Turkey and her thoroughly unacceptable president.
Europe is our nearest neighbour and biggest customer, but I fear their petty wrath should we decide to leave, and I wonder if we can prosper if Europe shuts us out. On an even playing field, no worries. But one against 27? Not so sure. How will I vote? Truly, I do not know.
Graham M McLeod
So finally Nicola Sturgeon is engaging in the EU referendum debate – her opening gambit being to criticise Treasury predictions of recession and rising unemployment should Britain leave the EU. Why didn’t she just accuse George Osborne of “scaremongering”? Oh I forget – she’s on the same side.
It would appear that Ms Sturgeon is more intent on her permanent campaign to discredit a Westminster government of whatever hue than to promote the “positive” case for Remain.
Ms Sturgeon is said to have generated a lot of admiration south of the Border. Why does she not draw on this and make a whistle-stop tour of some key destinations on behalf of the positive case for union rather than attacking those on the same side? She has an opportunity to show some genuine statesmanship here if only she can put aside party political point-scoring.
Braid Hills Avenue, Edinburgh