Speaking earlier on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Scottish Secretary David Mundell described the idea of Scotland remaining within the UK at the same time as remaining in the EU as “fanciful”.He told the programme: “I certainly don’t think it’s possible for Scotland to remain within the EU and the rest of the UK to be outwith [he meant “out of”] the EU. I think that is fanciful.”
Mr Mundell said he believed both Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May would have a “constructive” relationship and their collective aim would be to get the best deal for Scotland and the UK in the EU negotiations.
However, he warned: “Of course it’s not going to be doable on a basis that satisfies Nicola Sturgeon’s ultimate aim of making Scotland an independent country.
“Theresa May doesn’t agree with Scotland being an independent country, I don’t agree and two million people in Scotland who voted in our own referendum don’t agree with that.
“So we’re not going to be in agreement with that and we’re not going to be in agreement with the idea that there should be another independence referendum.”
The BBC then has Doctor Cormac Mac Amhlaigh, a lecturer in public law at Edinburgh University and an expert in EU constitutional law, considers the situation of Scotland being part of the EU and also of a “Brexited” UK:
“It’s a very tricky question. Formally speaking, it’s the UK that enjoys EU membership and the EU would negotiate with the UK for withdrawal, both the terms and any subsequent relationship.
Scotland is not an independent state, so it does not formally have a direct relationship with the EU – that occurs through the UK.
So formally speaking, it seems Scotland would have to follow the procedures of becoming an independent state first, and then apply for accession to the EU, under the conditions that are stipulated in treaties at the moment.
Now that’s the formal position, but if the EU was willing, it is likely they could suspend that or amend that, and start forming negotiations with Scotland if they so wished.
The rules surrounding this are often quite open and flexible, and I think there’s nothing to stop the EU institutions negotiating with Scotland, making some sort of transitional arrangement and making some sort of arrangement so Scotland can inherit the UK’s EU membership.
It would be complex, it would be tricky, it would be quite unorthodox, but I think it’s certainly not impossible.
And really what we would be relying on here would be the political will – the political will of the remaining EU state governments, the EU institutions and of course the Scottish government and whether a remaining British government would be in agreement. So it is quite a complex question, but not impossible.”
BRITISH GAZETTE COMMENT:
Most British Gazette readers who are well acquainted with the antics and procedures of the EU will know the truth of this statement: “The EU DOES complicated!”
FACT: The political and diplomatic situation vis-à-vis the EU and UK post Midsummer’s Day 2016 is fast moving and fluid.
Let us re-examine the situation somewhat, keeping in mind, FACTS: Mrs Theresa May to many possessing let us say “traditional views” is painfully “politically correct”. It was she after all who coined the phrase “the nasty party”. Notwithstanding her political opinions, Mrs May was undoubtedly one of the most competent members of the Chameleon’s government. It was largely for this reason that the British Gazette felt that she was the best (or least worst) of all the candidates to be the new Prime Minister.
Like any competent poker player, Mrs May is keeping her cards very close to her chest!
In the light of this let us re-examine some of her actions of late:
Most prominently she has appointed those the British Gazette will henceforth describe as “The Three Monkeys” (Messrs. Johnson, Davis and Fox) to the ministerial positions of Foreign Secretary, “Brexit” Secretary and Minister of International Trade. This brings forth an immediate question we must ask: “Why would Mrs May appoint three idiots to these roles?” An obvious question arises out of this: “Could it be to ensure that Brexit fails?”
Some Eurorealists (understandably and quite reasonably suspicious of the motivation of a woman who campaigned – albeit reservedly – to remain in the EU) are concerned that this may be a ploy to deliberately crash the negotiations so she can remark, “I told you Johnson et al would mess up big time!”
Your Editor would suggest that this is most unlikely for the following reason:
The consequences of failure to conclude a proper agreement in time once Article 50 is activated are immense! The result for the UK economy could and would likely be catastrophic. The idea that Mrs May could suggest to the British electorate suffering mass unemployment, severe recession and high inflation: “Blame Johnson and the Brexiteers, Not me!” and expect to be insulated from the fallout is ludicrous. There is the doctrine of collective cabinet responsibility.
If as is most clearly the case, the above is not the reason, what then is?
Well there will be more than one reason.
Firstly, one must bear in mind this FACT: Those who the Prime Minister can hire, they can also (as has been demonstrated!) fire.
Thus one obvious reason for the appointment of The Three Monkeys is political. Mrs May wanted to send a clear message that her words, “Brexit means Brexit” was being matched by deeds.
Secondly, one must bear in mind this FACT: That the ONLY doable, economically (and therefore politically) acceptable Brexit strategy is Doctor Richard North’s (and others) FLEXCIT.
Thirdly, one must bear in mind this FACT: As mentioned in yesterday’s article (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2016/07/15/brexit-being-led-up-the-garden-path/) the problem with FLEXCIT is political: Apart from the British Gazette, Doctor North and some others, those campaigning for the Leave campaign did not campaign on the basis of FLEXCIT being the exit strategy. In fact the Leave campaign did not have an exit strategy!
Therefore the challenge to Mrs Theresa May – a competent and experienced lady politician – is this:
How to present FLEXCIT as the negotiating package the UK wants without being shouted down by the thousands upon thousands of furious E, D, C2 and C1 voters in such as the Labour heartlands of northern England as offering a sell out?
The answer may well be Scotland!
It may well be the preparedness of Brussels to invoke it’s talent of creatively and imaginatively contriving solutions to seemingly irreconcilable positions will prove essential to solving this impasse!
We must now consider another FACT: The EU does not want Scotland to secede from the UK! This is because of the difficulties Spain is having!
From the viewpoint of an Anglo-Saxon brought up in the discipline and mindset of our Common Law based legal system; the Latin capacity to invent creative answers to resolve difficulties using a legal system based on the Roman Codex can seem baffling!
Think of it this way: England’s roads twist and turn because our Common Law based legal system runs of straight lines. France’s roads run straight because her Roman Codex based legal system twists and turns!
After all it was Frau Doktor Merkel who famously said: “Wo ein Wille ist, ist auch ein Weg.” (Where there’s a will there’s a way).
That Mrs May made discussing the situation with Nicola Sturgeon a priority and the fact that Mrs May has emphatically stressed her commitment to keeping the Union intact, are strong indications that Mrs May sees in Nicola Sturgeon a potential answer to her political problem vis-à-vis FLEXCIT.
Clearly, the solution that would keep Scotland – along with Gibraltar – in the EU as a “Special Region” – would require the UK to remain in the EEA (aka Single Market) which of course would mean the “Free Movement of People”. This imaginative and creative solution could also apply to Northern Ireland (which also voted Remain) and would solve a lot of potential problems with the Irish Republic. We can be certain that Ireland will be enthusiastic supporters of such a solution.
So the “end product” that may be in the imagination of Mrs May would be that of a United Kingdom that would be part in and part of the the EU:
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Gibraltar would be within the EU and would continue to elect MEPs to the European Parliament and would continue to vote in EU councils (but with vastly reduced voting weight) whilst England and Wales would be outside the EU but would be members of EFTA and the EEA.
This would delight the SNP and Ms Sturgeon would achieve what she has always dreamed of – recognition (albeit in a defined and limited area) of herself as First Minister of Scotland by other “international leaders ” (in reality EU leaders only) as one of them. This would for Ms Sturgeon and her colleagues in the SNP would be enough for it would be Ms Sturgeon arriving at the European Council meetings, stepping out of a large black German limousine flanked by plain clothes security personnel and NOT Mrs May! Having such images broadcast across the world would be the recognition of status she and the SNP so crave.
Now many in UKIP such as London Regional Chairman Freddy Vachha may well be choking on their coffee and biscuits as they read this but consider this most beautiful and elegant STING IN THE TAIL embodied in this imaginative and creative “half in and half out” solution:
It would effectively scupper any attempt by the Remianians in the Labour Party or the Remaniacs in the Liberal Democrats to restore the status quo ante Brexit! This is because the return of the UK as a whole to the EU’s councils would push Nicola Sturgeon out of the EU limelight!
This would of course prompt an immediate call to dissolve the Union!
So the question all those in UKIP have to ask themselves is this?
What should UKIP’s attitude be to such a “part in-part out” solution?
The British Gazette fears that UKIP may well oppose and campaign against it.
If UKIP does then UKIP will only be aiding and abetting the Remainians and the Remainiacs keeping the entire UK in the EU.
UKIP would need to accept (albeit grudgingly) the “part in-part out” solution to avoid being part of the problem and not as it surely wants to be: part of the solution.