Today in the Scottish parliament, Scottish Labour will apparently argue that on economic grounds Farage/English-Tory-led Brexit trumps Scotland’s continued EU membership through independence. Look at all that trade that flows through England, they’ll say.
Seriously? Much of that trade in one way and another ends up in EU countries, of course, because England adds value or simply moves the stuff onwards. The Treasury itself has predicted dire effects of the kind of hard Brexit awaiting England through the applications of trade tariffs with the EU. So without the barriers erected to England by the EU, the nature of Scotland’s economic outlook would obviously change markedly. More trade would be directly with EU states, and it’s very likely that many English value-adders would want to move to Scotland to take advantage of the tariff-free trade.
And in respect of English consumption of Scottish goods, and English exporters to Scotland – would an English government REALLY seek to punish English folk and Scots just because Scots had chosen independence? Bite off its nose to spite its face? Tell Tory MPs in the North to kiss goodbye to their seats because they were really determined to screw everyone around at the border in every possible way?
No, of course not. It’s a risible narrative. And it arises because Scottish Labour is presently making the terrible mistake of making unionism its first order priority; with social justice and economic well-being battling for a distant second. That’s what’s leading the party to talk manifest nonsense.
And, since folk aren’t daft, it’s why Scottish Labour will only arrest its cycle of decline when it kicks down the door of its own political prison cell by ditching horribly outmoded unionist assumptions and breaking away from the leadership of the English Tories and Nigel Farage.