J.J. Patrick: Brexit - The nuclear solution

In the final part of his series on the implications of Brexit, author J.J. Patrick explores how Scotland can grab the best possible outcome

SO, what needs to be done to fix this mess? This mass of manipulated minds and inescapable catatrophe brought on by the chaos of ego. Well, I have a couple of thoughts, in sketch form...

Westminster is mocking Scotland.

I don’t say this lightly but Theresa May made her position quite clear in the Brexit speech, that she would be willing to repatriate devolved powers as she saw necessary. For a woman who has shown the same propensity for human kindness as a hungry alligator, this must not be ignored. 

Read more – J.J. Patrick: Brexit and the undeclared data war driving rightwing campaigns

And, throughout the Brexit debate, Scottish MPs were cut short and shouted down. An utterly contemptible response. It’s been made clear time and again that Westminster will not allow Scotland to break free, and it will do the same again, even in the case of a second referendum with a Yes result.

The nuclear option, then, is to hold the referendum for Scotland. Setting a safe margin of a minimum 60 per cent in favour – taking the "will of the people" lesson so blithely ignored down south and making sure it’s genuine. 

This cannot be held at any point after October 2017, as the timescales are critical. Further, it cannot be a straightforward Yes/No question. To each answer there must be attached a plan, in full, explaining the course each route will take.

While Brexit has no credibility, Scotland’s independence must. The Yes vote must explain that a unilateral declaration of independence is the first point on the plan, and the reason for it is the lack of any other route. England has forced the position.

As I say, this is the nuclear option, but it feels inevitable.

Read more – J.J. Patrick: A 15-step portrait of the Brexit fallout Leave voters didn't see coming

Then, Scotland needs to be ready to trade energy with the UK under WTO conditions which they will be operating under, as Scotland's ideal position is to maintain membership or join the EU trading bloc, developing its otherwise healthy economy that way, both in import and export terms. 

Scotland will have to specify the exact position of the EU on either of these entry points in the referendum plan, so there are no surprises afterwards.

There will be a need for a hard border, and Scotland will need a military, so that will need addressing, and must be incoporporated in the plan published with the vote. The rationale for a hard border is best explained by reading the worst case scenario piece in this series.

Scotland will also need to establish a banking centre, grander than Edinburgh currently is, and it would make sense to offer to act as the EU clearing and compliance location for major banks. 

Potentially this takes 30,000 jobs from London, along with their revenue, while attractively reducing relocation costs for the banks themselves, which are currently eyeing dispersal across Europe. 

I don’t say this lightly but Theresa May made her position quite clear in the Brexit speech, that she would be willing to repatriate devolved powers as she saw necessary.

I’ve no doubt the EU would see the sense in this move as part of a package deal, and the economy boon for Scotland is beyond compare.

Scotland also needs to offer Japanese car manufacturers locations. They will withdraw from England, whether it be immediately to mitigate risks, or when the government is so indebted post Brexit it can’t pay out on promises - and they’ve been quite clear on this, so it’s a shrewd move to give them a cheaper move, with an available workforce, in the same way as it is to safehaven the banks. The economic benefits are so clear I don’t need to state them.

These are basic steps, a sketch, but Scotland would then hold England in a weak position, not least for fuel and car exports right on the doorstep, but with the port access to reach the rest of the trading world, too.

Looking more broadly, Ireland is a rough problem. But, the reinstatement of a hard border will cripple peace, so a unification referendum needs to be held. With Belfast and Dublin working together, there would be no need for backwards slides but Ireland needs to be unfettered in this process. 

Wales is problematic and voted Leave. However, the assembly needs to address the true national wishes with an indyref by the end of the year and work out its own plan, or face the thousand deaths of Little England.

It’s been made clear time and again that Westminster will not allow Scotland to break free, and it will do the same again, even in the case of a second referendum with a Yes result.

England, I'm ignoring, as it's fucked itself.

Further still, Europe needs to drop Greece and Hungary and regroup around resources, narrowing all of its imports and aiming for internally sustainable. Greece is a dead weight, incapable of reform, and a thorn in the side for unity of parliament. 

Hungary is a right-leaning horror show waiting to happen. The EU can afford neither with the oppressive threats faced. With the world shifting towards abusive nationalism, the bloc needs to harness all of its own resources and assets as effectively as possible, working under the assumption it may be cut off at some point. 

This means gas, oil, renewables, food, manufacture, labour. It’s going to have to pool smart, pool quick, and learn to live an expanded version of the Good Life. 

This will also bring economic benefits to members as they concentrate trade on logistically closer sources, with better conditional ties.

While Brexit has no credibility, Scotland’s independence must. The Yes vote must explain that a unilateral declaration of independence is the first point on the plan, and the reason for it is the lack of any other route. England has forced the position.

The remaining members will then have to centralise and equip a single army and federalise the national policing structures and strategy. This is for readiness; for a state of constant preparedness to prevent repeats and escalations of the current destabilisation efforts. 

And, sadly, the revised EU will then have to adopt a unilateral immigration policy in order to breach populist risk factors. Lastly, the EU Parliament and president are going to have to be redrawn into a more pivotal role with a unified, harder line foreign policy. 

With these basic steps taken, a more rational international framework can be built, replacing Nafta with an EU central focus (exploiting trade opportunities foolishly cast aside elsewhere) and downgrading US/Russian world positions as superpowers for the safety of everyone.

Lastly, it's necessary (and I say this unfortunately) for Scotland and the EU to accept the US and England as enemies of Europe, both financially and, quite possibly, from a military standpoint.

These are big topics, huge concepts, and to condense them into sketch is a hard task, but I hope I’ve been able to provide you a glimpse of a true option for Scotland’s future, which sets it a place in a better world than that which exists now.

Picture courtesy of Alasdair Mckenzie

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Comments

geacher

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:31

What a nasty, bitter little post this is. The anti -English sentiment seeps from every pore of this writers pen. I despair about people who write horrible, dangerous stuff like this.
"a true option for Scotland’s future?" I sincerely hope not.

Conrad Hughes

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 13:19

.. and “sketch” it is .. Do you mean to actually set a minimum of 60% for referendum validity or just aim to persuade 60% yes? 60% of electorate or just voters? Why is October 2017 essential? Given Sturgeon's “no referendum this year” line, you're starting from a demand that's already unlikely to be satisfied..

Re: Greece, this is quite horrible. Sure, Greece's government was corrupt, but the con of its accession was run by “our” accountants and its crisis was exacerbated by “our” bankers. Europe shafted Greece in order to refinance Germany's and France's banks. The banks' problems arose (among other things) because of EU-internal debt/credit imbalances which current EU economic structures essentially prevent states from fixing — even Germany was damaged badly by this, but it was almost large enough to cope. So without substantial internal reform the economic union looks set to continue down a path of central nations cannibalising the periphery on the say-so of bankers and economists who want to squirrel all this debt into tax haven funds that they themselves profit from (look at Schäuble). To jettison an “unreformable” “dead weight” Greece after such behaviour, and without debt forgiveness, betrays everything that the EU project is *supposed* to stand for.

And then you want to relocate the City of London here? Have you noticed what the City and the financialisation of the UK economy have done for us so far?

The first piece in this series was interesting (and the NI/DUP angle that's turned up in the last couple of days would have made it even more so), but this one, well: more research needed? Justify your workings?

J_amesp

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 14:22

Hi. I'm English, born and bred. Live in Scotland. And won't have a say in any Indyref. Thanks though for joining in with the spirit of looking at a clearly hypothetical "Nuclear option"

J_amesp

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 14:23

Hi Conrad. I don't have to justify anything in a sketch. Why no submit a piece yourself, you clearly have the stamina on the keyboard.

Alasdair Macdonald

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 16:51

If you live in Scotland, then, in all probability, you will have a vote in an independence referendum, if you register.

J_amesp

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 17:25

I'll be late to that party but I love the open and inclusive approach.

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