Theresa May has had a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House in Edinburgh during which the two leaders discussed the Brexit process and its implications for the future of the Union.
It appears that Prime Minister May seemed in conciliatory mood, stating that she is willing to listen to options and had been very clear with the First Minister today that she wanted the Scottish government to be fully engaged in the discussion, Meanwhile, in contrast, Nicola Sturgeon appeared in combative mood by stating that Westminster would not be able to block a referendum if it was demanded by the Scottish people; coupled with the fact it is well known that she has begun talks about how to keep Scotland inside the EU, given a majority of its population voted Remain in the recent referendum.
At this point I have to repeat something previously pointed out here; namely that:
- Scotland, in my belief, is not a state per se in international law, so it is incapable of signing and ratifying international treaties. Neither does it have power over international relations, which are reserved to Westminster under the Scotland Act 1998;
- It must therefore follow that Scotland could not become an EU Member State in its own right, or even sign an Association Agreement with the EU;
- If Scotland did vote for cessation from the United Kingdom, Nicola Sturgeon’s wish is that it should inherit the position of the United Kingdom and thus retain a position of a full member state, while at the same time denying that if that strategy failed, Scotland would have to undergo the process of any state wishing to join the European Union
- Under The Scotland Act 2016, if my reading of that Act is also correct, Scotland has no law-making powers in relation to referendums, therefore the consent of the United Kingdom would be required for another referendum.
One can but assume that May and Sturgeon are playing a political version of ‘Call my bluff’; mind you it keeps the media entertained. Having also said that she won’t be triggering Article 50 until she thinks that we have a UK approach and objectives for negotiations, one can also be forgiven for thinking that triggering Article 50 is yonks away bearing in mind previous utterances from Johnson and Davis.
It has been reported that Ian Dunt once said that political journalism is often a trivial failure which seems to be the case where this article of Dunt’s is concerned. He writes: Norway is a member of the single market and it got a few allowances on things like postal services and fishing. People usually refer to this as ‘EEA plus’ or ‘EEA minus’, depending on the deal. But there’s a downside. Norway still has to abide by the major single market rules, like freedom of movement, but without any say over them (Emphasis mine). A few allowances on things like……fishing? Norway still has to abide by the major single market rules, like freedom of movement, but without any say over them? Just on what planet is Dunt? Does he not ‘do’ research? InFacts appears to recognise the importance of Art 112 of the EEA Agreement – and if anyone can be considered an ‘armchair lawyer’, then surely it is Monnet Professor MIchael Dougan?
Another ‘talking head’ who appears to know owt is Charles Moore with this article in the Telegraph, in which he writes about how next week, the think-tank Politeia is bringing out a pamphlet by the distinguished Martin Howe QC – another, on the face of it, talking head – called How to Leave the EU. Apparently Howe is of the opinion that we should start trade talks with other nations prior to – and during – Art 50 negotiations. I suppose the most idiotic statement is: If we negotiate on the basis that continuing membership of the EU single market is essential to our economic survival, we will lose – betraying voters’ expectations about immigration control as we do so. Where to start – and if truth be known I haven’t the will or the energy so to do.
I have used the following verse, whose source to my knowledge is unknown, previously – however it is worth repeating at this point in view of the diverse and idiotic statements which are presented to us about the process of Brexit:
He who knows not, but knows not that he knows not, is a fool – shun him.
He who knows not, but knows that he knows not, is simple – teach him.
He who knows, but knows not that he knows, is asleep – wake him.
He who knows and knows that he knows, is a wise man – follow him.
In respect of the last, those that know and know that they know immediately alienate those with whom they disagree, but who might in due time and with further consideration follow them, by their dismissive and discourteous attitude.
Where the Brexit ‘process’ is concerned it seems that we, the people, are ‘screwed’ where ever we look for enlightenment which would lead us to that for which we voted in the referendum on 23rd June.
Where the process of Brexit is concerned – and acknowledging that I am fond of quoting song lyrics – why do I keep recalling the opening lyrics to Windmills of my mind (The Thomas Crown Affair):
Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel