WHERE now for Brexit and, more importantly, where now for Scotland?

Theresa May has been given until Halloween to sort out the mess England and Wales created. She has been unequivocally cautioned to use that time wisely. It may not have been spelled out so unequivocally, but the same message was also given to Nicola Sturgeon, except this time against a backdrop of “leaving the light’s on for us”. Use the time wisely.

Publicly, we can expect nothing much other than some bombast and bluster to take place this week, all by the usual suspects. However, behind the scenes this next several days should be a flurry of activity within Scotland’s ruling echelons. Next week, as Ms May prepares to bring back “her deal” for a fourth time, Nicola Sturgeon should be readying to launch a consultative referendum. This should take place in September or October.

Nicola can doubtless wait on the outcome of the PM’s fourth presentation, even if such is permitted, yet that would be foolhardy in the extreme, when the outcome is in little doubt, for we already know the DUP will not support it. If by some miracle it does pass, then the backstop ties the entire UK into a rather effective customs’ union – removing one leg of the Unionist “can’t go alone” argument, leaving them literally hopping around looking for another scare tactic. There’s little left to use.

As Westminster runs largely by precedent, there’s now effectively no such thing as a “consultative referendum”, not after the EU debacle. There’s also Scotland’s “Claim of Right” being recognised last year, and as it took place subsequent to Alex Salmond’s setting a precedent for “requiring” a Section 30 order, it’s easily arguable that such a need no longer exists. Westminster recognises Scots have the sovereign right to chose the government – in both location and form – which they will live under.

Almost every Scot is sickened by the debacle which London’s elite now represents. Either that or they can’t get off the ground for laughing at the Westminster pantomime. When the opposition is divided, when it’s focus is solidly elsewhere, when fracture and infighting are rampant, when better to mount the charge to a newer, brighter future?

Right now, before leaving the EU, the case for independence can count on the votes of virtually every EU citizen in the country – that’s about enough to cancel out the winning margin for Westminster on the last go-around. Effectively, the new race starts out a dead heat, and the lies of The Vow will not be believed again.

No-one will ever convince any decent Scot that, given an even opportunity, Scots cannot succeed. Without being hobbled by Westminster, in future we will have that even opportunity. With Westminster effectively tied to a customs union in which Scotland will either soon participate or simply never leave, then there is only economic advantage for our nation.

We should consider it a given that this next referendum will provide the path, or a majority of MPs or MSPs could do it also, so long as it was announced before the vote. In this eventuality, our application to remain within the EU, if not already expelled from it by English idiocy, should be immediate, and it should be done as a successor state.

As a “successor”, we keep the rebates, we keep a preferential status. Now wouldn’t that throw the cat in amongst Westminster’s proverbial diplomatic pigeons? The folks at the Palace of Westminster, they can’t even argue against it – for very clearly, as they have said already, they simply don’t want it.

Nicola need only press the button. Now IS the time.

Ashley MacGregor
East Kilbride

WITH the Growth Commission in the news again, it is vital to understand why it will not win us independence. From its conception to its delivery, it is flawed.

From the lack of trade union representation on the Commission to the proposal for “sterlingisation” and the other recommendations straight out of Tony Blair’s “New Labour playbook”, the proposals in the report will be alien to many in Scotland.

From the “six tests” (almost impossible to meet) before we establish a separate Scottish currency to the measures to ensure that we adopt a mirror image of failed UK banking regulation, it will ensure that we are tied to the worst aspects of the rUK economy.

From the adoption of failed neo-liberal policies to the lack of progressive taxation policies, it fails in many areas that would appeal to the majority of working-class Scots. While it may satisfy the Edinburgh financiers, the rich Aberdeen oil executives and the Glasgow businessmen, it does not address the fact that it asks us to chap the doors of working-class people to ask them for their support for an independent Scotland that will look pretty much the same as the UK state we currently have the misfortune to be part of.

Analysis by many, including George Kerevan, Richard Murphy and Dr Craig Dalzell, shows significant flaws in the currency proposals. Indeed, Richard Murphy is on record as saying: “In other words, this Commission recommends that Scotland use the currency created by another country. That will mean five things. The first is that Scotland will have no control over its money supply after independence. Second, it will have no control over its interest rate. Third, if London decides to trash the rUK economy to support the City, or some other cause, Scotland will go down with it. Fourth, all the negative impacts of Brexit will be imported directly into the Scottish economy. Fifth, Scotland will effectively have to earn the currency of another state to service its debts.”

Scotland’s working-class majority won’t vote for an independence that’s been cooked up by bankers, for bankers. The Growth Commission will lose us independence.

Dougie Grant
via email