OVER the weekend, travellers trying to board cross-Channel ferries at the port of Dover faced delays of many hours, with long queues of traffic backing up for miles through the town.

The cause of the delays was the need for greater passport and customs inspections as a result of Brexit, which came on top of increased traffic over the Easter holiday period and the failure of the British Government to invest in greater border control and customs inspection capacity at the port – something which the British authorities were warned as far back as 2020 would be necessary because of Brexit.

Every holiday season, we see massive hold-ups as officials at the port struggle to process travellers through the additional checks necessitated by Brexit. We saw the exact same thing last year, and equally predictably, Conservative politicians act as though it's an unprecedented and unforeseeable situation caused by any number of factors, none of which – amazingly – include Brexit.

On Sunday, it was the turn of Suella Braverman – the Secretary of State for extreme right-wing English nationalism and being cruel to migrants – to deny that the long queues at Dover had anything to do with Brexit. It was instead all the fault of the weather and the ferry companies.

Labour, for their part, are equally reluctant to blame Brexit, instead claiming that it's not Brexit per se which is the problem but rather the Conservative implementation of Brexit, and that a Labour government would “make Brexit work”. This is a bit like saying that the only issue with shooting yourself in the foot is how you manage the resultant paperwork.

A recent opinion poll found that only 14% of respondents in Scotland thought that leaving the EU was a good idea, but Scotland's views on Brexit are ignored by both the Labour and Conservative parties, which are equally in thrall to English nationalism.

The Tories own Brexit and are defined by it, they cannot resile from Brexit any more than the Kray twins could renounce a life of crime. Labour are blinded by their single-minded pursuit of Brexit-supporting voters in the so-called Red Wall seats in the Midlands and north of England. Scotland figures in the calculations of both parties only as a nuisance to which occasional lip service is paid.


A poll published over the weekend for the Sunday Times found that a majority of SNP voters support the Bute House Agreement with the Scottish Greens which ensures that the Scottish Government can govern as a majority government with the backing of all pro-independence MSPs at Holyrood.

The poll from Savanta also puts support for independence on 48% once don't-knows are removed, a very similar figure to that reported in a Panelbase poll also published over the weekend.

Fieldwork for both polls was conducted after the SNP leadership contest concluded and appear to suggest that support for independence remains unaffected by the SNP's leadership issues, which tends to back the idea that support for independence is not a function of the performance of the SNP but rather is driven by deeper structural and systemic issues within the British state.

The Savanta and Panelbase polls also agree in showing a significant drop in support for the SNP in both Holyrood and Westminster elections, but this is contradicted by another poll published recently by Polling People for GB News which suggested that the SNP could take 48% of the vote in a Westminster election, with Labour on 20% and the Conservatives on 14%.

The truth is that Scottish politics is currently in a state of flux and it remains to be seen what pattern will prove dominant once things settle down. Despite the furious barrage of criticism against Humza Yousaf, which had many write him off as a failure before he had even got his foot in the door of Bute House, he may yet confound his critics, unite the party and lead a government in which the pursuit of independence is front and foremost.


There are reports that a group of around 15 SNP MSPs who describe themselves as “pro-business” are organising to seek a “reset” of relationships between the Scottish Government and Scottish business. However, although it's reported that the group is centred on some MSPs who supported Kate Forbes during the recent leadership campaign, no MSP has spoken publicly and identified his or herself as a member of the new group.

Humza Yousaf has said that he is not concerned by the reports, and certainly speculation about a “rebel” group organising against the new First Minister would appear to be premature.

The First Minister said: said: “I read beyond the headline, it seemed to suggest that there were some MSPs that wanted to – in their own words – work constructively with the Government to put forward some policy suggestions."

He added that he was willing to look at any good policy suggestions that come from within the SNP group at Holyrood and that his door was always open.


Labour have apparently rejected suggestions from the Conservatives that the two parties co-operate in a tactical voting plan against the SNP. The plan would have seen Labour urging its supporters in rural areas to back the Tories in order to keep out the SNP at the next Westminster election, while in return the Conservatives would ask their supporters in the Central Belt to back Labour.

Asked about the suggestion, Jackie Baillie, Labour's deputy leader, seemed to rule out any prospect of a pact with Douglas Ross's party … although Labour collaborates with the Tories in a number of local authorities throughout Scotland in order to shut the SNP out of power.

She said: "It appears the Scottish Tories have accepted that they have lost the next General Election," and urged voters to back Labour.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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