THE second National Rejoin March (NRM) to be held in London on Saturday, September 23 is expected to attract large numbers of pro-EU supporters.

The event is supported by many UK/England-based pro-EU ­organisations including the European ­Movement UK (EMUK), Grassroots for Europe and Scientists for EU, as well as some Scotland-based organisations including the European Movement in Scotland (EMiS), and Glasgow Loves EU. Some pro-EU Scots will be joining the march, whether they are Scottish residents travelling south for the day, or Scots in “exile” living south of the Border.

Some of these pro-EU Scots will be indy supporters, and indeed, the event is supported by the London branch of the SNP, which prompts the ­question: why would indy ­supporters join an event aimed at ­benefitting the Union?

According to the march organisers, NRM, the purpose of their campaign is “to bring pro-Europeans together to say that we want the UK to Rejoin the European Union”. How this is to be achieved is not explained, however,

Mike Galsworthy, chair of EMUK, spells out a “gradualist” approach: the aim is to move closer “step by step” to the EU. Confidence in this approach has been boosted by the ­recent deal on Horizon access (though ­limited), and Galsworthy ­advocates ­applying pressure on government to negotiate further deals with the EU on ­Erasmus+, access to the EU border security agency Frontex, mutual youth visa agreements, veterinary agreements, access to the European Medicines Agency, etc.

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In the UK context, Galsworthy’s strategy is a credible one. But ­surely the ultimate aim of regaining EU membership for the UK is not ­something that Yessers will want to be part of?

In one sense, the fact some ­pro-EU Scots marchers will be indy supporters should come as no ­surprise, as EU membership is more highly valued by Scots than by other UK nations (we voted 62% to Remain in 2016 and the percentage of Scots wishing to be in the EU has now risen to around 75% according to recent polls).

And the commitment to join the EU once independent, stated in the Bute House Agreement by the SNP and Greens, is the key factor bringing many Scots over from No to Yes. On the other hand, how do pro-indy Scots justify taking part in an event which in essence assumes that the only way back to the EU is for the whole UK to rejoin, gradually or ­otherwise?

Indeed, the event’s organisers and the UK Rejoin movement generally show no sign of even considering the possibility of Scotland’s future ­independence, and the profound ­constitutional consequences this would entail for the UK, ­including ­relationships with the EU. The ­Rejoin narrative focuses solely on seeking the UK’s return to the EU.

There seems to be little or no ­awareness that the “United Kingdom” has ­become seriously disunited; the ­notion of “broken Britain” is already in ­common parlance, with many ­commentators asking “can the Union be saved?”.

Brexit is a main cause of the ­unravelling of the UK, but not the only one; the UK Government’s ­record of incompetence, ­corruption, ­attempts to break international law, and anti-democratic practices – ­including ­unlawfully proroguing the ­Westminster Parliament and riding roughshod over devolution – is well-documented.

The National: Scots who support independence have to articulate why they want to re-join the EUScots who support independence have to articulate why they want to re-join the EU

What’s worse is that it’s not just a problem of the current Tory government: The main opposition party, Labour, is not only adopting Tory policies but has no intention of reforming the flawed FPTP electoral system which has allowed the UK Government to force harmful policies through the Westminster Parliament.

If there is one thing we can thank the Tory government for, it is for ­laying bare the failure of ­democratic accountability mechanisms, and the weaknesses of an ­unwritten ­constitution that leaves many ­loopholes to be exploited when unscrupulous people gain power.

We have been given an object ­lesson in how to undermine ­democracy and nurture authoritarianism, which the “opposition” parties are failing to challenge; the fact that purportedly, neither the Labour Party nor

LibDems will put forward speakers at the London Rejoin event – flying in the face of the majority of UK people who believe Brexit was a mistake – is further proof, if any were needed, of the rotten state of the Westminster system. No wonder the devolved nations are all seeing increasing support for self-determination, in the form of Scottish and Welsh independence and Irish reunification.

So, rather than asking “can Britain be saved?” a more apt question is “should Britain be saved?”.

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Sadly, this question is not being posed by the UK Rejoin movement; in pressing only for the whole UK to rejoin the EU, their mission is a blinkered and unambitious one, failing to consider other options which may be much more beneficial in the long run.

In other words, they are overlooking an important opportunity. The ­option that they seem determined to ignore is that, when Scotland ­becomes independent and joins the EU as a country in our own right, this will of necessity bring about desperately needed fundamental constitutional reform for the rest of the UK.

This process is likely to be challenging and protracted, and various outcomes are possible for the remaining three nations, but it will be an enforced fresh start and may be the best chance that people across the current UK will have to recover from the harm and destruction that the UK Government has wreaked upon us for a decade or more.

So the logic is that it is in everyone’s interests in the UK to support independence and reunification movements in the devolved nations.

In other words, we need to urge UK-based pro-EU campaigners to invest their efforts in a more worthwhile aim: rather than simply trying to get the UK in its existing decrepit state back into the EU, we should urge them to campaign to end the ­Union, and engage in creating a ­better future for all, turning England and the ­other nations into better ­places for our children to grow up in.

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An important aspect of that better future will be EU membership; ­Scotland will join the EU as soon as possible once independent and blaze a trail for the other nations to follow.

The idea that breaking up the UK is inevitable and will be in everyone’s interests is not new.

As long ago as 1977, Tom Nairn’s prescient study of British history and politics was published, in which the author describes the “slow foundering” of the UK due to the decline of empire and an anachronistic

constitution that is not fit for purpose. Nearly half a century later, an event will be held in Edinburgh in November as a “salute” to Tom Nairn, using the same title as his book The Break-up Of Britain.

That break-up process is now ­being hastened by Brexit, ­according to many commentators such as ­historian David Edgerton, who said: “The breakup of the Union certainly won’t be easy but it may be one of the few good things to come out of Brexit — not just for Scotland and Ireland but also, and perhaps especially, ­ for England.”

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So, a very good reason for pro-indy activists to take part in the London Rejoin march this weekend will be to raise awareness about Scottish independence and encourage the UK-based Rejoin movement to support the indy cause – because it’s in everyone’s best interests, not just Scots’.

I urge Yessers attending the London march to go armed with bundles of flyers to distribute, such as those from Yes for EU or Believe in Scotland, as well as your EU/Saltire placard, and chat with people about independence.

The message is that Britain is broken beyond repair – the rotten Union cannot and should not be saved. The sooner it’s put out of its misery, the sooner we – Scotland and the other nations – can rejoin the European family, and start to build a much ­better future for everyone.

Morag Williamson is Convenor of Yes for EU but she is writing in a personal capacity