Is Brexit the beginning of the end of Britain?


Scottish MEP Alyn Smith gets standing ovation at European Parliament

Alex Massie writes: So where are we now? Pretty much in the same position as the traveller who asks for directions to Limerick and is told, ‘Well, I wouldn’t start from here.’ But we are where we are, for better or, more probably, for worse.

Not before time it is slowly dawning on people in England that while this was very much their referendum it has consequences for the whole of the United Kingdom. They were warned this would be the case and, if it was not something that was ever uppermost in their thoughts, they cannot claim they were not told. Because they were.

I don’t dispute English voters’ right to privilege their disgruntlement with the EU over their weakened preference for the United Kingdom to remain, well, just that. That’s a choice but choices have consequences. It has, in any case, been evident for some time that England’s commitment to the Union is just as provisional and ambivalent as Scotland’s.

All of which leaves Scotland’s Unionists, especially Scotland’s Conservative Unionists, in a dismal place right now. They are soaked in melancholy and a good number of them feel abandoned right now. They did not fight a long and exhausting referendum in 2014 for a Britain that has to choose between the politics of Boris Johnson and the politics of Nigel Farage. But that is what they now face.

In 2014, Better Together warned that voting for independence posed the greatest risk to Scotland’s EU membership. That was true then. It is evidently not true now. Voting, at some point, for independence is now the only way Scotland can become a full member of the EU. The suggestion any alternative is available is a suggestion for the birds. [Continue reading…]

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