The arrogance of Nicola Sturgeon never ceases to amaze me. The woman shows nothing but utter contempt for democracy. All she cares about is Scottish independence, no matter what the price. But what right does she have to call the shots on a decision we made as a United Kingdom?
There is no denying that Sturgeon is a shrewd and calculating politician. She has done remarkably well to land herself the top job in Scottish politics after Salmond’s failure to win the Scottish Referendum in 2014. But the First Minister knows that she will not triumph in this battle of wills she is purposefully pursuing with our PM. This time, she underestimates her opponent.
After her first meeting with the SNP leader, May made clear that there will be no second referendum on Scottish independence. Considering Scotland has a devolved parliament, sovereignty over these decisions ultimately resides with Westminster. A second vote would contrive the Edinburgh Agreement that was signed after the last vote hailed the decision made in 2014 as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity. And that is how it should remain. But it is obvious nationalists will do anything to achieve their hard-sought ‘freedom’.
However, being the opportunist that she is, the First Minister has launched a new drive for independence through a three-month ‘listening exercise’ to embrace the opinions of Scottish voters. There’s no doubt the nationalist leader picked an ideal location to launch this aspiration when she spoke at Stirling. This is the town where ‘Braveheart’ William Wallace won a historic battle against the English.
Canvassing is a fun exercise for anyone involved in a political party. But because the SNP are relentlessly pursuing this issue, many Scots will return home from work, or wake up in the morning, to find nationalists banging on their doors and drumming support for a pointless battle with London. The nationalist dream will be the last thing many voters will want to hear in these circumstances, especially when there are more pressing issues they are ignoring like ‘it’s the economy, stupid.’
The PM does not have to do anything other than maintain her convictions. The case for independence is crumbling before us. As I have argued before, the nationalist leader will fail to achieve her goal for many reasons, but from an economic perspective, the situation has worsened since.
Scotland’s public deficit has reached £15 billion after low oil prices destroyed sufficient amounts of tax revenues from this industry. The budget deficit stands at 9.5% of GDP, the highest in the EU. Many Scots are right to ask nationalists on their doorsteps what the Scottish Government is doing about the economy whilst their most senior politician wastes her time meeting European leaders.
This all boils down to what right Sturgeon has to call the shots on a UK-wide choice. We made this decision to leave the EU as one island. The PM does not want another referendum. With Scotland’s economic problems presenting a threat to stability, it is doubtful the Scottish people do as well. Why doesn’t she just focus on running the country she claims to be so proud to lead whilst the rest of the UK makes Brexit a success?