Monday, 19 December 2011

SNP and Europe

Bit of an absence, but rather busy last week.

Back to my favourite subject, since the First Minister has had an article published on another site.

The article, as you would expect, is well written and informative. However, the alarm bells are now well and truly ringing.

The First Minister has made it abundantly clear that Scotland is to be a "full fledged" European state. There is no doubt that regardless of what is promised about asking the Scottish people AFTER independence, Scotland will be at the heart of Europe come independence. Or to put it another way, a member state fully entrenched politically, and in a position to having to accept the single currency.

Never mind that there is talk in Brussels about regulating fossil fuels so they become owned by the EU. No, the First Minister is using this to attack Cameron's approach to Europe (including a pop at the fishing policies). Now while he has a point, he is heading down the wrong track.

Numerous surveys and polls indicate that most people do not want power devolved to Europe. They want the power to remain at home. So why does the First Minister insist that Scotland will be a major player?

David Cameron is not exactly popular, but his stance on Europe is. Here is a man, with little in common to most voters and with policies that are ripping the economy apart, managing to gain support for his actions. His policy is obviously to save the financial sector, and is rather narrow minded. But despite this he has support. I have yet to speak to anyone who thinks he did wrong over Europe.

The First Minister is now slowly but surely confusing the Scottish voter. We've had the ill-fated "Arc of Prosperity", now limited to Norway, which is a truly successful case. He wants us to emulate the Scandinavian countries. But these countries are generally Euro-sceptic. But he also wants Scotland to be right at the heart of Europe at the top table.

The Referendum is less than four years away. I'm betting on 2014 for historical reasons. Europe is not going to recover within this time. In fact, things might be even worse, and the SNP will be trying to convince people that their policy is safe and secure.

My own view is that they need to urgently change this policy on Europe. If they do it now, then accusations of a u-turn will soon wither away. But if they leave it too late, then they will appear indecisive to voters.

Too many supporters are treating the Referendum like a parliamentary election. It is fundamentally different and goes beyond party politics. The SNP have let May's emphatic victory go to their heads. The Referendum campaign will not listen to the concerns of voters; it will be about the SNP's ultimate goal - independence.

But it should not be at any cost.


  1. "But it should not be at any cost."

    Couldn't agree more.

    Where is the First Minister's article? I'd really like to read it.

  2. It's on Newsnet. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of valid points raised, but it would be interesting to find out the true motivation for this policy.

  3. Perhaps the "true motivation" is the usual SNP anti-UK oppositionalism, which seems to work up to a point, but perhaps this time Mr Salmond has overreached himself.

    I certainy don't see myself as a Unionist and am no fan of Westminster politics, but compared to the basket case EU the UK increasingly looks likes an object lesson in good government.

    Yet Mr Salmond wants to be at "the heart" of the former while desperate to get out of the latter.

    As you allude Barbarian perhaps Mr Salmond has misjudged the public mood vis-a-vis Europe, and with the whole thing likely to get a lot worse before it gets better I suspect he'll have to backtrack soon or make the difficult task of winning an independence referendum an effective impossibility.

  4. Thanks for that - found it. A google search for Alex Salmond and Europe threw up the following article from an unusual source which has some views on the motivation for the Scotland in Europe policy.