Wednesday 23 December 2020

Sturgeon is a hypocrite not merely about masks


“New mutant strain of Covid in Britain, continent cut off” should have been the headline, but somehow, we have lost the defiance that we used to have when such headlines were or were not written.

The truth is that Britain is in pretty good shape compared to our “friends” and “allies”. The new mutant Covid is in fact an old mutant Covid that may have originated in Brazil eight months ago. It has been spreading all around the world ever since. Britain has been able to recognise that it exists here because we have excellent facilities to test such things, other countries have it too, but as yet pretend that they don’t. This is to our advantage rather than theirs. We are further ahead than anywhere else in vaccinating and will reach the point where the most vulnerable have been vaccinated much earlier than EU countries, at which point the pandemic will effectively be over here while it will continue there. The task is to get through the next couple of months. So, stay at home, avoid other people, buy as much food and drink as you can consume and stick it out. We’ll be fine.

All the worst things that Brexit was supposed to bring and especially a no deal Brexit have been brought anyway by Covid. Even if we had stayed in the EU we would have been blockaded, but we’ve managed, and we will manage. The most deranged Remainer fantasies in 2016 about Britain being punished if we dared to leave the EU, were not even remotely as bad as the pandemic. So, ignore such predictions. The lesson of life is that you take what it throws at you remain cheerful and battle on.

Predictably Nicola Sturgeon demanded an extension of the transition period. She has been trying to stop Brexit ever since 2016. First, she tried to use Parliament and the law courts to stop it,  now she hopes that if Britain caves in at the last moment then the transition period will continue indefinitely and will eventually lead to us not leaving the EU at all.

Why is Sturgeon so keen on Britain not leaving the EU? Why is she continually trying to stop it? If leaving the EU really made Scottish independence more likely or inevitable, she would be encouraging it.

Of course she is trying to stoke resentment in Scotland with the hope that this will lead to support for her party and her cause, but if she really thought that leaving the EU made Scottish independence easier to achieve why does she continually attempt to put obstacles in the way of Brexit?

Sturgeon is not merely a hypocrite about masks, she is also a hypocrite about transition periods.

Imagine if Sturgeon had been given her wish and there had been an independence referendum in 2018 and she had won it. There would have been a transition period. Let say it was due to end in March 2020. Scottish Independence Day would have been April the First. Would Sturgeon have really extended the transition period because of the Covid outbreak? But what if she had extended it and Scotland had continued to receive money from the Treasury? When would the transition period end? When we no longer needed the money? It’s another word for never.

While condemning the British Government for not extending the transition period with the EU due to Covid, Sturgeon is still planning an independence referendum for 2021. If we must extend the transition period because of Covid, why does she suppose it is sensible to have a referendum on breaking up Britain? We have had four years to prepare for leaving the EU. Sturgeon doesn’t even have a plan for independence that takes into account the economic damage of 2020.

Brexit is massively easier to achieve than Scottish separatism.  It doesn’t involve setting up a new state. It merely involves us returning to what we had been for centuries until the early 1970s. The EU is a trading bloc which allows free trade between its members. The price of this is that we pay a membership fee, cede control of our waters and accept that EU law and regulations are supreme over British law. Eventually if the EU succeeds in its goal, we become a region of a United Europe. Not only that we have to apply the EU’s Common External Tariff on the rest of the world. It’s a rather high price for free trade, which isn’t anyway free because we have to pay a fee to have it.

If leaving the EU means that we can trade freely with the rest of the world and if it means we can free ourselves from EU laws and red tape, then there is every chance we can become more competitive than the EU and undercut them. The EU sells much more to us than we do to them, so if they are awkward about selling us stuff, we just buy it from someone else. Who loses? I can get blueberries from Chile for next to nothing, I can certainly get wine from Australia and cars from Korea. There is nothing the EU sells that I can’t buy just as well from elsewhere. Trade no longer depends on proximity.

The biggest prize of all however is that we finally do the one thing that Sturgeon really, really does not want. We leave the EU with a clean break and with the EU having minimal control over anything. Scottish nationalists will be angry. Let them be angry. There is nothing they can do. Both Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson will hold the line. Getting over Covid and rebuilding the economy will take years. There will be no time for referendums.

Sturgeon knows there will be no independence referendum next year. She is playing to the zoo trying to tame the wilder members of her menagerie. The good ship Britannia is sailing ever further away from the EU and as the EU recedes over the horizon Sturgeon dream will recede too, because Scottish independence was only ever tenable if Britain stayed in the EU. Why else has she been fighting it for so long?