Nicola Sturgeon criticised for 'political point scoring' by expert
Ms Sturgeon continues to push her country towards a second independence vote, despite repeated refusals to entertain the idea from Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The coronavirus appears to have shifted opinion in favour of an independent Scotland however, with the approach of what is looking like a no deal Brexit only furthering the desire for a second referendum. Yet, the country would immediately renounce one of its most sought after characteristics – sovereignty – in the event of independence, as Ms Sturgeon and the SNP would “hop back into bed with the Europeans”, Paul Embery, a trade unionist and “Blue Labour” member told Express.co.uk.
Scotland voted to Remain a part of the EU in 2016, yet, as a part of the UK, automatically left the bloc in January along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
And while many see why Scotland would therefore want to remain a part of Brussels, Mr Embery said Ms Sturgeon’s logic flies in the face of her arguments for an independent Scotland.
He explained: “It’s the policy on independence and the EU, they’re completely inconsistent.
“They (SNP) say they want to be independent from Britain because they think they’ll be better off outside, yet the first thing they’d do is hop back into bed with the Europeans and trade their newly found sovereignty for membership of the EU club.
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“That policy has always struck me as completely bizarre and I don’t think they’re ever probed enough on it to explain that inconsistency.”
Democratic control, national self-determination and identity, and full political decision making transferred to Holyrood are cited as some of the main reasons for independence.
Yet the country would be expected to sacrifice at least some of these newfound qualities should it rejoin the EU.
Scotland would likely have to give up its own currency in exchange for the euro.
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While Ian Blackford, leader of the SNP in the House of Commons, said in 2019 that Scotland wouldn’t necessarily have to adopt the euro, fact-checkers have since refuted this claim.
The EU has been consistent on the point that joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism isn’t voluntary, with membership of it helping to stabilise the outgoing currency and smooth the transition into the eurozone, for two years.
Then European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in 2017 that “the euro is meant to be the single currency of the European Union as a whole. All but two of our Member States are required and entitled to join the euro once they fulfil the conditions”.
Only the UK and Denmark secured legally binding opt-out from the eurozone, through the Maastricht Treaty.
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If an independent Scotland joined the EU after a referendum, it would have to adopt the euro eventually, or else find itself “not fully compatible” with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – a key piece of EU law.
This point alone could prove unfavourable for those who want an independent Scotland for identity and nationalistic means.
Yet, Ms Sturgeon pushes on, having used her nation’s Covid-19 response summit earlier this month to give reasons as to why Scotland should leave the UK.
Here, she said that “Scotland wants to return (to the EU) – and we hope to do so soon as an independent member state”.
These words were accompanied with a harsh critique of Mr Johnson, referring to him and his cabinet as “Boris Johnson and his band of Brexiteers” or “the Vote Leave Gang”.
Ms Sturgeon said she was not ruling out the possibility of a referendum next year.
However, she appeared hesitant with the backdrop of Covid-19, and warned “we don’t know” when the pandemic will end.
She reassured that in the meantime her “energies are focused on that”.
Holyrood’s spring elections take place at the beginning of May 2021, with the SNP keen on using the ballot to gauge the national sentiment for independence.
According to the most recent data available on the opinion of Scottish independence in Scotland, the Yes camp currently have the edge at 51 percent.
Should the SNP win a majority in May, senior figures say it would give Ms Sturgeon the precedent to demand Mr Johnson grant MSPs the power to call a referendum.
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