I’ve now been awake for 28 hours, I spent the last 10 riveted in front of the laptop, last night’s alcohol has worn off – I’m not sure whether that’s due the uncountable cups of tea I’ve had or just down to the time – and sleep is starting to claim me.
Also things are happening as I write so I’m sticking them is as they come. Such as Cameron announcing he will resign – presumably after the Tory Party
bloodbath Conference in the autumn. So much for his response of he thought he’d be good at it when asked why he wanted to be Prime Minister. I think he has his legacy, just not the one he expected (nor the pig one either surprisingly enough)
HOWEVER, despite the slow and inexorable realisation as the night progressed that leave was going to win – and I feel sorry for those that woke to it without warning, seeing that tactless, insensitive prick Farage grinning first thing cannot be pleasant – I do not have the heart-breaking despair that I felt on the 19th September 2014. I do not exaggerate when I say that day was like a bereavement.
Today however is different. I spent the night checking how Scotland voted, tallying the results off the @BBCReferendum account, and although I was concentrating on the Scottish areas I could see how the English tallies were falling, and those for Remain were few and far between.
Despite how many of our Scottish unionist press try to bend the narrative that England and Scotland are similar, there are differences. And I think this vote shows this. Not a single area in Scotland voted leave, admittedly Moray was close at 50.12 but 13 of the 32 areas had remain percentages over 70%, and the average was 62% for Remain, whereas the average in England was 53.4% for Leave.
What people forget is Scotland has approximately 30% of the UK’s landmass with only 9% of the population, and if we must talk about immigration this issue up here is that there isn’t enough people. Additionally the Scottish Government has done its best to protect services where as consecutive Westminster governments have defunded in England and Wales, allowing services to fail in order to allow privatisation. For example 280 more firefighter jobs are due to be cut in Manchester; 552 were lost in 2014 when 10 fire stations were closed in London under Johnson’s time as mayor. Such severe cut backs affect services.
Nicola Sturgeon issued a statement once the final Scottish result was announced, around 5 am ish (I can’t remember exactly it gets light here from 3 am)
Scotland has delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain in the EU, and I welcome that endorsement of our European status.
And while the overall result remains to be declared, the vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.
Scotland has contributed significantly to the Remain vote across the UK. That reflects the positive campaign the SNP fought, which highlighted the gains and benefits of our EU membership, and people across Scotland have responded to that positive message.
We await the final UK-wide result, but Scotland has spoken – and spoken decisively.
The Green Party in Scotland have also got off the mark quickly, so our pro-indy majority in Holyrood looks raring to go.
What’s the difference between now than 2014? During the first referendum the EU wouldn’t/couldn’t speak to us due to protocols, but now we are European citizen’s at risk of losing our citizenship against our own wishes. Plus I believe under Article 50 we now have the opportunity to be the continuating state. And we have all that water and those lovely fish stocks.
Also keeping Scotland and possibly Northern Ireland makes Brexit less of a loss of face to the EU (whilst thumbing their noses at England & Wales) And as I write this Merkel has said we can stay!
So we didn’t experiance the Schadenfreude of keeping the UK in – come on it would have been funny, after all the “don’t go Scotland; lead, don’t leave the UK.”
Instead my twitter timeline seems full of a range of people all saying pretty much the same thing, that they voted No in 2014 but now are reconsidering in view of Brexit – even world-famous authors.
So what about the other parts of the British Isles…
Firstly the Crown Protectorates – the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey – 250,000 people whose governments wished to take part in the referendum but were denied permission by the Queen. Be interesting to see how this affects their financial services.
Then Wales, what are you up to? 52.53% to leave! You’ve not done bad out of the EU, although I guess the fact you elected 7 UKIP Assembly Members should have given us a clue you weren’t happy.
Next Northern Ireland voted 55.73% to remain and already Sinn Féin has made calls for a referendum on a united Ireland. Alongside this Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny is to make a statement later today and in the meantime the Irish government has said the vote will have “very significant implications for Ireland”.
And we cannot forget Gibraltar who may not be part of the British Isle but did get a vote. 96% of voters chose to stay in the EU and Brexit will make what must be a tricky diplomatic situation with the Spanish government even more difficult. I can’t imagine they will be happy about another Scottish push for independence either with their situation in Catalonia.
OKAY – this is going to take much longer than I thought even for initial thoughts. I’ll be back later with part 2.