Yes gains nullified by the pro-indy Brexiteers | Autonomy Scotland

Yes gains nullified by the pro-indy Brexiteers

Pro indy Brexiteer

Jim Sillars, indy Brexiteer

Yesterday, just before the First Minister announced she was going to have a chat with the nation, the Times released a YouGov poll which suggested there was no great post Brexit move to support independence. However, the poll did show that a lot of people have changed their minds.

The most interesting line in the report for me was:

Ms Sturgeon has succeeded in attracting 12 per cent of “no” voters across the constitutional divide, 13 per cent of “yes” voters have gone the other way

It appears there has been a significant shift of No voters moving to Yes balanced out by a shift of Yes voters moving to No.

Two thirds of SNP voters backed Brexit

Two thirds of SNP voters backed Brexit

If you look at the last YouGov poll to ask the question in October last year and compare the results to the current survey we can see the shift is recent. I would say that this is caused by the EU election results causing a real change in how people are thinking about Scottish independence. We know a lot of pro EU no voters are now torn between the two unions as their referendum votes clash. We also know that a lot of independence supporters voted to leave the EU and as such are also conflicted.

The Brexit settlement will be the most important variable for each group of switchers. With no to yes voters it’s difficult to predict. A hard Brexit could keep the former no voters in the yes camp and potentially grow their ranks. Although, a hard Brexit might also bring border controls between Scotland and the UK which may persuade them to head back to the perceived stability of union. This group of voters will be looking to go with the most stable version of the future.

Those who have moved from yes to no will also be looking at the Brexit deal. They know that Scotland should gain some extra powers from leaving the EU as control over competencies like fisheries and farming are not reserved to Westminster and could default to Holyrood post Brexit. If they see Scotland getting more power over its resources they may have a hard time voting yes in a second referendum as this would give that control back to the EU.

This poll is both heartening and challenging as it shows just how up for grabs some independence votes are. It also shows that events outwith most of our control will affect how many people vote in the second referendum.

I think those indy-Brexiteers who have switched from yes to no due to the EU ref are making a fundamental error if, as their previous referendum vote suggests, they are concerned about Scottish people having more control over the fate of Scotland.

We have written about this before but the abridged version is:

  • Although the ultimate goal of indy-Brexiteers may be independence outwith the EU, this is not an option on the table at the moment.
  • Scotland voted to stay in the EU so those concerned about sovereignty would become hypocrites if they switched from No to Yes and denied the sovereign will of the Scottish people to remain in the EU.
  • The current choice is between independence within the EU or dependence within a post Brexit UK. Indy-Brexiteers would be free to campaign for leaving the EU once independent.
  • An independent Scotland within the EU is sovereign whilst a Scotland within a post Brexit UK is not.
  • Scotland would have much more power if independent within the EU that it would within a post Brexit UK.
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If there has been a post Brexit shift between no and yes voters, persuading the indy-Brexiteers to vote yes may be a key area those of us supporting independence need to work on. The detail of the Brexit deal will be a factor but we could also work to drive home the message that independence within the EU offers much more control than remaining in a post Brexit UK.

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Dave Coull
Dave Coull
7 years ago

Start the independence referendum process NOW! It’s been suggested folk aren’t “ready” for another referendum. But that reminds me of the childhood game of hide-and-seek that some of us bairns really did used to play, back in the days when bairns played ootside. You would cover your eyes, count down as quick as you could, then say “Here I come, ready or not”. Well, courtesy of the British Government, here comes chaos, whether we’re ready or not. On the day after ninety seven percent of MPs representing Scottish constituencies voted against bombing Syria, war planes took off from Scottish airfields… Read more »

7 years ago
Reply to  Dave Coull

You make a good case. I definitely don’t know when we should call it. I imagine the SNP strategy is to do it when they think they have the best chance. At the moment it would be close but maybe we should do it now as events have swung in our favour.

Andrew MacDonald
7 years ago

The stance of the SNP in quoting the Brexit vote, and Scotland’s result being pro the EU, as a case for another referendum is a false one and moreover a shameful departure from the party’s own raison detre. Firstly, Scotland as a member of the EU is a wholly different proposition to continuing membership by the UK. The SNP cannot therefore use the recent result as a mandate for anything. The only reason Scotland voted to stay in is because we, as yet, do not have the problems of immigration that England has experienced. If we had, and we will,… Read more »

7 years ago

I don’t agree with you on the sovereignty point. Each EU nation is Sovereign but has decided to cede some power for what they perceive as an overall gain. Each EU nation is able to freely leave the EU and the EU has no power to dissolve the government of any EU state. It is a mutual voluntary agreement a country can choose to or choose not to enter into. Whether you think you should give power to the EU is a different matter but either way ultimate Sovereignty lies with the UK. This is different from Scotland within the… Read more »

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