The SNP’s anti-Brexit antics create an awful precedent for those of us who want Scottish independence

The SNP’s anti-Brexit antics create an awful precedent for those of us who want Scottish independence

When the Scottish Independence referendum happened on 18th September 2014, I had spent nearly fifty years supporting the cause of Scottish Independence. I put heart and soul into the campaign and my garden has hardly recovered since. But our people voted to preserve the British Union. Disappointed, I knew what the rules were. No independence for now at least. My intense efforts in 2014 were wholly based on my perception that if Yes were to win by, for example, 52% to 48%, then the result would be respected. Tragically, that now sounds naive.

Two years later, another great referendum was called. A close friend of mine in the SNP asked me if I would campaign with him for Leave. After some thought, I agreed. In a short campaign, Vote Leave worked miracles in Scotland, with little organisation, no supportive press, no supportive parties, few known leaders and very little money. Remain was in fact saved by the bell. Against all expectations, more than one million Scots voted Leave. Leave actually did better in my home county of Aberdeenshire than had Yes two years before.

Shortly after the referendum, Lord Ashcroft’s polls showed that in Scotland, some 36% of Yes supporters had voted Leave. SNP supporters were more likely to vote to Leave than Conservatives! But the SNP is now seen as one of the most pro-Remain parties in Britain. Only one single SNP parliamentarian, Alex Neil, has admitted to voting Leave. The fifteen per cent of Scots who voted Yes/Leave are political orphans. No party and not a single newspaper or website espouse our cause.

So how should Yes/Leave supporters assess the upcoming EU election? The fundamental approach must be that we commit to upholding democracy. This is our most precious inheritance for which our fathers and mothers fought. In 2015/16 the UK Government went to “we the people” and told us that we would be given the high privilege of deciding whether the UK should Leave the EU or Remain. Our decision would be implemented – “no ifs, no buts”.

There is no point in the SNP arguing that Scotland voted to Remain. What Scottish people did on 23rd June 2016 was to decide that they wished the UK to Remain in the EU. But this was a British question and a British decision. A UK general election followed in 2017 when an enormous majority of the British people – and a handy majority of the Scottish people – voted for parties (Conservative, Labour and DUP) who stood on a platform of respecting the Brexit vote. Parliament decided to trigger our Article 50 notification by a huge majority. What must happen is clear. In the words of Donald Tusk our “stuuuuuupid referendum” must be respected.

While Labour and Tory parties have betrayed the electors of this country and their own manifestos, the SNP have simply gone crazy. After all, the purpose of the SNP, like them or loathe them, is to achieve Scottish Independence through a referendum of the Scottish people. Nicola Sturgeon has now thrown herself behind a so-called “People’s Vote” and the SNP have even supported revoking Article 50 in Westminster indicative votes.

What do these people think will happen when Indyref2 is won by 52% to 48%? Won’t our Unionist enemies simply argue that the poor thick people of Dundee just got it wrong, listened to populist lies and were taken in by slogans on a bus? Will Dominic Grieve not be calling a for a “confirmatory vote”? You cannot have one rule for the goose and another for the gander. The SNP have created an awful precedent. They have become the Great EU Unionist Party.

The vitally important thing is that we deliver the strongest possible message to our elites in Edinburgh, London and Brussels that we will uphold democracy. There is and will be democracy against the EU treaties! That means voting for the one credible party which unambiguously supports Leave. I have already marked the box of the Brexit Party with the cross of St. Andrew. Here’s hoping for at least 20% for the Brexit Party in Scotland and a couple of MEPs.