Brexit (in the short term) re-engineers the environment around Scotland’s political trilemma

Brexit is changing the terms under which the UK’s internal politics are played. If you thought it could only drive Scotland out of the UK let me re-introduce Dani Rodrik‘s Political Trilemma:

…economic globalization, political democracy, and the nation-state are mutually irreconcilable. We can have at most two at one time. Democracy is compatible with national sovereignty only if we restrict globalization.

If we push for globalization while retaining the nation-state, we must jettison democracy. And if we want democracy along with globalization, we must shove the nation-state aside and strive for greater international governance.

Many Labour folks jumped not because they were seized of some class of blood and soil nationalism, but by a sense of loss of political power at home: ie in Scotland. Brexit (in the short term at least) cleverly re-engineers the environment around the trilemma making Brussels carry the can.

Brexit (in the short term at least) re-engineers the environment around the trilemma, forcing Brussels to carry the can both for thwarting national democracy and undermining the nation state. Expect the re-entry of mainstream British nationalism as a thing.

Gerry Hassan on Open Democracy, highlights some weakness the Brexit-driven Tory party will try to exploit:

…the cross-class, national ‘Big Tent’ coalition that is the 2015 SNP vote. There were already signs in 2016 in parts of rural Scotland, that some of this was fraying at the edges. There are also the new faultlines and divides which emerged out of the EU referendum, with 36% of SNP voters supporting leave, making any SNP pro-EU message have to have a degree of flexibility about EEA/EFTA membership. And as if this weren’t enough, the party will next month have been ten years in office, has a record to defend, and also faces unease in places about any future indyref.

Ten years of SNP success, winning elections and office, and having a sense of momentum behind them, has defined much. It has in some respects, slowly, but perceptibly, weakened the political antenna and sensitivities of the SNP and its supporters. Some of them now expect automatically political victory along the lines of ‘now we have 56 seats out of 59, what is to stop us winning the last Labour and Lib Dem, seats’, for example.

The SNP have become the political establishment, while still in places having an outsider ethos. The party’s senior leadership more and more look, feel and act, no matter how good their intentions, like an insider class. This is what happens from ten years of incumbency. And in a few weeks the SNP will poll well in the local elections (as will the Tories), and will sweep Labour from most of their last remaining West of Scotland strongholds. All of this will produce increased expectations in supporters, and new attack lines for opponents.

Of course, by any reasonable measure, the Tory party is the British establishment’s only reliable partner in government. Much of the easy (anti Blair-ite) rhetoric of the recent past on both sides of the Scots/English divide will help to obscure this seemingly immutable fact of British politics.

If the polls are to be believed (and we should be wary of the far from marginal effects of predictions on public debate), the Tories will face little resistance anywhere else in the UK, so Scotland will likely play much of a role in Tory strategic and tactical thinking.

When pushed to make a judgement a few days back, that permanent thorn in the side of the new Scottish establishment David Torrance, conceded that the SNP will be fine and could only be considered to be damaged if their seat totals go below 40.

In his column in yesterday’s Herald he observed:

…the bubble analysis is mistaken on a number of fronts. The Prime Minister’s hard-line approach to Brexit (or indeed her referendum “veto”) hasn’t driven up support for independence, and nor is the idea of a “hard” Brexit that toxic among voters who generally don’t like freedom of movement. Outside the bubble, Nicola Sturgeon is also increasingly divisive, particularly among older female voters, while Mrs May is viewed relatively positively.

At the same time, Tories should exercise caution, both nationwide and in Scotland. Talk of 1980s-style three-figure majorities seem premature, while even on a big swing the sheer size of many SNP majorities will make recapturing long-lost seats like Perth and North Perthshire extremely difficult.

Still, given the Scottish Conservatives’ poor showing at every UK general election since 1997, even a trio of gains will look like considerable progress, and the Prime Minister needs at least that for her “now is not the time” line on a second referendum to hold up.

Vote shares will be crucial to the battle of mandates; the total “Unionist” vote in Scotland will require a significant increase to bolster the argument that demand isn’t there for a re-run of 2014.

This is true. But it goes double for Nicola Sturgeon too, who has lately become very keen to cool the ardour of some of her more insistent supporters and de-couple the issues of general election and a second referendum. The latest batch of Scottish polls may have something to do with that.

This just one of several polls giving conflicting readings at the moment (as they should). However, the general trend remains in favour of remaining in the UK.

Last February, I suggested that flirting with a second referendum on foot of a Brexit decision might be a bad idea:

Inertia can be a powerful force in politics, and foreign policy (albeit one which comes with considerable domestic burdens) but it is rarely a great lifter of votes. Now, hypothetically push it beyond the point the UK votes for Brexit?

The same inertia issues will appear on the deficit side of anyone plumpin to leave the UK ostensibly in order to re-join the EU (and possibly a far from stable Eurozone).

Two thoughts.  If Brexit occurs it will imply little less than an ignominious collapse for the Remain side.

Selling something to Scotland that the whole of the UK has rejected won’t be easy: especially if it means re-addressing the tricky issues that brought defeat for the Independence side less than two years earlier.

Secondly, the assumption that Scotland and England significantly diverge on the matter of the European Union is doubtful. Enter our old friend/enemy the Social Attitudes survey. The latest Scottish survey suggests that in fact there is very little divergence.

It may have thrilled Irish hearts to see Ms Sturgeon’s Braveheart appearances in Brussels just after June’s poll, but if it was good public diplomacy, it was not yet even the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom.

In contrast to Cameron’s inept handling of the IndyRef, the UK Prime Minister has framed this election as… “a second referendum on Brexit – one that May has called, as she always could, at a time of her choosing”.

In doing so, is Theresa is trying to trump Nicola’s upgrade on the UK Labour party with a British upgrade of her own? Ruth Davidson certainly represents a second and very local point of attack. And all, before a single shot has been fired in anger.

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  • Anon Anon

    That Kantar poll is not one of many giving conflicted readings. It’s an outlier. It was followed by about 3 more recent polls that do not show a shift. That’s spin, and just a wee bit slippery on your part. The Tory surge has been confirmed on another poll, so that looks likely. Though it wasn’t as bad for Labour in the second.

    Secondly, people can repeat Scotland and England do not differ on the EU with a straight face, but they should be directed to the actual referendum results.

    Third, the game is not over yet – not for this campaign, and not for Scottish Indpendence. Sturgeon has to hold her support but so do the Tories, through potentially trying times coming up.

    Lastly, you are incredibly quick to dismiss principle. Sturgeon has been cooling jets since the last IndyRef. She doesn’t want to call another one, she wants to win another one. But it is spectacularly easy to see how someone with a deep commitment to Scottish sovereignty would feel obligated. Especially after London’s attitude.

  • ted hagan

    When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, the SNP hasn’t moved much beyond the last referendum when it comes to key questions such as economic survival, the monarchy, sterling, and future membership of the EU; Also the pledge that the last referendum would be a ‘once in a lifetime’ affair. The Scottish electorate, it seems, will go only so far with the SNP until it gets more definite answers, and until it sees what a Tory government can achieve in its Brexit negotiations.

  • mickfealty

    But you are missing the main point of the article, which is to suggest that Mrs May is using Brexit to dump two of the major horns of the trilemma (outlined above) on Brussels and offering the UK as a solution to the Scottish people.

    My reasoning from last year was that the EU would not freight enough value or meaning to win on an issue (the EU) that people feel far less passionate than freedom of the nation state. Trilemma. again.

    The Kantar poll is just one embedded tweet, which is then properly caveated to put in context. I don’t ascribe any deeper significance other than putting the brakes on in the immediate future.

    The only thing I agree with you on is that it is almost certainly is not over. With rump labour out of the way this is going to be epic. One takeway, beware of losing referendums. If you do call one, win it.

  • Anon Anon

    It wasn’t properly caveated. Even including it is a touch sneaky, it is a clear outlier. But you wanted to spin your point, so you stuck it in. Bit more colour: Kantar is a recent rebrand. Any ideas on how to get some exposure?

    Your fundamental problem is that the trilemma in a Scottish context is a quad. There is now a Unionist / Nationalist split in who they see as their “Nation State”. The UK becomes hard globalisation rather than a more distant EU. Your point is further undercut by the campaign literature the Scottish Tories have sent out for the forthcoming elections. It majors on one issue only. This is Scotland splitting on Constitutional lines.

    It’s hard to see how that split doesn’t calcify at this point. It could do a Quebec, I suppose, but in contrast to the last time round this time looks nasty. The stakes are higher for all concerned. It may also be that Nationalism​ doesn’t have the votes to get over the line. But even in the event of a loss, I can’t see Nationalist sentiment going away, particularly with the state Labour is in. The effect on Scotland is liable to be profound, and if you think a Union Jack will fix it, you’ve not been following the Nationalist end of the debate closely enough.

    In any case, if Brexit is anything to go by another referendum loss will shatter all opposition and the SNP will run Scotland for a million years.

  • Obelisk

    They also made clear that a material change in circumstances would alter their stance on the once in a generation thing. Why do Unionists focus on the first part to accuse them of betraying their word, whilst deliberately ignoring the second part which stated the circumstances under which they would reconsider.

    Circumstances that have now come to pass.

  • Katyusha

    Mrs May is using Brexit to dump two of the major horns of the trilemma (outlined above) on Brussels and offering the UK as a solution to the Scottish people.

    Which is of course completely disingenuous of her. London is as much of an internationalist power centre as Brussels is, and more authoritarian about its rule, to boot. I don’t remember Westminster having to seek the approval of the European Parliament to hold a vote to leave, unlike Holyrood and the Westminster Parliament.

    It is also disingenuous to portray the European Union as an entity of “hyper-globalisation”. The EU is protectionist of trade outside of its own borders, whereas I seem to remember the Brexiteers lauding “Global Britain”, upon their exit. “Out and into the world”, wasn’t it, from the nation that sold their electricity generation capacity to the French state and their transport infrastructure to the German state. I’m sure the Chinese would love a piece of that.

    The simple fact is, Britain is the remnant of a former imperial age and philosophy, whereas the EU is a modern imperial entity, without the centralised power that characterised the British empire (it is also civilising it’s new additions through stringent entry conditions wrt economic stability, democracy and the rule of law, rather than the gunboat and slaughtering the natives). Every argument may makes against Brussels can be levelled even more heavily against London, and every argument she makes for the UK can equally be made for Scotland, apart from three hundred years of Westminster rule has left Scotland unable to pay for itself. A successful legacy of the UK, if there ever was one.

  • Karl

    Its starting to annoy me now. Brexit hasnt happened. Meaningful negotiations havent started and wont until the Germans and French decide whos giving the bad news to May.
    At every single turn (EU key principles, linear divorce, then trade discussions, location of EU agencies, fishery rights, money owed to EU etc etc) the British position has been slapped down by the EU.
    The UK election is internal politics and nothing to do with strengthening Mays negotiating hand. How could it?
    Every sign says that the EU are going to extract their pound of flesh in the divorce proceedings and will go back for another in the trade talks. It will be WTO rules because the stark reality is that the UK will have to pay more in 2 years than it does now to get fewer benefits. May cant sell that.
    The current electoral coalescing around the Tories indicated by the polls for negotiations is being done by a people who already have the feeling theyve been sold a pup but have to double down on their reckless bet because not to would be to admit they were wrong.
    When Brexit finally does happen, it will be nothing short of a shock for the UK economy and a disaster for anywhere but London.
    Then you can start framing these articles with what Brexit means because at the moment, it hasnt happened.
    Once the reality becomes clear for Scotland and Wales, and the first post Brexit budget is posted, have a look at the polls then.

  • Salmondnet

    The wish being father to the thought. It will be interesting to revisit this post in two years.

  • Karl

    I must have missed the earlier exchanges where the EU acquiesced to the British preliminary demands

  • Cináed mac Artri

    The ‘nation-state’ is the one I’d happily dump. Nationalism only exists in the modern world to take some of the bad look away from astrology.

    The EU could have been developed into a much healthier entity if only properly accountable democratic structures had been put in place and the petty nationalism of the members allowed to wither away.

    The campaign group DiEM25 is saying good things about where Europe needs to go – and, as an example, it’s a place where the EU’s big beasts would never have gotten away with trashing the Greeks.

    We live in a very connected world. Should a banker sneeze in a forest in Japan a butterfly on Ben Bulben will feel the draught.

    Time to move out of the laagers we have created.

  • doopa

    The magic triangle mentioned at the top of the article was covered well in the Moral Maze recently specifically with reference to Scotland. Worth a listen if you are interested in the topic.

  • runnymede

    Yes it’s amusing to see all the early predictions (ie wishful thinking) that the Brexit vote would break the UK up being proved nonsense. Brexit will strengthen the UK – all the parts of it.

  • ted hagan

    I am not a unionist, in fact i lean towards an independent Scotland. I am simply focusing on the harsh realities of a second referendum and the fact that a substantial number of SNP voters (up to 33pc) voted for Brexit. Calling a referendum and then losing it would be major setback for Sturgeon, and she knows it. She is in a bind.

  • mickfealty

    “It could do a Quebec, I suppose…” True also that the outcome of “Scotland splitting on Constitutional lines”, whilst it may look nasty it is firmly in ‘open feedback’ territory.

    Where we have been is no reliable guide for where we might be going. Labour in Scotland looks a beaten docket everywhere bar Edinburgh South.

    Nationalist sentiment won’t go away. Of either type. But May’s gambit looks more confident (and thoughtful) than Brown’s was. Plus in Davidson, she has a ground commander.

    PS, I “stuck it in” because it was relevant to the last 48 hours. But that’s all.

  • mickfealty

    You don’t believe in the veracity of ‘the dilemma’?

  • Kevin Breslin

    The whole point of the trilemma is that you never get 100% of anything.

    I like the nation state, but I respect globalisation and democracy.

    To combine all three an equilibrium of compromises have to be made.

    Nations without globalisation are sedentary
    Globalisation without nations is nomadic

    Nations without democracy are despotic
    Democracy without Nations is anarchic.

    Democracy without globalisation is collectivist
    Globalisation without democracy is corporate.

    Most nations try to stay to the inner triangle than the apex or perimeter of the Impossibility Trinity.

    So without nations you are nomadic and exiled doomed to wonder the face of the earth in search of a home like a refugee.

    Without globalisation you would be imprisoned in tribe that cannot go anywhere. Doomed in your region until a war breaks out that expands or compresses your territory.

    And without democracy you suffer a despotic corporate regime doomed to either cling to an authoritarian regime or to fight it.

    In other words we can always pick two, but we have the luxury to use fractions to make that two.

    ergo N+G+D=2 choose what N, G and D are.

  • Katyusha

    I don’t believe the UK is a nation state, nor that any of the state within the EU have 100% national sovereignty, having ceded some of their sovereignty to transnational bodies of one form or another (and no bad thing).

    Scotland’s trilemma, is the same as the trilemma of any nation state, and is not as simple as you’d like to make it out. It’s not that you can only have two corners of the triangle, rather that you cannot have 100% of all three corners, and must instead strike a compromise between various extremes.

  • Kevin Breslin

    As someone from a physics background I love to see what proof you have from the future.

    I mean to prove what you said you have access to time travel, and if that’s the case it doesn’t matter if the UK leaves the EU not because time is not permanent.

    Ergo the UK would not be strengthened but rather weak by unbalanced nefarious time anomalies.

    Basically The Sound of Thunder. “God’s fixed causality plan” can be undone by human intervention as since changing the future is possible, changing what causes the future and coming back to the past could change virtually anything.

    Indeed thanks to time travel the UK may not even exist and we’d have never realised it.

  • Anon Anon

    Ignore this is Wings, and focus on the campaign pictures:

    Thoughtful? It’s a single issue. And it’s not a positive case for the Union either. The difference between Brown is circumstance.

    PS Don’t stick in polls that are obvious outliers unless you provide the context of the other polls, it totally undermines the credibility of your argument.

  • articles

    Not sure about this latest piece of political science . Surely the impact/threat of globalisation has fuelled nationalism and led to single issue politics in the form of referenda (all very democratic). This unholy trinity is not mutually incompatible; politics is what it is and those that seek to wield influence will tap into whatever power supplies there are. Not so much a triangle more a three cornered hat with bells on.

  • mickfealty

    Bravo young man! Finally, all that discrete immersion in theoretic physics of yours makes sense to me!!!

  • mickfealty

    FYI, it dates from 2007. It’s just the pony express that brings it to NI makes it feel like the latest thing. 😉

  • mickfealty

    It’s certainly a single message, thanks for sharing it!! Believe, I’ve friends on the No side in Scotland (Labour mostly), it will be a very popular one.

  • articles

    2007. Round about the St Andrews Agreement time then, just goes to show everything comes round again. I only missed the pony the first time round, some of us missed the agreement first time round.

  • Cináed mac Artri

    Not to put too fine a point on that, but it’s tosh.

    There is no contradiction whatsoever with having a “home” and there being no nation state. The concept of the necessity for a blood and soil ”anchor’ to hold our weak little bodies to the earth lest we are blown away to become wandering ‘refugees’ is 19th Century romantic bs.

    Also the nation state has always colluded to encourage the “despotic corporate regime”. One nation state undercutting a rival nation state in the race to the bottom to offer its citizens’ labour as a prize. Truly democratic globalisation would undermine that relationship and self-serving nomadic capital would be curtailed.

    Finally, democracy is not dependent on being ring fenced within a multiplicity of fiefdoms demarcated by humans some time back in the day when a person’s horizons were defined by how far they could walk/ride a horse in a day.

    A democratically accountable parliament looking after the interests of the people is just as possible in Brussels as it is in Dublin.

  • Nevin

    “And without democracy you suffer a despotic corporate regime doomed to either cling to an authoritarian regime or to fight it.”

    Ditto with democracy, that brief moment in time when the don’t knows decide which representatives are to be subjected to the slings and arrows of lobbyists – until the next time!

  • Nevin

    The Jim Wells Fargo IS our pony express!

  • Kevin Breslin

    Firstly the word nation does not refer to the recognised nation state.

    Even indigenous tribes are called nations. Indian nations within the USA.

    People need some sort of regionalisation of control from a centralised authority.

    If you want global government, then the “nation” simply becomes the world.
    Dido with continental governance.

    Without globalisation the problems of territorialism and territorial wars occur.

    However every person needs territory even a shared territory.

    Also this isn’t to be too critical of your views, my point is that people choose their fractions. I was not trying to be too judgemental, but to indicate absolutes.

    For example people want some things nationalised, other things internationalised and other things personal.

    We’re all individuals, this was about people and there diversity looking at the merits and demerits and using partial combinations to bring people together.

  • Anon Anon

    I’ve no doubt you’ve Unionist friends everywhere. But you are reinforcing my point. In normal times, Labour people would be utterly horrified at what the Tories are doing. More horrified at the prospect of the majority they are going to get. Dugdale did an uncharacteristically good speech on the Rape Clause yesterday. But it’s all been overridden by Constitutional issues.

    That is directly on the path to Northern Irelandising your politics. And let’s be clear – the politics does not have to be like this. All sides could accept Scotland has voted for contradictory things in two referendums and that it must be resolved. Those that voted No can do so again.

    But they are afraid of losing, and there is hay in the messages above. It is, if not quite the Orange Card, certainly a light peach. You would be utterly horrified if any party in the North ran a campaign like this. But as the Tories are ticking up and it’s a bit of excitement time to dig out some PowerPoint post hoc rationalisations.

    The consequences of the orange card on Irish politics – played by Tories for electoral advantage – was truly catastrophic on Irish politics. Why should orange-lite – played for Tory electoral advantage – be different for Scotland?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Surely the impact of globalisation is that it feuled nationalism?

    By that premise the least nationalist states would also be the least globalist, such as Somalia and North Korea. That doesn’t follow suit.

    There was still a National Front and a Front national before the EU, now their offspring like UKIP are happy to use their own nationalism to fight globalisation.

    The Conservatives are trying to make it a single issue matter, but that is just politics. Northern Ireland has been single issue quite often in Northern Ireland, despite being one of the most parochial places in Europe.

    Nationalism thrives in isolation.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Which is why democracy should not be constrained to the representational type.

  • Lex.Butler

    There will be a deal but don’t fall into the trap of thinking all the cards are one side. The German auto industry in particular needs the UK market. There are many more. We are still at the sabre rattling stage, but it seems the British public are going to give May a huge majority on the basis it shows their resolve to go.

  • Lex.Butler

    If you are Scottish and believe in the Union who do you vote for? Labour? Hardly, and the utter failure of Corbyn to connect in Scotland is clear to see. Libs? Next. That leaves the Tories with arguably the most dynamic and engaging leader of any party in the UK. If you believed in the Union, why not vote for a Party which will wield real power for the next 5 years? The unthinkable is happening.

  • Anon Anon

    You fail at your first question. All parties bar the SNP and Greens support the Union. Chose the one that fits your political views best. You retain a no vote in another referendum; UDI is unthinkable.

    If your sole concern is the Union, your politics has been Northern Irelandized. You’ve already broken what you claim to care about.

  • Lex.Butler

    Why would anyone in Scotland vote for Labour? It’s not going to form the next Govt. The minor parties are even more irrelevant. In 5 years time, we may be in a different world but thanks to the SNP, in this election the Tories are only the unionist party in play, the only one likely to win seats. May knew she was going for an snap election when she goaded the SNP over a second referendum. Played them like fools. The election in Scotland is not the election in England so the referendum issue is a major constituent, like it or not.

  • John Calvert

    Why would the EU need to extract a pound of flesh from the UK? The only reason I can think of is to serve as a deterrent to other states leaving, particularly the smaller states such as Greece, which shouldn’t be necessary if the EU is truly the benevolent entity it portrays itself as.

    The process has regularly been called a divorce by the media and politicians themselves. If I were witness to a divorce in which one party was spitefully trying to cripple the other financially rather than undergoing an amicable breakup, then that strikes me as not a particularly functional relationship to begin with. A bad deal hurts the EU as well, particularly Ireland. Maybe not as much as the UK in the short run, but the ammunition it would hand to the Eurosceptic movements throughout the bloc would be enormous. They could point repeatedly to the EU’s treatment of a nation trying to leave a supposedly voluntary political association as evidence of the totalitarian tendencies of the EU.

  • mickfealty

    Up to a point, Lord Copper. The fluidity of Scottish politics is very uncharacteristic of NI politics.

  • Anon Anon

    Which is a fair up to a point. However, the SNP have been the party of Government for a decade; pundits have been predicting the end of them for basically all that time.

    Sometimes observed motion is simply the required shift to a new equilibrium. Flames may flicker wildly, but the ash is inevitable. It remains to be seen is the Tories are mixing up Scottish politics, a or burning it. Time will tell. It always does.

  • Anon Anon

    Because they believe in left wing politics and are horrified by Tory politics? Because they have a historic connection to the party? Because it’s a Westminster election and more or less irrelevant to the independence debate? Because you can’t hold the account by handing them an even bigger majority?

    Or a million other reasons that go beyond the Union at the expense of everything else.

  • Lex.Butler
  • Anon Anon

    Salmond is no longer leader and is more “hawkish” than Sturgeon.

    But it remains a Westminster election anyway.

  • Anon Anon
  • articles

    Nationalism exists in many forms, the only thing in common is that each form claims its group is superior to other groups even if they claim otherwise. N Korea is totalitarianism fused with nationalism, Scots Nats nationalism lite ie nationalism with clothes on, UKIP is nationalism with no clothes on.

    N Korea is ideologically opposed and afraid of globalisation hence its isolationist stance; Scots Nats leaders welcome the movement of labour claiming that incomers can have the same civic status as Scots, in practice many of the Scots are as much opposed to immigration as the UKIP’s English supporters.

    Nationalism can thrive anywhere, it only requires us and them whether they be neighbours, immigrants, competing tribes, foreign powers. Historically Nationalism is a weapon in the development (or stasis as in the case of N Korea) of a political construct used by ruthless politicians

    Globalisation self evidently has won hence the name, as Trump will find out.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I agree, the fact is the human race has been globalized since the wanderlust, with agriculture and commerce some of us had the luxury of settling and forming settlements which then nations.

    The problem is that globalization has always won, but like Great Apes in a Jungle many humans want to protect their territory.

    Which is fine, but if people want to get into a dominance hierarchy and have nothing to offer the group they cannot complain about being treated like the runt of the litter.

    The human race’s capacity to be resourceful has lead to some areas of unimaginable abundance compared to elsewhere in the animal kingdom, this includes co-operation in the name of production through industry unfortunately narrow nationalism is not based on resources or resourcefulness it’s based on protecting memetic mindsets that protect neither.

  • articles

    One definition of politics borrowed from economics is the allocation of resources, I can think of better. But a scarcity of resources resulting in co-operation is beyond my ken. We’re too civilised for that.

  • mickfealty

    Agreed, on most points. Dynamism is the thing.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It seems more like the United Kingdom is trying to extract a kilogram of flesh from us. They want us to go along blindly with something we rejected and seem insulted that we made up our minds differently to them.

    Westminster seems like the real totalitarians here, the European Union are just a set of other countries telling the UK concerning details they have with their account.

    To some extent the UK government has to realise it brought it on itself when it decided such a poor undiplomatic negotiating stance.