Although Labour and the Scottish National Party (SNP) are both interested in destroying the current Tory government and preventing a no-deal Brexit, it seems that Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is not willing to do that at the expense of forming a ‘progressive alliance’ with Nicola Sturgeon. The Daily Express reports on Rebecca Long-Bailey’s recent Sky News interview that revealed her party believes a regime consisting of anti-no deal MPs would give the Prime Minister a ‘get out of jail free card.’ Instead, Labour is calling for a general election to ensure they win a majority.
This represents a substantial defeat for Scotland’s First Minister. The Scotsman states that Sturgeon believes Labour is a ‘stumbling block’ to forming a ‘progressive alliance’ to defeat the Conservatives. McDonnell dashed her hopes by describing the SNP as ‘Tories’, claiming that her party is not socialist enough for them to form an alliance with. Nonetheless, he now supports a second Scottish referendum. The First Minister has welcomed the Shadow Chancellor’s call to allow the Scottish Parliament, not Westminster, to decide whether to hold a second vote. But the nationalists’ interpretation of ‘freedom’ is inconsistent with the SNP’s founding vision of true Scottish independence.
Instead of campaigning to ensure Scotland becomes a sovereign nation, the SNP want to reduce this proud country to a satellite EU state. Rather than allow Westminster to directly rule them, they want to transfer that responsibility to Brussels. There is no guarantee an independent Scotland would be allowed to join the EU either. Spain oppose the SNP’s bid for EU membership because if they voted for it, it would send a message to Catalonia that they can liberate themselves from Madrid and rejoin the EU as a sovereign state.
In the 1970s, being an SNP member meant you believed in total independence. During the 1975 referendum on the UK’s Common Market membership, the nationalists campaigned against this country’s EEC status because they believed this body was eroding Britain’s sovereignty. When Sturgeon joined this party in the 1980s, opposition to EEC membership remained the SNP’s official policy on this matter. But now they have reversed their position.This is why Alex Neil deserves respect as one of the few nationalist MSPs who remained true to the principles espoused by his party since the 1975 referendum. He is right to highlight that leaving the UK to join the EU will not result in proper sovereignty.
The European Journal of Political Economy found that the driving force behind Vote Leave’s 2016 victory was that 90 per cent of over-65s voted in the referendum, and many of them remember life before Britain joined the EEC and felt like the EU was different to the Common Market they opted for during the 1975 vote. It has become apparent since then that even before the EU’s existence, membership of its precursor body, the EEC, was always going to result in an eradication of national sovereignty.
In the case of Costa v ENEL, which involved an Italian citizen challenging his government’s decision to nationalise an electricity company, the European Court of Justice confirmed that European law had supremacy over national law at all times. Therefore, the SNP are not interested in true Scottish independence if they are willing to join an organisation that would erode their country’s newfound freedom from day one.
The Conservative Government has made it clear a second independence vote won’t happen. As long as there is little prospect of a Corbyn-led administration, the SNP Leader won’t see her wishes comes true, especially if the Tories win a majority once this country has left the EU. Sturgeon is becoming increasingly desperate to achieve Scottish independence at any cost. This is why she has betrayed her beliefs by expressing her desire to establish an alliance with a unionist party like Labour to bring down a Tory government and meddle in British affairs, even though her party was founded to take Scotland out of Westminster’s politics altogether.
The First Minister has contradicted her party’s founding principles by transforming the SNP into a Europhile party, using Brexit as an opportunity to form a ‘progressive alliance’ with a party that fundamentally opposes what the nationalists stands for. It’s not Scottish freedom this woman is interested in; just power at any cost.