This article was first published on Reaction
The SNP’s manifesto makes clear they don’t want to take back control, but to surrender it to Brussels.
There are some certainties in the British Isles. The grass is green, the water is wet, and the Scottish National Party’s manifesto is designed to derail Brexit.
Unsurprisingly, the SNP manifesto takes the most desperately pessimistic view it can of leaving the EU, painting Scotland as a supplicant, unable to cope without Brussels, while simultaneously needing to leave a United Kingdom it is far more integrated with.
The “remoaning” begins with the SNP commits to a fake Brexit which keeps Scotland in the Single Market. This is to say, they would not take back control of their laws, of their trade policy, or of the projected £1billion a year an independent Scotland would send Brussels.
They claim 80,000 jobs in Scotland would disappear. This figure is based on the recent Fraser of Allander Report, which predicted Scotland would lose between 30,000 and 80,000 jobs, using the same flawed worst-case forecasting with which former Chancellor, George Osborne predicted an immediate post-referendum crash. It is plausible only if there is a bad Brexit deal or a mishandled “no deal”; if there were not dozens of countries looking to sign trade agreements with the UK, and if the economy was completely static. In other words, this scenario is highly implausible.
They go on to claim Westminster’s rejection of their unworkable plan to keep Scotland in the Single Market while the UK leaves is a grievance. A more sober party would not be surprised about being denied such a pie in the sky. Then again, a more sober party would not think itself entitled to a seat at the Brexit negotiating table, bringing its own demands to bear, just because it did well in Scotland at the last General Election.
The SNP doesn’t just promise to water down Brexit, though. They want to set Britain up for a fake Brexit – with a bad deal – undermining Westminster’s hand.
This is shown clearly in platitude-filled pages where the SNP pledges to give “straightforward access to permanent residence” to EU nationals in the UK, with no care in the world for Brits in the EU. The SNP would sell out all the Brits living abroad, but doesn’t even deign to mention them.
Another point which does warrant a mention though, is their follow-up: “If the UK government chooses not to give EU nationals the certainty they deserve, then immigration powers should be devolved so that Scotland can do so”. Unless they propose an internal border with checkpoints at Hadrian’s Wall, this would likely mean free movement to the UK by the back door.
They also propose to keep all of the EU’s laws on labour, social and environmental policy. They promise to lock us into the flawed European Court of Human Rights with its record of forcing us to keep terrorists in our country, and to make the UK Government match the EU’s subsidies to Scotland.
All of this is the SNP trying to wag the dog, as is their habit. But it gets even worse.
Naturally, the manifesto includes aims to trigger a new independence referendum, which they propose for after the Brexit negotiations. As expected, they want to commit to re-joining the EU, without ruling out joining the Euro. Their most slippery pledge, though, is to “demand the scrapping or fundamental reform of the Common Fisheries Policy”. The EU refused to change it for the UK, and it most certainly wouldn’t change it for a Scotland desperate to re-join, and the SNP knows this. This is why they only commit to demanding change and supporting control, not to delivering it.
In other words, they want to leave a democratic country, the UK, with which they trade £50 billion a year, to join a bureaucratic European Union with which they trade barely £12.3 billion.
At a time when oil revenues have collapsed from £1.8 billion to £60 million, they would leave a country which subsidises Scotland to the tune of £900 million a year, which shares their language and centuries of history, so they can pay £1 billion a year to embrace EU free movement, even the euro and ever closer union under the absolute control of Brussels.
As for their fisheries, they can only offer posturing. They would leave a country which will return its people control over their fisheries after we Get Britain Out to join a Union which will give them away.
The SNP con uses the rhetoric of a national liberation movement. Their manifesto makes clear they don’t want to take back control, but to surrender it to Brussels.