I was one of many Scots that in the aftermath of EU referendum moved from being someone who was sceptical of the benefits of independence to somebody who was willing to consider it. I believed and trusted Nicola Sturgeon when she said she would only act in Scotland’s interests as I assumed this would not lead to “independence at any cost”.
Things have now changed. Nicola Sturgeon has earned lots of air miles and drank lots of espresso in the capitals of Europe, but has received nothing but polite indifference from the EU.
Indeed, it is now clear that if Scotland leaves the UK it will have to apply to re-join the EU – a process which will take several years and may come with conditions such as the Euro, Schengen and no rebate.
As if that was not bad enough, we would be trying simultaneously to deal with the biggest deficit in the western world whist our largest trading partner, which the SNP label as xenophobic and protectionist, will be busy building a border.
Of course, if Nicola Sturgeon really was “acting in Scotland’s interests” she’d be able to show that these risks were acceptable and she’d have a plan to deal with our deficit. Instead, she has done nothing but amplify any report which raises concerns about Brexit. This reached new depths this week when the SNP tried to scare Scots with a HM Treasury report which Nicola Sturgeon had previously labelled as “scaremongering” during the EU referendum. Her “positive” Yes movement has transmogrified into a parody of the “Project Fear” they loathed so much.
Within this context, Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that she will publish a second Scottish Independence Bill is a sign that she is prepared to scare Scots into independence at any cost.
It’s time Nicola Sturgeon stopped this pantomime and started holding the UK Government to account to ensure we get the best possible deal. That, however, would mean working in Scotland’s best interests.