The right balance

The long-awaited Supreme Court verdict on the government’s powers to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty came this morning. It seems to me like a sensible place to end up – Parliament makes law, and therefore must have a say on repeal or change of law. But the devolved regional governments can’t hold the majority of the country to ransom – in fact it is this principle that’s been one of the big problems for the EU, with vetoes and qualified majority voting passing too much power to the small nations.

I’m sure this will become a political football with the vocal (and one-dimensional) ScotNats trying to derail the whole thing.  I’m a Scot, and used to support independence, but in reality I suspect it would be a total disaster.  So they better be careful what they wish for.

Scotland is such a narrow-minded, small thinking country, despite all the great things it’s done and people it’s produced. It’s dependent on its larger neighbour and oil, and EU handouts. Every time I go “home”, it depresses me. My Facebook feed gives me stories of local government squabbles, which from a 500 mile distance are so parochial as to be a parody of small town Scotland.  The friends and family we left behind 30+ years ago basically haven’t moved house, changed their prospects or even travelled much in that time. They have a completely different world view and mustn’t be allowed to dictate Brexit terms more broadly across the country.

I voted to leave, although personally and professionally I still can’t quite admit it for fear of being cast out!  Mainly, for me it was about the potential future enlargement giving free movement rights to countries where we would probably want a measure of control over immigration from, and also that supranational courts and parliaments don’t feel like the right way to go.  And so logically I have to support the Supreme Court focusing on the primacy of Parliament.

There is a nagging fear at the back of my mind, which is the echo of the early 20th century rise of nationalism and demonisation of particular groups, which clearly ended in confrontation and war.  There are few alive now who have lived through something so horrific, and anyway the nature of a modern war would be very different should it come. But the repeated focus on immigrants and minority groups by the more vocal nationalist politicians around the world does cause a sense of unease.  Hopefully this century, we are too sensible not to have learned from the failure of past generations.

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