The Perils of Nationalism
This time last year, the Scottish Government released a document setting out their ideas to protect Scotland’s interests as we leave the EU.
One of the key arguments in the document was that the UK as a whole should remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union.
As outlined by Nicola Sturgeon in the foreword.
We argue that the UK as a whole should remain within the European Single Market – through the European Economic Area – and within the EU Customs Union.
The document also highlighted other options and independence was, of course, the prefered choice of the SNP. However, the fact that the document was open-minded and took into account the majority position in Scotland, showed that the SNP are capable of rising above petty nationalism in order to find pragmatic solutions to difficult and emotive problems. Despite this, they are often demonised by their opponents and the media for only caring about the topic of independence.
Contrast this to the Brexit position put forward by Ruth Davidson and Arlene Foster this week.
They are both essentially saying the same thing as detailed in Davidson’s recent statement.
They are saying that no country in the UK should remain aligned to the Single Market unilaterally.
It was on this point that the DUP scuppered May’s agreement with the Irish government yesterday. The weird thing about this point is that this is essentially the UK government position. They have stated this time and time again and David Davis repeated it today. So, it seems pretty reactionary to attack your own side for something they are committed not to do.
The reason they are overreacting to a threat that isn’t there is pretty sinister.
What they are essentially saying is that even if the Brexit deal is really damaging to the UK, they would rather everyone suffered together than countenance any other options. They both represent and work within the parliaments of countries that voted strongly to remain within the EU Single Market and the Customs Union. They both know that a hard Brexit is going to be a disaster for those countries. Yet they are unwilling to represent the majority of citizens in their own countries due to a blind allegiance to supporting the UK at all costs.
The fate of our nation is held by a handful of ideologues.
Not only that but it was a nasty form of nationalism that drove Brexit in the first place.
An inward-looking exceptionalism all too willing to blame outsiders for problems that were caused at home. A feeling that if only we could rid ourselves of meddling foreign bureaucrats and parasitic eastern European interlopers, Blighty could get on with ruling the waves again.
A slow-motion disaster initiated by ethnic nationalism being influenced by a tiny clique of fanatics who happen to hold the balance of power.
Strange that the Scottish Government, one of the few political forces that has offered a pragmatic outward-looking Brexit solution is the one that is most often demonised for its single-minded destructive nationalism.
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