Saturday 27 May 2017

Truth, lies and the implausible other dimension of the post-fact Brexiteers

The likes of Iain Duncan Smith conjure their own truths and have absolutely no interest in checking the readily available facts

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith. Photo: Reuters
Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith. Photo: Reuters
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

The British government secured House of Commons support for its Article 50 notification bill, subsequently approved by the Lords and given the royal assent, on Monday last. On the same day, the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, called for a fresh referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.

It looks like a second referendum will have to be conceded (the first failed on a 55/45 vote in September 2014) since the UK government's plans for a hard Brexit change the calculus for Scotland. Whenever the vote is taken, the separatists will argue that the decisions to leave both single market and customs union, not on the ballot paper when 62pc of Scots voted to stay in the European Union last June, have increased the costs for Scotland of staying in the United Kingdom. There is already a row about the timing, with Theresa May seeking to delay the vote until British exit has been accomplished, while Nicola Sturgeon wants an earlier poll.

Irish sympathy for Scottish independence is another case of 'be careful what you wish for'. An independent Scotland readmitted to the EU would be a direct competitor for inward investment, while the UK government will be less willing to battle for an open border in Ireland since it would set a precedent, enhancing separatist arguments in Scotland.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss