Scotland and Brexit – Why Nicola Sturgeon has got it wrong.

I am currently in Australia but will be continuing this blog – with perhaps less frequency than usual (although there are a lot of articles to catch up on).  It is a momentous time in the UK and I am delighted at the people’s rebellion against the Euro-elites!  However it is not going to be easy.  Here is an article I wrote for  Premier

Sturgeon-voting_article_image
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon casts her vote at Broomhoouse Community Hall, Glasgow, as voters head to the polls across the UK in a historic referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Sorry Nicola, my Scottish Brexit vote counted. We don’t need another referendum

Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland and SNP supporter David Robertson responds to Nicola Sturgeon’s comments that following the EU referendum, a second Scottish independence referendum is ‘highly likely’

The people of Scotland have made it clear that they see their future in the European Union. Thus spake our First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. And it seems that she has a point. After all did not all 32 of Scotland’s council areas vote to Remain?

 

Furthermore were not the Scottish people told during our own referendum in 2014 that if we wanted to remain part of the EU, then we would need to remain part of the UK. And now look at what has happened. As one SNP politician stated, ‘the people of Scotland have spoken with one voice’. And so now a second independence referendum will be called for. Simples…

Except it isn’t. There are other sides to consider. For a start the people of Scotland did not speak with one voice. 1.6 million out of a population of 5.5 million voted to Remain, but over 1 million voted to Leave. This despite every political party, and virtually every political leader, as well as virtually all the media, political classes andeven the Church of Scotland, coming out in favour of Remain.

The notion was put around that it was only a few idiotic, racist, anti-immigrant UKIP types who would dare to go against the apparently universally accepted status quo, north of the border. Despite this, 38% voted to Leave, including many SNP supporters (myself included). This was because many could not understand why the SNP would want to be ‘an independent country in an interdependent Europe’ and then not apply the same logic to Scotland being an independent country in an interdependent UK. The one voice was the voice of the political and cultural establishment. The people of Scotland did not speak with one voice. The irony is that the one million Scots who voted to leave in effect provided the leave campaign with its majority.

The people of Scotland did not speak with one voice

There is also another wee difficulty. The people of Scotland already had a referendum. One in which they decided to remain a part of the United Kingdom. It was as part of that United Kingdom that we were asked to vote – not as a separate entity. The question on the ballot paper was not whether Scotland should remain part of the EU, but whether the UK (including Scotland) should. When the vote was looking really close, there was a great deal of speculation about what would happen if England narrowly voted to leave, and Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain and as a result causing the whole UK to remain. There was much glee among some at this prospect. But now the boot is on the other foot and there is even more hand wringing and lamentation at the injustice of it all, from the very same people!

Will there be another Independence referendum for Scotland? Most doubt that, and opinion polls before the European referendum showed a strong majority for not having another Indy referendum, even if the UK voted to leave the EU and Scotland didn’t. There will be a lot of bluster, emotion and talk but unless things are hyped up into some kind of hysteria, I suspect it won’t go much further. But in this strange world in which we are living, who can say?

The fact is that for the Christian, although things may be strange, they are not out of control

The fact is that for the Christian, although things may be strange, they are not out of control, because we know the one who is sovereign. There are some key lessons for us to learn as believers:

  • We need to be careful about identifying our politics with the kingdom of God. It is incredible how easily we can adapt both the facts of Scripture, and the circumstances, to suit any particular political feeling that we may have.
  • Secondly we need to beware of presuming to speak for the people with one voice. There is only one voice, and it is not ours. Christians are to proclaim the Word of the Lord, not invest our own words with divine authority.
  • We need to ensure that we do not seek our identity in nationality. I am amazed at how those who can decry some as ‘little Englanders’ because they are on the ‘wrong’ side on the EU referendum debate, are very happy to be nationalistic when it comes to the Scottish referendum, or indeed vice versa.  I am glad that I am Scottish, and I love my country, but it is not my primary identity, which is in Christ.  That doesn’t mean that I have to give up all nationality and join the One World Government for Peace and Harmony.  It does mean that I avoid any kind of ethnic superiority, or racism, and instead realize that the nations are there as part of God’s gracious provision for the government of humanity, not the advancement of one particular chosen race.

There are indeed turbulent and troubled times.  But they are also times of great opportunity, not least for the gospel.  May it be that the nations of the United Kingdom, and the nations of Europe would know the renewing grace and power of the Gospel, as the Lord works in and through us.

14 thoughts on “Scotland and Brexit – Why Nicola Sturgeon has got it wrong.

  1. Thankyou again for your clear writings. I too am baffled by the line that “scotland has been dragged out of the EU against its will.” Yet no-one can really explain it to me. We voted as the united kingdom, not individual countries within the UK.

    Most of all I am saddened by the vitriol from many remainers (angry, disgusted, horrified that the racists have won!”) and that many leavers probably did vote out of racism. The media is continuing to ply the sarcastic “well done, you lot” line, and in real life I have been scared of saying what I voted and why – at least, to acquaintances. We are a nation divided, and we must work for unity. But indyref showed me that emotional outpourings do die down. And we will never know exactly who voted which way and why. It is a long road ahead, with many unanswered questions and worries even for leavers. It is a difficult line to sympathize with remainers’ worries while knowing you helped bring them about! But the Lord is in control. His will be done. Knowing that is bringing me peace.

    Very glad you eventually got to Australia! Hope you’re having a blessed time!

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  2. Sturgeon pushing for another independence referendum is a said. She will try to keep going until she gets the result she wants. But we are entering into a tie of uncertainty for the UK. I hope for the sake of the UK that politicians will now seek to lead in the interests of the people and foster union in the challenges that have risen in taking the country forward rather than fighting petty corners for political gain. But I don’t hold out much hope for that.

    Pride, hate and fear make the world go round. It is that way and always has been. How can it be anything other with the prince of the world? All we can do is address those inclinations and then influence transformation with the confidence that greater is he than he who is of the world. So do we act humbly, lovingly and boldly in perfect love that casts out all fear or do we allow ourselves to be seduced by the world? It’s choices we face every day.

    .”We must work for unity”, true and easier said than done.

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  3. It’s good that though you are now, “upside down” in the world , you are still thinking the right way up.

    1 But clearly you are not prophetic in percentages.

    2 From the other side of Harian’s landmark, I find talk of separation of Scotland from England and Wales disheartening. Some might see that as typical English superiortity, but generally I only see myself as English, rather than British when Scots see themselves as Scots, rather than British and I certainly don’t see myself as superior.

    3 I am no politician, nor historian , nor analyst, but I see some similarities between SNP’s rise to prominence and the results of the EU referendum – disaffection by the people, who see themselves as voiceless and disenfranchised by the political superior, intellectual elite. The collapse of the labour party in Scotland and the rest of the UK, I suggest is deeply significant. Even now in the “morning after” they still don’t get it. They no longer speak for the working people, and continue deride them. It’s not that labour didn’t get behind Remain, it’s that they didn’t back-up, support, speak for their heartland voters, but rather derided them as ignorant populace. Whereas SNP became evermore disaffected by voicelessness in UK parliament and ultimately the conservatives, labour voters became disaffected by Labour in parliament and their dominance by liberal elites.

    4 Not only does labour not get it neither do the liberals. I found Tim Farron’s response to the result to blame labour, revealed that he had been sucked into the political vortex.

    5 As has Sturgeon. It seems that she is seeking to make links with Khan, mayor of London. Who’d have thought it: London and Edinburgh in alignment, with the pit of the populace in between.

    6 Of course politicians say , “we must respect the will of the people” but at the same time, like undemocratic Brussels, they continue to deride as populist those whose “ears ring with the voices of the people.” It may be countered that that is what Sturgeon is doing, but is that not a pandering to a populist nationalistic , “little Scotlanders” which so similar to derision of “little Englanders” by Brussels and others. Surely, she must be conflicted, unless she is driven by separation from England and Wales combined with liberal philosophical, political, intellectual elitism, masked as feigntly nationalism.

    7 A key question is and will be how interdependent would the Scotish people want to be with fiscal unity with the EU, and how much of a voice/vote would they have within it?

    8 For those who have Keller’s devotions in the psalms, were not yesterday’s 24/06 writings apposite?

    “Humbling the proud. Today our public discourse is filled with language about how technologies, or policies or ideas will be “game changing”, or will “change the world.” From our viewpoint it is the most brilliant, powerful and wealthy who set the course of events. God however says it is He who holds the world together. All human talent and wisdom and success are only gifts from Him.
    He is in control of everthing that happens in history, and even the most powerful end up only fulfilling God’s purposes,. Therefore we should not arrogantly think we are competent to run our own lives. We are not…..Prayer: Lord, I praise you that you are sovereign over all. How threatening this is – I have no contol over my own life. Yet how comforting it is – I cannot keep my life together, but must rest in you. Clear my vision to see this truth and to receive it challenge and comfort every day.” (Based on Psalm 75:1-5)

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    1. Don’t worry – things will all calm down. The Scottish people have got enough sense not to follow our political elites into the wilderness with Nicola and her fantasy of a modern, enlightened, progressive nirvana and become a sub region of the EU!

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  4. Absolutely spot on. The chattering classes are outraged that the punters have not sided with their enlightened ways,so much so that 1million Scots have already been airbrushed out of the national discussion.I voted leave and have absolutely no regrets. It was a vote for liberty and in the years to come I believe the Brexit decision will be seen as an extremely wise move. Not surprised that Sturgeon couldn’t resist trying to hog the limelight with her grandstanding but time and circumstances are against her. An independence referendum in a post Brexit landscape will be a harder sell than last time. Long grass and kicking springs to mind. The EU is profoundly anti democratic and hostile to national sovereignty.
    I believe the Snp position on the EU to be incoherent.
    I fully agree that God is sovereign and that we must be careful not to confuse our politics with His will. We must pray for all our leaders.

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  5. According to a poll in today’s (26th June) Sunday Post, 59% of Scots now say that they would vote for independence. How reliable that poll is I have no idea.

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  6. Sturgeon is another Neil Chinnock or Tony Blair making all these false promises. In reality ALOT OF SCOTLAND voted to leave EU only just over half voted to stay. Some areas nearly half voted to leave e u. Sturgeon needs to get her facts right!!!

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  7. I am an Englishman by birth but my Heart is Scottish. I am not intellectual or very clever but, I see with my eyes and what I see breaks my heart. I voted to leave the EU because I want us to be a Sovereign nation and to make our own laws ect. I have been dismayed by the attitudes to the remain camp and the name calling and mud slinging, it is awful.
    I do not want Scotland to leave the UK and become independent but for us all to work and live together harmoniously. I hope that Great Britain will stay together, one Nation and will become a happy and prosperous place again.
    Sorry for my poor writing, I cannot articulate very well what is in my heart.

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  8. Nicola sturgeon does not speak for the majority of scotland. 33 per cent of the scottish electoral did not even vote. of those that did nearly 40 per cent voted to leave. And dont forget the many hundreds of thousands, of scottish people living elsewhere in the uk(the latter of whom were undervedly deprived a vote in the scottish referendum by mainly the snp). The snp traditional hearltands of the highlands and borders, many people voted to leave. especially people employed in industries such as fishing. The snp in brussels have no mandate, as this was a british vote. And their comments since the referendum are embarrassing and a right slap in the face to the those scots that either voted out , and or did not vote,and or do not believe in the break up of the uk. i . e the majority

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  9. Couldn’t agree more David. I also have been an SNP supporter for many years, but was delighted at the outcome of the EU referendum. The SNP’s position on the EU is completely contradictory as you point out, but it appears to be heresy to say otherwise. Also there have been many in Scotland calling for a second EU referendum just because the result didn’t go their way. However, I remember the very same argument being made by pro-independence people after the Scottish referendum, that we needed another referendum asap. Some of the very same people who want a 2nd EU referendum and the very same ones who protested at the same suggestion in 2014!
    The other thing that has upset me greatly about the aftermath of this referendum is being castigated as racist by some, merely for voting to leave the EU. My reason for voting had nothing to do with immigration, but had everything to do with rescuing our democracy.

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