Almost half of UK voters want a second EU referendum within ten years; Scots would now vote in it 75% or so for Rejoin. But how do we make that a reality? Whether as an independent state or part of the UK? Our latest webinar, featuring the SNP’s Stephen Gethins and the pro-Union Eddie Barnes in conversation, reached a surprising consensus: it will be a long and hard process (“for the next political generation” said Eddie).
Stephen, on the EMiS executive, wants progress made on critical pre-accession issues such as regulatory divergence and borders and, not least, institution building – creating a central bank and agreeing on a currency plus building a full diplomatic service. Eddie, campaigns director at Our Scottish Future, favours a gradualist approach based on improving EU-UK relations – and an eventual association agreement. Stephen too wants incrementalist steps immediately (Horizon/Erasmus) as “in the interests of the UK.”
Both cannot imagine the UK/Scotland as alone outside an EU of, say, 35-38 members. “The logic is for Britain to be in the EU: a significant nation within the European family of nations. Gravity will come into play” (Eddie). “How can Scotland thrive outside the EU?! Every new country that joined the EU got wealthier while Scotland post-Brexit has got poorer” (Stephen). Watch it all here.