Five years after the referendum on leaving the European Union, Scott Begbie finds nothing to celebrate and reckons the UK has made a huge mistake.
I do have a degree of sympathy with this view but feel that poor decisions by some politicians following the Brexit vote have contributed to our current predicament.
For instance, in June 2017 PM Theresa May called a snap general election for which she was completely unprepared.
The loss of her majority fatally undermined her negotiating position both at home and in Europe. Had former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn not put party before country in his negotiations with May’s government in April 2019, we could have had a softer, Norway-style deal rather than the hard Brexit we ended up with. And let’s not forget that as a consequence of Brexit, we have the buffoon Boris Johnson as prime minister, a man whose lack of leadership qualities contributed to the UK’s poor response to the pandemic.
However, I feel we should regard the Brexit experience as an opportunity to ensure any future referendums – and I’m thinking Scottish independence here – are better organised and more robust.
Given that only 37% of the overall UK electorate voted for Brexit, I’d be looking for a threshold of 60% to be at the winning post in any future referendum.
And given some of the more controversial claims made during the Brexit referendum – such as the infamous statistic about the NHS gaining an extra £350 million per week if we left the EU – considerable efforts should be made to evaluate promises made by both sides.
Politicians lack focus
The Evening Express did a great job with three days of intensive news stories on the closures of post offices in Aberdeen and other Spar outlets across Scotland.
NE joint councillor/MSP Douglas Lumsden described it “appalling”, while NE joint councillor/MSP Jackie Dunbar called it “a massive blow”.
Local MPs and MSPs, “are deeply concerned” we read – but nothing has been reported since!
Meanwhile, newly-elected joint councillor/MSP Karen Adam has stepped down as a councillor believing her area needs someone who can focus on it “full time”.
Maybe Cllr/MSP Lumsden and Cllr/MSP Dunbar should take a leaf out of MSP Adam’s book and concentrate fully on their roles as a councillor or an MSP!
I don’t think some politicians can successfully carry out both roles.