It has become explicit in the last few days – after having been obvious for some time – that we are heading for another indyref, when those who want to break from the union we are in have not the first idea of what life outside the union would be like. This time it’s the UK-wide in/out referendum on membership of the EU I’m referring to. Attention has been focussed on the so-called ‘Nordic option’, which looks like the worst of all worlds – we would pay a lot in to EU coffers and not get a place at the table where it’s decided how to spend the funds. But frankly, there can be no knowing what would be the full consequences of leaving the EU until after – well after – the decision has been made. Recognise the situation? Yes, you’re right, this is how it was in September 2014 in Scotland.
Let’s be clear – both the UK and the EU are in serious need of reform. The disappointing and scary thing is that those who would have us leave (whichever union) simply can’t tell us what they propose to replace it. And if they could tell us, they lack the means to deliver. What they would find, on the other side of a decision to leave, that they are not in sole charge of negotiations.
Is it too much to call on separatists to redirect their energies towards this urgently needed reform? It seems it is.
And by the way, don’t be complacent about the outcome of the EU referendum. It is highly possible that we will wake up on the morning after polling day to find that we are heading inexorably for the exit gate without having made any travel plans whatsoever for the journey out into the big bad world. Scary.