Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Repression of Catalonia Makes Scotland Less Supportive of the European Union


The Spanish repression of Catalonia has given a boost to Brexiteers in Scotland since it is obvious that the EU has little or no interest in trying to prevent the Neo-Falangistas who currently hold power in Madrid from continuing to turn loose their goon squads. The end result of this is that supporters of Scottish independence are starting to see that the EU is actually a handicap to their aims, rather than a help. 

To be fair, it always seemed to me that Scottish support for the EU was skin deep and tactical, rather than being a deeply held ideological commitment to Brussels. The SNP used the EU during the IndyRef as an argument in favour of the notion that Scotland could leave the UK, but everything would remain the same, via the EU.

During the 2016 Brexit campaign, a lot of Scots were moved to support Brexit having seen what the EU had done to Greece, and more than a few SNP activists defied their party's leadership and campaigned for Leave. However, Catalonia is far more important to the Scottish mindset than Greece will ever be and the sympathy for that occupied country is palpable here in Scotland.

During the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign, Edinburgh was awash with Saltires, of course, but running a close second to the Saltire in terms of popularity was the Catalonian Estelada. On the weekend before the vote, central Edinburgh seemed to have more Esteladas than Saltires as thousands of Catalans came over to Scotland to see the country's referendum first hand and make plans for their own.

So close are the two peoples that in 2016 when the Madrid government decided to ban the Estelada from being waved by Catalan supporters of Barcelona football club, the supporters announced that they would carry Scottish Saltires instead. In the end, the Madrid Fascists decided to back down and the Catalan flag was allowed in the Madrid stadium, but the story is illustrative of the strong, warm feelings that exist between the peoples of the two small countries.

At the time of writing, we still do not know what the outcome of the crisis in Catalonia will be. However, we can be pretty sure that Scottish support for the European Union has taken a hit and the SNP is now pretty much unable to use the EU as a club that can be used to beat Westminster with.

That alone is good news for Brexit.

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