Across the world, national independence movements have invariably achieved their end without without the need for a prospectus. In fact, it’s a curious device, a sort of election manifesto for the indefinite future, certain to date hard and fast.
‘Building a New Scotland’ is an oddly singular vision, derived not as a result of any grassroots initiative, but likely by a tight-knit coterie of influential bureaucrats and party hacks, and bearing the First Minister’s very personal stamp.
As a document, it has no binding legal status. It compels no course of action. And judging by part three, this is just as well, as the third part is not a prospectus for independence, but a roadmap to servitude.
It proposes that Scotland regain its independence only to hand it over again to Brussels.
It proposes the creation of a Scottish currency, ignoring the fact that EU entry will require adoption of the euro.
And it proposes all manner of changes to employment legislation, ignoring the fact the EU is increasingly demanding alignment.
At Sovereignty, we have consistently argued that regaining control over our natural resources should be part of the Indy pitch: why then seek to hand that control over to Brussels, a Brussels that is demanding a centrally-controlled apportionment of oil and gas supplies among its members, and seeking to cap prices?!
Foreign, trade, monetary, fiscal and labour policy: none of these are fully controlled by the statelets of the European Union.
Argument after argument presented for leaving the UK can equally serve as an argument against joining the EU.
By contrast, by staying out there is no reason why Scotland couldn’t enjoy the prosperity and autonomy of an Iceland or Norway or Switzerland.
Sturgeon is talking out of both sides of her mouth with this approach, and doing tremendous harm to the cause of Scottish independence in the process. The contradictory nature of her argument may come to be seized upon with the same vigor as Salmond’s faux pas on the currency was in 2014.
Better still for the Scottish Government to make a straightforward case for independence, answering questions that must be answered in advance, and leaving the rest for the sovereign people of Scotland to decide after we have reinstated national self-government.