I have, until now, remained neutral in the debate over whether Scotland should remain in the UK or become an insignificant independent country entirely dependent on UK trade links, UK technologies and UK financial systems but without any say in the policies that determine its place in the world or the future of its people.
I have maintained the view that the choice between or is entirely a matter for the Scottish people.
However, reports on a poll conducted by the SNP indicate support in the rest of the UK for an SNP led independent Scotland to remain in Sterling and hold common passports with unrestricted travel throughout the UK.
The problem with this poll though, is that the hypothesis on which it is based is entirely unfounded because in the event that Scotland votes for independence she will be voting herself out of the European Union, whilst the United Kingdom will remain a member of the European Union.
The moment Scotland leaves the EU she will lose her right to free movement in the rest of the UK by default, she will need to establish an independent Passport and there will need to be border controls both at the English/Scottish borders and at our airports and ports. This isn’t a matter of choice for the rest of the UK, this is a matter of requirement under the UK’s membership of the EU.
Herein lies the paradox that the SNP have failed to address in their case for an independent Scotland remaining in the Sterling Zone. Under European membership rules the Sterling Zone can not extend beyond the European Union. Scotland must be a member of the European Union if she is to remain in the Sterling Zone, and to become a member of the European Union an independent Scotland must first apply for membership and demonstrate that she meets the economic conditions for entry.
Whilst Scotland is achieving those economic conditions she can not remain in Sterling because she is not in the European Union.
Therefore the paradox of the position now being taken by the SNP is that in order for Scotland to remain in Sterling and retain free movement throughout the rest of the UK, Scotland must remain in the UK.
It is just a pity that the SNP have spent so many years campaigning clearly for electoral success only to demonstrate when they get it that their position has always been impossible to achieve.
With remaining in Sterling and free movement throughout the UK now the stated policies of the SNP they face the paradox of campaigning for Scottish Independence on a platform that can only be achieved if Scotland remains in the UK.