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38 MIN READ TIME

How Brexit zealotry killed the supermajority

DID UKIP manage to unleash some kind of genetically-engineered logic-eating virus on the day after the EU referendum? I only ask because there seems to be an accelerating epidemic of otherwise intelligent people saying self-evidently stupid things about the referendum result. Take the new Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, for example. Both during the leadership contest and afterwards, he has been adamant that Scotland gave its democratic permission to leave the EU, despite voting by an almost 2-1 margin in favour of staying within the EU. His theory goes like this: by voting to remain part of the United Kingdom in the 2014 independence referendum, Scotland empowered the British electorate to take a decision on EU membership on its behalf. Britain then voted to Leave, and as a consequence, politicians in Scotland have a duty to respect the instruction of Scottish voters by smoothing the passage of Brexit. Scotland’s emphatic wish to remain in the EU is for Richard little more than a quirky footnote in the convoluted story of its implicit decision to actually accept Brexit with open arms.

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iScot Magazine
February 2018
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