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I’m going to stop saying “Brexit”. “Brexit” is impossible. No more saying it from me.

March 31, 2016


I have used the term.  But I shouldn’t have done.  Wasn’t thinking.  No more Brexit.  Brexit can’t be.   And you’ve already heard the reason.

The “Br” in “Brexit” stands for “Britain” and “Britain” can’t leave the EU, because Britain was forged from the union of England and Scotland.  Scotland will not vote to leave the EU.  “Britain” leaving the EU would mean Scotland being expelled from the EU against the will of its people.

Rather than accept this expulsion at the hands of the English, Scotland would – understandably – leave the Union, sooner rather than later.  If you vote to leave the EU, you are voting to break up Britain.

This wouldn’t happen immediately.  Edinburgh would demand another referendum and Westminster would deny them.  But it would be hard to keep denying them.  When 55% of Scots decided to stay within the Union, they assumed they were staying within a Union that was also part of Europe.  The political status quo they voted for will have changed.  At the very least, the expulsion of Scotland from the EU will do severe damage to a marriage that is already in a deal of trouble.

Now of course, breaking up Britain is widely regarded as an excellent idea.  There’s a detailed and compelling case to be made that Britain is a fundamentally “wrong” polity and its constituent nations, as well as the world in general, would be much better off without it.   Breaking up Britain might be no reason at all not to vote “Leave” in the EU referendum.

But I think there should be honesty.  I think those who want out of the EU should not be able to stand behind a Union Flag.  Anyone who uses the Union Flag as part of a Leave campaign is guilty, at the very least, of cognitive dissonance.  Any flag which includes the Scottish Saltire cannot be used for such a campaign.  Anyone who stands in front of a flag of Union and despises Scottish opinion is in the position of saying “I have a great marriage – it’s just my wife I can’t stand.”

If, on the other hand, you actually believe in a country called Britain in a meaningful way (and perhaps very few people do), then you need to not only concede things to constituent nations, you need to welcome the fact that constituent nations influence the whole, you need, in short, to make Britain receptive to Scottish values.

So all I’m suggesting is that, from now on, the Leave campaign just use the Cross of St. George.  If the Leave campaign win the referendum, then it will have been an English decision only.   A degree of clarity and honesty and dignity would accrue to the Leave campaign if they stood up and said “We’ve given up on Britain.  Europe is so horrible that it’s worth destroying Britain just so that England is no longer any part of it.”

I suppose a more horrible version of clarity and honesty might be achieved if they announced “Scotland is a vassal kingdom.  Scots are less human than we are, and if we English decide to leave Europe – then they – as a subject people – will just have to come with us.”

On the assumption that they won’t actually say that – I’m giving up on the term “Brexit” at least forthwith.  Slap me if you hear me using the term.  After this.   The proper term is just E-Exit.  Eexit.

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