‘The cold beating Heart of this Bad British Brexit’

Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP)

“I will start by putting my cards on the table. I loathe and detest this Tory Brexit. I despair of what this Tory Brexit would do to my beautiful country.

This is, as we know, to be the hardest of hard Brexits, with cuts yet unimaginable and consequences yet unconceived—and for what?

If we were doing this for some lofty ideal or grand purpose, like maybe addressing global poverty or some of the huge issues of injustice around the world, that might make it just about palatable, but no—we are doing it because the UK does not like immigration.


That is the cold, beating heart of this bad British Brexit, and it underpins absolutely everything concerning our departure from the EU. It takes precedence over everything else, and all other considerations are merely consequential.

The fact is that we live in an interconnected, globalised world where the movements of people have never been so profound, sometimes fleeing from persecution, or perhaps exchanging skills and ideas. Yet we are asked to believe the myth that a Brexitised UK will beat back this historic tide like some sort of Farageous Canute.

I actually laughed out loud when I heard all the guff about a global UK. A global UK is the last thing the Tories want to create—they are trying to create a drawbridge UK.

Look at the response from the rest of the world: when they are not laughing at us, they are simply taking pity on us. As the Foreign Secretary goes out of his way to insult the very people we have to negotiate with, they are thinking of nothing other than the hardest of conditions to deter anybody else from considering leaving.

The negotiating position seems to be to threaten our EU partners by saying that we will indulge in even further economic self-harm if they dare look after their own interests. Apparently we are even considering turning the UK into some sort of offshore deregulated tax haven if the EU actually thinks about looking its own interests. That’ll show them, won’t it?

It is not just the fact of leaving the EU that concerns me, ghastly enough though that is: it is the new ideology—the new world view—that has hastily been designed to accommodate this new splendid isolation. I see a Brexitised Britain as a world of weird, ’50s nostalgia and antipathy to foreigners—a reality that will feel very much like the pages of a Daily Mail editorial. People of Britain: work as if you live in the early days of a UKIP UK, because that is what is coming.

Scotland, of course, did not want any part of this, yet we have to be driven off the cliff edge with the rest of the United Kingdom. What we have now, though, is options. We have presented a plan to stop Scotland indulging in the worst of this madness. If that is not listened to, we have every right to reconsider our membership of this United Kingdom”.

5 thoughts on “‘The cold beating Heart of this Bad British Brexit’

  1. jingsandthings

    Our hopes are pinned on Nicola and her team in Holyrood and Westminster and Europe to get us out of this nightmare. I agree with what you say and if it comes to membership of EFTA/EEA instead of full EU membership then I would accept that to remove me and my family from this madness. Union with England in its present mode is unthinkable.

  2. Jim Robin

    An excellently written missive that expresses the thoughts of many Scots, myself included. One does not need to like or support The Scottish National Party to be able to express a deep disappointment at what now lies before us in a future “United Kingdom”.

    I ask that those of you who are perhaps die-hard Scottish Labour or even Scottish Conservative voters and supporters to please remember – an Independent Scotland need not be governed by the SNP. This is not a party political matter it is about the ability of our own wonderful nation to govern itself independently of Westminster – a place where it has been demonstrated time and time again, that the views of the Scots are incidental and may be effectively ignored.

    1. Ian Macpherson

      I appreciate the fact that you have highlighted that the SNP might not be in power in an Independent Scotland, but they are the Party to get us Independence. If only more people reaslised that and not let their dislike for the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond stop them from doing what is right for Scotland.

      1. Jim Robin

        I meant that there is no implicit neccesity for the SNP to be in power in order to be governing ourselves independent of Westminster. What I was trying to say – and it sounds like we are both singing from the same songsheet – is that people should not allow any labour or tory bias or affiliations to thwart due process to independence. Personally I sincerely do hope that it’s an SNP government! However, I am reaching out to and pleading with those who have affiliations and alleigences to other political parties to do what would ultimately benefit us all – an independent Scotland in Europe.

  3. trispw

    The thing is that, despite it being all about immigration and xenophobia stirred up by the tabloid trash papers, Britain will HAVE to have imported labour.

    Some trade deals will demand it (India, for example) and the fact that baby boomers are retired and going to live for another 25 years, while we are barely replacing our numbers by breeding, will mean that unless we encourage immigration the country will grind to a halt.

    Add that to the nightmare of being screwed by Trump and forced to accept American standards of employment legislation, health and safety and food safety, along with USA trade courts that will make European courts look like a day out, and the future looks a mixture of Trump orange and very black.

    Get us out of here Pete.

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