Commenting following a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee to discuss the implications of the referendum on leaving the European Union, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This was a long overdue meeting but unfortunately it was, in large parts, hugely frustrating.


“I set out Scotland’s key interests in protecting our place in the single market, securing continued freedom of movement and ensuring social and employment rights are protected. However, despite a full and frank exchange of views around the table we know no more about the UK Government’s approach to the EU negotiations now than we did when we went into the meeting.

“Four months on from the referendum we finally have agreement on a sub-committee of the JMC for the devolved administrations and the UK Government to discuss the issues raised by Brexit, but there is a significant amount of work to do to make sure that the engagement we have is meaningful.

“As a first step we agreed that there must be a detailed work programme developed ahead of the first meeting of the sub-committee. Crucially we agreed that this must be integrated with the wider process so that the devolved administrations can influence key Cabinet Sub-Committee decisions. We also agreed that there will be a further meeting of heads of government in the New Year.

“The Scottish Government is fully committed to engaging with the UK Government and we will seek to use our influence to ensure that the UK does not pursue a hard Brexit. However it is clear from today’s discussions that we must also continue to pursue alternative options, including bringing forward proposals to protect Scotland’s place in the single market even if the rest of the UK leaves, and continuing to prepare for the option of a referendum on independence if that is what is necessary to prevent the UK taking Scotland over a hard Brexit cliff edge.”


Bugger the Panda sent me some brilliant photographs and I thought you might like to share.


      1. Sorry Tris, I have antibodies to them. When I clicked the link and saw it was their site I left immediately. I did see a clip on fb from channel 4, wae Nicola. So I think I heard our government’s position today.

        The “best” news – dreadful though it is – being that the UK junta don’t know what their position is. My hope is that parliament asserts its authority and throws this nonsense out. A swift second vote on the EU, and people aware of what the hell it is they are letting themselves in for, getting it right this time. I am frightened of us running ir2 and losing again. And the unknownest unknown of all being trade between Scotland and rUK. The Irish republic is being hurt already just by the currency collapse. This is one big mess.

        I liked a lot of PP’s pix though. I lingered there when I clicked through.



        1. Well, I think Nicola is doing a grand job. I really trust her to know when the time is right, if ever, for a second referendum. On the EU, again I trust Nicola. May is in a mess. And she can’t deal with her own party, the extremists, Gibraltar, Brussels, Dublin, Edinburgh, Belfast, London and England. In fact I’m pretty sure she’s just not up to the job. To call for parliament to overturn the result would set a dangerous precedent. If parliament is sovereign and can overturn referenda results it doesn’t like would mean it could overturn a Scottish independence one. Are you reading Terry Entoure blog on Brexit? (Links in side bar.)

          It was Bugger le Panda that sent the pics… not Panda Paws. 🙂


  1. Tris

    It’s hard Brexit all the way, anything else will be seen as a climb down by many in the Tories and they won’t accept that no matter what happens, their party would split. I actually suspect that May was a leave voter to be honest as she has not really shown any desire to find a deal, or certainly publicly. Scotland will be expected to do pretty much what it is told and the other unionist parties will fall into line as they are told.

    I hold by not holding a referendum too soon, and agree with Derek Bateman, once many in the middle classes see the deal the UK gets we will be in a stronger position to fight for independence. In any future vote it will be yes yes for me and the issues I have with the EU can then be challenged by an independent Scottish Government if they so wish and agree with people like myself on the leave side.

    The leave vote has shown us how disenfranchised many in England have become with the EU, their place in the world, but mainly the absolute failure of repeated UK Governments to Govern for all and not the few, they are now paying the price. I think that many down south do hold to the long gone history of England and what they perceive that to be, many have used free movement as a way of blaming others when they should have been blaming the political establishment for their place in the world and the utter failure of the UK to modernise and diversify. Many in England have found it easier to blame those not British for the sins of the British, many in Scotland too but I suspect less to a degree.

    The UK put all of its coins in the financial markets at the expense of the rest of us, they hold to the trappings of power and the past believing we will somehow revert back to the days of knowing our place and our betters, that might be ok for many yoons right now but they are about to learn a very harsh lesson, they are going to learn what better together really means and many will seriously, if very quietly, be regretting their decision in 2014. They have been bitten on the arse by the very people who lied to them and told them we are better in the UK, the UK is dead and is no more unified now than it was 300 years ago when we were sold down the river by those so called betters, the yoons of old.

    No Scotland is about to be shafted like never before and I just hope enough people will wake up and see the light because there is no third referendum, the next time is the last time and if we lose we might as well just be called England as we will be a conquered nation.



    1. Yes. It’s hard to know what she actually thought about Brexit as she spent the campaign plotting her accession and saying nothing, except that she didn’t care for Human Rights.

      That pleased the press, becasue they don’t like human rights either, unless of course it is their right to hack dead children’s phones. But then a lot of them are barely human.

      I suspect that people knew very little of the EU. They accepted what the Daily Mail told them…basically that it was run by foreigners, terrible people them… and that it was mainly run by the Germans and the French… the worst of all foreigners.

      I suppose they are going to have to try to do something about the mess in the City with the banks planning to leave and I’m sure that they will spend billions on making sure that their directorships and the contributions to the Tory party continue to flow.

      But the rest of us will just be left to stew. Although it has been painted that there has been a Tory revival in Scotland, the recent results were the worst ever in numbers and only look good because of the collapse of the Labour Party and the Libdems. So they aren’t going to care much what a pile of Jocks think.

      They really will have to put more effort into working out what to do with Ireland though, otherwise it could blow up in their faces. Literally.


  2. All the Tories ever cared about was trading.
    Their top priority will be to get the best trade deal possible with the EU,excluding free movement of labour and NI and Gibralter will be sorted out afterwards.
    They believe that Scotland belongs to them (we are part of their internal market) and has no hard borders with other EU countries so will be ignored.
    Many who supported the English union in the past must now be feeling very uncomfortable at being associated with a xenophobic,racist,bigoted state and wondering if an independent Scotland,within a larger more stable union,might be a better prospect.
    Younger folk see the loss of their EU passport (not banking) as a hugely regressive step and will want to ensure our continuing membership so will act accordingly.
    So far,all that May has done is to kick the can down the road but not for much longer.
    Will Scotland’s sheep realise that the wolf now has no teeth?


  3. tris

    The Torys are gonna steamroll any and all of their agreements ???? through
    westminster (nat translation =westmonster) with no regard to any
    devolved Parliament In the expectation of complete compliance
    by said Governments.

    The city of london will have more influence than all the other
    UK nations put together . May is an authoritarian jobsworth
    with about as much empathy with ordinary people as conan has
    with loyal patriotic unionists which is about zero or less.

    anyway May has given out the Phone number of her under butler
    for Nicola to discuss issues concerning the Scottish State and
    how to shine your cutlery/shoes.
    Not so much a calculated insult which would imply some
    thought, more an indifferent wave of her hand to an unimportant
    pleb…… dont you know..

    Preserve the Union they dont give feck its the English State only
    for the Brexiteers and they will work hand in glove with the snp
    to achieve that outcome.


    1. Well, in this matter we are at one with Labour’s FM in Wales and to a certain extent the FM or NO, but definitely the DFM of NI. Also lest we forget it we have the people of Gibraltar who voted bt a massive majority to stay.

      Scotland’s man in the Cabinet, Fluffy Muddle, has made the UK government’s case clear. It doesn’t matter what Scotland thinks.

      Oh, and we want you to pay 10% of the cost of the new runway at Heathrow.

      Please yerself, Tessy. If that’s how you think it’s gonna work.

      I see the banks are buying up office space in Frankfurt. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.


  4. I really get the impression now May realises that the position of PM comes with a poison chalice. She doesn’t know how to handle the Brexit vote other than to throw sound bites about. I would have had more confidence if she’d appointed some real sharp politicians on a cross party basis, instead of numpties like Davis and Fox.
    If she doesn’t have some aces up her sleeve, Nicola will win the propaganda war (MSM permitting!). But turning it into another indyref and a huge YES vote, that really looks difficult, even if the Tories screw up article 50 negotiations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Brian,

      I think the job is too big for her. Mind you, it would have been too big for Cameron and Osborne too.

      As you point out, this critical time calls for sharp, clever thinkers and problem solvers. I don’t think any of her people are… I don’t think that she is.

      She has an incredibly difficult job to negotiate coming out of Europe, as Terry points out. It’s made more difficult by the fact that she has no really competent cabinet ministers and the ones who are directly involved with this are problem makers rather than solvers. And she has three territories, all different, that voted against Brexit.

      Despite what Muddle said, it DOES matter.

      But you are right. Independence isn’t that easy. Nicola is making them look stupid. But that’s a long way from convincing people to vote for independence, and that won’t be easy.

      She has the young on her side. They are overwhelmingly for independence and for Europe.

      Still I’m glad it’s in her hands.


  5. Even on the issue of freedom of movement of people the government haven’t communicated a clear policy. Perhaps that’s not too surprising because it is technically complex and involves a lot of decisions. Will they issue visas with a points system or impose an annual quota? Would that quota be by profession or broken down by region? Will there be a separate quota for EU nationals? If they issue visas how long will they last? What would be the renewal criteria? What will they do with students? If they say that bankers and computer programmers are exempt what kind of test qualifies someone as a banker or programmer? What about students studying to be bankers and programmers? What about inexperienced bankers and programmers? What about the partners and children of bankers and programmers? Will they be able to work freely? What about the step-children of bankers and programmers? What if a banker or programmer decides they want to change profession? Can they carry on working until their visa runs out or is their visa dependent on their profession? If a company does want to employ an EU national what legal hoops do they have to jump through. I could go on and on…

    This is what the Prime Minister said back in July:

    “I’m very clear that the Brexit vote gave us a very clear message from people, that we couldn’t allow freedom of movement to continue as it had done hitherto,” May said.

    I think that is quite vague. It signals change but no more than that. It is now late October and I don’t see any further detail on anything. I’m really glad Nicola Sturgeon pointed this out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’m glad Nicola is there for Scotland. Mr Mundell, the cabinet’s man in Scotland actually said that it didn’t matter what Scotland wants…so thank goodness one of our leaders thinks that it bloody well does.

      Your list is illustrative of one tiny aspect of that they have to sort out… and you look once again at them and think… what chance on earth have they got? And the answer comes back…. NONE.

      Nicola thinks that they haven’t a clue and to date I’ve not found any reason to mistrust her judgement.


  6. To my mind it is difficult to see the EU allowing the UK to make deals with them resulting in the UK being seen as being better off by leaving. That would create a precedent that could lead to the break-down of the EU. France, for example, could view the situation as illustrating that a former member was being allowed to retain the advantages and disregard the disadvantages and decide that it would be beneficial to them to be following the same course. In that or in a similar situation the whole EU structure would, inevitably, collapse. Further. it is difficult to imagine all EU member countries being prepared to ‘lie back and think of England’.

    The situation in Gibraltar is an interesting one. They voted overwhelmingly to remain and are heavily dependent on Spain. In the past they have indicated that they wished to remain British but may now consider whether that is still in their best interests and act accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course. The EU can’t afford for it to be seen to be more profitable to leave than to stay. Seriously, they would have to be mad to assume that anything else but that would be the truth.

      As you say, in these circumstances surely the richer countries would leave, demanding the absolute same rights as the UK and there would be no EU.

      Some say that would be grand. I suspect it would not.

      If London, or at least the City, doesn’t get a special deal, then a massive sector in the British economy is doomed. If NI doesn’t get a special deal then heaven knows what chaos will ensue. If Gibraltar doesn’t get a special deal, how will it survive? If the car plants in North East England don’t get a special deal what will happen to Tyneside, and if all of these people get special deals and a country that voted to remain by 62% don;t get a special deal… You see where this is going?

      The trouble is we have Fox, May and David Davis to depend on to sort out this mess.

      I think my grandmother’s cat might be a better bet.


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