It’s been no secret that the relationship between these two ladies has been frosty for some time now. When Brexit was first announced to be taking place, the devolved regions, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, had been reassured by Mrs. May and her ‘Brexit Brigade’ that the concerns they had would be taken care off or were ill-founded. For Scotland, it was an issue of access to the single-market and EU customs union, while for Northern Ireland, there were concerns over the potential loss of EU peace funding, a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, the undermining of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and the ruin of our agriculture industry. Wales, although had voted along with England to leave the EU, now seems to be experiencing regret and who could blame them – the Tories ever hardening stance on Brexit and how it has been handled has been nothing short of a few crazed clowns set loose from the circus.
Out of all the madness though, there shone one bright star that oozed confidence, clarity and compassion – Nicola Sturgeon. She has shown herself to be a very capable politician that has a direct spoken manner and half of the UK population are besotted with her. What I would give to have her represent Northern Ireland rather than what we unfortunately have (hint – she likes boilers, is scared of crocodiles and likes to sit on an orange throne). From the get-go, Nicola has played a hard ball game with May, to the point where emotions could be seen to be running high amongst them after their negotiation meetings.
In fairness though, Nicola was in fact voted in by a large mandate by the Scottish people, and as we know, Scotland had overwhelmingly voted to remain within the EU. The SNP manifesto stipulates that a second independence referendum would be called if in any way Scotland’s material circumstances had changed. Since the last Scottish independence referendum in 2014, their circumstances have changed dramatically and not of their own free will. So for Theresa May to tell Nicola that she is ‘independence obsessed’ and is causing the country to be divisive, the irony of the situation is not hard to miss. One-way taxi to hypocriteville please!
However, in this show-down, it seems that Sturgeon has many sympathisers in all parts of the UK, not least of all England itself. Although it is easy for us in Northern Ireland and Scotland to look angrily at the English (and Welsh) for causing this mess, we must remember that a good proportion of the 48% who voted to remain within the EU were English. In fact, many of the social media platforms have been awash with English sympathisers who have been posting numerous articles, memes and videos of the nationalist upsurge within the devolved regions that has been taking place these last few days. I for one feel sorry for this group the most within this Brexit mess, as I know my neighbours and most of the people in Northern Ireland voted to remain by 56% – I can hold my head high and say we weren’t that stupid to fall for Farage and BoJo. Furthermore, the devolved regions have options if they so wish to pursue them. The English 48% are stuck with nowhere to go, unless they migrate to Éire or Scotland in the future, of which I’m sure they would be very welcomed!
Tunnel vision and blinkered – yes that is what Theresa May is to say at the least. I guess when so many are derailing against your beautiful Union Jack hard-brexit, it is easier to stay that way because admitting you were wrong is not an option when so many Little Englanders depend on you ‘to take back control’. Well, let’s hope wee Nicky Sturgeon can do the same for her people, but I’m sure she’ll do it with a lot more grace, intelligence and style.