The EU and Scottish Question

Last week, David Cameron persuaded U.K. voters to give him a second term as prime minister with a surprising (according to the pollsters) overall majority. The big question now is what challenges lay ahead. The first, is likely to be the battleground of the EU which again will raise the spectre of an independence vote in Scotland with the SNP leadership consistently requesting an independence vote for any change in the UK’s status. Indeed some political commentators are suggesting that she (Nicola Sturgeon) will request a vote every Thursday until she gets the result she wants.

The Conservatives’ surprise (according to the pollsters) win came after a campaign that saw Cameron’s pledge of a referendum on EU membership by 2017 “sold” alongside his record of delivering economic stability. Cameron, who has said he wants the country to stay in the EU, will first seek to renegotiate Britain’s membership terms.

So what should the Conservative Government try to do? Perhaps bring things forward as Tim Bale professor of politics at Queen Mary University in London  suggests when he states  “(they) may even try and bring things forward to stop this wrecking the next two years for them,” “It’s a very tight majority which means he will have to make promises to people and do things to keep them on board on Europe, in particular as Cameron has a record of backing down under pressure to euro skeptics.”

Initial optimism, such as the pound surging on Cameron’s victory may melt away just as quickly as a EU referendum draws closer into view. Indeed the continuing lack of stability in Scotland where the SNP achieved 1,454,436 (and 56 out of 59 seats) but continue their relentless march for independence and arrogantly claim to speak on behalf of the Scottish people ( Pop of  5,290,000 – so less than one third of the population) .

Only time will tell of course, but could “Initial short-term cheer could be followed by a medium-term chill,” as Fabrice Montagne, an economist at Barclays Plc suggests, come true, especially with the “Scottish question” apparently still outstanding.

My own prediction, Britain to vote to remain in EU, narrowly, the SNP to use this as justification for a second referendum (don’t look for a logic in this, they will change their views to suit the situation) and the UK to have broken up by 2020. As an aside, the IMF having to be called in to govern Scotland’s affairs by 2023.