Aaaaaaand Brexit – bit of a long one today I’m afraid.
Last night there was a vote. Well a few actually. All the amendments were voted down except two. One non-binding vote to take no deal off the table and one binding one to send Theresa May back to Brussels to negotiate changes to the Irish Backstop.
This meant that Theresa May got her withdrawal agreement through providing she gets these changes to the Irish Backstop.
You might be breathing a sigh of relief that there is going at least to be a deal. But that’s by no means looking likely despite the triumphant newspaper headlines.
You see, within ten minutes of the vote last night the EU responded by saying there would be no renegotiation. This repeated what they said at 12 o clock yesterday lunchtime, and the day before, and at weekend, and last week, the week before that, the month before that AND EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY HAVE BEEN ASKED ABOUT IT.
Negotiations are over, the prime minister designed and proposed the Irish Backstop, it was her suggestion to convince Ireland and the EU that Britain can be trusted, the EU agreed to this and it cannot be changed. This has been the EU position all along and I’d be very surprised if they change it now, especially as TM has shown she actually can’t be trusted.
So we are left with a situation where parliament voted that they didn’t want no deal but voted to make no deal more likely.
Not a single Scottish Tory MP or Labour MP
Voted to protect Scotland by supporting the Plaid Cymru and the SNP amendment which called on parliament to respect Scotland’s vote to remain and recognise that the Scottish Parliament rejected Theresa May’s deal. Not a single one.
The Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn left before Ian Blackford spoke as usual. Neither of them are interested in listening to what the third party in Parliament and the party of Government in Scotland have to say. Contrast that with the response of the EU to the needs of Ireland.
When Ian Blackford highlighted the concerns of the supermarkets and food suppliers that we will face food shortages the DUP shouted “they can go to the chippy”.
Blood Transfusion services will be suspended in the South East for two weeks before and 6 weeks after Brexit because of expected disruption in the ability to transport blood products. The NHS recently signed a contract to import more plasma to build up stocks before Brexit with … the EU!!!!
Manufacturers are already sending products they export by sea off with no idea of the tariffs they will pay when they arrive at their destination.
The pound fell sharply in response to this whole Brexit carry on last night.
Today the papers make it clear that they are going to blame the EU for no deal Brexit. This is not the EUs fault it is the UKs. The Uk are riding rough shod over the Good Friday Agreement and are complaining that the EU is standing up for Ireland, an independent country in Europe against the arrogant self interest of a bunch of sneering Tories.
It will not be these arrogant, self promoting MPs who are harmed if the Good Friday Agreement fails, if there are food and medicine shortages, if tariffs cause food prices to rise, if immigration falls and care and hospital vacancies can’t be filled. They have enough money to be alright Jack.
It will be you. And me, and all the ordinary people living ordinary lives doing ordinary things who don’t have hedge funds or share portfolios and can’t afford to employ independent agency carers or import their favourite French wine. It will be pensioners and teachers and young people and carers and disabled people. And all those people being paid £8 an hour by multi millionaire business owners who spent millions telling us Brexit is a great thing and who needs immigrants anyways.
If you still believe that Brexit is best for Scotland or the UK then you really need to have a word with yourself.
Meanwhile in Scotland … another huge find in the North Sea, the Scottish Government committed to investing £33 million in the Scottish Welfare fund to help struggling families, and the Best Start School Age Grant will start in June.
And the awesome news that the Scottish NHS will indeed pay for Roz’s Car-T cell treatment to be carried out in England.
Independence is the only way out of this unequal union where our voices and the needs of our communities are ignored. Independence is the only way we can put ordinary people at the centre of a drive for a fairer and better society.