We at Keene have been refraining to talk about the Scottish Referendum in the run up to the Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland. With England having won that, a rare event in the last decade, we’re happy to talk about the biggest political story around.
It’s not just the shift in the jet stream that have seen strange winds coming to these storms. The scottish referendum has seen an outbreak of politicians scrabbling to show how they will be a member of the EU. Nigel Farage be warned.
This story shows just how difficult a road an independent Scotland could face. Jose Manuel Barrosso, the President of the Commission, and a former Prime Minister of Portugal gave a speech this week indicating that an independent scotland may not be allowed into the EU. It will be difficult because, Barrosso says, all current member states will need to approve Scottish entry. Many Member States oppose such independence movements because they have their own domestic problems. Would the Spanish Government approve a movement that would give such credence to Basque or Catalan independence campaigns?
The sense is now that the SNP have botched the campaign. The polls however are closing but voices in Holyrood are saying that the campaign has become too associated with Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. What the yes campaign will want are more interventions by English labour party and English conservatives, preferably one a week until polling day.
Clegg vs Farage: Round 1
Nick Clegg challenges Nigel Farage to a debate over Europe. Such issues as treaty reform, QMV, the cod quota, the low carbon road map, and subsidiarity as expressed post-Treaty of Nice are likely to get people switching over from Emmerdale – we think not.
Yet the fact that Farage has accepted gives the event more spice. Clegg has proven himself a very effective debater in 2010’s leaders debate. Will he be able to pick up votes from this? Clearly not a huge proportion of the public will vote for a party on the basis that they support Britain’s EU membership but will it show Clegg as a leader and get him much needed coverage. It is also a key plank in the Lib Dems differentiation strategy.
Most importantly for business it sees the first salvo in the pro-Union campaign.
He was formerly Head of Policy at the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). With degrees in history and economics from the Universities of Oxford and London, Jake is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a trustee of the European Association of Philanthropy and Giving and advises several governments on public policy. He also advises clients on CSR and philanthropy activities.
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