The national co-spokesperson for the Scottish Socialist Party, Colin Fox, shares his views on the last-minute trade talks and what this could mean for the Scottish independence movement.
Sputnik: What was your reaction to Boris Johnson’s last-minute trip to Brussels to negotiate the trade deal?
Colin Fox: I'm not surprised. The modus operandi of both sides in these talks has always been to take it right down to the wire with big dramatic gestures. So the news that we're being given is that we're led to believe that talks are going to fail. Well, let's see. By the same token, I wouldn't be surprised if a deal was finally reached, because the stakes for both sides are exceptional.
Sputnik: With Brexit on the horizon and the threat of a no-deal present, what will Brexit mean for Scotland and the independence movement?
Colin Fox: In the short term, a no-deal Brexit and Brexit happening will highlight the fact Scotland wanted to remain inside the EU. If we had our way, then the inevitable chaos and uncertainty that's about to ensue would have been avoided. On the other hand, Britain will leave the EU formally in three weeks' time. That has been utterly inevitable for nearly five years. It was always going to happen, and those who sought to deny the democratic vote in 2016 failed. I fear for those people because their attempt to deny democracy will, I fear, be held over them in perpetuity. New trade rules will inevitably be established that will probably make very little difference to the lives of ordinary Scots.
Sputnik: The Scottish independence movement is led by Nicola Sturgeon right now, who has really boosted this idea of Scotland returning to the EU. If it does become independent in the future, do you think it is right for Nicola Sturgeon to link the idea of Scottish independence so closely with the idea of re-joining the EU?
Colin Fox: No, it's utter nonsense. The good news is that in January, the case for independence can finally be separated from Brexit. Because quite frankly, it's a good thing for the independence movement that Brexit is happening. For Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in particular, they've been fixated on this issue to the detriment of everything else, in particular, making a far stronger case for independence, and how to achieve it democratically.
I think she's at least guilty of putting the cart before the horse and the EU, as far as I'm concerned, is an anti-democratic, neoliberal bureaucracy that I have no problem saying goodbye to. It's no ally of working class people in Scotland or anywhere else. So I look forward to focusing on the much more important issues of the independence case, which is how we're going to be economically, politically, and socially better off determinant on decisions that are no longer tied hand and foot to governments that we didn't elect. So that's the mainstay for the case and independence and I think she should leave flights of fancy about where we might go in the future, like join the EU or rejoin the EU, to one side and concentrate on that which is frankly her day job.