The left-separatist leader of Scotland’s devolved government is using the French shutdown of its border with Britain an excuse to call for Brexit to be delayed further.
While Britain officially left the European Union at the beginning of 2020, years after the people’s vote to leave the bloc in 2016, it currently remains a member — minus voting rights — in all but name, as a year-long “transition” period in which a trade agreement is supposed to negotiated runs its course.
However, despite the first of many deadlines for an agreement having expired in the summer, and the British having already agreed to pay the EU a multi-billion “divorce” settlement and allow Brussels to effectively annex the British province of Northern Ireland for regulatory purposes, the negotiations have not borne fruit, with the bloc making even more demands for the British to accept continued EU dominance in Britain’s fishing waters and EU-mandated “level playing field” rules.
With just days to go until the transition period ends and the French having shut their borders to British travellers and manned freight, however, EU loyalists are, once again, pushing for the extension to be lengthened into 2021.
“It’s now imperative that [Prime Minister Boris Johnson] seeks an agreement to extend the Brexit transition period,” said Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland’s devolved government — roughly equivalent to a state government in the United States.
“The new Covid strain — and the various implications of it — means we face a profoundly serious situation, and it demands our 100 per cent attention,” she insisted.
“It would be unconscionable to compound it with Brexit.”
It’s now imperative that PM seeks an agreement to extend the Brexit transition period. The new Covid strain – & the various implications of it – means we face a profoundly serious situation, & it demands our 100% attention. It would be unconscionable to compound it with Brexit.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) December 20, 2020
While Sturgeon’s left-separatist Scottish National Party (SNP) once decried “the dead hand of Brussels mismanagement” of Britain’s fisheries for destroying thousands of jobs in the Scottish fishing industry, the notionally pro-independence party is fiercely loyal to the EU, and is committed to submitting Scotland to EU governance if it ever manages to separate it from the rest of the United Kingdom.
Brexiteers have been unimpressed by the arguments of the First Minister and fellow anti-Brexiteers, however, with former Conservative MEP and senior Vote Leave campaign member David Campbell-Bannerman branding the ruse a “Ridiculous last gasp of the Remain campaign; Sturgeon included. ”
“The British people just want to get on now. A bit of turbulence a small price to pay for a momentous journey,” he said.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has also indicated that the government would not find a continued transition extension acceptable, telling the BBC that “the one thing which could actually add fuel to the fire would be ending something that everyone’s known is ending for a very long time, which is the end of the transition period which completes on December 31, so absolutely not, no.”
A spokesman for the Prime Minister, too, has said that the transition “will end on December 31. That remains our position.”
Ridiculous last gasp of the Remain campaign; Sturgeon included. The British people just want to get on now. A bit of turbulence a small price to pay for a momentous journey. https://t.co/5qDv9OLgXm
— David C Bannerman (@DCBMEP) December 21, 2020