As the politicians try to make sense of the referendum result, they are struggling to define what ‘leave’ actually means.
Richard Parry discusses how the vote has important lessons for politics and even betting, but its resolution for Scotland will get caught up in wider issues.
Last Thursday’s referendum may have answered one question, but it has spawned many more. How does the UK leave the EU? When do we leave? What does leave mean? And what does it all mean for Scotland?
In theory, the ‘how’, at least, is clear. The process is set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union – the EU’s constitution. The UK Government must give formal notice of its intention to leave to the European Council (the other members). This kick-starts negotiations on the terms of exit.
My gut says that there will be a second referendum on Scottish independence and that Yes will win comfortably. Yet, predicting political events and outcomes right now is like predicting the weather. The result is not inevitable, largely because the key factors prompting people to vote No have not gone away – and, in some ways, the No case is now stronger. I’ll explain this by (a) comparing the likely Yes and No stories during the next campaign, and (b) speculating wildly about the extent to which key parties will campaign as hard for No in the second referendum.