Since triggering Article 50, Brexit has been touted as the unsolvable problem. In many minds, there’s no single solution that satisfies the problems of the Irish border, those bloody Scottish and Irish remoaners, and the desire to see the democratic result of the referendum carried out to its complete conclusion.
But there is a simple, undiscussed solution that puts to bed all of the secondary consequences of Brexit while carrying out the result. Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson laid out the foundations in 2014 in the Scottish Independence campaign.
Ruth Davidson’s Brexit Solution
“Leaving the UK means leaving the EU, simple.” Davidson said during a 2014 campaign speech. The politically safe, democratically sound answer to the EU crisis then is for England to leave the UK.
By leaving the UK, England can safely extract itself from EU membership by default. This move leaves the Scottish, Northern Irish, and Welsh membership intact. Any individual country would be entirely free to join England in their own independence should they wish to follow the English lead.
The brilliance of this solution is in neatly sidestepping the need for a second Scottish Independence referendum at all. I suspect convincing the Scottish voter breaking a union with Ireland which maintains our existing EU membership would be like separating water from whisky, or whiskey, anyway.
Admittedly, this does nothing to sidestep the consequences of Brexit itself. The economic, personal, and professional fallout of the move will hit the same, whether tackled with the Independence solution or no-deal. I feel like these are the consequences for which the voter went to the polls in the first place however.
These primary consequences are more or less fair to the vote. If you vote for a deal to sever trade relations, isolate yourself from your neighbours, and restrict the movement of people and goods, it’s somewhat fair if the results of the vote severs relations, result in isolation, and restrict your movement and your goods.
Secondary Brexit Consequences
Reigniting conflict in Northern Ireland, replacing an illegal border, and taking other countries out of the EU to satisfy your own nationalism strikes me as somewhat less fair results.
The results of English independence will undoubtedly be disastrous for both Scotland and Northern Ireland. The options open to these countries seems to be between cliff-jumping with or without holding hands with England.
At least while England wins its own independence we can maintain and build our own relationships within the EU, and England, while we rebuild our brand new 312 year old country.
Boris’ Next Solution To Brexit?
With Boris backed between many large rocks and a very hard Brexit, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if this is the next route Brexiteers campaign for. Neatly sidestepping the requirements of the Benn act, the need for a new deal, or any deal at all, and the seeming impossibility of peeling the UK from the EU.
It seems like there really is one simple, single solution which satisfies “the democratic result”, Scottish Independence, the backstop, and Brexit all in one go. Why aren’t Brexiteers, and now Boris in particular jumping on it harder?