On open letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and London Mayor Sadiq Khan
Dear Nicola and Sadiq
I am sure you are as upset and worried about the fallout from our recent Brexit vote here in the UK, and I would ask you to join forces to form a new country called ScotLond and immediately ask the EU to recognise our right to remain as European citizens. The vast majority of our two polities want to REMAIN and I am sure in a plebiscite the totals would go up from 62% and 58% respectively.
Of course there will be problems and nay sayers, but lets look at the main objections. A recent article by Mark Dawson (Professor of European Law) in Euro Activ Deutschland argues the case for Scotland to remain - and so why not ScotLond? Theresa May has ruled out another vote on Scottish Independence, but not a plebiscite for a new country all together. Over 4 million people have petitioned for a second referendum on Brexit (also nixed by May), but what I now call for is true democratic freedom to chose who we wish to be governed by: little Britain or a greater ScotLond. I know what I want! Nicola you already have a nice new Parliament building so let's use that for our newly elected officials, however while I think you should immediately become acting PM, we would need a general election within a year. I am sure you agree this would be the most democratic. We might even use the current constituencies (weighted in Scotland's favour) to elect MPs but these are details.
There would of course be the issue of a foreign parliament on our new soil, i.e the Westminster Parliament, but Italy seems to do fine with the Vatican State in its territory and our new country could charge them for the privilege. That said, they and all other citizens of the UK would need a passport to enter our country. We might even need to build a wall around London and the Scottish border to keep out all those UK economic migrants who would flood into our extremely successful country, but we can look at undocumented workers from the UK at a later stage, but border controls are a must.
Those in our two land masses who after the plebiscite, did not want to have a new ScotLond passport would be free to keep their UK passport, but would therefore not be able to vote in any future elections nor stand for elected office. We would want ScotLond for ScotLondoners, and of course our European sisters and brothers. In our negotiations we should promise to allow all EU citizens already living and working in ScotLond the right to continue to do so.
Then there is the tricky question of the titular head of state. At present Mrs Windsor and her family have, by the lottery of birth, a lifetime hold on this lucrative position. In the new ScotLond perhaps we can keep the idea of the lottery of birth, but make it more equal. I propose that every ScotLond adult aged 18 or older would be entered into such a lottery every year, and randomly by birthdate and hour, someone would be selected to hold the position for a year. Just to make it worthwhile, they should receive £1 million for the year long job, and a clothing allowance and a week of training. How hard can it be to smile and wave and drink Yak milk? If the selected person choses not to take the role the lottery will be rerun, and all the details (like the Brexit ones) can be sorted out after, it is the principle of the thing.
So now we come to money in a bigger sense, I did mention £1 million because as an existing polity we should be able to keep our joint currency, as opposed to the Euro, but it would be a trade off I think I could reluctantly consider. It would not be a British pound for Britishers but a ScotLond pound and all the sounder for that, what with our joint oil, fish and financial markets, we would be very well placed to regain our spot as 5th largest world economy in no time. I am sure foreign investment would flood in once all those suspicious of immigrants, migrants and others, were no longer part of our fine new country. There would need to be some EU accommodation for London as a terminus for all of the EU migrants that might want to settle, as there will be a question of physical space and services, but again I am sure we can sort out those issues. This new form of freedom of movement might even serve as a model for all of the EU. Yes the EU is flawed, but we can only really hope to change it from the inside. Let those Brexit supporters launch a campaign of fear, we Scotlanders don't fear experts, nor are we tired of them. We recognise that they were right last time (the pound fell and where is that £350 million a week?) and I am sure we are smart enough not to be duped, like those in what will be left of the UK. So many seem to have have buyers regret, and they will be further let down by their new found Brexit sovereignty.
Lastly, as an artist and arts professional I want to point out that the present Scotland and London are truly European cultural capitals. People come from all over the globe to experience the visual and performing arts at the Edinburgh festival, as well as the many museums and performance spaces in London including the new Tate extension. These are the symbols of proud, positive, multi-cultural peoples who look forward - not back to some long lost country found only in the past. We dream of a brighter future where (with any luck) ugly nationalism will fade away as the next generation (who voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU) replace their elders. Oprah Winfrey took some stick (but she had a point) when she said in reference to old white bigots in the US that 'they just have to die' (she was not calling for their culling only the passage of time). Sadly for the children and grandchildren of the Brexiteers, they will have to suffer the consequences of the foolish action of their elders. Let's not allow them to affect our youth too!
Dr Michael Petry