Neil McNicholas: Time for Nicola Sturgeon and Scots to accept EU referendum result

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
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YOU know how it goes: two kids in the playground are using “paper, stone, scissors” in an attempt to make a decision. It starts out as best of three, but when it doesn’t go the way of the biggest of the two kids, he decides it will be best of five instead, and when it still doesn’t go his way it becomes best of seven and so on until it does.

Is this what we can expect from Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon? The referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 didn’t go her way and so things were set in train to make it possible for the process to be repeated until they do. It doesn’t seem to matter what the majority of the people of Scotland wanted – she will tell them what they want.

Two years later and she is doing it again but to the rest of the UK this time. While a majority of Scottish voters (62 per cent) voted to remain in the EU, the overall majority of voters in the United Kingdom (52 per cent) voted to leave. Ms Sturgeon needs to remember that, like it or not,

Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom and therefore subject to the decision made by the majority of UK voters.

Just because she doesn’t like the way the vote went, she and that 62 per cent of the Scottish electorate have to reconcile themselves to the majority UK vote just like the 48 per cent for whom the vote didn’t go their way.

More than 2.5 million of that 48 per cent are reported to have signed a petition calling for a second referendum. You can’t do that; you can’t have best out of two, best of out three, best out of four, until you get the result you want. It was best out of one and that’s it.

A referendum is a referendum – in its own way a petition that people were asked to sign by the process of casting their vote, which a very healthy percentage of the electorate did. A differential of four per cent may not be overly satisfactory, but a majority vote was all that was required.

It may not be nice to be on the losing side, but that’s how things are sometimes in life and when that’s our experience – whatever the issue might be - we just have to pick our toys up, put them back in the pram, and get on with it.

But back to Nicola Sturgeon. Isn’t she sailing very close to the wind of treason? It’s defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to overthrow the sovereign or government”.

Isn’t that precisely what she seems to be trying to do? She may not consider the UK to be her country in that she seems bent on Scottish independence, but until that happens, if it ever happens, whether she likes it or not, Scotland is part of the UK and therefore subject to its overall government.

Just the very act of wanting to break the UK asunder is an action against that government – a move that was soundly rejected by the very electorate she is now trying to defend. Not everyone in Scotland voted to remain in the EU – it wasn’t a block vote. Indeed in some areas there was considerable support for leaving the EU.

And this week she is allegedly going to cry on the shoulders of the EU to rally them to her cause. Who does she think she is? First Minister of Scotland is only that – she is not the Prime Minister of the UK (thank goodness) and nor does the government in Edinburgh govern the UK. But couldn’t that act of challenging the legitimate authority of the UK Government via the backdoor of Europe be considered treasonous?

It was even mooted over the weekend that La Sturgeon was threatening a Holyrood veto of the choice made by the majority of the UK electorate by blocking the UK’s exit from the EU.

The gunpowder plot was also an attempt to disrupt the legitimate functioning and business of the government of the day and just look what happened to those who were involved in that particular escapade. Is she seriously aligning herself with the famed leaders of Scottish uprisings and rebellions throughout history? Wouldn’t that, by definition, be treasonous?

At the moment she is projecting herself as a bit of a loose cannon, a squeaky wheel (to mix metaphors), and there is another one, something to do with empty vessels as I remember. But how much more does she need to do in her efforts to overthrow the legal democratic process before this particular cannon gets fired?

Father Neil McNicholas is a priest in Yarm.