Coronavirus tips the balance in the argument for a real border with England

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Angus MacNeil MP has called for police to patrol the main routes into Scotland after it became clear that England will diverge from the Scottish lockdown policy. He said today:

If England opens up too soon they are heading for another downturn because England, like Scotland, has no idea about the asymptomatic in their midst. If people move and mix more the virus is going to spread. On the Irish border the guards are there to make sure people are not moving and it may be the case that we have to do the same at the Scottish border. Policing the borders would not be impossible to do. It is already being done for the islands.

He makes a most persuasive case based only on the coronavirus threat but there have been earlier events [links at foot] pushing Scotland toward the need for a harder border:

Drug gangs terrorising Scotland’s rural communities

From Community Experiences of Serious Organised Crime in Scotland (2018):

Evidence from drug market research and policing suggests that the most common route for illicit commodities into Scotland is through the open border with England, with major drug supply routes entering the country by road and rail.

The profitability of the heroin trade has however led to an increase in SOC groups from England penetrating markets in north and rural Scotland. These groups use road, train, and bus routes to create steady supply routes in these areas, effectively ‘bypassing’ the traditional groups in Scotland’s central belt and directly accessing other markets in rural areas. A police officer noted the regularity of the trade, with ‘young people or low-level patsies acting as couriers’

From Police Scotland in January 2019:

The charity Crime-stoppers is today 14th January 2019 launching a campaign to highlight the pain and suffering that criminals from English cities are inflicting on vulnerable people in Scotland’s rural and coastal towns. The campaign aims to raise awareness of County Lines, which is when criminals from major cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, London and Birmingham are expanding their drug networks to other areas, bringing with it serious criminal behaviour such as violence, exploitation and abuse.

Measles epidemics

Measles has been virtually wiped-out in the population of Scotland.

The MMR immunisation rate in England has fallen for the fourth year in a row to only 87% with in some areas only 67% vaccinated. There have been 230 cases of measles in just the first three months of 2019.

In Scotland the rate is 97% and has been so for 10 years. There have been 10 cases in Scotland, reported so far in 2019. All have been ‘imported’ from England or beyond.

Norovirus epidemics:

From Health Protection Scotland on 13th December, Norovirus cases in Scotland plummeting:

The provisional total of laboratory reports for norovirus in Scotland up to the end of week 49 of 2019 (week ending 8 December 2019) is 798. In comparison, to the end of week 49 in 2018 HPS received 1367 laboratory reports of norovirus. The five-year average for the same time period between years 2013 and 2017 is 1385.

From NHS England:

The NHS is calling on the public to heed advice and stay at home if they have norovirus to avoid passing it on, as hospitals in England have been forced to close more than 1,100 hospital beds over the last week.Top medics are concerned about the spread of the winter vomiting bug this year and the impact it is having on hospitals and other services.

They are therefore urging those who catch the virus not to go back to work or school until at least 48 hours after symptoms pass, to avoid passing it on to others. The latest data from Public Health England (PHE) surveillance showed that the number of positive norovirus laboratory reports during the two weeks in the middle of November (11th-24th) was 28% higher than the average for the last five years. And almost double the number of hospital beds have been closed every day over the last week than at the same time last year, in a bid to stop the spread of diarrhoea and vomiting to more patients.

Listeria outbreaks:

After 8 English hospitals experienced listeria outbreaks in food supplies in 2019, Scotland’s hospitals reported having had no incidents of hospital acquired infections connected to, after, linked to, from, or because of, food products, in the last five years. 

Sources:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/12/nhs-warning-as-winter-vomiting-bug-closes-1000-hospital-beds/

https://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/news/2019/january/campaign-launched-appeal-for-help-tackling-county-lines-drug-networks

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/18/take-up-mmr-vaccine-falls-fourth-year-in-a-row-england-measles#targetText=Data%20from%20NHS%20Digital%20revealed,by%20the%20World%20Health%20Organization.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49394170#targetText=In%202018%2C%20there%20was%20a,linked%20to%20travel%20in%20Europe.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/12/nhs-warning-as-winter-vomiting-bug-closes-1000-hospital-beds/

5 thoughts on “Coronavirus tips the balance in the argument for a real border with England”

  1. As Johnson’s message does not apply to Scotland why was it broadcast up here.
    The FM’s update wasn’t broadcast to in England.
    Nice graphic, was DEVS used.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Be very very careful as to how Scotland responds
    The most useful tool in the Colonial bag of tricks is Divide and Rule
    Do NOT present them with the opportunities to reign back Holyrood powers
    We must be wise enough to their games
    As it us the people of Scotland here who are the real power
    And in 2021 there exits a excellent opportunity to confront Westminster
    Head on with a Indy ref 2 majority
    They know this and that their day of reckoning is fast approaching
    And those forces against us and all due to their impending bankruptcy and a urgent need to borrow vast sums Must do everything possible to hold onto Scotland massive assests
    Simple all lenders look at their borrowers and ask themselves 1 prime question before giving any loan and applying interest rates and conditions
    HOW DO I GET MY MONEY BACK HERE
    Without Scottish assets Westminster knows how tough borrowing to let them corruptly carry on with their obscene and absurd gaiety shall be
    This is now one of the most dangerous phases of a 1000 yr history England finds itself well and truly trapped in And they KNOW it
    So as far as we concerned HOLD HOLD HOLD
    Let their heavy calvary advance upon our Chiltern of Votes in 2021
    Know thy foe
    Take then on
    When you want not when they want
    Where you want and not a place of their chosing
    How you want not how they wish to engage
    He who adheres to these 4 basic rules of conflict no matter how strong the foe is and such foe does not adhere to these basics
    Then from weakness comes strength for us
    And from strength shall flow weakness for them
    2021 will be our day of reckoning and for them also
    So be Mindful at all times as what our foe is actually up to expecially these days as they
    Become desperate like they have never known before
    So smile blow them a kiss frustrate them into making wrong moves and await the day of real reckoning

    Like

  3. Another factor which might precipitate border controls is the UK Gov’s decision to exempt travellers from France and Ireland from new regulations to close the loophole of free entry into the UK without adequate test and trace procedures. Talk about “leaving your ladder out!”

    Liked by 1 person

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