On 1 June the Edinburgh Evening News provided Ian Murray with a platform once again to demonstrate simple acceptance of Scotland’s lack of agency – of Scotland’s democratic deficit – within this ‘precious Union’.
‘Agency – the capacity of an actor to act in a given environment’
Mr Murray’s latest contribution is based on a new report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) (see link below). It considers the likely economic impact of coronavirus and of different Brexit outcomes on the economies of the UK, its nations, regions and local areas.
Mr Murray is reported as saying: “A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for jobs and the city’s economy. I don’t think anybody wants this, whichever way they voted in the Brexit referendum.”
He adds, based on the SMF study, that Scotland’s capital city is at risk from a ‘double whammy of coronavirus and a no-deal Brexit from the European Union ….’. The Evening News warns its readers that c.70,000 jobs in Edinburgh and another 26,600 in West Lothian are in the sectors – banking, finance and manufacturing – most exposed to the double economic blow of Brexit and Covid-19.
So it looks bad for Edinburgh and Scotland – a ‘catastrophe’ no less! But if so, fear not, Mr Murray has a solution (drum roll!): he is urging the Tory government in Westminster to “… keep its promise to secure a trade deal, and if it can’t then it will have to ask for an extension to the Brexit transition period”.
There you have it – a plea to Johnson & Co to keep a promise! Is this the extent of what is ‘acceptable’ to Mr Murray in terms of Scotland’s response, its counter, to looming Tory harm? ‘You Tories should keep your promise!’
He seems he attach no relevance in electoral arithmetic nor to the limitations of devolved power. Neither the electorate of Edinburgh nor Scotland have the levers available to cause the Tories to modify their preferred post-Brexit outcome, whatever that may prove to be.
How much of Scotland’s agency is Ian Murray prepared to trade away for his ‘precious Union’ and at what cost to Scotland and his home city? A Tory promise is far, far away from being enough.
Social Market Foundation report. Url in comments. WordPress didn’t like it here.