John Harris

Journalist & Author

Hard Brexit is making the case for Scottish independence | John Harris

Politics in England has become mean, callous and small-state, marginalising the values of most Scots. Who wouldn’t want to leave that behind?

On the issue that now defines modern Britain and the stances taken by England and Wales’s two main parties, is it time to start using the dread term “consensus politics”? As Martin Kettle pointed out in the Guardian this week, for all Labour’s sound and fury, its position on Britain’s future relationship with the EU is “in many essentials … indistinguishable from the prime minister’s hard Brexit”.

The fact that Labour MPs offered up tissue-paper amendments to the article 50 bill and then accompanied the Tories through the lobbies, regardless of their defeat, feels like a symbol of pathetic acquiescence that will endure. And despite the Lords’ admirable move on the rights of EU citizens, so did this week’s spectacle of Labour peers being instructed to oppose the amendment for Britain to remain a member of the single market.

Related: Labour leapt into Brexit’s fires – and now the party is burning | Martin Kettle

I have plenty of misgivings about the SNP, but on this point Nicola Sturgeon’s case is plain, and persuasive

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