Personally, I’m now waiting for the Queen to get involved.
After all, there’s not much left of Alex Salmond’s independence-but-not-independence blueprint that is left intact. First it was his ‘we’re going to share the pound in a Sterling zone’ claim. That was ruled out by George Osborne (and Ed Balls and Danny Alexander) last week.
Then it was his ‘independence in Europe’ claim, and that was dismantled by Jose Manuel Barroso today. The only pillar of Salmond’s grand ‘everything’s-going-to-remain-the-same-only-different’ scheme which remains in place is a shared monarchy.
So it can’t be long before Her Majesty also intervenes and says: ‘Do you know what? I don’t much like the idea of being monarch of an independent Scotland, I think I’ll opt out of that too.’
For months, the referendum debate has been chugging along, the same old arguments have been explored without much to get anybody really interested. Then, kaboom, in just a few days, everything has changed. Ever since the campaign started two years ago, thousands of Scots have demanded clarity and certainty. What is going to happen to the pounds in our pockets? They have cried. What’s going to happen to our place in Europe? They have asked.
Well, now they know and this is really what has changed in the last few days: Scots have been told that an independent Scotland will actually have to be independent. It will not be the ‘same-but-slightly-different’ vision that Salmond has painted for so long.
An independent Scotland will be independent. It will have to have its own currency – whether or not that can be pegged to the UK pound – and Scotland will be stranded outside the EU, probably for years and possibly even for decades.
The Nationalists could – and did – dismiss this warning when it came from the Chancellor over the currency last week. But