What else would you talk about in Alabama besides Brexit?
Well, lots of things, actually. Like airplanes! But I did spend a lot of time talking about Brexit with the mavens at the Air War College here at Maxwell AFB. My big contribution to the discussion resulted in this tweet:
Scottish secessionists need to watch Spanish politics very carefully if they expect to remain in the E.U.— Noel Maurer (@noel_maurer) June 25, 2016
It seems as though the Scottish government is exploring ways to remain in both the E.U. and U.K. simultaneously, although European officials were reluctant to so anything as simple as declare England an overseas territory of the U.K. Their reasoning makes sense: it is early and they do not want to get drawn into an internal British dispute.
Unfortunately, the Spanish premier, Mariano Rajoy, is dead set against letting Scotland remain. He is afraid of giving the Catalans more ideas. But that seems stupid. After all, Scomain is intended to keep the United Kingdom united, even if it results in a customs barrier running a little bit north of Hadrian’s Wall. Refusing to comprise on the issue raises the chances of Scottish secession, which is the real precedent that Rajoy should be refusing to set.
I do not pretend to understand the People’s Party. They started the current support for Catalan secession by opposing the Statute of Autonomy, going so far as to petition the Constitutional Court to declare it unconstitutional. (The court obliged.) I understand wanting to keep Spain together; I even understand refusing to countenance any sort of secession referendum. But I do not understand the resolute opposition to extending quite reasonable grants of autonomy ... and I certainly do not understand what Rajoy thinks he will accomplish by opposing any Scottish attempts to remain in the E.U. without formally seceding from the U.K.