THERE is an old chess short story about the grand master who ends up in a remote village. Short of money, he agrees to pay two locals; his meal will be free if he wins both matches. But there is a catch; in one game, he must play as white, in the other as black. As soon as the matches start, he realises his mistake when the man playing white in the second game simply copies the grand master’s moves as white in the first.  No matter what the master does, he cannot win both games; if he wins in the first, he must lose in the second.

The three-way negotiations between Britain, the European Union and Scotland could yet work out the same way. Every argument used by Theresa May against the EU can be used against her by Nicola Sturgeon.

Taking back control. The Leave campaign clearly resonated with voters when it talked about the need for Britain to take back control of its laws from a remote Brussels bureaucracy. But the argument applies just as well in Scotland where the Conservatives last won most seats in 1955; in the 2010 and 2015 elections, the Tories got one seat but the Scots still ended up with a Conservative prime minister. It will probably happen in 2020 as well….Continue reading