Saturday, 15 September 2012

Schengen first, EU afterwards

Now the big row on EU membership. How disgusting of the Lib Dem leader, Willie Rennie, to say in parliament at PMQs, oh dear if we need to renegotiate our EU membership upon independence we will have to join the Schengen area .

I WANT TO JOIN THE SCHENGEN AREA. So should any humanitarian. So should the Lib Dems.

They are supposed to be the party of the European ideal. That includes common united travel among all these countries, moving away from apartheid passbook barriers betwen them - NB think about it, border controls and passports are a global apartheid structre, keeping the whole world living in separate racial boxes.

All we look likely to get in this campaign, on all sides, is them all bowing to the tabloid race hate vote. Lib Dems doing it, SNP certainly doing it by saying no no we won't join Schengen we will stary in the British Isles common travel area. The British Isles common travel area means the nasty chilling unfriendly "UK Border" corridor at the airport, the walls lined with intmidating threats, including the humanly unreasonable atrocity of being threatenable with prosecution if you have lost your passport during your flight. Then what if a criminal assault you and steals it, that is your fault and makes you criminalisable? It is against the facts of human fallibility, hence against human rights, for travel to depend on carrying any losable document at all. The medical conditions of dyspraxia and attention deficit affecting dexterity and fine motor skill, help to force this issue under discrimination.

The SNP has at least been good enough to say before that it wants us to have a more welcoming culture than the morally foul British immigration regime, that is the single item with most potential to attract my vote to Yes if the SNP stops blowing it by censoring its consultation responses from publication. So why the hell contradict it by pledging not to join Schengen? Probably because the threat that England would then slap border controls on us is unpopular. of course while it lasted it would be bad for that to happen, a new barrier, but it would be less bad than the good done by reducing the territorial size of the nasty racist UK Border regime and giving us the whole Schengen area without a barrier. We should be willing to squeeze England in that way for having the tabloid racism in its political culture, and to take some affordable trips to the continent instead of to England.

Though it was the EU that created the Schengen area and it is betteer to help to hold it in place by belonging to the EU, you can even belong to the Schengen area without being in the EU. Norway, which I visited recently, does that and certaibnly feels just like its EU neighbours as a result. For this reason, to be keener on Schengen would get the SNP off the hook of the difficulties over whether our EU membership would be continuous. We could stand eager to sign up to the Schengen area even for the duration of an interruption to EU membership. That will make the interruption less serious, hardly noticeable at the level of real people's travel.

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