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27 Ways Scots Can Teach The Rest Of The UK About The Horrors Of A Referendum

Some friendly advice to help you prepare for the 23 June vote on EU membership. Please avoid politically themed tattoos.

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Hello from Scotland. You might have heard that we have a bit of experience when it comes to referendums.

Mark Runnacles / Getty Images

For the benefit of those of you in the rest of the UK, here's some of the absolute nonsense you should expect to have to deal with before the 23 June vote on European Union membership.

1. At some point, a Taiwanese animation company will attempt to explain the referendum argument with a near-indecipherable video like this.

2. George Galloway will be offered endless TV appearances and, whatever he says, people on the internet will just ridicule his ludicrous hat.


3. There will be many, many pointless celebrity endorsements that will dominate headlines while not really persuading anyone of anything.

Fox / Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

4. Each endorsement will provoke a furious reaction from the other side, even if it comes from a small felt puppet in the shape of a frog.

Kermit. Another cold slimy green union supporter. #indyref

5. People will become adamant that the BBC is secretly and personally conspiring against their individual hopes and dreams.

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

In fact, this is already happening.

6. Campaigners might even try to sneak their campaign material on to BBC broadcasts.

Have to admire the effort of these guys who photobombed Reporting Scotland with a giant neon Yes. Via @JoeRocks61.

7. People will repeatedly accuse the other side of "talking down" the country if they try to make any kind of point about anything.

George Robertson talking Scotland down on BBC2. He's hacked off that Scots don't consider the World full of savages. #NoThanks = #NoAnswers

Even though the EU campaign is just over a week old, Tory MP Steve Baker has already accused the actor Emma Thompson of "doing Britain down" after she described the UK as "a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island".

8. A handful of people will get carried away in all the excitement and end up getting referendum-related tattoos that they'll regret for the rest of their living days.

9. The seemingly endless campaign period will lead to increasingly obscure stories appearing in the media just to be able to say something new.

Edinburgh Evening News

Note: That was a real story.

10. Someone will probably find a cloud or piece of fried chicken that vaguely resembles Europe without Britain in it. It will be claimed as an omen.

The Mirror, paper of the late, great Paul Foot, reveals KFC chicken piece that "could be the shape of UK" #indyref

11. Politicians will make fools of themselves in more and more badly thought-out photo opportunities as the vote approaches.

PA Archive / Press Association Images / Andrew Milligan

12. Someone will send an ill-considered tweet from the wrong Twitter account, like this one directed at pro-union campaign chief Alistair Darling from 2014.


13. People will also accuse the other side of saying the UK is "too small and too stupid" to go it alone.

Too wee,too stupid?? Lets have another look!!!

Iain Duncan Smith said on Sunday that David Cameron is talking about Britain "not being capable, that we're too small".

14. Each side will resort to increasingly elaborate and outlandish campaigning tactics as June approaches.

Russell Cheyne / Reuters

15. All manner of political tat will be produced.

I think I’d rather a Salmond caganer.

16. Political cartoonists will have the time of their lives.

The Telegraph

17. David Cameron will say the phrase "best of both worlds" until you can no longer differentiate it from general background noise.

"Britain can have best of both worlds"- Cameron tells parliament UK must stay in EU #EUref

18. There will be unnerving photoshops.

Camerond & Salmeron, by @JimboLoony

19. There will be bad April Fools' jokes.

The Telegraph

20. People will start believing in outlandish conspiracy theories.


21. There will be endless and pointless analogies of the European Union being like a marriage.

Hey guys, I've had a really good idea for a metaphor about the #indyref - it's like divorce! Hope no one else has used it!

22. Newspapers will start getting inordinately excited about opinion polls as the vote draws nearer.

POLL: Latest poll shows #Yes has a narrow lead #indyref

23. There will be a dramatic increase in people calling each other traitors.

@jimmurphymp Hypocrite, liar and traitor to Scotland! How's your conscience, Mr Murphy????? #indyref #YES18SEPT

24. Whatever the result is, some people will insist the vote was rigged.

25. And, after you've been through all of this, it probably won't settle anything anyway.


26. Even if the person who called the referendum says it is a "once in a generation" event.

Salmond has again urged Scots seize "once in a generation opportunity" and #VoteYes #indyref

27. In fact, he already has.

Cameron announces referendum on Britain's membership of European Union - "a once in a generation moment"

Have fun, everyone.

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at

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