The referendum on the EU was one for the whole of the UK and the decision that the people took was to leave the EU. The Scottish people were asked the same question as everyone else and the terms were accepted by the Scottish Parliament.
Scotland is not a federated state or United Kingdom Overseas Territory and cannot make separate arrangements with the EU as it remains part of the UK. The fact Scotland as a region voted to stay within the EU is irrelevant under the terms of the UK and the referendum itself. The referendum was not about a break-up of the UK and must not be used to engineer such.
Nicola Sturgeon is ignoring the will of the Scottish people by suggesting that another independence referendum is now required because the EU result was not to her or Scotland’s liking.
Two referenda have been completed. The people have spoken at both. If she is truly a democratic politician she will accept that, even if some parts of the uK have opted differently from the whole.
Ms Sturgeon should take her example from David Cameron who has said he will support those who will manage the UK’s exit to ensure the country has the best chance of a great future, rather than trying to make matters worse by dividing it up as she seems intent on doing. While I am by no means suggesting Ms Sturgeon resign, she should certainly be pulling the nation together to give Scotland a better chance of benefiting from the exit from the EU.
Church Street, Shap, Penrith
Older and wiser
I am saddened to hear some of the younger generation, who voted Remain, complaining that some of the older generation, who voted Leave, have left the younger generation in a position which they don’t want for the rest of their lives and in the knowledge that the older generation will not be around to see the consequences of their actions.
Their anger is perhaps understandable, particularly when they assumed that Remain would prevail, but how shocking and selfish their attitude is when defeated in a democratic vote. The younger generation’s experience is limited to the EU affairs whereas the older generation has experience of life both within and outwith the EU and therefore greater wisdom. Before the formation of the EU the UK stood alone in Europe against aggression while the remainder of Europe capitulated and, had we lost that battle, the freedoms we enjoy today would not exist.
The Leave success is due to people with wisdom having the vision to see that the EU is heading gradually towards ever-closer political integration to the point where every detail of our lives will be dictated to us by an ever-increasing undemocratic European and cumbersome political system over which we as voters have little or no control. At least in the UK we have an opportunity every five years to change our political masters should the need arise.
Instead of complaining how residents of the UK will be worse off as a consequence of the democratic vote to leave, why don’t the younger generation get off their complacent bottoms and, instead, set about shaping the UK into an independent country of which they can be proud.
Gray’s Loan, Edinburgh
Fools rush in
What would be the prospects for Scotland rejoining the EU? We might be admitted, but negotiations could not commence until after independence, and the conditions might be tough. Those conditions might include a frontier, immigration control and customs posts at Berwick, Coldstream and Gretna, instead of a mere border. They would very probably include a continuation of the present Common Fisheries policy. If a consequence of Brexit is to strengthen far-right parties in some EU states, we might find an uncongenial Council of Ministers awaiting us. Fools, Nicola, rush in where angels fear to tread, and it would be prudent to wait until after the next Westminster election and then to assess thoughtfully our best course of action.
Swanston View, Edinburgh
The advice given to Ruth Davidson “from one of my own team” who is a constitutional lawyer that the Scottish Parliament has no power to block Brexit by withholding legislative consent may be, strictly speaking, accurate. However, it fudges an important distinction within the UK constitutional architecture.
The Constitution, as we all know, is “unwritten”, which basically means that it is made up of a bundle of laws, practices, conventions and understandings. Within our current situation, the Sewel Convention requires that the UK Parliament refrains from acting in areas that impinge upon devolved matters without the consent of the devolved body. Obviously, being a convention, it would be perfectly lawful for the UK government to ignore the Sewel Convention and to legislate for EU exit, even in the face of opposition from the Scottish Parliament. However – and this is the crucial point – to do so would be unconstitutional.
It is indeed ironic that it is the self-proclaimed defenders of the Union who are now calling for the UK Government to play fast and loose with the UK Constitution in relation to such a fundamental matter of national importance.
Wester Coates Gardens, Edinburgh
The only clear inference from the responses of the political classes to their referendum defeat, ranging from vituperation and vows of vengeance to blandishments and siren calls to compromise, is that they still don’t get it!
That vast array of institutions and corporate bodies, subsidy parasites, celebrities and luvvies, all dependant on the status quo, cannot grasp that what the people are rebelling against is them!
As with the English Civil War and the French and Russian Revolutions, Brexit was a victory for the “unwashed” over the brainwashed.
Marshall Place, Perth
The vote is now over and a majority decision was made. Anyone from the losing side who had any sense of democracy would accept the decision even though disappointed, join together with those from the other side and move on to get the best outcome for the country.
Instead, while Leave supporters are urging everyone to join together and acknowledging the concerns of those who voted to Remain, we have the sight of a large proportion of Remain supporters still metaphorically running around tearing off their clothes, pulling out their hair while screaming doom and disaster. They are castigating Leave supporters, labelling them racists, xenophobes and too stupidly ignorant to have a valid vote. This is not helped by politicians from Remain throwing their dummies out of the pram and walking away from their responsibilities to indulge in petty in-fighting. We also have more than three million signatures to a petition to overturn the decision of a majority and older voters being told that they had no right to vote. Isn’t it bad enough we have stock market and currency traders acting like frightened deer at is what is still a prosperous and successful trading UK waterhole?
You have to ask, who are acting like the real fascists?
Guardwell Crescent, Edinburgh
Bye bye Ukip?
The “success” of Ukip in “achieving its goal” (Letters27 June) means the loss of its raison d’etre. Couldn’t it reasonably be said Ukip is more like a pressure group than a political party?
There is no justification for UKIP to pass as a political party without “a reason for being.” The honourable thing for Ukip MEPs to do is resign.
Albany, Old Chapel Walk, Inverurie
Keep the heid
The younger members of my family inform me that social media is awash with wailing and the gnashing of teeth over the outcome of the EU referendum. Much of it is along the lines that we have suffered an injustice at the hands of those of a racist persuasion.
This view surely has at best only a tiny modicum of truth. Certainly banging the drum that we should “take back control” of immigration appeared to resonate with the electorate. But wishing to take control of immigration is not the same thing as racism. The Leave campaign favoured a points system for immigration – exactly the system favoured by the SNP as delineated in the White paper. But no one is accusing the SNP of racism.
I think we all need to “keep the heid” as Kezia Dugdale advises and allow time for calm reflection rather than knee jerk reaction which could bounce us into even deeper waters. Regardless of the volume of the outcry a rerun does not seem a realistic possibility – or even a fair one. But it is not unreasonable to expect that the exit negotiations will produce an outcome that is satisfactory to most.
In relation to immigration, for example, I do not see the EU approving a points system even though it has a lot going for it. But there are other possibilities such as that operated by Switzerland which allows free movement of workers provided they have a job to go to. If the object is to control rather than eliminate immigration then such systems are surely worth exploring.
Braid Hills Avenue, Edinburgh
I’m Swiss and I want to thank the British people for their wise decision to quit the EU. Not only Great Britain will take advantage of leaving the expensive and inefficient bureaucracy of Brussels but my country also, by getting a new valid ally outside the EU.
I hope other EU members will show the same courage and follow as a domino effect!
The English and Welsh voted for Brexit because they resented government from Brussels. Scots nationalists want independence because they resent government from London. Understandable, but within the EU, control from the centre may be much tighter.
High Street, Alderney, Channel Islands
Opinion from Oz
I read with dismay about the intention of the First Minister for Scotland to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence.
Why on earth would Scots want to leave a relatively benign long standing political union with a nation with which they have such close personal and economic ties in order to stay with a crisis- ridden and imploding European Union?
Cooramin Street, Wagga Wagga, Australia