NICOLA Sturgeon has been reported as saying: “We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people.”
Her intention is to make this constitutional notion the accepted norm among all parties at Holyrood. If nobody contradicts her then she will get away with it. However, she is wrong. Constitutional matters are reserved to the British Parliament. Legally, only Westminster can agree to a referendum. Why is it reserved? The reason is because the UK is one country and one people. Ms Sturgeon’s “Scottish people” are also British people. Everyone in Scotland has a responsibility to the UK’s integrity, and vice versa.
Since we are one country and one people, then everybody in the UK must be involved in the decision as to whether one part should break away from, and break up, the whole.
In the UK we collectively address such questions, and we make such decisions, by acting through our common Parliament; that is, through the mechanism of our MPs and the Government which we have elected. It is not for one part of the UK to usurp this power, any more than it is right for one person who is car-sharing with three others to remove its wheels.
It is high time our pro-UK politicians pointed this out to Ms Sturgeon, before this Scottish nationalist notion morphs into some kind of accepted new constitutional “fact”.
Bath Street, Glasgow
Ms Sturgeon has announced that there should be a second independence referendum, if the electorate of Scotland should so choose it, especially if Scotland is taken out of the EU “against its will”. She has already conceded that she is not even seeking a mandate for it in this latest manifesto. It may seem a niggling set of circumstances, but there is no evidence whatsoever that Scotland will vote much differently from the rest of the UK.
Ms Sturgeon’s determination that a secessionist Scotland would be a member of the EU has hit the same brick wall that Mr Salmond’s did very publicly. The fact is, Scotland now has a deficit three times higher than EU membership application allows. Another mandate of application is that there must be a commitment to the euro (and Schengen) and that the applicant must have a central bank with three years’ business under it’s belt, to prove its solvency. Scotland doesn’t currently pass any of these rudimentary criteria. The bridge widens its span when we consider that a five-year freeze was imposed on new applicants, alongside a five-year waiting list of countries who have already applied to work through. In political terms, Scotland’s future will never be in the hands of “the people”, as Ms Sturgeon persistently claims. Last year, the SNP forbade any delegates mentioning “independence” at their own autumn conference. It would only be at Ms Sturgeon’s insistence and even then, only after she has asked the UK government for the required Section 30 Order to effect it, which she has already been told she would not be given.
Dalmellington Road, Crookston, Glasgow