Religious ban is not worthy of debate

I AM surprised to read MSPs are calling for changes to the 1701 Act of Settlement, which debars Catholics from becoming monarch.

This is an English Act, passed by the former English parliament. That old parliament became defunct in 1707, when it was superseded by the current British parliament.

If MSPs wish to end the ban on Catholics, the only relevant United Kingdom legislation is Article Two of the Treaty of Union, of 1707.

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Indeed, Article Two, as its very number indicates, was absolutely central to the Union and to England’s anti-Jacobite security need for an all-British Protestant succession. Scotland played the succession card very heavily in 1707, to force trading concessions from England.

If MSPs regard the 1701 English legislation as key, they are accepting that the 1707 Union Treaty is a sham and that the so-called UK is, in constitutional law, Greater England. (As the monarch’s official title EIIR likewise suggests.) This, in turn, has massive implications in the debate whether an independent Scotland, seeking European Union membership, would be a mere breakaway from the UK.

Our ancestors in 1701, regarded the Act of Settlement as a piece of English arrogance, attempting, as it did, to legislate for the all-British throne. We viewed that Act as a national insult.

So why are MSPs giving it credence by debating it?

(Cllr) Tom Johnston North Lanarkshire SNP Group

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