The people of Scotland need to know whether or not we are in a voluntary union

THE Supreme Court in its ivory tower will sift through a mountain of papers focusing on the meaning of words in various Acts of Parliament to reach a decision on whether or not the Parliament of Holyrood has the power to hold a referendum.

The people of Scotland need a decision on whether Scotland is a country in a voluntary union with others – free to decide, at any time by its own means, whether to remain or leave this union – or s he is no longer in a voluntary union.

There is growing suspicion that Scotland is simply a region of the UK that can be exploited by the Westminster government for its own ends. Fifty years of British government exploitation of oil and gas assets in the North Sea have left little more evidence on the land than on the water under which they lay.

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Unionist parties have presented no evidence of how Scots benefit from a union in which their country is excluded from the UK’s decision-making body in all areas of the economy, human rights and international politics. Furthermore, the requirement to manage a balanced annual budget, based on spending in England on devolved matters, ensures that there is very little opportunity for the Scottish government to make significant progress in a devolved area.

The three branches of the London-based Unionist parties at Holyrood have made it clear that they no longer recognize that Scotland has the right to self-determination.

Angela Rayner has raised even more concerns about the status of Scots in the Union, saying Britain’s Labor Party needs the people of Scotland for its votes, soon after Murdo Fraser said the UK needs the people of Scotland so that its armed forces can pursue its global ambitions. Everyone agrees that the UK needs Scotland’s natural assets.

Twenty-three years of devolution may not be enough to convince the Supreme Court that Westminster’s Holyrood branch has become the Scottish people‘s parliament, but that won’t stop the movement towards independence.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

There is currently talk in the media and in pro-independence forums that threatens to undermine confidence in the way forward, citing reason upon reason why the process is doomed – a modern case, perhaps, Caledonian antisyzygia. May I offer the following, as a simple antidote?

The Union between Scotland and England is based either on consent (in which case Scotland is free to leave whenever its people decide) or on coercion (in which case Scotland is its prisoner) .

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The Union has no provision to block Scottish secession. There is no supra-legal constitution prohibiting it (similar to the Spanish constitution which purports to block Catalan independence), and in fact no ordinary law to that effect.

Moreover, all the statements of the British and Scottish governments on this subject have repeatedly confirmed that we are in a Union of consent. There is no reason to think that the Union can bind Scotland against the will of its people.

In 2014, the people of Scotland voted by majority to remain in the Union. By simple logic and democratic imperative, as long as the people are able to express their point of view, independence can only follow if the people vote for it, but it must follow if they do.

If we cannot have our vote by means of a referendum at Holyrood (this point will be decided as a matter of law by the Supreme Court later this year), we will have it by means of the next general election, on the proper manifesto (as promised by the First Minister to the Scottish Parliament in June).

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If that vote is yes, either the British government will cooperate in negotiating the terms of independence or it will not. I think he will co-operate, but if not, independence can be achieved by the supreme representatives of the Scottish people – their MPs – by a majority, leaving Westminster on a date of their choosing and declaring that the body of Scottish MPs will be the parliament of the Independent State of Scotland. All Scottish bodies subordinate to the Union Parliament will come under the jurisdiction of the new Scottish Parliament, which will then be able to make all the legislative provisions that independence would require.

The task of the movement is therefore, as always, to persuade the majority to vote for independence, and to stop scratching the scabs.

Alan Croquet
Motherwell

WHAT a weekend it was for Labour! While Starmer remains MIA (because this future Prime Minister clearly believes that nothing should interrupt his well-deserved vacation), Broon and Rayner carried the Union Flag for Labour, and how they covered it in glory!

Brown, to be fair, got off to a good start, I think, with his call for Johnson and his cronies to come together and craft an urgent crisis budget. Absolute common sense and an absolute necessity, but alas, during his Edinburgh Fringe show, he couldn’t help himself and diminished his own status by comparing Salmond to Putin! A joke that might have made his “dictator” line laugh or shrug in the past, but in today’s context it was more than offensive. Shame on you Brown!

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Rayner was then an able and willing follow-up act, which confirmed what everyone already knew, that Scotland should be denied its democratic right to hold indyref2 to save England from itself and give Labor a better chance of winning.

With a current MP in Scotland, I think the arithmetic might be beyond fantasy.

If Labor wants a future in Scotland they should defend the Union in a fair fight ie indyref2. If they don’t, maybe even Mr. “Union” Murray could be in danger.

I Easton
Glasgow