Scottish/Northern Irish Forced Ejection From EU – Update

The Scots have been busy over the last three days. Headline from BBC today:

Nicola Sturgeon says MSPs at Holyrood could veto Brexit

And quite right too. As I said in my previous post, it is plain wrong that a substantially self-governing country should be forced against their democratically expressed will into such a fundamental constitutional change, because of their membership of the United Kingdom.

I’ve had various discussions about this since I wrote the post below, and for the record, before devolution, this would have been fair game. Devolution changes things however.

Also, there have been numerous jibes at Scotland on social media about wanting independence from one Union (UK), only to regain membership of a much larger union (EU).

To those spouting this rubbish, the analogy does not work.

The UK is a small country, and a small trading partner. The European Union is over 40 times the size of the UK. Admittedly, the UK is, per capita, wealthier than the EU, but as a trading partner, there is still no competition between the UK and the EU, with the UK’s 2016 nominal GDP amounting to only 17% (2016 – EU: $16.5 trillion; UK: $2.8 trillion) of that of the EU as a whole.

Let’s hope Scotland and Northern Ireland continue their stand. Many have used the words “justice” and “democracy” to describe the EU referendum, but there has been neither for two of the four countries – exactly half – of the United Kingdom.

Thanks for reading.

 

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Scotland & N. Ireland, in… United Kingdom, out… Fair?

The fundamental basis of the referendum of the 23rd June 2016, was both misconceived and unsound. The result undermines the powers devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland by the United Kingdom, and their ability to exercise those powers.

Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act (1998) defines those policy areas which are “reserved” to the UK Parliament, leaving other matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

The Northern Ireland Act (1998) gives the Northern Ireland Assembly control over “transferred” matters. Schedules 2 & 3 of the Northern Ireland Act specify matters that are “excepted” and “reserved” respectively, both categories comprising matters reserved to the UK Parliament. Any matters not included in Schedules 2 & 3 are devolved.

Consequently matters devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland include, but are not limited to:

  • Health and Social Services;
  • Education;
  • Agriculture;
  • Social Security;
  • Housing;
  • Economic Development;
  • Local Government;
  • Environmental Issues;
  • Planning;
  • Transport;
  • Culture and Sport;
  • Justice and Policing.

The United Kingdom retains responsibility for “reserved” and “excepted” matters, which includes jurisdiction over administrative and constitutional matters, and therefore includes the EU referendum.

In the EU referendum of the 23rd June 2016, Scotland and Northern Ireland both overwhelmingly voted to remain in the European Union (Scotland 62%; Northern Ireland 55.8%). Despite this, both Scotland and Northern Ireland are to follow the result of the UK referendum, and leave the European Union.

There is a fundamental conflict between the extensive powers devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the decision forced on them by the United Kingdom as a whole, which renders their ejection from the European Union unfair, unconstitutional and undemocratic. The result undermines the powers given to those countries, the entire basis of the Scotland and Northern Ireland Acts, and those countries’ abilities to enact the policy devolved to them by the United Kingdom.

The result of the referendum of the 23rd June 2016 is therefore unsound, and should be disregarded, and a second referendum should instead be held, which acknowledges the significant self-governance of these two countries, and therefore their right to decide their membership of the European Union, and therefore their own future.

If you agree, please share.

Thanks for reading.