House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution Produces Report on Legality of Scottish Referendum.

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution has published a report on the legal issues raised by the proposed referendum on Scottish Independence.  One of the issues they discuss is the capacity of the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum without the support of the Westminster Parliament.  They conclude:

“An authoritative determination of the legal issues analysed in this chapter could be given only by the courts. Having considered the matter in detail, we are of the clear view that the legal analysis offered by the UK Government is correct. Without amendment, the Scotland Act 1998 confers no legislative power on the Scottish Parliament to pass an Act purporting to authorise a referendum about independence.”  [Para. 30]

The Committee has, consequently, broadly followed the view expressed by Adam Tomkins, set out in a post on this blog.   The contrary argument – holding that such a referendum would be lawful – was advanced by a number of academics in a group post, which can also be read on this blog.