UK Constitutional Law Association

affiliated to the International Association of Constitutional Law

News: House of Lords Constitution Committee Report on Scottish Independence

The House of Lords Constitution Committee has produced a report on the consequences of a yes vote in the Scottish Referendum. The report addresses a number of the question considered in an earlier post on this blog. In particular, it examines the role of Scottish MPs and Lords in a post-referendum Parliament, and considers the constitutional mechanics of independence negotiations. The report also considers the principles under which the assets and liabilities of the United Kingdom would be divided after independence.

2 comments on “News: House of Lords Constitution Committee Report on Scottish Independence

  1. Pingback: Celtic language and culture news | OC Comix

  2. John Hartigan
    July 7, 2014

    Whilst the referendum is technically legal, this is on the basis that Parliament is able to legislate as it sees fit (within the limits of European Law). However, all debate as far as I can see has ignored the validity of the UK Parliament passing the referendum legislation of such constitutional magnitude when it had no mandate to do so.

    Problem 1: In modern times, all significant constitutional change has required a democratic mandate either from manifesto pledges in a general election or specific referenda. This was the case with devolution (which I strongly support), PR and, if the Tories win next year, Europe In/Out.

    As the independence issue arose after the 2010 general election, only the 7 SNP MPs can have any claim to have a mandate to legislate on Scottish independence. The general election manifestos of the major UK parties are silent on Scottish independence. As a result, the electorates in Northern Ireland, Wales and England have been disenfranchised on this issue without their consent.

    Problem 2: As wonderful as I think we are, Great Britain is so named because of geography rather than reputation. If Scotland says “Yes”, then the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will need to be re-named excluding “Great Britain” or risk living in denial.

    Problem 3: The UK Government will be bound by the results of a “Yes” vote, but why would the UK electorate feel bound when they were excluded from the process without their consent?

    I am not a lawyer, but shouldn’t uncertainty over the validity of the referendum be removed? To continue to ignore this inconvenient truth seems grossly unfair on the Scottish voters.

    The UK Parliament acted as Dr Zhivago said to the Commissar, ” that gives you the power, it doesn’t give you the right”. There is now an e-petition that seeks to validate the referendum.

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This entry was posted on May 16, 2014 by in Scotland and tagged , .

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