Tendentious and outrageous – Nicola Sturgeon’s statement on the Article 50 supreme court case

This is the first minister’s statement today about why Scotland is seeking to be represented in the supreme court case about the role of parliament (the parliament, not Scotland’s devolved parliament) in triggering Article 50 (full press release here). It is so tendentious and so wrong it deserves a peremptory response. Here’s mine. Her words in italics, mine in CAPITALS.

The Scottish Government is clear that triggering Article 50 will directly affect devolved interests and rights in Scotland. BUT THE MEANS OF TRIGGERING IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A DEVOLVED ADMINISTRATION. SNP MPs IN THE COMMONS ARE THE CHANNEL TO EXPRESS ANY VIEW.

And triggering Article 50 will inevitably deprive Scottish people and Scottish businesses of rights and freedoms which they currently enjoy. ANY RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS ARE BRITISH RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, NOT SCOTTISH.

It simply cannot be right that those rights can be removed by the UK Government on the say-so of a Prime Minister without parliamentary debate, scrutiny or consent. I CAN ACCEPT THAT BUT THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT HAS NO ROLE IN THE QUESTION. ITS RESOLUTION IS A MATTER FOR UK INSTITUTIONS ONLY.

So legislation should be required at Westminster and the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before Article 50 is triggered. YES RE. AN APPROPRIATE DECISION BY THE UK PARLIAMENT (IN MY VIEW). BUT NO CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS EXISTS FOR A DEVOLVED (THE CLUE’S IN THE WORD) ADMINISTRATION TO HAVE A VETO. WHAT NEXT? SCOTTISH COUNCILS TO VETO THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S BUDGET?

Let me be clear – I recognise and respect the right of England and Wales to leave the European Union. WEASEL WORDS – THE VOTE WAS A UK VOTE, NOT THREE SEPARATE VOTES FOR CONSTITUENT PARTS OF THE ONE COUNTRY.

This is not an attempt to veto that process. AS THEY SAY IN THE CLASSICS ‘AYE, THAT’S RIGHT.’

But the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland and the national Parliament of Scotland cannot be brushed aside as if they do not matter. WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE DEMOCRATIC WISHES IN 2014? OUTRAGEOUS.

The Prime Minister said that on June 23 people across the UK had voted with, in her words, “emphatic clarity” when they voted by a margin of 4 points to leave the EU. The margin for remain in Scotland was 24 points: a far more emphatic and clear result. WHERE DOES THE FIRST MINISTER DRAW THE LINE OF EMPHATIC CLARITY’? CLEARLY NOT 4%. WOULD 10% DO?

So the Prime Minister needs to live up to her promise to treat Scotland as an equal partner in the United Kingdom and listen to the will of the people of Scotland. NONSENSE. THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE. A DEVOLVED ADMINISTRATION CANNOT BE AN EQUAL PARTNER. THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE DID NOT HAVE A SINGLE WILL, SOME VOTED ONE WAY, SOME THE OTHER.

They say on social media that capital letters mean a writer is shouting. Correct.

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12 Responses to Tendentious and outrageous – Nicola Sturgeon’s statement on the Article 50 supreme court case

  1. Alec says:

    Richard Lochhead, MSP for Moray, unlike many of his colleagues, is forthcoming in how he voted in the ref which he enjoined constituents to choose Remain. He did, but added his sympathy for fishing communities in an area which was 123 votes short of Leave.

    It all will end in tears for Elsie.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Shona says:

    Ms Sturgeon is behaving as if Scotland is independent. It is the SNP ‘drip drip’ tactic – keep pushing the boundaries.
    Is it not the case (and what I don’t understand) is that if ‘Yes’ had won in 2014, then Scotland would be out of the EU. If she won a second indiref. then Scotland would again be out of the EU? So what is her problem?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lulu says:

    I share your anger. I voted for the UK to remain in the EU. If she actually cared a toss for Scotland she would be joining forces with the City of London in trying to protect financial services and with other sectors across the UK to make the case for specific industries. But no, it’s just meaningless constitutional grandstanding from the woman. As usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brian says:

    Sturgeon is a disgrace. Sign the change.org petition to remove her as first minister

    Like

  5. wujeanty says:

    This is all just a ploy to stir up more grievance and victimhood, as any such application will be kicked out immediately because it is outwith the competence of the Scottish Parliament. They’ve probably written the press release already: ‘Scotland betrayed AGAIN as Supreme Court refuses to listen to Scotland! We are so terribly, terribly abused by the evil English.’ These people are utterly deranged.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sam Duncan says:

    “THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE DID NOT HAVE A SINGLE WILL, SOME VOTED ONE WAY, SOME THE OTHER.”

    You’ll never persuade nationalists of this obvious fact.

    Anyway…

    As I’ve been saying since all this started, the People of Scotland are so desperate to remain in the European Union that half of Glasgow couldn’t even be bothered to get up off their backsides and vote on it. We saw record turnouts in 2014, while the lowest in the entire country back in June were here in Scotland. Regardless of its merits, European unification just isn’t a particularly popular cause round these parts. When asked, those who bother to answer seem to be broadly in favour of UK membership, but that can hardly be claimed as a constitution-breaking mandate, even if the rest of Sturgeon’s argument made any sense.

    And yet again, it shows the Party’s lack of self-awareness. On the one hand, you have your Conservative Twitter correspondent the other day telling of people he canvassed turning away from the SNP, not least because of its antics on this issue over the last few months (and his party gaining two Council seats to back that assertion), while on the other you have Sturgeon busily doubling down on it all.

    They still believe their own hype.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. soapysoutar says:

    Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%201155/volume-1155-I-18232-English.pdf

    Article 70, 1(b)
    Article 70. CONSEQUENCES OF THE TERMINATION OF A TREATY
    1. Unless the treaty otherwise provides or the parties otherwise agree, the termination of a treaty under its provisions or in accordance with the present Covention:
    (a) Releases the parties from any obligation further to perform the treaty;
    (b) Does not affect any right, obligation or legal situation of the parties created
    through the execution of the treaty prior to its termination.

    Like

  8. Kininvie says:

    I’m not going to bother to rebut all your shoutings, but on point 4, the Scotland Act 2016 could not be clearer: “But it is recognised that the Parliament of the United Kingdom will not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.” That is the constitutional basis for Supreme Court intervention, and to claim it doesn’t exist is simply wrong.

    Like

    • Roger White says:

      Thanks for the comment. Yes I was ‘shouting’ – uncharacteristically – because I occasionally become weary of the confrontational tone and content of so much of what SNP politicians say. I suspect you would be unable to rebut most of my points but anything you choose to add will be published (once one comment from someone has been OKed, others appear automatically and I only ever delete abuse – which your reasoned point clearly isn’t).

      I’m not a lawyer but it strikes me that there may be scope for interpretation here. For example as this layman hears it it may not actually be legislation that is required to trigger Article 50. And I note that helpful (for the UK parliament) word ‘normally.’ I’m sure there’s an industry for lawyers in interpretation in much of this.

      Finally, you’ll note I refer nowhere to the supreme court intervention. I don’t especially welcome it but clearly it must run its course. I’m sure we’ll both await the outcome with interest.

      Thanks again. I’ll try not to ‘shout’ next time!

      Like

  9. Sturgeon deliberately and wrongly assumes the 62% of Scottish voters voted for Scotland on its own should remain, when the question on the ballot paper quite clearly asked if we wanted the, UK, to leave or remain. Scotland would be bought, sold and swallowed whole in the EU, if they would have us. She does not have a mandate to speak for “unionist remain” voters

    Like

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