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.