The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Frustration in Parliament

Posted on January 06, 2014 by

Chapter 4 of “The Claim Of Scotland”.


“The English take the Treaty Of Union more lightly. It has even been argued by cynics that since Scotland as an independent kingdom disappeared as a result of the Treaty, there now exists no entity which can seek redress on the ground that the Treaty has been broken.”

The more things change, eh viewers?

Print Friendly

    68 to “Frustration in Parliament”

    1. Andrew Parrott says:

      Scotland Resurgent by Andrew Dewar Gibb published at Stirling in 1950 by Eneas Mackay is also very interesting!

    2. handclapping says:

      IMO not enough weight is put on the consequence of Scots Law continuing and Scots Law adhering to the Crown being subject to the will of the people. In asmuch as the people of Sotland can define who the Crown is they have the liberty to declare anybody to be the Crown and so complete the definition, or redefinition, of the Scottish State.

    3. Barontorc says:

      This is getting better as it goes on. Ken500 purports illegality is striven through virtually everything the UK Parliament and Government sets against Scotland – he may be absolutely right to do so – if that’s fact, we must seek a test case, or has there been one already? ie.,  Lord Cooper – McCormick v Lord Advocate 1953 SC 396.

    4. Murray McCallum says:

      Lots of interesting points on legal principle in this book.
      The practical implications of party politics, discipline, and personal ambition are succinctly explained by Mr. Paton back in the 1960s! I wonder what he would make of the recent posturing on the bedroom tax, or shipbuilding on the Clyde?

    5. Barontorc says:

      O/T – but oh so Topic! National Debt clock tells us the the UK debt is growing by over £5,100 each second and is currently racing over 13,000 billions of Great British Pounds!
      What have these Westminster clowns done to us?

    6. Robert Louis says:

      It could easily be stated that ‘the inconvenient truth’ of the UK is simply this, the authority which Westminster has in regard to Scotland comes ONLY from the terms of the treaty of union of 1707.  The authority of Westminster in regards to Scotland comes from no other source or document.
      As detailed by the book above, it is something which Westminster and England has chosen to ignore over and over again.  
      Indeed ,as noted in the comment above, in the judgement of McCormick Vs. Lord Adovcate 1953, SC 396 in the Court of Session in Edinburgh, this Westminster or English ignorance of constitutional differences was noted.  The limitations of the 1707 treaty were also noted, when Lord Cooper, the Lord President stated;
      “The principle of the unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle which has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law. It derives its origin from Coke and Blackstone, and was widely popularised during the nineteenth century by Bagehot and Dicey, the latter having stated the doctrine in its classic form in his Law of the Constitution.
      Considering that the Union legislation extinguished the Parliaments of Scotland and England and replaced them by a new Parliament, I have difficulty in seeing why it should have been supposed that the new Parliament of Great Britain must inherit all the peculiar characteristics of the English Parliament but none of the Scottish Parliament, as if all that happened in 1707 was that Scottish representatives were admitted to the Parliament of England. That is not what was done.”
      Westminster likes to pretend it has absolute power in Scotland, but it doesn’t. it is entirely limited by Scottish constitutional norms and the terms of the treaty of union.  That Westminster has chosen to arrogantly ignore this simple truth for over three hundred years, does not absolve it from guilt.
      The treaty of union was a treaty between two sovereign nations.  As such it is internationally recognised under the Vienna convention that such a treaty may be unilaterally ended by either party – Scotland OR England.

    7. Barontorc says:

      And there we have it Robert Louis! Who’s up for pushing this? It sure as hell won’t be BT!

    8. kininvie says:

      “…those who lack ability and ambition will in any case be ready to toe the Party line; and even if they refused to do so, their own weakness would make them ineffectual.”
      Remind you of anyone?

    9. Robert Louis says:

      Yes, Scottish unionists. 

    10. Bertie K says:

      What puzzles me in regards to this issue of Union is where or what is the get out clause?
      If upon the event of the act of Union or treaties therein having been breached by any one party can’t one or other of the parties not simply end the union?
      Does it actually NEED a referendum or could’nt scotland just say enough and walk away?

    11. handclapping says:

      @Bertie K
      Under English constitutional law if the Crown in Parliament says its ended so it is.
      Under Scots constitutional law if the will of the people is that it is ended so it is. The way one determines the will of the people is by having a referendum on that one subject

    12. Robert Louis says:

      The treaty of Union could be ended by eiher party, Scotland or England.  However, in order to gain legitimacy worldwide, a democratic mandate to do so is required.  Thus, we have a referendum.
      If there was a nightmare scenario, whereby Scotland votes YES and London said they were ignoring the result, then yes, in the last instance, with a democratic mandate from a proper referendum, there is nothing stopping the Scottish Government from ending the treaty. 
      However, in the real world, Westminster already has agreed to honour the result via the Edinburgh agreement, so such a scenario is unlikely.
      The treaty of union is simply a written agreement under international law, between two nations, Scotland and England.  

    13. Wilma Watts says:


    14. kininvie says:

      @ Bertie
      In theory that sounds OK, but in practice who is ‘Scotland’? In other words, how can a nation ‘walk away’ without determining the desire of the people to do so? Even then, how can a treaty be repealed without a nation having the power to repeal it?
      Which is why it was important, that we had the referendum, that we had the legal power to have it, and that both Scottish and rUK governments have  agreed to respect the results.
      It won’t happen again. Vote No, and we’ll be put back in our box for the next century.

    15. Robert Louis says:

      You are right, if Scots vote NO, then Westminster will make sure such a referendum can never happen again.  Interestingly, however, the anti independence brigade refuse to spell out just what is on offer, if people vote NO. 
      Newsnet Scotland has a good piece on this very subject and an SNP poll, which found that 70% of people want ‘better together’ to spell out exactly what a NO vote will mean.

    16. M4rkyboy says:

      To conclude a treaty you need a head of Government,a head of state and a secretary of state for foreign affairs.
      Unfortunately, with Treaties that include an in-perpetuity clause, they require the agreement of both parties to conclude them.
      My take on it is that a section 31 in the Scotland act devolving foreign affairs would be enough to give Scotland full-powers.
      What i am unsure of is whether the Treaty is dissolved and then we negotiate or we negotiate and then dissolve.

    17. Worth repeating that the Westminster Government’s presentation last year of the legal advice it received on the issue of independence was an eye-opener. It is an stunning document that should be mandatory reading for all Scots.
      Therein is the startling assertion that Scotland is not a country, that it was incorporated into England in 1707, and that upon that date it was “extinguished”. It ceased to be. We are then, all of us, Englishmen (and women).
      Our English Government has given this learned opinion the imprimatur of THE official reference to be consulted when dealing with matters Scottish.
      Of course one has to tie oneself in legal knots to reach these conclusions as can be witnessed in the tortured legal arguments of that learned opinion. A far simpler approach is to view the Treaty of Union for what it is – the foundation upon which the legal and political entity known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, was constructed.
      It is transparently the case that upon dissolution of the Treaty of Union, its associated enabling acts of parliaments, and any subsequent contingent INTRA-state treaties and agreements derived therefrom, two and only two SUCCESSOR states will emerge – the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England.
      This is the ONLY way Scotland and England can become free of one another. There can be no CONTINUING state since the United Kingdom of Great Britain was formed by the Union of Scotland and England (incorporating Wales). Dissolve it and the UK by definition ceases to be. It does not become “lesser” or “rUK” – it is extinguished.
      Consider again the tautology: When the Union is dissolved, the Union ceases to be.
      Should England care to form another separate and distinct union with Northern Ireland and an unincorporated Wales after the dissolution of the UK, that is up to the parties involved. They will not be able to use the title “United Kingdom”, nor fly the flag of that defunct state.

    18. creigs1707repeal says:

      From page 70:

      “Conservative ‘rationalisation’ and Socialist ‘nationalisation’ have precisely the same effect—the control of Scottish affairs slips steadily and mercilessly southwards and so does her industry and wealth.

      It should not be forgotten that there is also a Liberal Party, which has been committed to Home Rule since 1886. Unfortunately when it was in power it never found the time to pass a Home Rule Bill for Scotland. There may have been excuses for this such as the opposition in the House of Lords; but if Scotland has to postpone its hopes of self-government till the Liberla Party returns to power, the prospect is pretty bleak.”
      Truly, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

    19. creigs1707repeal says:

      @ Christian Wright – “They will not be able to use the title “United Kingdom”, nor fly the flag of that defunct state.”
      Whilst the UK effectively adopted the Union flag as its ‘national’ flag, it was created by James VI after the Union of the Crowns, not the Union of the Parliaments. As such, arguably, it can still be used by Scotland and England if we so wished.

    20. Murray McCallum says:

      Q 586. What will Scotland’s flag be and what will happen to the Union Flag?
      Scotland’s national flag will remain the Saltire or Cross of St. Andrew. It will be for the rest of the UK to decide what its flag will be. It is possible for the rest of the UK to retain the Union Flag if that is what it wants. The Union Flag, the first version of which dates from 1606 – before the political union of 1707 – could be used in Scotland as people think fit. For example, the Union Flag is flown in some Commonwealth countries along with the country’s own national flag.
      Source: Scotland’s Future

    21. Robert Louis says:

      The treaty of union can be ended by either party, as set out in the Vienna convention.  
      Christian Wright,
      I wholly agree.  The United Kingdom was formed by the treaty of union between two countries.  Upon it ending, the UK as it currently exists, will cease.  People, especially unionists like to think the situation is that of a region leaving a single country, but it isn’t.
      As pointed out by the book referenced by the Rev above, Scotland is one of two founding nations of the United Kingdom, the other was England.  The treaty of 1707 does not in any article cause either Scotland OR England to cease to exist. 

    22. Murray McCallum says:

      I am not fussed about flags.
      However, there are lots of people that are – especially the Union flag. Some Scots do see themselves as Scots + Brit. Many of these people are in the undecided category. They seem to be balancing the consequences of a ‘No’ vote against their Scottish identity / values whilst maybe not wishing to lose some of the symbols of Britain.
      Surely it’s more about mutual respect between independent countries than whatever colour of flag someone has?

    23. naebd says:

      For me, the takeaway from this chapter of the book is that rule from WM is not tailored to our best interests and never will be. What’s incredible is that Scotland survived for so long with not even a devolved Parliament, when you read what a useless, careless, almost contemptuous system of government we languished under for generations.

    24. chris says:

      1) As there is no clause dealing with what happens in event of breach of the Act (Treaty) of Union it means that any breach of the Act has no effect, i.e., there is no get out clause.
      2) Upon a yes vote this year I do not think the Act of Union will not be dissolved, instead there will be a new Act of Parliament covering independence of a part of the UK known as Scotland, following an Anglo-Scottish treaty negotiated between the Scottish and UK governments. This will enable the rUK to say that they are the continuing state. 

    25. naebd says:

      By the way, the Treaty of Union is interesting, but I cant and dont even want to place much weight on it. Why? Because even if it didn’t exist, as far as I’m concerned, we’d still have the right of self-determination as humans. Universal human rights don’t rest upon the legal interpretation of a centuries-old superseded document.

    26. Les Wilson says:

      I wonder what some of our REAL SCOT legal people think of this?. It seems to me that if you have a Union of any sort which incorporates certain agreed rules, and these rules are constantly broken. The Union could be dissolved due to the non compliance of any one of the participants who agreed to said rules. Am I wrong?

      Seems this could be done on a purely legal basis in such events being proved. Something it would be nice to know, if not yet acted upon.

    27. Murray McCallum says:

      “What’s incredible is that Scotland survived for so long with not even a devolved Parliament …”
      If you could bottle and market this sense of belonging, you could probably earn a few ‘Pibrochs’.

    28. naebd says:

      Canny mind – Is it 100 pibrochs to the hootsmon, or the other way round 🙂

    29. Bertie K says:

      Okay, there’s this couple right, say Adam & Eve. Fate deems it they shack up together because they have to live in the same house, nothig more.
      It’s not ideal and after a time they soon find they can’t stop arguing, but because they live in the same house and cannot escape each other, rather than splitting the house they decide to get married.
      In a marriage of inconvenience they find they still can’t get on. Adam takes it for granted that because he’s the male he can treat Eve as his subordinate partner.
      Soon enough Adam comes to realise Eve has a sizeable inheritance and this becomes his queue to take her house-keeping monies, help himself to whatever chunk he feels like then short changes her.
      Eve is flabbergasted but her protests go unheeded.
      As the years pass Eve becomes more and more withdrawn and her self esteem slips right down the scale, eventually she sues for divorce.

    30. naebd says:

      “The Union could be dissolved due to the non compliance of any one of the participants who agreed to said rules. Am I wrong?”
      What’s the relevance of such a possibility in reality, when there isn’t a majority (yet) for dissolving the Union and a reality where, if there was a majority, that in itself would constitute grounds for independence (universal human right of self-determination).
      How many of us here are Lawyers?? Angels dancing on the head of a pin stuff, this.

    31. Barontorc says:

      If we are left with the conclusion that legal opinion is flawed until it is tested, is it not overdue that it be tested?
      But before even coming to that stage, does it even need to be tested when the basis of the Treaty is as clear cut and laid bare, as it is here by these few comments?
      Was Tony Blair’s gaff over the Lybian ‘deal in the desert’, which asserted English Law over Scottish Law and then forced before the newly created UK Supreme Court of Appeal, not test enough to prove Scotland’s legitimacy?
      Has Scotland and its people and its riches been subject to a massive con trick over the past 300 + years? 

    32. Jingly Jangly says:

      Robbie the Pict published an excellent  booklet in the early nineties called Attempted Murder about the breaches of the Treaty of Union by our Southern Neighbours.
      Its well worth a read, Robbie is keen to get his work out to a wider public, Rev if you wish I can ask him if you can publish Attempted Murder on this site as you are doing with this book.
      Let me know.

    33. M4rkyboy says:

      @Robert Louis
      I was sure i read that in the Vienna convention but now i go back and cant find it 🙁
      I must have been mistaken.

    34. IainGraysSubwayLament says:

      Apologies for being a bit off topic but the thread is well established and is fairly interesting. – Alistair Carmichael in an interview with the Herald.
      “But can he really keep that up to September 18? “That’s my intention. Look, this is an important, exciting job, but I have other jobs as well. I’m still the MP for Orkney and Shetland. I would never want people in the Northern Isles to think that I was too busy to do the job they elected me to do.”
      Does that sound like somebody confident they are going to be kept in a job they have already proved themselves to be staggeringly incapable of doing? Hardly.
      Carmichael is an excellent asset to Yes campaign but sad to say that quote strongly hints that Carmichael might just have been given an ultimatum by Cameron and Clegg. Something likely  along the lines of either Carmichael somehow managing appear even halfway competent very soon or out the door he goes to join Michael Moore in the yellow tories dustbin of history.

    35. call me dave says:

      This book gets better and better. The writer could have written it yesterday and it would still be a fair summary of the situation.  He anticipates us on every page and highlights, using small pertinent examples, the small and larger things which irk us all and cause so much friction.
      PS: Robert Louis
      Also what you and others have posted.

    36. kininvie says:

      Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV) the international community tends to take a pragmatic rather than legalistic path when it comes to recognising Successor States. The Continuing State is conventionally  held to be the state with the biggest population/gnp etc – no matter what treaties signed in 1707 say. You can see this most obviously in the dissolution of the USSR It is almost inevitable that rUK will be held to be the continuing state & Scotland the successor state. We can argue otherwise, but it’s a fairly weak card in our hand.
      A rather stronger card is to ask what liabilities – national debt, e.g – fall on the successor state. It’s a tangled issue, but there’s some stuff worth looking at  e.g.
      …which looks at what would happen to debt if Quebec split from Canada. It’s clear that Scotland can’t just walk away from rUK liabilities – to do so would be to put itself in a position where international lenders would regard it as uncreditworthy. Notably, Ukraine barely haggled over its share of USSR liabilities, because it saw that taking on its share established its credentials as a soveriegn, creditworthy, state.
      But that is not to say that Scotland can’t bargain with rUK – especially since its position is backed by its oil reserves – to a degree that certainly constitutes a card that can be used to advantage.

    37. handclapping says:

      It is very simple. Scots Law says that the will of the people is sovereign. If we, the people, (yes just as in the USA Declaration of Independence) say Scotland should be an independent country that is it; Scotland is an independent country.
      But who would they replace him with? Ming? Charlie K?

    38. morgan mc says:

      Whilst I heartedly agree with the sentiment. If everything is a legal minefield and jurisdiction is questioned.  I wonder as to the jurisdiction of the UK government to sign any treaty that makes our Scots law subservient to other say EU law over Scots domestic affairs, business, civil and criminal. Rightly the UK supreme court breaches the Act of Union. 
      On another level Stuart Hill challenges both the UK and Holyrood over the Shetlands that has never been owned by Scotland or the UK.

    39. Jingly Jangly says:

      We will be able to barter our share of assets against our share of uk debt.
      Also according to Labour it will take 400 years for the UK to paydown its National Debt presumably that is based on the UK getting its deficit down to zero in the next ten years or so!!!. If you look at likely surplus of an Independent Scotland we could even if we took on the full share of the 1.3 Trillion UK National debt would be in a position to pay it off in around ten years, so a no brainer, pay down the deficit so that you debt is not increased above 1.3 trillion pounds in ten years or pay off all your inherited debt in 10 years.
      That’s off course if the UK debt is only 1.3 Trillion pounds some people put it at three times that!!!

    40. KOF says:

      I’ve got a pamphlet called “Scotland’s Scrap of Paper: Britain’s Broken Treaty” from The Scottish Secretariat Ltd. It’s a 1945 revised edition of one which came out in 1930. It gives the full official text of the treaty plus some interesting notes. (Breaches of treaty, etc.)
      From the pamphlet.
      “In general Scoto-English constitutional relations may be seen as a part of the most urgent world-problem of our times, to establish a system of law and government whereby imperialist aggression, whether blatant or covert, may be chastised and frustrated, so that all peoples may enjoy their national rights in security, equality and freedom.”
      As others have offered, if the Rev wants a copy for WoS, then it can certainly be scanned and emailed. 

    41. ayemachrihanish says:

      Rev,   Frustration “of” Pariament – try this…

      April 2014 – Cameron confirms (because it’s the will of the British people) that he will debate with the Scottish FM.

      June 2014 – Last Thursday of the month – the TV debate takes place.

      June 2014 – During TV debate Cameron confirms that “more powers” are coming to Holyrood beyond the Scotland Act 2015. He commits the No parties to concede more powers through an express Calman 2 Commission.

      During the debate, for this first time, he also give examples of what those powers “might be” given he can’t bind any future UK government.

      July 2014 – Last Thursday of the month – office of the PM publish list of Calman 2 “more powers” considerations. Expect full Devo-Max with bells on. Plus the sweet dulcet tone of this is why we are “better together”.

      August 21st 2014 independence referendum’s purdah period begins for the Scottish government.

      August 31st 2014 UK government ignore purdah and announce New Scotland Act 2 Legislation.
      August 31st 2014 Electoral Commission coughs and explains that the recent actions of the UK government are legitimate as they are out with the remit of the Electoral Commissions Referendum role.

      September 1st 2014 – The sweet dulcet tone of Devo-Max and this is why we are “better together” play loud and clear all the way to the 18th.

      For those that think this is fantasy??

      Just wait until April 2014 – pre Easter Break (if not before) and see Cameron confirm (because it’s the will of the British people) that he will debate with the Scottish FM asap – but obviously only as soon as his other important UK commitments allow.  

      Tick tock and Westminster set the agenda and time line…


    42. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @Morgan MC
      Nice try. Shetland is part of Scotland and the nobles from there even signed the Declaration of Arbroath. There is no danger of Scotland losing Shetland upon independence.
      As for your Forvik fellow:
      The Sovereign State of Forvik, previously referred to as the Crown Dependency of Forvik, is a self-declared micronation run by Stuart “Captain Calamity” Hill. It consists of the tiny island of Forewick Holm.
      Hill is an Englishman who settled in Shetland after being shipwrecked there in 2001 during a failed attempt to circumnavigate the British Isles
      Despite being in a row with the islands original owner – who still claims ownership – Hill unilaterally declared Forvik to be a British Crown Dependency & asserts that the matter is for the Monarch to decide.
      A spokesperson for the United Kingdom Ministry of Justice stated that under the Constitution of the United Kingdom, Forvik is part of the Shetland Islands and as such is subject to United Kingdom legislation.
      Although Hill admits that the amount of seabed he is claiming is small, he is inviting well established companies to negotiate for oil exploration rights. None have taken him up on his offer.

    43. Thistle says:


      We are going to be videoing and live streaming (if possible) the Labour for Independence Event on the 23rd from the STUC build in Glasgow the day after our event with Alan Bissett and Business for Scotland at The Glad Cafe, Shawlands, Glasgow.

      Really looking forward to this and they have great people at it so please help spread the word about this event!

      If you can help with information regarding internet access in this building please let us know.

      Scottish Independence Live Events
      liveindependence [at] gmail [dot] com

    44. mr thms says:

      # morgan mc

      “Mr Hill, who represented himself in the case, has claimed for years that Shetland is not legally part of the UK and has repeatedly tried to provoke the authorities into taking action against him. Lord Pentland dismissed Mr Hill’s claim that, because he was a Shetland resident, the courts had no authority over him.

      The judgement rejected Mr Hill’s arguments – outlined in an “analysis” of more than 70 pages – by pointing to two legal precedents setting out that after 1468 the right of sovereignty over the islands belonged to the monarchs of Scotland and later the monarchs of the United Kingdom.

      “As to the historical background, it seems to me that it must now be regarded as settled in law that Shetland forms part of the United Kingdom and lies within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court of Session,” Lord Pentland wrote.”

    45. velofello says:

      If it looks like, walks like and talks like:It is.
      Rangers FC: Name – Glasgow Rangers; Stadium – Ibrox; supporters – some 40,000 in number, arguably increased by a factor of (?) in other lands;Manager – Ally McCoist; Strip – light blue.
      Scotland: Latitude 0 to 7.5 deg West, longitude 55 to 65 North;population – + 5 million in residence, arguably a factor of ten in other lands; Manager – Alex Salmond; Strip – various multi-coloured tartans.
      We exist, Rangers exist. All the Unionist pen pushers, legislators and accountants in the world can blab away about rules and procedures..I don’t give a damn for their opinions BUT I know they care about our wealth, and I care about Scotland and her people.
      We have a right to exist.
      What was Rangers terrible sin? Why they overspent. And the UK? Approaching £1.5 trillion! Rangers were banished to the lower regions of football.Which organisation should judge the UK? Why we, the Scottish people surely?
      Footnote: Please note, I have no interest in football, or in any team.Rangers just seems a suitable example.

    46. scottish_skier says:

      On another level Stuart Hill challenges both the UK and Holyrood over the Shetlands that has never been owned by Scotland or the UK.
      I guess Shetlanders can decide that; it is way more Scottish than Edinburgh.

      (Quite incredible how non-British Scotland is).
      Also more Scottish than Aberdeen City, Argyll and Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, East Renfrewshire, Moray, Perth & Kinross, Scottish Borders and Stirling.

    47. morgan mc says:

      I suppose the Treaty of Perth in 1266 Scotland confirming Norwegian Sovereignty over Shetland which is prior to the Dec of Arbroath in 1320. Things did not change until 1469. So Arbroath is irrelevant in the discussion. Besides what is in common with a marriage dowry not being paid with Northern  Islands as the trade off and a parcel o rogues?

    48. Chic McGregor says:

      On Shetland.
      Point 1.  A recent poll there showed something like 80% were in favour of staying with Scotland.
      Point 2. Shetland was Scottish both before and after the Norse incursion.  The Norwegians will be lucky if they are not slapped with, an admittedly belated, reparation bill for their relatively short lived (in terms of the history of a people) occupation.
      Point 3.  Even if Shetland was given independence, no, even if it voted to remain in the UK and that was acknowledged, it would, as a small archipeligo on Scotland’s Continental Shelf be entitled only to a 12 mile limit.  Even if it became English, it would be regarded as an enclave of a foreign nation,.  That is how the International Law of the Sea works, as determined by UNCLOS and ultimately, if required, the ICJ.

    49. Christian Wright says:

      Murray McCallum says: “Q 586. What will Scotland’s flag be and what will happen to the Union Flag?” 

      That is the SNP Government’s view, it is not the practice in international law. 

      The Union flag is synonymous with the Union, the political and legal entity that hopefully will cease to be in 2016. The reason for prohibition on the use of that flag is the same as that for prohibition on the use of the title “United Kingdom” Post dissolution.
      it is wholly misleading for the White Paper to conflate certain countries incorporation of the Union flag in their national flag with the singular use by any successor state of the Union flag post the dissolution of that Union. 
      it is an error to think the Scottish Government’s view on this is in any way dispositive. It isn’t.

    50. john king says:

      This chapter bears out what I said before 
      the reason they’re so keen to keep hold of us is not oil (that will be a footnote)
      or because we’re so cuddly? 

      The facts are becoming clearer, when we gain independence and the books are thrown open the restitution Scotland will be able to claim will swamp the share of national debt and make the lend lease debt look like small beer, they’ll be paying us back for centuries,
      they are holding to the old Arab saying
      keep you friends close and your enemies closer,
      and make no mistake we WILL be regarded as a hostile country.

    51. Ken500 says:

      Under the Terms of the Act of Union, Westminster has no right to impose English debt on Scotland, Tax aversion through the City of London is illegal. Imposing a Barnett formula on Scotland and different tax regimes on Multinational (trade) is illegal, discriminatory tax regimes are illegal. The London Supreme Court is illegal. The decision if the London Supreme Court to block Scottish appeal to the EU court of Human Rights is illegal. English Law being imposed on Scotland is illegal.

      Scottish citizens had a right to be treated with the same rights as people in England. Scotland had the right to it’s separate legal system forever nothing could change that without a separate gov in Scotland and England negotiation. Scotland and England had a right to the same Crown, the Crown had to be Protestant. The Barnett Formula is illegal ie Scotland should be raising and spending its own taxes, it should not be subject to fiscal English Law, 1928 Universal suffrage meant Scottish votes did not count in Westminster. This broke Scottish ‘sovereign right’ guaranteed under Scottish Law. Westminster had no right to administrate Scottish affairs in secret. Westminster should not have appointed a Scottish Secretary working in Westminster interest. The Scottish Secretary should have been elected in Scotland.

      Scotland has a ‘sovereign right’ to use the £, have the Crown and EU membership until the Act of Union is dissolved and a negotiated agreed settlement has taken place. Westminster can’t stop Scotland using the £, having the Queen (Scotland’s Monarch), and cannot block Scotland’s continued negotiated membership of the EU. Spain can’t Veto Scotland negotiated continued membership of theEU. All are legal under Scottish, UK, EU, and International Law. No taxation, without representation.

      It is illegal for Westminster to take EU monies intended for Scotland i.e. Scottish farmers. Scotland should have separate Scottish representation in the EU under Scottish/UK/EU/UN and
      International Law. A ‘sovereign right’ under the terms ratified by the 1707 Act of Union. No taxation without a representation. A fundamental principle of Democracy.

    52. Elliot Bulmer says:

      “Consider again the tautology: When the Union is dissolved, the Union ceases to be.”

      That’s the clearest, most direct and most accurate statement of the situation that I have ever seen.
      (Also, can I point out how much I am enjoying the postings of this book. I first read it as a new post-grad student at Glasgow, and it opened my eyes. Really great to see it again. Thank you. )

    53. Macart says:

      @Elliot Bulmer
      Hello Mr Bulmer
      Many of us have argued for some time on a number of forums the point you have just highlighted. The ensuing roar that generally greets any such statement is quite something to behold. The general consensus from those corners being that the UK will just soldier on constitutionally as is without Scotland. I often wonder just what their reaction would be to an official release by the UK parliament as to just what their constitutional status would be minus Scotland.
      I’d certainly enjoy seeing a post on your thoughts on the issue.

    54. Richard says:

      thanks for making the PDF available.

    55. SquareHaggis says:

      Excellent info
      Oh to be a 300 year auld fly-on-the-wall.

    56. Murray McCallum says:

      Christian Wright says
      “it is wholly misleading for the White Paper to conflate certain countries incorporation of the Union flag in their national flag with the singular use by any successor state of the Union flag post the dissolution of that Union.”
      Christian, I am not a lawyer. If a pressing issue for Scotland (post a ‘Yes’ vote and negotiations) is deemed to be what colour of flag the rUK chooses to fly then I think it a waste of time. There are surely better things for us to be getting on with?

    57. Ken500 says:

      The best thing to happen in the interest of World Peace and a successful world economy is for the UK (and the US) to lose its place at the top? Table at the UN. Westminster and the US repeatedly ignore the UN Convention. They break their own Laws and think they above the Laws that they make. Causing devastation, misery, poverty and death all over the World. Amoral, undemocratic, unprincipled, criminal bullies.

    58. Elliot Bulmer says:

      I remember, some time ago, I attended a lecture where a prominent international lawyer explicated on the status of Scotland with respect to ‘the rest of the UK’ after independence. At the end of his lecture, I asked him about the Treaty of Union, and the bearing that the terms of the Treaty might have on the situation. He – I think he was German – knew nothing about it. Profound silence. The Treaty of Union did not feature in his calculations at all. It was a local, historical, footnote, quite irrelevant to the present situation.

      I mention this story because it highlights an interesting tension between the debate we hear regarding the international law position of Scotland with respect to the ‘rUK’, and the position of Scottish constitutional claims on this issue (at least, as those claims have been articulated over several decades by prominent Scottish nationalists). 

      The Scottish (nationalist) constitutional claim is that the Union was a Treaty between two sovereign states, whose statehood was united but never entirely extinguished and might be revived simply by withdrawing from the treaty. This has never been taken seriously by the British establishment or the English judiciary. In part, this is because a consequence of accepting the Scottish (nationalist) claim would be to limit the UK Parliament: it would not be a sovereign repository of legislative and constituent power, but would instead by limited by the treaty that gave birth to it.

      Of course, to insist on this claim as a matter of law would give rise to all sorts of perverse consequences in domestic matters – for example, it would be impossible to vary the number of Scottish members, or to alter the status of Scottish burghs – but that doesn’t necessarily diminish its political importance, as a moral claim. Like the Declaration of Arbroath, the Claim of Right of 1989, the 1997 referendum, and the Edinburgh Agreement, the Treaty of Union – and the idea that that Union was both limited and contractual – has a special place in Scotland’s folk-constitutional self-identity, even if this has never been received as law.

      I think that people will remember this when we come to disentangling the Union. We are not splitting off. We are not breaking away. We are withdrawing from a Treaty-based Union. When we do that, the Union ends – even if other forms of (small-u) union, which do not depend on the Treaty, such as the union of the Crowns, would continue.

      Disclaimer: All these are just my own, personal, lunch-hour opinions. I claim no particular expertise in international law and I could be wrong. I even had to buy my own lunch.

    59. Ken500 says:

      Catalonia and Quebec and the Scottish cause/case for Independence are quite different. Different histories, constitution, economic/social and political.

      To compare them is irrelevant, with considering the relevant facts. It is not comparing like with like.

      Federal systems, Provinces different rights under their respective political/system. Different Constitutions, Spain was a ‘dictatorship’, till 1975., then became a democratic monarchy. Quebec is a Province with a degree of fiscal autonomy. Catalonia (9th pop of Spain) Catalonia/Spanish gov corrupt. Quebec (8th pop of Canada) Scotland (10th of UK pop) Scotland can be out voted in Westminster. Scottish votes do not count. Quebec/Catalonia more represented? In respective Parliament?

    60. Ken500 says:

      The Agreement of the 1707 Union was for citizens to be treated equal within that Union, to have the same Crown, the Crown must always be Protestant, Share the same currency. Scotland had the right to have a separate Legal system/Church forever, these principles could never be changed unless the Union was dissolved by agreement and through agree negotiations. Under Scottish Law, citizens have the right/hold sovereignty. ‘Sovereign rights’ reside with the people ie equal. The fourth estate. The Crown, the Nobles, the Church and the people had equal rights.

      Under English Law the people are citizens of the Crown. They are subjects of the Crown, hold allegiance to the Crown and Parliament. They are subservient not equal.

    61. Barontorc says:

      Does it not strike you as somewhat strange that such a fundamentally founded Treaty of Union is still not being properly enforced by the present day ‘guardians’ of Scotland?  Scotland and England were and are two separate sovereign states brought together by bilateral and equal agreement, which is a very interesting view indeed and begs the following questions:-
      (1) What is preventing a direct enforcement of Scottish rights and the seeking of reparation to Scotland for misuse of the Treaty of Union by the English since its inception?

      (2) Will such come about when the ‘settled will’ of the Scottish people is declared following a YES referendum result?

      (3) As a separate sovereign state, under what terms of the Treaty of Union is Scotland liable for debts incurred by the Westminster government?

      (4) To what extent is the monies sent to Westminster from Scotland considered to still belong to Scotland and indeed were given either as a ‘gift’ or as a loan between sovereign states?

    62. Macart says:

      @Elliot Bulmer
      Thanks for the reply.
      Interesting. It does seem fairly significant that Westminster didn’t challenge more often over the more modern period you mention, most especially over the Claim of Right. Either didn’t want to spook the horses so soon after the 79 referendum or perhaps felt on entirely wobbly legal ground itself.
      Anyway, many thanks again and I didn’t think you’d do anything other than buy your own lunch. 😉

    63. Elliot Bulmer says:

      The problem with Westminster (Whitehall, Buckhouse, Downing St, and the whole British Establishment), as I see it, is that it just doesn’t understand Scotland, and does not really care to understand Scotland. They don’t understand that Scotland is a country, that Scotland was in a Union with England but never absorbed into it.

      I get the impression that they imagine it as sort of far-flung northern English county, afflicted with strange accents, sheep, and Rab C. Nesbitts’: a sort of Yorkshire Mark II. And in this eccentric English country, they see a marginal fringe of loonies with some silly, romantic, backward, and entirely unrealistic (and so not to be bothered about) notions of separatism.

      It’s not necessarily active malice, just a sort of blinkered ignorance, coupled with a certain smug arrogance. The local affairs of some far distant northern land full of drunken picts (“oh, and splendid shooting, you must come up to my estate sometime”) are not particularly relevant to the ‘real issues of the day’ as seen from London.

      So they didn’t understand the Claim of Right. It would have taken far too much effort, and they cannot inhabit that mental space for long enough. Heck, they don’t even understand the Edinburgh Agreement – which was a real triumph of Salmond’s diplomacy. It’s all to much hassle. There are swarms of Flying Romanians to worry about, or vast sums of money to be made by privatising some vital public service and giving all the shares to friends at very attractive prices.

      If we win this, we will do so right under their noses, and they will wake up and wonder in great astonishment at what has happened. Then they will carry on regardless, because what happens north of Oxford might as well, for all they care, happen in Timbuktu.

    64. morgan mc says:

      I’m sure Shetland being Annexed in 1669 has hee haw to do with its status. If it always belonged to Scotland why the need to Annex it?

    65. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Elliot Bulmer (4.25) – 
      ‘It’s not necessarily active malice, just a sort of blinkered ignorance, coupled with a certain smug arrogance.’
      Nicely put. And can anyone who knows the Scottish psyche identify an attitude which is more likely to get their backs up?
      On the ‘diplomatic’ qualities of Salmond, Cameron, and their respective advisers -it speaks volumes that the Edinburgh Agreement was signed with a coloured map of Scotland in the background, tastefully framed, clearly indicating the miniscule Tory presence.  Cameron and his cohorts either didn’t notice, or didn’t care, and neither is acceptable for professional politicians operating at that level.
      We can be sure Alex Salmond knew precisely what was behind his back – just as Cameron didn’t (yet again) at a tennis match some time later.

    66. Macart says:

      @Elliot Bulmer
      I think you’ve just put, very eloquently, what most of us have felt for some time. In most of my travels to various media sites there seems to be a complete lack of comprehension on the part of our neighbours as to what all the fuss is about. You are of course familiar with all the usual myths which although quite thoroughly debunked still, to this day, form the backbone of any first response from the average London media reader.
      I find it astonishing that even now, in fact especially now after the screeds of column inches dedicated to our referendum that said readerships are still so woefully ill informed. But perhaps, just perhaps this mix of ignorance and arrogance will work for the YES campaign.
      Here’s hoping. 🙂

    67. scottish_skier says:

      I’m sure Shetland being Annexed in 1669 has hee haw to do with its status. If it always belonged to Scotland why the need to Annex it?
      If it was annexed in 1669 – lets just make that assumption – isn’t it amazing how Scottish it has become in 345 years (more Scottish than many places in Scotland, including Edinburgh as per my earlier post), yet in 307 years – really little difference in time scales – Scotland has not become British particularly?
      Maybe Shetllanders like Scotland and being Scottish, but British/Britain just isn’t attractive to them and people from the Scottish mainland?
      Interesting the massive discrepancy anyway. Shetland is a remote island community with old Norse connections, yet feels strongly in majority Scottish, even more so than many mainland areas. Scotland is attached to the rest of the UK, has been part of of the UKoGB for 3 centuries, but in strong majority (75% Scottish in forced choice) doesn’t feel British.

    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top