Friday, October 27, 2017

Now is a very odd time to be claiming that the division of powers between the UK and Scotland is "clear-cut"

There's an article on the BBC website that attempts to explain the system of autonomy in Catalonia - ie. the one that Madrid is today trying to sweep away and replace with a puppet regime.  Unfortunately, however, the article makes a comparison with devolution in Scotland that is astonishingly misconceived in the light of recent events...

"The division of powers between the central government in Madrid and the regional government in Barcelona is not as clear cut as it is in some other countries with devolved authorities such as Germany or the UK.  In the UK, for example, the government in Westminster cannot interfere in Scottish education policy because education is fully devolved."

Oh really?  Agriculture and fisheries are "fully devolved" in Scotland, and yet the UK government are doing a remarkably convincing impersonation of a group of people who think and know that they have the legal right to interfere with Scottish agriculture and fisheries to their heart's content under the cover of a post-Brexit power grab.  The reason?  First of all, the Scotland Act stresses that none of its provisions prevent the UK parliament from "legislating for Scotland".  The only constraint on Westminster legislating on devolved matters is the informal Sewel Convention, which was supposed to have been put on a statutory basis as part of the implementation of "The Vow".  However, earlier this year the UK government successfully argued at the Supreme Court that the whole thing was a con-trick and that Sewel remains legally unenforceable.

Secondly, the Scotland Act specifies that 'the constitution' is reserved to Westminster - an extremely broad category that naturally includes the Scotland Act itself.  So Westminster can simply rip up or modify the devolved settlement at its whim - which is exactly what it is currently attempting to do by means of the Great Repeal Bill.  The only conceivable constraint on that process is Sewel, which is legally worthless (see above).

As I've conceded before, the UK does have a good story to tell in the sense that it's extremely unlikely that a violent Spanish-style crackdown would ever be launched against an exercise in Scottish self-determination.  But the idea that Scotland has some sort of clear-cut legal protection that Catalonia lacks is an absolute fairy-tale.

22 comments:

  1. Sewel Convention - Lord Keen Scottish Select Committee this week rementioned the word "normal" David Mundell took 2 secs to intervine

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  2. ' extremely unlikely that a violent Spanish-style crackdown would ever be launched against an exercise in Scottish self-determination.'

    Are you so sure? Its within living memory that the British government had troops on the streets in Northern Ireland to suppress dissent and maintain control. Their track record previous to that is pretty woeful too.

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    1. The Troops were called into NI by Gentleman Jim Callaghan at the request of Gerry Fitt MP... Fitt although a Catholic was not a fundamentalist like the scum PIRA who want an all Ireland where non Catholics are encouraged to move out.

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  3. I agree with Anonymous on this. I believe that the UK government will use any means within its power to suppress Scottish independence. I was in the Fife coalfields in 84/5 and saw what they were willing to do then. The UK government is every bit as ruthless and potentially violent as the Spanish government.

    You may not want to think that, but it is so. I find it difficult to understand why you would not believe that. The historical record tells you so.

    We in Scotland who want independence nee to be aware of what is already being deployed against us, and of what will be. good luck with your wishful thinking, James.

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  4. Tear up our copy of the treaty of the union of parliaments and pull out all Scottish M Ps from westminster.

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    1. Good idea then close down Holyrood and the savings go towards public services,
      Less politicians is good.

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    2. We need more independent free thinkers like Lord Foulkes in the house of Lords

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  5. Absolutely correct and any weasel words like normally, expected, intended, etc. etc. in ANY documentation looking for legislative consent MUST result in no consent being given. The BBC really needs to get up to speed on this stuff and stop spouting rubbish.

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  6. I'm getting increasingly irritated (but not surprised) at the way the BBC is reporting the result. They always give the 90% YES and 43% turnout but forget to mention the hundreds of thousands of confiscated votes (except on one story about two days after the vote) more galling is that they are now following the stories with this line "Catalans are divided on the question of independence - an opinion poll earlier this year said 41% were in favour and 49% were opposed to independence." - like there are no polls showing the opposite picture!

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  7. The anti-EU sentiment (that is justifiably) coming to the fore on the back of this will also make getting our own independence more challenging in other ways, especially in the post Brexit environment. Making a big case about leaving the UK / staying in the EU won't be as popular as it was.

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  8. The Catalan and Jock fascists are not for independence they want the unelected EU fascists to dictate political and economic policy to them...The Catalan fascists hate the Spanish, the Jocko fascists hate the English...

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  9. Despite what the BBC piece says, education isn't devolved. Education is, has been and remains a matter reserved to Scotland. It has always been so and remained so, quite specifically, after the Act of Union. Westminster cannot devolve something back to Scotland that was never conceded to them in the first place.

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    1. There was an 1918 education act that was imposed on Scotland.. Dividing the Scots on religious grounds.

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    2. We are all good Christians there is no division in Scotland over religion. The only division is you Nat sis

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    3. Britnat ultra

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  10. If you want to believe in an imaginary, cloud dwelling, superbeing, knock yourself out.

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  11. Scottish Nat sis to end religious schools and Jock Tampons weans will all be equal! Aye.

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    1. GIRUY. We are everwhere Anon! We know which public park you troll at night. And your favourite sheep dolly works for us. BAAAA
      We even fiddled the Jocko referendum.
      Reslie Luddock old gray skull could be our agent.
      We are the decendents of William and Robert Cecil we are everywhere.

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