The Scottish Parliament Does Have the Right to Withdraw from the Act of Union 437


The London Supreme Court last week not only confirmed that the Westminster Parliament could overrule at will any Scottish Government legislation, irrespective of the Scotland Act and the Sewell Convention, but it also ruled that Westminster had already successfully done so, by retrospectively passing provisions in the EU (Withdrawal) Act that overruled the Bill on the same subject, within the competence of the Scottish Parliament, that had already been passed by Holyrood.

Not content with that, the London Supreme Court confirmed that London ministers may, by secondary legislation, under the Scotland Act decree laws for Scotland that are not even passed through the Westminster parliament.

Which leaves Scotland in this extraordinary situation. English MPs or English ministers in their London Parliament can, at any time, impose any legislation they choose on Scotland, overriding Scotland’s parliament and Scotland’s representation in the London parliament. Yet, under the English Votes for English Laws rules of the London Parliament introduced by the Tories in 2015, Scottish MPs cannot vote at all on matters solely affecting England.

That is plainly a situation of colonial subservience.

I am firmly of the view that the Scottish government should now move to withdraw from the Treaty of Union. Scotland’s right to self determination is inalienable. It cannot be signed away forever or restricted by past decisions.

The Independence of a country is not a matter of domestic law it is a matter of international law. The right of the Scottish Parliament to declare Independence may not be restricted by UK domestic law or by purported limitations on the powers of the Scottish Parliament. The legal position is set out very clearly here:

5.5 Consistent with this general approach, international law has not treated the legality of
the act of secession under the internal law of the predecessor State as determining the effect
of that act on the international plane. In most cases of secession, of course, the predecessor
State‟s law will not have been complied with: that is true almost as a matter of definition.

5.6 Nor is compliance with the law of the predecessor State a condition for the declaration
of independence to be recognised by third States, if other conditions for recognition are
fulfilled. The conditions do not include compliance with the internal legal requirements of
the predecessor State. Otherwise the international legality of a secession would be
predetermined by the very system of internal law called in question by the circumstances in
which the secession is occurring.

5.7 For the same reason, the constitutional authority of the seceding entity to proclaim
independence within the predecessor State is not determinative as a matter of international
law. In most if not all cases, provincial or regional authorities will lack the constitutional
authority to secede. The act of secession is not thereby excluded. Moreover, representative
institutions may legitimately act, and seek to reflect the views of their constituents, beyond
the scope of already conferred power.

That is a commendably concise and accurate description of the legal position. Of major relevance, it is the legal opinion of the Government of the United Kingdom, as submitted to the International Court of Justice in the Kosovo case. The International Court of Justice endorsed this view, so it is both established law and the opinion of the British Government that the Scottish Government has the right to declare Independence without the agreement or permission of London and completely irrespective of the London Supreme Court.

I have continually explained on this site that the legality of a Declaration of Independence is in no sense determined by the law of the metropolitan state, but is purely a matter of recognition by other countries and thus acceptance into the United Nations. The UK Government set this out plainly in response to a question from a judge in the Kosovo case:

2. As the United Kingdom stated in oral argument, international law contains no
prohibition against declarations of independence as such. 1 Whether a declaration of
independence leads to the creation of a new State by separation or secession depends
not on the fact of the declaration but on subsequent developments, notably recognition
by other States. As a general matter, an act not prohibited by international law needs
no authorization. This position holds with respect to States. It holds also with respect
to acts of individuals or groups, for international law prohibits conduct of non-State
entities only exceptionally and where expressly indicated.

As I have stressed, the SNP should now be making a massive effort to prepare other countries, especially in the EU and in the developing world, to recognise Scotland when the moment comes. There is no task more important. There is a worrying lack of activity in this area. It may currently not be possible to spend government money on sending out envoys for this task, but if personal envoys were endorsed by the First Minister they would get access and could easily be crowd funded by the Independence Movement. I am one of a number of former senior British diplomats who would happily undertake this work without pay. We should be lobbying not just the EU but every country in Africa, Asia and South America.

My preferred route to Independence is this. The Scottish Parliament should immediately legislate for a new Independence referendum. The London Government will attempt to block it. The Scottish Parliament should then convene a National Assembly of all nationally elected Scottish representatives – MSPs, MPs and MEPs. That National Assembly should declare Independence, appeal to other countries for recognition, reach agreements with the rump UK and organise a confirmatory plebiscite. That is legal, democratic and consistent with normal international practice.

There will never be a better time than now for Scotland to become an Independent, normal, nation once again. It is no time for faint hearts or haverers; we must seize the moment.


437 thoughts on “The Scottish Parliament Does Have the Right to Withdraw from the Act of Union

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  • Dungroanin

    Read my lips – actually don’t bother – let me write it so that even the ITV/BBC/Sky and their lip readers get it totally correct.

    You are a load of utter and complete ….

      • Paul Greenwood

        Who cares ? If he wants to mutter under his breath “Stupid Woman” I cannot challenge him on fact. If this is the level of “Safe Space” in the House of Commons it is time to turn it into a Teachers’ Staff Room and dispense with The Speaker and its legislative role.

        Corbyn is within his rights and should have been quite open that if a woman is “stupid” it is not a thought crime to mutter to yourself “stupid woman”. He did not say it for the microphone so there is no etiquette issue. Bercow was quite correct in his approach.

        It is clearly a Blairite Media thing to undermine Corbyn within the PLP forgetting his support is in the membership……….and I have no particular love of Corbyn, but tire of institutions being undermined by malicious smear and innuendo

        • Dungroanin

          Agreed. He should stand up and say all the names he also DIDN’t call the tories when they sit bayimg at him like demented public school boys from the Lord of the Flies.
          Bercow should start naming MP’s for what HE hears rather then being jocular, he is in his last year anyway and the tories hate him as much as they do JC & co.

  • Republicofscotland

    Okay Corbyn is useless, dithering and flip flopping at every turn on Brexit. However to listen and watch the rabid media go bananas over his throwaway and thoroughly insignificant mouthing of “Stupid Woman” you’d have thought indecisive Corbyn had killed someone in the Commons.

    I’m no fan of Corbyn but the media really are a shower of gutless dirty b*stards.

    Meanwhile the old codger of the House Dennis Skinner, spews obscenities towards the SNP, however the tosspots in the media stay stum on it.

    https://www.holyrood.com/articles/news/dennis-skinner-defends-calling-snp-mp-stewart-mcdonald-piece-sht

    The games rigged, the decks stacked, the House always wins in the end.

    • flatulence'

      “Okay Corbyn is useless, dithering and flip flopping at every turn on Brexit.”

      I respect your opinions on here, so I’m afraid this may be a case of agree to disagree, but I see this parroted a lot by people who really don’t know what they’re talking about. I’m not accusing you of not knowing what you talk about because I see a lot of your comments and you talk a lot of sense. On this though I think there is a massive campaign to discredit Corbyn and it is relentless and dark and has been seeping into the minds of the many. People who know nothing about Corbyn repeat this very same statement or refer to the Labour party as the loonies and I believe it has a lot to do with these psyops at work. I’d ask you to bear that in mind when you yourself discredit Corbyn, but you may have your own experience or motives.

      We here, reading alt media, are more awake than most. But we are not immune. We live in a dangerous time where the power of AI and social media is shaping thinking, and those at the controls are in the shadows and their motivations will not be in the interest of good people like you, or respect things like democracy. Sound like a conspiracy theory? Read all about it in The independent.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/camridge-analytica-scandal-how-facebook-works-harvesting-data-politics-trump-brexit-a8264051.html

      We all know about targeted advertising, but that is nothing compared to what can be done now, and is already in operation. They can monitor and change your mood, motivate you to vote. Or not. Do things that would be hard if not impossible to hypothesise without deep computer learning. AI finding obscure patterns in the immense data and modelling they have on us. It is a weapon and it is being used on all of us.

      • Ian

        There may well be a campaign to discredit Corbyn, and it would be surprising if there wasn’t. But that doesn’t mean he is either effective or successful as a opposition leader, particularly on brexit, where his out of step with his own party, including many, if not most, of the young people he encouraged to join. We can hear what he says for himself, not filtered through others, and it is not impressive or cogent. While there are no doubt reams of disinformation about him, that alone doesn’t get him off the hook of his own inadequacies,and the disappointment of many who would like to support an effective, crusading Labour party.

        • giyane

          At this moment of deep crisis, the Prime Minister steps into the shoes painted for her by Steve Bell as a Harlequin, and projects that clown persona onto Jeremy Corbyn. The Tories are playing a stupid game, pretending to oppose eachother into drive out all reasonable discussion. their rather limited intellects can just about sustain this bumptious schoolboy behaviour for the endless months it takes to time out and filibuster reasonable debate on leaving the EU.

          The referendum should have been a series of questions, only one of which would have been the question whether to leave the EU, another would be whether to leave the single market, a third whether to end free movement of people. As it is the Tories only asked enough questions to enable them to ignore the public and then they call it democracy.

          The tories are now threatening us with a massive hike in prices, the culling of half our edible livestock, an end to farm subsidies and a halving of the value of the pound. No doubt the rich have hedged their assets by investing outside the UK so they will gain by our vast impoverishment. Their economic power will treble as ours is reduced to a pittance. One madman yesterday called me psychotic to call what the Tories are doing a threat to the people. many politicians on both sides see it exactly that way.

          Weird how the closer you get to the raw truth the more people run away.

        • Ken Kenn

          Unfortunately for Mrs May Corbyn is not the PM.

          Before the “antics ” ( right on Tories – surely some mistake there?) May was acting as if she was tin the opposition.

          She asked him where his plan was?

          He should have replied – that she has really got one and that it so good she won’t bring it to Parliament to be voted on – possibly ever until the UK falls out of the EU.

          May is not a stupid woman – she is a dangerous PM.

          She will be the one who prevents a second referendum.

          If the Tory “rebels” in Parliament let her get away with further stalling/blackmail this will all go nowhere leading to a fall out from the EU.

          To stop that they ( and others) have to stop her.

          That means getting rid of her before 29/3/19.

          Simple as that.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Corbyn is there for the days Putin is taking a rest in terms of British Media…………

        • Jo1

          “Out of step with his own Party..”

          Really? Have you actually listened to some of the PLP when it comes to Brexit? You’ll get at least a dozen different positions, the most nervous coming from idiots like Tandy or Flint. These, along with others, have spent more than two years trying to destroy their own Party with Brexit issues very much secondary to taking out their own leader. A veritable coven!

      • SA

        I agree with you. R of S is the resident anti Corbynist. He and Reel Guid, whom I have not heard of on this blog for a while , used to have long anti-Corbyn exchanges. Sometimes it seemed that they hate Corbyn more than May.
        But people who say these things about Corbyn, including Ian below , seem to misunderstand what this vilification process is about and at the same time seem not to understand Corbyn.
        The stance that Corbyn has taken on Brexit is much more principled than is understood. It is just that he has spent more time on highlighting how the media ignore everything else in order to focus on gladiatorial contests in parliament without actually commenting on how dreadful our prime minister is. That exchange from May just before Corbyn’s mouthing showed her like a mad bull, and the horrible braying by Tory MPs shows how this has all been ignored for the sake of now falsely accusing Corbyn of sexism as they have falsely accused him of antisemitism.
        So those who attack Corbyn even mildly please note: you are being subliminally manipulated by the MSM.

        • Republicofscotland

          “The stance that Corbyn has taken on Brexit is much more principled than is understood. ”

          Good to see you have a sense of humour SA. Corbyn wants a no deal otherwise he’d be bending over backwards to stop Brexit.

          Corbyn also wants to shun the roll of PM until Brexit is dealt with, because its a poison chalice.

          Also SA if you’d bothered to read my comment properly you’d have gleaned from it that I was defending Corbyn’s position from the bias media.

          However Corbyn like May is no friend to Scotland.

          • SA

            I know that you were defending him but with the usual proviso. Anyway is it perhaps that not all the world sees things through the prism of Scottish Independence?

          • ADKC

            Corbyn is one of the very few options that Scotland have in terms of having another independence vote, because he will listen to and respect people’s views. If Scottish people really want independence, then Corbyn is the only foreseeable Prime Minister who won’t actively prevent independence.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Theresa May treats the opposition, and therefore the house, and therefore the public with contempt when she refuses to answer direct questions and instead engages in ridiculous, inane, juvenile, and banal pre-scripted responses designed to appeal to the corporate media.

      There are countless examples on Youtube of May openly laughing at opposition members when they draw attention to the misery, suffering and injustices felt by millions in this country as a direct consequence of her and her governments policies, and this is the woman who engineered a policy called ‘hostile environment’ and who was the architect of the Windrush scandal. This is the woman who leads a government that was found to be in contempt of parliament.

      This is a woman who is totally disconnected with reality as evidenced by her recent perception of reality following her failed mission to Brussels to ‘renegotiate’ her failed deal, a perception which was shared by not one single observant human being. This is a woman who recently suggested that holding a vote on Brexit (despite recent polls showing a majority in favour) would ‘irreparably’ damage democracy.

      This is the same woman who was affronted in Brussels because she felt she had been called nebulous. This is the same woman who stormed out the chamber after Corbyn tabled his no-confidence motion. This is the same woman who can be seen sitting on the benches after Corbyn’s comment brooding as if she’s just been the victim of street crime. I think there is a serious case to question her mental function/capacity to do her job; she is sociopathically insensitive to others, she is delusional to the extent that she is a fantasist and she is hyper-sensitive to the most insignificant criticism.

      In other news today the Home Secretary stated that “no one is above the law”.
      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/02/mi5-agents-are-allowed-to-commit-in-uk-government-reveals

      The country is doomed.

  • Sharp Ears

    Q. Where is Luke Harding??????

    Guardian challenged over ‘fake’ Assange & Manafort story, as Luke Harding goes AWOL
    Leading journalists have called out the Guardian for not retracting their story that claimed Wikileaks’ Julian Assange met with ex-Donald Trump operative Paul Manafort despite a lack of evidence to support the claims.
    Dec 19, 2018 15:42

    https://www.rt.com/uk/446873-guardian-assange-manafort-harding/

  • Samuel Flannigan

    Fabulous. This is music to my ears. I could not have figured out what we were not doing Indy2. Westminster is playing into our hands. Thanks for your hard work.

  • Jack

    Is the Integrity initiative triggered on Corbyn-row now?

    Funny,if Theresa May said “stupid man” about Corbyn, no one would care.
    Regardless, ridiculous, but that is what media focus on today..

    • laguerre

      It’s all about language. “man” is supposed to include women, every human, but “woman” is exclusive. We need more appropriate language.

      • giyane

        very few women are stupid in my experience, but that is why it is so extraordinary that our prime Minister should turn out to be so. A good example of male stupidity was the Attorney General turning on Falstaffian british bluster in order to evade his responsibility to explain the legal consequences of Brexit.
        That was a lawyer pretending to be a fool in order to avoid telling the truth to the nation, which he is paid to do.

        Mrs May has pretended from the first to be a fool, a kind of Falstaffian british male bluster that she was unable to understand the meaning of leaving the EU except in the light of racism against foreigners.
        Of course as an intelligent woman she knows exactly what the referendum meant, viz that we do not wish to be polticically connected to the EU. She knows that the British people are not racist, even if the BBC scours the countryside to find the rare exception and put it in the news.

        Calling a spade a spade is always a good idea and today Jeremy Corbyn did so. Mrs may has pretended to be stupid for more than two years, leading the country down a blind alley so that her party can revise the entire legislature in line with extreme right wing ideas. We have been hoping for two years that she would get tired of playing this ridiculous charade with us, but she has now told us we are going to have to edure it far another month, leaving zero time for her to lift this theatrical harlequinade of ignorance and disrespect to the intelligence of the country.

        Then she projects her silly game onto Jeremy Corbyn by introducing the word pantomime.
        This is a form of politics of stupidity many modern women do, and political males try to copy.
        Faced with these outrageous taunts, the utterly patient and sagacious Jeremy Corbyn’s only reaction is to mouth “stupid woman “. Mrs may flew off the handle in public in brussels when Juncker used a pejorative word. She was instantly incensed a took it personally.

        Look how much more professionally and patiently the elder statesman, soon to be Prime Minister , played his cards. When are they going to take this tiresome woman away?

        • giyane

          Here’s an example of a man being stupid. I was putting in an air conditioning unit for a private house and I notice some huge cables feeding a very powerful array of lighting. I instantly thought of filming and combined with the air con, pornography. So I asked the owner what the lights were for. ” I don’t know, I don’t know ” he replied.

          The Tories know exactly where Brexit is going and have planned it for years in advance. they will return laws from brussels in a form that blows a hole in all our historical freedoms from the time of Magna Carta, to the time of the EU. having reduced our liberties to zero we will be be utterly enslaved by the ALT Right of the Tory party. We will be enslaved into war, as Hitler did to the German people. Their last word will be that we voted for Nazism in 2016.and they delivered what we asked for.

          mrs may is a splendidly stupid woman if she thinks the british people are so easily deceived.
          thank God we have a man of integrity leading the opposition who has the patience to stop her.
          His only offence so far to mouth the truth we are all too polite to say.

          • Molloy

            .

            Brilliant, G. Brilliant.

            “ A good example of male stupidity was the Attorney General turning on Falstaffian british bluster in order to evade his responsibility to explain the legal consequences of Brexit.
            That was a lawyer pretending to be a fool in order to avoid telling the truth to the nation, which he is paid to do.”

            What a plague and grotesquerie the AG and it’s parasites are!!

            .

      • Paul Greenwood

        Not true. “Man” in itself maybe but not when prefixed with an adjective which makes it specific.

        To help you I append Wikipedia…….
        “The spelling of “woman” in English has progressed over the past millennium from wīfmann[2] to wīmmann to wumman, and finally, the modern spelling woman.[3] In Old English, wīfmann meant “female human”, whereas wēr meant “male human”. Mann or monn had a gender-neutral meaning of “human”, corresponding to Modern English “person” or “someone”; however, subsequent to the Norman Conquest, man began to be used more in reference to “male human”, and by the late 13th century had begun to eclipse usage of the older term wēr.[4] The medial labial consonants f and m in wīfmann coalesced into the modern form “woman”, while the initial element wīf, which meant “female”, underwent semantic narrowing to the sense of a married woman (“wife”).”

      • Jack

        Laguerre
        Thas some potical correct drivel, apparently “a man” could be slammed as stupid but not a “woman”. Dont fall for it.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I think useless [email protected] would have been more appropriate, but that applies to almost all of them in Westminster. There has never been such a shower of sh1t, in what is supposed to be the longest historical current example to the world of Democracy.

    They should all be ashamed of themselves because I think they are all completely disreputable. None of them tell the truth about anything important, and they are all lacking in the very basis of the concept of integrity.

    They are a disgrace, to the human race. Do not vote for any of them.

    Years ago, both my kids convinced me. Do not vote for any of these useless people.

    I have only relented once since, and that was only because I like Jeremy Corbyn, because he is a decent man

    Tony.

    • SA

      Tony
      “…..supposed to be the longest historical current example to the world of Democracy.”
      Supposed to be is right. The HoP is elected by us but the government is appointed by the queen. The government acts through powers devolved from the queen. The Lords are appointed through a system of favours also going back to the queen. The queen is the head of the church and the army.
      So I say to you that all we do in this democracy is to elect members of a public debating society who often become so narcissistic that they forget that they are our servants not our masters, and leave the governing to HMG. This is truly sham democracy.

  • Bill Boggia

    Nicola was giving Corbyn a hard time for not jumping at a no confidence vote last week – and thereby missing the moment. Let’s hope she doesn’t miss the moment as well.

  • Dungroanin

    Couple of meditations on the day.

    1. They really hate JC, the tories more then nulabists, because they are having to stay staked and bound on their horses, to deliver the next stage of the neocon/lib project, when it was supposed to be their pendulum swinging, two-party one master, colleagues turn to stick it to the country, like Blair/Brown did. May hates him so much she can’t look at him or address him civily. It is his fault she can’t go off and enjoy her zillions. The bosses know any change of PM would lead to a clamour for a GE. It is physically damaging for her, she is ageing faster by the day.

    2. Potus has insisted that the US forces (who aren’t really supposed to be there) move as was planned months ago. He is shitting on another of the neocon mobsters at the State Department. He has in effect performed a US version of pantomime farce and yanked down Boltons pants on the worlds stage. Is the tache going to walk or wait to be twattered out of the building like the last one. Looks like Donald still has his trousers on!

    • Paul Greenwood

      Trump will withdraw US forces so they do not have to fight Turkish troops in Manjib. However CIA will simply send them back as “Contractors” to sit alongside British SAS types run by MI6. If the USAF ceases overflying Syria that will open up RAF planes to S-300 missiles and Trump can point out how Eurofighter is a bad buy for Saudi.

      Probably Gavin should be reflecting on how many operatives UK has in Ukraine and what happens if US decides they are “superfluous to requirements”. Becoming embroiled in Ukraine could be the undoing of the British State

  • SA

    So now that Trump has announced the start of withdrawal of troops from Syria, the Guardian and the MOD are waging another campaign to keep US troops illegally in Syria. Last time this happened Trump ended up bombing Syrian installations. Now the British Government is admitting to also having , together with France, that they have a small number of special forces, also illegally in Syria and they know that ISIS is not defeated after all these forces being there for years.
    Now it is a well known fact that the turning point regarding the decline of DAESH was September 2015 when Russia intervened by first bombing the oil convoysof ISIS transporting oil stolen from Iraq and Syria to be sold in Turkey and beyond. This was followed by the slow rollback of DAESH by the SAA with the help of Iran and Hezbullah and of course the RuAF until all territories west of the Euphrates were liberated. At the same time the US decided to start fighting DAESH for no other reason than to stop the SAA from recovering areas between the Euphrates and the Iraq border.
    All of this was completely ignored in various articles by the Guardian. In one by Martin Chulov there is no mention whatsoever Of Russia or the SG government.
    It looks that the endgame in Syria is near and that Astana is where it will be settled rather than Geneva or Vienna. The British Goverment and the USG have not in the least been involved in the peace process but it seems that our government is more interested in continuing the war against Syria than in peace.

    • Blunderbuss

      “Gatwick Airport said police did not want to shoot the drones down because of the risk from stray bullets”. Who is going to be hit by the stray bullets? The birds?

      • Blunderbuss

        Presumably the drones are radio-controlled. I find it hard to believe that police can’t locate the source of the radio transmission. Is this another spoof to distract us from Brexit?

        • Ken Kenn

          Interesting isn’t it?

          I always thought art mimicked life.

          Two days two stories of drones.

          Mrs may droning on in Parliament yesterday like a faulty Alexa and an idiot who appears to have a squadron of drones possibly because £8 for a pint at the airport was an affront to his dignity.

          One for Simon Caulder at the BBC I think. Settle the matter Simon.

          There are drones on the TV at the moment but we’ll leave smug JoCo and company out of this for now.

          Let’s hope those pesky Russkies don’t have real crack at the UK otherwise we are all in trouble with our current lot of politicians and commentators holding sway.

          Fact is for me is that May doesn’t need a visit from the Men ( sexist!) in Grey Suits she needs a visit from persons ( non sexist remark there) in white coats.

          And while they are at there are many of her colleagues who need taking away at the same time.

          A total and utter Fawlty Towers of a government.

          The media meanwhile have Corbyn as a Brexiter – an anti semite – a mysogynist – a deliberately bad dresser at public functions and they probably think that he loves nuke missiles really and willfully burns tyres on his allotment at night in secret because he actually doesn’t actually believe climate change warnings.

          Oh he also hates fluffy kittens and hates kids.

          Meanwhile May in her dreams says we are running out of time and heading towards a no deal and although the dream in her head is that MPs will vote for her deal eventually – say the 28/3/19?

          Now that is delusional.

    • Sharp Ears

      It’s being allowed to further destabilize us.

      As if, with all the tech available now, a drone or drones could not be taken out.

  • Michael MacGregor

    Havenae looked at yer blog for a while Craig. You will be aware that near exactly 100 years ago that Ireland voted openly, peacefully and democratically for her independence…and Britain ignored the overwhelming poll, dispersed the assembly of the Dail, the Irish parliament and jailed or drove underground the Deputies to that body. Why would British imperialism act any differently today in Scotland?

  • Sharp Ears

    Soubry who is a staunch Remainer, has complained to the police about being jostled by what are described as ‘far right supporters’.

    The Conservative MP Anna Soubry has urged police to clamp down on “far-right” protesters outside parliament after a group of pro-Brexit
    supporters harassed her, shouting that she was a traitor and “on the side of Adolf Hitler”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/20/anna-soubry-accosted-pro-brexit-supporters-hitler

    That happened yesterday.
    .

  • Sharp Ears

    Oops.

    Kier’s emergency rights issue taken up by only 38% of shareholders
    Banks and brokers left with losses after shares in UK construction group fall
    https://www.ft.com/content/10643dde-0426-11e9-99df-6183d3002ee1

    ‘Five British banks and brokers lost millions of pounds after they were saddled with Kier shares following a failed emergency fundraising for the construction and support services group.

    Kier said on Thursday that only 38 per cent of investors had taken up the call to bolster the business through a rights issue, though it emphasised it had secured the £250m it needed as the 64.5m new shares had been fully underwritten.

    Banks Citigroup, HSBC and Santander, along with stockbrokers Numis and Peel Hunt, underwrote the issue and had been left collectively holding about £100m worth of the new shares, according to two people familiar with the deal. They later sold the shares.

    The failed fundraising is a bigger deal for the two small brokers, the people said. Shares in Numis fell about 7 per cent on Thursday. The brokers and banks are faced off against some high-profile short sellers on the stock, led by BlackRock and Marshall Wace, which were counting on the syndicate selling out quickly, pushing down the price even more, the people close to the deal said. Almost 12 per cent of Kier stock is currently being borrowed by short sellers, according to public regulatory disclosures.

    A spokeswoman for Kier declined to comment on the banks’ handling of the rights issue.’

    Loving it when the banks and brokers do not make their usual killings.

  • Wilma Berry

    I am thinking that this is the way forward, and should be done soon, as Scotland needs Independence. We want to be strong and secure once again. We need to do it for future generations.

  • Sharp Ears

    Shades of Gulnara here.

    Azerbaijan leader’s daughters tried to buy £60m London home with offshore funds
    Purchase would have carried ‘significant risk of money laundering’, tribunal hears
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/21/azerbaijan-leaders-daughters-tried-to-buy-60m-london-home-with-offshore-funds

    ‘Prince Andrew has visited Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s president eight times in five years, with two of the visits officially described as “entirely private”. Allegations of the torture of political opponents have been made against the president, in addition to claims that he has been involved in rigging elections.

    Such has been the regularity of the Duke’s visits that local media in Azerbaijan have speculated that he has business links in the region, including a golf resort on the Caspian Sea. Buckingham Palace has, however, denied this. ‘

    Prince Andrew continues to take a close interest in Azerbaijan
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/9643532/Prince-Andrew-continues-to-take-a-close-interest-in-Azerbaijan.html

    There is an interesting set of photographs on the Wikipedia page, starting – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaijan#/media/File:Azerbaijan_Republic_map.png

  • Alan

    Why on earth would Labour/LibDem/Tories turn up at any such National Assembly where the SNP has a majority? Their attendance would only bring legitimacy to actions which they are thoroughly opposed. They would boycott a National Assembly – and then where would it be? Left with 100 SNP and 7 Green parliamentarians. The Holyrood Parliament has far more established legitimacy in the eyes of most.

    Your proposal seems to be nothing more than an attempt to bypass democracy and deliver Scottish independence whether the majority of Scots want it or not. I find it very difficult to see how this would possibly result in increased popular support for independence.

    • Alf Baird

      The referendums of 2014 and 2016 could hardly be described as democratic. In any event, the ECJ has just ruled that the 2016 Brexit referendum decision can be ignored by the UK parliament as it wishes. I suspect had Yes won in 2014 Westminster would have done the same, if not worse.

  • Alf Baird

    Scotland’s elected representatives might also seek to obtain via crowdfunding, as they recently did with Brexit Art 50, a Scottish (and perhaps ECJ) court decision on the legality of a majority of Scotland’s elected representatives unilaterally withdrawing Scotland from the UK and revoking the UK treaty of union.

    • JohninMK

      I would wish Scotland well as an independent country but surely without a clear majority vote by the people it would just result in a political mess like Brexit.

      • Alf Baird

        The referendum was not democratic, and a Yes vote would never be respected anyway, and in any event as the ECJ ruling implies a referendum is not a legal requirement for a signatory party (to a treaty) not to unilaterally revoke a treaty. Moreover half of No voters are not Scottish.

  • ray

    Maybe the Tories have realised they can do nothing to stop Corbyn but a hard Brexit would mean Scotland’s departure and England under permanent Tory control, ending up as some little fascist off shore island, a quirk of fate and history. Many normal and decent people would leave the country making it even easier to be a one party state with no employment safety or social policy with everything privatised. A polarised society of stinking rich and wretched poor – a Troy dream.

  • Dot Jessiman

    Not so much a comment as a question. Could they, would they block funds either really or illegally and if so what action would be open to us.? Would recourse to the Treaty rather than the Act, of Union offer a better path?

  • Not

    Independence and recognition of sovereignty are two different creatures, but ones that obviously inter-relate.

    Independence means to manage one’s survival free from external interference or help. In other words in this case a societal system functioning to the extent it is self surporting. I don’t think Scotland would fail in that respect, maybe be the poorer or better off, but not fail. However a modern societal system relies on a certain amount of organisation, it does not have to, but the alternatives are maybe not acceptable to most. This organisation might be called law and governance. The independence you are really talking about hence is home rule, and home law – home organisation. Accompanying this is the use of force and coercion, that is majority rule for you. That is redistributive policy, that is also criminal law. That is what sovereignty is constructed of, the legitimised use of force. Unfortunately, and even if it is considered the lesser bad, or more reasoned and moderate than say anarchy or feudalism. To achieve this legitimate use of force, you are asking for another to withdraw theirs. This may happen in various ways. By petition, by international pressure, by protest or strike, or by war.

    So the question of sovereignty being achieved by international recognition is in fact secondary, an option of a route. We know that supra-legal entities such as the UN are not sovereign in themselves, but represent a club. They have not the power to define a nation as sovereign, but the recognition helps any would be country to integrate into the international order, of whatever kind it may be.

    A person may declare the whole world theirs. He may think everyone else is merely fooling themselves in their own beliefs. Would he be wrong? Well no, however at some point his path or actions will be contested by another. At that point you have argument and possibly conflict, conflict of ownership or use, conflict of ideas, and ultimately maybe destructive conflict by force, if there is no agreed resolution to the contest.

    That is what sovereignty is in real terms.

    That you have the written or agreed respect of a majority, of other nations, is a relief or a support. However as with being member of the UK, even that circumstance will prove temporary in the greater picture, in the greater timescale. Who is to say what any person’s, or any society’s route should be though, without first asking them and respecting their choice.

    That is what borders are for.

    • ADKC

      I thought this was an excellent post.

      I would add that the implication of gaining independence “by petition” is that it is granted by the dominant (e.g. colonial) power. There are precious few examples of independence being granted without significant conflict, or other factors coming into play (i.e. independence is rarely, if ever, granted freely).

      The sad truth is that the independence referendum was only allowed because the UK had absolute confidence that the Scottish people would vote to stay part of the UK. The fact that the vote was so close (and could have been lost) was not what the ruling elite expected. I doubt the UK have any desire to allow a 2nd referendum and I would expect that the UK will work slowly and methodically to undermine the powers and legitimacy of Scottish institutions to make a legitimate 2nd independence referendum impossible.

      Many people on this post fail to appreciate the uphill battle they are facing and the many years of hard work that will be required by a huge number of people if independence is to be achieved.

  • Sue Basker

    Well, there will be at least 27 countries recognising Scotland as an independent state as soon as the opportunity is there.

  • Willie Wilson

    Good thinking, Craig. The diplomatic preparations you describe could be started now without committing the SG. I believe the polls will be moving in our favour very soon, then Nicola can blow the whistle.

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