The Supreme Court Judgement and Scotland’s Colonial Status 155


London’s Supreme Court, sitting in judgement on its Scottish colony, has ruled that parts of the Scottish Government’s UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill exceed the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

The judgement is absolutely specific that the Scottish Bill breaches both the Scotland Act, the original devolution settlement, and the Tory/DUP government’s recent European Union (Withdrawal) Act, which rolled back devolution, grabbed powers from the Scottish Parliament over previously devolved areas and wrenched them back to Westminster. The Tory/DUP European Union (Withdrawal) Act Schedule 4 specified that it overruled the Scotland Act devolution settlement.

If you carefully read the judgement, especially paras 47 to 65, the Supreme Court has gone still further than ever before in saying that neither the Scotland Act nor the Sewell Convention in any way limits the power of the UK Parliament to legislate for Scotland, even in devolved areas, without any need for consent from Scottish ministers or parliament. They even go so far as to specifically state that London ministers have an untrammelled power under the Scotland Act, without needing consent from Scotland or specific further endorsement from the Westminster parliament, to impose secondary legislation on Scotland.

It is a long judgement but its heart is at para 53:

That conclusion is not altered by the other arguments advanced by the Lord Advocate. In relation to the first argument (para 47 above), a provision which made the effect of laws made by the UK Parliament for Scotland conditional on the consent of the Scottish Ministers, unless it disapplied or repealed the provision in question, would for that very reason be inconsistent with the continued recognition of its unqualified sovereignty, and therefore tantamount to an amendment of section 28(7) of the Scotland Act. In relation to the second argument (para 48 above), the question before the court is whether, if the Bill were to receive Royal Assent, section 17 would be law. If not, there would be no question of its having to be disapplied or repealed by the UK Parliament: it would be of no legal effect whatsoever (“not law”, in terms of section 29(1) of the Scotland Act). It is therefore no answer to an argument that section 17 of the Bill would be outside legislative competence, to say that it could be disapplied or repealed. In relation to the third argument (para 49 above), this submission resembles the Lord Advocate’s first argument, and for similar reasons we are unable to accept it. A provision which imposes a condition on the legal effect of laws made by the UK Parliament, in so far as they apply to Scotland, is in conflict with the continuation of its sovereign power to make laws for Scotland, and is therefore equivalent to the amendment of section 28(7) of the Scotland Act.

Having asserted that the London Parliament and Government can do anything to Scotland it wishes under its “sovereign power to make laws for Scotland”, the judgement logically asserts that the power grab contained in the EU (Withdrawal) Act was perfectly legal. As the Supreme Court said in its published explainer for the media:

What is the effect of the UK Withdrawal Act on the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament in relation to the Scottish Bill? The UK Withdrawal Act is not a reserved matter but it is protected against modification under Schedule 4 [99]. Several provisions of the Scottish Bill in whole or in part amount to modifications of the UK Withdrawal Act. These are: section 2(2) [101]; section 5 [102]; section 7(2)(b) and 7(3) [103-104]; section 8(2) [105]; section 9A [106]; section 9B [107]; section 10(2), 10(3)(a) and 10(4)(a) [108-110]; section 11 [111-113]; section 13B, section 14, section 14A, section 15, section 16, section 19(1) and section 22 (to the extent that these provisions relate to section 11) [114-118, 120-121]; section 26A(6) [122]; and section 33 and Schedule 1 paragraphs 11(a) and 16 [123-124].

The judgement is as expected and reaffirms Scotland’s colonial status and the London view that the Scotland Act did not recognise any inherent Scottish rights, but rather graciously handed down from above some powers that London may change at a whim, exactly as though Scotland were an English County Council.

Given all this, the part of the judgement which states that it was not in itself outside the competence of the Scottish Parliament to pass a bill which relates solely to the domestic effects of EU withdrawal, is a very small victory indeed – and utterly irrelevant in the wider scheme of things.

Anybody in the SNP today touting this judgement as a victory, has either not read it, or is worryingly comfortable with vassal status inside the UK Establishment.

Devolution is not just a sop, it is a trap. It is a device by which the SNP has its energies sapped dry in a Herculean effort to maintain Scottish services and public welfare while being perpetually undercut by Tory austerity. The Scottish government are trying to defend the Scottish people with both hands tied behind their backs, while a unified Tory media attacks them relentlessly for every public service failure in Scotland, as though the Tories were not the cause.

Not only was the Vow of increased powers for the Scottish Parliament, which turned the tide of the 2014 referendum on Independence, an abject lie; what the Supreme Court has affirmed is that the English Tories and Northern Irish unionists can strip powers from the Scottish Parliament at will.

What the Supreme Court have done today is to provide crystal clarity that Scotland has but two choices; complete subservience to Tory England or Independence. All else is fiction.


155 thoughts on “The Supreme Court Judgement and Scotland’s Colonial Status

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  • Brian D Finch

    As old Enoch said all those years ago: ‘Power devolved is power retained at the centre. That is precisely why it is acceptable.’

  • TFS

    I’m still intrigued Craig on why jumping into bed with the EU is better?

    Is it because of the far larger printing press the EU has?

    You want to be part of an EU, helping to screw over the MiddleEast so more, whos members kneel before Netanyahu, who’s members have politicised the UN, the ICC, whos members feed the Mycarthyite Nato build up, whos ultimate aim in to subjugate nationalities under one ring to rule them all, One EU army; Another imperialist faction modelled on the SpartUSA; FACISM is all its glory?

    WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

    This is your plan?

    • Iain Ross

      “why jumping into bed with the EU is better?”

      Sigh. What is it with ‘Brits’ / ‘Unionist’ / ‘British Nationalists’ that they can not seem to discriminate between the UK Union and the EU?

      Right here we go. The EU is a trading block of ‘independent’ nation states who agree to coordinate certain laws to create a single market for goods and services. It is not a superstate, each member is entitled to a seat at the table, in all crucial matters each member retains the right of veto, and they can decide to leave at any time (you know like the UK is doing right now.

      The UK, by contrast, is a a centralised nation state that due to the weight of numbers of its biggest member, and undemocratic government structure, is a de-facto English state; and interestingly that is how most people outside of the UK see it, i.e. UK == England and England == UK, and it would appear that a good deal of English people see it that way as well. In this situation the smaller “partners” in this setup have no control over their own country. Scotland can not veto any budget decisions taken by the Westminster parliament, and it would seem we are not even allowed the right to decide if we want to leave. That is fine if you believe Scotland to just be an English region but Scotland is a country and this highlights the democratic deficit that exists.

      You have a legitimate question in regard to the EU but you are asking the wrong question in this context, as the UK is not the same the EU. You appear to be anti-EU so why can you not accept that your answer to the EU is equally, if not more applicable, to Scotland’s relationship with the rUK?

      • Loony

        Did the members of the EU agree to co-ordinate certain laws necessary to economically destroy Greece?

        Are they now coordinating so as punish the Italian people for having the temerity to vote for the wrong kind of politicians?

        What do these munificent coordinators have to say about Poland and Hungary. Who was the coordinator that issued a diktat to Ireland to order Ireland to remove house price increases to from its inflation measures?

        • Martinned

          In all of those cases: Yes, the EU member states, including the ones you refer to, agreed to a fiscal stability pact (however ill conceived), and to certain minimum standards about democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. You may not like any of those things, but pacta sunt servanda.

          • Loony

            Ah yes the fiscal stability pact.

            This would be the same pact that has caused house prices in Ireland to rise by 84.8% since 2013, and prices in Dublin to rise by 98& since 2012. The same pact in fact that caused the ECB to instruct Ireland not to include these price rises in in its calculations of consumer inflation.

            Does this sound stable to you?

            How self deluding do you need to be not to understand that such policies constitute a direct attack on the economic integrity of the population.

          • Amaris

            No one was told of the dangers of the Euro, that it was a fatally flawed currency but now that countries are stuck with it, guess what, it’s impossible to get rid of it without even worse damage (or so we’re told). Yay! There’s not even the slightest sympathy, just threats of things getting worse if they don’t do what Berlin wants (to help their own economy). Btw, the dirty secret of the EU was that pretty much no one was strictly following EU fiscal rules. Greece was not some unique culprit, they’re just the ones who ended up needing the most help (which they didn’t get).

            And where were those minimum standards of democracy, human rights and the rule of law when eurocrats celebrated the Kiev coup? They all paraded with Turchynov that’s now talking about women’s/lgbt rights being a neo-marxist conspiracy.
            Is beating up people who want to vote (in Catalonia) in the EU agreement?

      • Kempe

        ” It is not a superstate ”

        Not far off though. If it were content to be a trading block why would it need it’s own army?

        • Martinned

          It’s not a trading block nor a superstate. There’s more than two options…

          Also, not it’s own army. That’s not going to happen for decades. For now all we have is coordination in defence matters.

          • Loony

            All sounds so reasonable.

            There must be some reason why armored vehicles deployed against the French citizenry were carrying the EU logo as opposed to the Tricolor.

      • Dave Lawton

        Iain Ross
        Oh come on now.The EU is a dictatorship and a fascist state. The Off Guardian is twigging this now. If country`s does not vote the way the EU wishes them to vote they are told to vote again until they get it right according to the EU`s agenda.

        “Things are spiralling out of control in Europe, faster than many predicted. Outside of Brexit, there is strong anti-EU feeling in Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. The EU is in danger of crumbling, and people afraid of losing power are prone to extreme acts of dictatorial control.
        How long before the EU truly becomes the authoritarian force that people from both ends of the political spectrum have always feared?”

        https://off-guardian.org/2018/12/10/the-eu-and-the-warning-signs-of-fascism/?fbclid=IwAR0C-jOJIvVG8-Md3jiz6_1ffl9CY6f1pd1wj-0SrCvmVqG8JGzBn8fh5dM

      • Christopher Dale Rogers

        Iain Ross,

        A fantastic summation of the EU as presently constituted, its just a shame your summation is wrong, if only because you have failed to focus on Monetary Union, which has been at the forefront of the Euro Federalists dreams since the late 1960s. Now, it all went pear shape for Brussels once it began the real Monetary Union process, which did not occur until after the SEA, which itself was a significant change to the original Treaty of Rome – whilst Monetary Union may have been a boon for some corporations and itoa-EU tourists, the fact remains its was always a process that resulted in austerity, its built in shall we say and its had a most onerous impact on the PIIGS. And you’ll say: “But the UK opted out of Monetary Union,”, which up to a point may be true, until you begin looking at all the Convergence criteria, which the jolly UK had to adhere too, such as fiscal spending limits – see Italy presently.

        Again, if you believe that the EU is a economic success, just think of all those impacted by the fine print of the post SEA revisions, culminating with Lisbon, many of whom don’t think its a success.

        As for British Nationalism, I usually don’t wrap myself in any flag, but, I’m of the opinion that whilst a United States of Europe is not a good idea, I think the UK is perfectly set up to benefit from an actual Federal constitution, one that would afford the Celtic Fringe to have a real say on Treasury issues impacting all of us.

        As for desiring to be part of a perpetual neoliberal, wanton warmongering UK or rUK, you can forget that, for if Scotland goes it means Wales gets lumped with perpetual Tory Rule, which more than 50 of the actual voting electorate are opposed too – that’s not to say any move to independence does not come without difficulties, particular the fact we have approaching 750K English born folks living within our borders, indeed, of a just over 3 million population, less than 2 million were actually born in Wales, hence, we must tread carefully, but massive Constitution change does offer many advantages, if only to prevent anymore neoliberal economic proscriptions being rammed down the Celtic Fringes throat.

        So, lets be honest, neither Brussels or Westminster are cuddly bears, which is why I’m still at a loss as to why so many Civic Nationalists desire to be part of an EU that suppresses, rather than encourages national aspirations, as we’ve witnessed in Spain.

        • Alasdair Macdonald.

          “Celtic fringe” – that really shows how the UK is ‘a partnership of equals’!!

      • Ralph

        Iain, what part of 3 simple – but VERY profound – words, are you simply unable to understand?: ‘Ever closer union’.

  • grafter

    It’s time to leave. No more procrastination. No more “dialogue” with these criminals. It’s time to leave. It’s time for action.

    • Rob Royston

      Indeed! If it’s not a bit late. If the SNP had used the Scot’s electorate power in 2016 they would now be in a position to control the dialogue over fishing and sea based energy access.

  • Mist001

    I said last night that the SNP is a cult and are lying to its followers. By fighting to stop Brexit, they are doing everything they possibly can to prevent independence.

    They cannot fight to keep Scotland in the EU and then tell the same Scottish people that with independence, they’re taking them out of the EU. The SNP all know this, so what gives? Why are they fervently pursuing this course of action?

    Eventually they’ll be offered devolution and be happy with that but will present it as a victory to the Scottish people. London will be happy with offering that because they know that they can withdraw devolution any time they like.

    The SNP are basically a local council and not up to scratch for achieving independence for Scotland. We need something new.

    • tartanfever

      ‘They cannot fight to keep Scotland in the EU and then tell the same Scottish people that with independence, they’re taking them out of the EU. The SNP all know this, so what gives? Why are they fervently pursuing this course of action?’

      Please explain to me how Scottish Independence under the SNP is going to take us out of the EU ?

      We are leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 under the mandate UK voters gave to the Tory Government. They are the party that will remove us from the EU, so what is this phrase you use regarding the SNP/Nicola Sturgeon ‘ they’re taking them out of the EU’ ?

      Leaving the EU is nothing to do with the SNP.

      Genuinely baffled by your claim.

      • Mist001

        Jeez. Look, the SNP are fighting to have Brexit stopped. If it’s stopped, Scotland and the rest of the UK remain a part of the EU. Scotland, not being a member state of the EU, can only be a part of the EU if it remains a part of the UK. Scottish independence means that Scotland will leave the UK and by default, the EU. Since the SNP claim to be the party of Scottish independence, then they’re going to be the ones taking Scotland out of the EU.

        Genuinely baffled by your bafflement.

        Now, let me go and bang my head against a real brick wall for a change.

        • MaryPau!

          But fighting to have it stopped would overturn the majority vote by England and Wales. Wouldn’t it better to declare independence and apply to join the EZ? of course you would need another vote on whether the majority of Scots want independence from the UK. The consensus here seems to be that as they want to stay in the EU, now that Brexit carried the day, they will vote for independence if given another vote. So what is Nicola Sturgeon waiting for?

        • Lara

          Aaaahhhhh. So your entire comment was based upon your fallacial assumption that the EU wouldn’t bend over backwards to have enthusiastic, wealthy and energy rich Scotland as a member.

          Interesting, but not very. About as logical as any other crap you see in the MSM any dy of the week.

          Yawn.

    • Republicofscotland

      How does leaving the UK, to then reapply to join the EU constitute lying to members, I’m pretty sure the majority all ready knew that.

      It was well, pointed out during the 2014 independence referendum, that we’d need to rejoin, so its not as if it’s a big dark secret.

      Sturgeon has been fighting to stop Brexit because unlike the Westminster parties she knows fine well the damage it will do to the Scottish economy. Fighting to stop Brexit, doesn’t equate to giving up on independence.

      As for your constant use of term cult to describe the SNP, it makes you appear plain silly, compared next to real cults.

      Oh and you might want to check the definition of a cult.

      http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2016/03/the-five-scariest-cults-in-modern-history/

      https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/cult

    • kathy

      You mean like the shambolic parties they have in England? Many English people envy us for having an uncorrupt and fairly efficient party like the SNP.

  • Craig P

    Well, having Holyrood overruled *is* what Scots voted for in 2014. Anyone who didn’t realise it at the time either doesn’t care or was not paying attention.

    Even now it is too arcane an argument for your average citizen. Westminster will have to specifically remove a tangible benefit in an obvious way, so that even postal voting pensioners dribbling soup down their chins can join the dots between voting No and being fucked over by a Tory government.

    Brexit looks the likeliest candidate to do that, we will have to wait and see.

  • Martinned

    That’s a strange take. Surely the whole point of devolution, as the Supreme Court says, is that it gives legislative competence to the Scottish Parliament while preserving the power of the Westminster Parliament to legislate in the same areas? That’s the difference between devolution and federalism. The standard phrasing of the Sewell convention is quite explicit about that.

    I thought that the judgment was quite positive for Scotland. It struck down a bonkers provision purporting to restrict what Westminster ministers can do, and otherwise went over the differences between the Scottish bill and the Withdrawal Act point by point, striking things down when there was an inconsistency. That’s how a hierarchy of laws is supposed to work. The basic idea, that all non-reserved powers land in Edinburgh, was upheld.

  • Molloy

    .

    Hmmm. . . Really?! Judges in (effectively) their own cause? Oh, really, my friend!

    “London’s Supreme Court, sitting in judgement on its Scottish colony, has ruled that parts of the Scottish Government’s UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill exceed the powers of the Scottish Parliament.”

    ¡No pasarán! ???????????????????????????????????

  • Molloy

    .

    Yes, CM. An unlawful judgment by ICC standards (oh, wait, who controls ICC?!).

    “The judgement is as expected and reaffirms Scotland’s colonial status and the London view that the Scotland Act did not recognise any inherent Scottish rights, but rather graciously handed down from above some powers that London may change at a whim, exactly as though Scotland were an English County Council.”

    ¡No pasarán!

    .

  • Truth

    When the Supreme Court came into being I said Scotland should not recognise it. I knew it would be used against us.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The SNP certainly should not view the judgment as a VICTORY, but it is USEFUL all the same. The judgement gives clarity regarding where actual power lies (apparently required for the less attentive).
    Of more interest is the mood music of the relationship between Holyrood and Westminster. Under the Cameron / Cleg coalition the true nature of the power dynamic was masked by the easy-oasy Cameron style. Theresa May is full blooded English Nationalist.
    In Scotland the Conservatives were agin Holyrood in the first place. Now that it is established, they have accommodated themselves to its existence. 31 MSPs only 7 of whom are Constituency. At £59 K pa + all the secretarial posts for party activists.
    Under the newly confident and infinity self entitled Conservative & English National Party, not only will the powers “temporarily” acquired to “facilitate” Brexit never be repatriated, the diminuation of Holyrood powers will continue.
    Time to wake up and smell the putrefied corpses.

  • Clydebuilt

    Can the Scottish Government take this case to the ECJ as the 6 cross party Scottish politicians recently did and won!

    • Martinned

      No, because no questions of EU law were discussed here. Also, the ECJ does not hear appeals from national courts, only prejudicial questions.

    • Molloy

      .

      CB — Good idea.

      However, public are paying. Requires costs immunity application first of all.

      ECJ, imho often a deliberate diversion. Ref. The Trial; Kafka (always worth re-reading).

      Remember. The DS Are the Bankers.

      .

      ¡No pasarán!

      .

    • Paul Greenwood

      Scotland does not have a “Government”. It has a Devolved Assembly like Bavaria or Hamburg or Hesse or Nordrhein-Westfalen. In fact the latter has 17 million inhabitants and a GDP of $787 bn instead of Scotland’s $237 bn and it still has no power over foreign policy of treaties even though it has its own embassy in Brussels and Berlin.

      Sturgeon behaves like Ken Livingstone or David Blunkett in their heyday as Council Leaders thinking they were Soviet Republics.

  • Molloy

    CM — Yes x a million.

    “What the Supreme Court have done today is to provide crystal clarity that Scotland has but two choices; complete subservience to Tory England or Independence. All else is fiction.”

    All else is fiction and startlingly Ultra Vires (it began with a war crime, you know when) !

    .

    • Loony

      Try not to be so self loathing the Darien colony did not obviously constitute a war crime – just an example of Scottish hubris. A hubris that led to national bankruptcy and a salvation that was found in the arms of the English.

      Que zorra!

      • JOML

        Loony, the “national bankruptcy” spin is nonsense. Individuals did lose their fortune but that was their loss.

        • Lara

          It does get tiresome reading the same old, endlessly disproven nonsense, doesn’t it?

          However, Darien serves to draw the spotlight away from the very real, years long acts by the English state against Scotland to corner it into a fake union – since military conquest was too great an ask, even in the early 1700s, against a Scotland which could not and would not be defeated.

          Trickery was all that remained, and echoing down over 3 centuries, you have apologist buffoons saying “Darien, Darien”.

          Pathetic, in my view. Utterly.

  • Martinned

    For the record, when I say that the judgment is on the whole pretty positive for Scotland, what I have in mind is stuff like this:

    35. The UK Law Officers’ case on these points is not assisted by reference to the constitutional framework underlying the devolution settlement or the principles of legal certainty and legality. The constitutional framework underlying the devolution settlement is neither more nor less than what is contained in the Scotland Act construed on principles which are now well settled. And there is nothing legally uncertain or otherwise contrary to the rule of law about the enactment of legislation governing the domestic legal consequences of withdrawal at both the UK and the Scottish level, provided that they do not conflict, a question which is addressed below.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    At least there were a few sensible Tories, like Geoffrey Howe, George Younger and Michael Heseltime, when it came time to get rid of Mad Maggie because she was well passed her sale date because of all her Russopphobic diversions, but there are none now to get rid of Terrible Theresa because they are now only bastards in the widest seems of the former, and they are in control of Scotland until the UK leaves the EU.

    Looks like supporters of Scottish independence are just stuck with their exasperation over what the UK does.

    • Christopher Dale Rogers

      Thatcher’s ascendency was shattered by Sir Anthony Meyer in 1989, from that time onwards she was a Zombie PM, of course, Tory Party Rules ensure their can only be a challenge to the leader once every 12 months, by which time in 1990 Thatcher’s goose was truly cooked – although Heseltine failed to gain the crown.

      I actually met Meyer not long after the 89 challenge with Michael Foot, both of whom seemed to get on well with each other – I think the Tory Party could actually do with quite a few more Meyer types at the moment, essentially One Nation Conservatives, rather than the maniacs at the helm presently.

  • Martinned

    Here is the Scottish government weighing in:

    “The Scottish Government’s position has been vindicated by the Supreme Court judgment, which confirms that the Scottish Parliament had the competence to prepare its own laws for Brexit when the Continuity Bill was passed.

    “Worryingly, parts of the Bill have been thwarted as a result of steps taken by the UK Government. For the first time ever, UK Law Officers delayed an act of the Scottish Parliament from becoming law by referring it to the Supreme Court.

    “Then the UK Government, for the first time ever, invited the UK Parliament to pass a Bill which they knew would cut the powers of the Scottish Parliament without its consent. The UK Government changed the rules of the game midway through the match.

    “This is an act of constitutional vandalism but that does not take away from the fact this judgment makes clear MSPs were perfectly entitled to prepare Scotland’s laws for Brexit at the time this Bill was passed. The UK Government’s arguments have been clearly rejected.

    “We will now reflect on this judgment and discuss with other parties before coming back to Parliament to set out the best way forward.”

    https://news.gov.scot/news/supreme-court-judgment

  • nevermind

    Great, now declare UDI without a referendum, at the same time start your own negotiations with Europe.

    • Phil

      Sounds Great, BUT. UDI may be declared by Scottish Government. It may stick without troops marching north to quell rebels. BUT, for Scottish UDI to become accepted many 3rd party groups must accept it. Eg., UN, EU, OECD?, NATO, Commonwealth, WTO, ILO, and so on and so on.

      • Lara

        Why oh why do people even entertain this “UDI” bollocks?

        If there’s one country on Earth which cannot – literally CANNOT – UDI then it’s Scotland.

        UDI is for territories that are subsumed into another. That would be eg Catalonia. Or Wales.

        But Scotland it is not.

        As for your expansion upon the idea, troops, UN (other intranational organisations that are UTTERLY IRRELEVANT in state recognitionb like NATO – are you actually HIGH?)

        Scotland is a Kingdom, in union with ONE other Kingdom.

        Now please, stay out of things when you have not a clue.

        • Wii Eck

          Balderdash!! If we were really a “Kingdom”, we’d have our own King. Instead we’re only a “Country”, and we have our own … Nicola Sturgeon.
          (h/t cuddly ken)

  • Republicofscotland

    Bravo Craig magnificently put.

    Now its time for the push for independence hopefully Sturgeon et al will see the bright light at the end of the tunnel sign posted, this way out.

  • Jim Sinclare

    There is a third explanation why the SNP may be touting it as a victory: it’s what politicians do. Never admit to failure.

  • flatulence'

    So is Molloy Bostik? I can’t keep up, I miss Bostik. I just assumed he was busy with Panto season.

  • Malcolm Ramsay

    “What the Supreme Court have done today is to provide crystal clarity that Scotland has but two choices; complete subservience to Tory England or Independence. All else is fiction.”

    I think that’s overstating it, Craig. I’d say they also have the option of challenging the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty which compels the Supreme Court to rule as it did. That doctrine had a sound enough foundation back when members of the Lords were local rulers, because it meant that Parliament was where all the different vectors of power came together. But now that the Lords no longer have a power base of their own, and local authorities no longer have a voice in central government, the doctrine is derelict. Given that some members of the Supreme Court have questioned whether parliamentary sovereignty is compatible with the rule of law, such a challenge might well succeed.

    I raised that point in a letter to the Scottish Ministers a year ago as part of an argument that the validity of Theresa May’s Article 50 notification shouldn’t be taken for granted and might be successfully challenged in court. But, at the time, they seemed to have accepted Brexit as an inevitable fact, and they quite likely feel that a constitutional reform that gave a lot more autonomy to local government throughout the UK might undermine the case for Scottish independence.

  • Kenneth G Coutts

    Thanks Craig.
    Looks like the ball is in our court.
    Time for the SNP to move.
    No more mister nice guy, pussyfooting around with the obfuscations of the English state and their cohorts.
    Onwards and upwards
    Regards
    ??

  • Sharp Ears

    The BBC’s take. Unattributed needless to say.

    Scottish and UK governments clash over Brexit court ruling
    3 hours ago
    176 comments
    The Scottish and UK governments have clashed after Supreme Court judges said parts of Holyrood’s Brexit legislation would not be allowed to stand.

    The judges said the bill “as a whole” was within Holyrood’s competence, but that MSPs had acted outwith their powers in relation to one section.

    MSPs passed a Brexit bill in March after a row with UK ministers over Westminster’s EU Withdrawal Bill. But the case was then referred to the court by UK government law officers.

    The judges also said changes which were later made to the UK legislation – adding it to a special schedule of protected legislation which MSPs cannot modify – meant a number of other sections now could not stand.

    Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the judgement had provided “much needed legal clarity” that the bill “goes beyond the powers of the Scottish Parliament”. But Scottish Brexit Secretary Mike Russell said the UK government had “changed the rules of the game midway through the match” in an “act of constitutional vandalism”.

    https://twitter.com/WavertreeCLP/status/1072823079477350400

    Just one of many matters in a mess.

  • MaryPau!

    But as I recall the Scotland Act introduced by a Labour Government led by Tony Blair whose Cabinet members included Gordon Brown, Derry Irvine, Alistair Darling, Robin Cook , Gavin Strange and Donald Dewar. George Robertson was also a major player. Seems a wee bit unfair to blame it on the Tories

    • MaryPau!

      sorry should have said Scotland Act * of 1998 * and I did type Gavin Strang but the autocorrect beat me to the draw.

  • Sharp Ears

    The big noise of Sports Direct has bitten off more than he chew when he took over the House of Fraser stores, a relic of the once famous Scottish department store chain established 169 years ago.

    He ‘paid’ £90m, ‘pumped in’ £70m and now records a £31.5m loss. Oops.
    https://news.sky.com/story/sports-direct-counts-cost-of-house-of-fraser-rescue-11579415

    Wonder how the creditors/suppliers and the pensioners are faring.

    He is also in deep at Debenhams. He ‘owns’ 30% of that chain. He is hoping that the store rents will be slashed. It’s like a fight between sharks and killer whales.

  • Blair Paterson

    There is only one answer to all of this nonsense independence we all know this but we still keep discussing every move they make let us make our move now and if the no voters win again well as that Scottish lord said when he left Scotland after the Union of,1707 Scotland is now only fit for the cowards who live there how true

  • Blair Paterson

    Sorry I forgot the Lord who left Scotland he was Lord Belhaven a true Scotsman who refused to live in slavery what a difference from today’s lords MACONNELL comes to mind

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