The White Flag Hearing 107

The legal right of secession of states, outside of a situation of “classic” colonial occupation, has developed enormously in the last thirty odd years. South Sudan, Montenegro, East Timor, Eritrea, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine are all amongst the new states recognised by the United Nations since 1991.

All of those involved secession from a larger entity. The notion that the right to self determination relates purely to the freeing of non-Europeans from European colonial rule plainly could not survive this onslaught of real world emergence to freedom by European and Eurasian nations. The international law jurisprudence has moved to acknowledge this, most notably summarised in the advisory opinion on Kosovo by the International Court of Justice.

23 nations born of secession in 31 years, all recognised by the UN, makes it plain there is a legal process in routine operation here. That Scotland wishes to become the 24th is not in any sense novel and unusual. Its right to do so is plainly established in international law. That is the basis on which the Government of Scotland should have been approaching the UK Supreme Court (if it approached it at all).

Yet we have had the astonishing spectacle of the Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain, ostensibly arguing for Scotland’s right to hold an independence referendum, yet never once in a two day hearing asserting the right to self determination of the Scottish people under Article 1 (2) of the UN Charter.

I cannot get through to you how astonishing that is. Let me put it this way. If the Scottish Government do not believe that the Scots are a people with the right of self-determination under the UN Charter, they have no right to apply to the UN for statehood anyway, whatever the referendum result. So why not assert that right now, in the argument for the referendum?

Astonishingly, Bain did not even mention it in court, once. She did mention it in her written submissions, where she stated that Scotland’s right to self-determination has no legal effect in UK law. She also, as I reported yesterday, did find time to argue before the Supreme Court that the mention of “the union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England” in the Scotland Act was “a peculiarity”, as the Kingdom of Scotland has no legal existence since 1707.

Bain’s supposed argument that the Scottish government has a right to hold an independence referendum rests instead not on the right of the people of Scotland to decide their own future – which Bain has made plain she does not accept – but solely on this argument:

The Scottish parliament, Bain accepts, is constrained by the Scotland Act from legislation which relates to “the Union.” But as a referendum on Independence would only be advisory, it does not “relate to” the Union.

Which, frankly, is bollocks. Even the most ardent supporter of Scottish Independence cannot really believe in this argument. It is embarrassing to be making it.

The argument that Bain should have been making is this:

1) The Westminster Parliament has no authority to make law which constrains the right of self-determination of the Scottish people
2) Yes, the Scotland Act does, quite deliberately, stop the Scottish parliament holding an independence referendum. Of course the UK will try to stop Scotland leaving. But it has no right to do so.
3) Compliance with UK law is not necessary for Scotland to achieve Independence.

That would be precisely in accordance with this statement of international law:

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 statement of international law is the UK government’s submission to the International Court of Justice in the Kosovo referral.

Read it across to the Scottish postion. Of course the Scotland Act tries to preclude Scottish Independence. As the UK government stated in the Kosovo case: “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.”

Defying UK law will not affect Scottish recognition by the international community: as the UK government stated in the Kosovo case “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.”

The Scottish Parliament has the right to call a referendum or to declare Independence as it wishes in reflecting the will of the Scottish people. As the UK government argued in the Kosovo case: “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.”

If Bain were a half decent lawyer, and any kind of decent Scot, she would have been going at the Supreme Court with The British government’s own words and arguing for Scotland’s right. Instead I have a pile of notes of today’s proceedings so mind-numbingly dull and inconsequential I am not going to bother you with her drivel or that of James Eadie for the UK government.

They conducted a ritual dance across the pinheads of various clauses of the Scotland Act and its schedules, to no useful effect whatsoever.

The Supreme Court will decide that yes, it does have the authority to answer this reference, which it will say was properly made (the judges didn’t like Eadie’s bullying of Bain on this point) and no, the Scottish Parliament does not have competence to pass the draft referendum bill. You will get this decision in late January.

It was an irrelevance. Scotland should of course not be acknowledging any authority of this London court in the first instance.


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107 thoughts on “The White Flag Hearing

  • Andrew

    I fear you are overstating and overcomplicating the case. If Scotland has a right to self-determination in international law, it is not a positive right, only a double negative one: should it succeed in establishing its independence factually by political acts, the fact that this occurred contrary to the UK’s constitutional arrangements would not affect recognition of Scotland by other States (though if the UK hadn’t thoroughly discredited itself in other ways, it might be able to persuade many to withhold recognition anyway, for what that would be worth – in practice, not much; on the other hand, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council it could still unilaterally block a Scottish application for UN membership if it is prepared to pay the political price).
    The argument made by the UK for the Kosovo advisory opinion that you cite remains valid as a matter of international law, but because the UK is dualist State, it would not trump the UK’s own constitutional law in a UK court, so legally (as opposed to performatively?) I can’t see the benefit of putting it to the Supreme Court as you say Bain should have done, because there, if nowhere else, it would be bound to fail. (It might still come in handy in future in the courts of third countries when the status of a Scotland that unilaterally declares itself independent is at issue, e.g. on whether its representatives or property outside Scotland are entitled to benefit from customary international law State immunity, which might depend on whether Scotland, assuming it had not been recognised by the forum State, had nonetheless objectively achieved Statehood.)
    In a word, your line of reasoning works for a Scotland that has already taken the independence plunge against the UK’s wishes, but we are not there yet, and it doesn’t really work in advance of that.

  • Vivian O’Blivion

    Aye, Bain let the moggy oot the poke. Sturgeon and her NuSNP infiltrated and controlled by Thames House (by way of Foggy Bottom) have nae intention of delivering independence.
    Sturgeon’s end game is to capitulate to some form of “DevoMax” with enthusiastic NATO membership, Trident on the Clyde and Sterlingisation assured. Why would a wee lassie who committed to independence in her teens do that? We should consider potential carrots and sticks.
    The sticks are unknowable, but NuSNP will have mair skeletons in their cupboards than the Natural History Museum. The skeletons aren’t a bug, they’re a feature. Why else would the upper echelons of the party be disproportionately populated by folk that turn out to be pederasts.
    Seven senior party apparatchiks have the mark of the US State Department on them. There’s the four known to have enjoyed the largesse of the International Visitors Leadership Programme (Grady, Crawley, Yousaf & Gilruth). We can add the tres amigos of the NeoCon apocalypse (Smith, McDonald & Nicolson). Seven folk and only Yousaf is heterosexual. That’s not coincidence, it’s targeting.
    What then would be the potential wages of treachery for Sturgeon?
    Two informative examples.
    As recompense for David Miliband losing out in the Labour leadership contest to his (comparatively) socialist brother, he was hired as CEO of the International Rescue Committee. Starting salary in 2013 reported as £300k pa, rising to a reported £768k in 2021.
    On losing the Danish GE in 2015, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (wife of NuLabour / Forward, ghoul, Stephen Kinnock) became CEO of Save the Children, reported starting salary $300k. That was just the start.
    Thorning-Schmidt’s current list of Directorships is a marvel to behold. A caricature of the NeoLiberal, global elite. A checklist for believers in the conspiracy of the global illuminati. Atlantic Council, check. Council for Foreign Relations, check. Centre for Global Development, check. Global Forum, check. Etc, etc..
    Most lucrative of all will be full board membership at Facebook.
    If the pitchforks and burning torches ever do appear, a résumé like that’ll get you a prime seat on the first tumbril.

    • Aden

      Vivian, what’s 750K?
      The welfare state owes people for their contributions in the form of pensions. It’s a debt. Same for the civil service.
      So why is that debt hidden? Do you know how much is owed? What’s its rate of growth? What’s your fair share of the debts?

      So the answers. £16 trillion owed. 10% sustained rate of growth, more this year. You are on the hook for £600,000, and this year’s increase, £60,000.

      So why’s the debt hidden? You’ve got the answer. Pitchforks and burning torches. Already 2 MPs have been killed and 1 had a near miss when he was kebabed.

      The socialist welfare state is the big problem, dwarfs all others. But the general theme you have right. They are looting before the inevitable.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        The UK’s national debt is only around £2.4 trillion, Aden – or £2.1 trillion, if you exclude the debts of public sector banks and the Bank of England. Even if it were £16 trillion – that’s only around £240,000 per UK resident. I doubt whether Messrs Thomas Mair & Ali Harbi Ali were overly concerned with the public finances when they did what they did. The welfare state for people of working age isn’t a massive problem – unemployment is at long-term lows – it’s healthcare and, to a lesser extent, social care that’s the elephant in the room.

      • Bayard

        “contributions in the form of pensions”

        What contributions might those be, or do you still believe that National Insurance pays for our pensions? National Insurance is just another tax on labour. Yes, if the pension liability was funded by a pension pot, that pot may have to be about £16Tr, but it isn’t, it’s funded out of revenue, so that figure is imaginary. Not only that, but the pensions don’t all have to be paid at once, so the relevant figure is the cost per annum to the government, not the total cost.

        • MrShigemitsu

          It’s not even “funded out of revenue”; the “revenue” occurs after the spending, as every initial and subsequent transaction is subject to taxes imposed automatically in the normal way, until, at any positive tax rate, all of the original spend has been hoovered up by the Treasury.

          State Pensions in payment are dealt withjust like any other govt spending; departmental spending is determined by the Chancellor and voted on by Parliament in the Budget, and the requisite payments are paid into BoE reserve accounts of the banks of the recipients by the BoE on the instructions of the Paymaster General, with no recourse to any “funding” by tax revenue, or anything else.

          Any gilt issuance to tidy up the accounts occurs after the spend, not before, but isn’t even essential, the (govt-owned) BoE could equally well extend the govt an overdraft via the Ways and Means A/c, if the govt so required.

  • Republicofscotland

    very informative, on how to bypass Westminster, but how do we bypass Sturgeon and Bain, who are also holding us back.

  • JayBee

    The Kosovo ruling was made to harm Russian-sponsored Serbia and justify NATO’s bombing retroactively.
    It is also applicable to all other situations where and when Russia and China can be harmed, but it is not and will never be applicable elsewhere, least of all in Western democracies.
    If it was, it would not just let Scotland or NI leave the UK easily, but also let Corsica leave France, Catalunya leave Spain, Florida and Texas leave the USA and so on.
    Welcome to the ‘rules based international order’.
    The only real question is, whether those behind the ruling were too stupid to see its implication in a proper RBIO at the time, necessitating that current re-interpretation of its meaning and validity, or whether they already didn’t give a fig about it at the time.

    • terence callachan

      Jaybee no no no, Corsica Texas Florida Catalonia etc. etc. are not countries and do not profess to be countries.
      Scotland IS a country .
      You make a ludicrous comparison – be reasonable.

        • Andrew Paul Booth

          Some people like to claim that, and under Pujol’s regime that narrative was propagated in schools and through the regional media. But there never was such a country or nation. Catalans as a people certainly can be said to exist today, but the territory they occupy has, since the withdrawal from that area (which briefly stretched as far as the river Rhône in France and which ruled in Barcelona for around eighty years) of the entity we describe as al Ándalus, been first a feudal county in Carolingian France, then a county held by the Crown and later the kingdom of Aragón, and is today one of the seventeen autonomous communities that make up the social and cultural as well as the political and administrative map of Spain (observe: not of France). Yes, before the arrival of Arabs and their Moorish allies apparently one visigothic “prince” did briefly establish his own “kingdom” in this area, separate from the visigothic kingdom which ruled the whole peninsula – which, of course, had until then during centuries consisted of Roman provinces. I think the contrast with Scotland as a territory and Scots as a people is quite clear.

      • Jimmeh

        Catalonia *does* profess to be a country. Whether it is or not, is another question. You seem to be basing your answer on whether the region was historically a country. It was a kingdom, I understand, but with very different extents. Is that right?

        I’ve so far been a big supporter of Catalan independence; I’ve been persuaded by these historical arguments to question my view. But I *really* dislike historical arguments for political changes in borders; they seem to lead to wars and hatred, as well as centuries-long arguments about what the history really was.

        Like, regions change their borders. So what are the borders of independent Scotland? Do they run to the greatest extent ever held by a Scottish king, or the present borders? Could there be a Donbas situation in the borders, with rebels claiming independence from Scotland, based on some alternative history, surreptitiously backed by outsiders (oh, I don’t know, perhaps the UK government)?

    • Bayard

      It’s notable that, of the 23 countries mentioned by Craig as newly independent only three are not from the former Yugoslavia or the former USSR; and, of those three, none are from “first world” countries.

      • Yuri K

        To explain it simply, the list includes only cases where the separations were sponsored by the USA (Kosovo, South Sudan), or such that the USA were taken by surprise and not in control (USSR), or cases when the USA could not care less (like the break up of Czechoslovakia, that gave 2 obedient NATO and EU members instead of one). Those cases that the USA is actively opposed to, like the separations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia, will never make it to the UN recognition.

    • Coldish

      JayBee and others: if the secession of Kosovo from Serbia was in accordance with international law, then so was the secession of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics – within the line of actual control monitored by the OSCE – from Ukraine. Sauce for the gander.

  • Aden

    Yet we have had the astonishing spectacle of the Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain, ostensibly arguing for Scotland’s right to hold an independence referendum, yet never once in a two day hearing asserting the right to self determination of the Scottish people under Article 1 (2) of the UN Charter.

    You have had the vote. You lost. The democratic decision was to remain. Why can’t you accept democracy?

    • craig Post author

      Democracy is respected. We are not independent. Do you think there should only be general elections every 25 years or so too? Or just one, then the winner stays in power forever?

      There was another referendum, in 2016, in which Scots overwhelmingly voted to stay in the EU. That may very well have changed opinions since 2014. As might the current economic collapse of the UK.

      Democracy is voting from time to time. Not once for all time.

      • Ebenezer Scroggie

        The big difference is that in 2016 it was the people of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (and Gibraltar) who voted.

        It doesn’t matter a hoot whether the people of Rutland or Shetland or Banffshire or Dumfriesshire voted one way or the other. It was the British people who voted the way that they did.

        The 2016 referendum was never intended to be a re-run of the 2014 referendum and it’s absurd to suggest that it somehow undoes the verdict of the Scottish people in 2014.

        • frankywiggles

          “It doesn’t matter a hoot whether the people of Rutland or Shetland or Banffshire or Dumfriesshire voted one way or the other. It was the British people who voted the way that they did.”

          Except in the British version of democracy that isn’t a hard-and-fast principle, is it? The British created “Northern Ireland” on the basis of votes in just 2 or 3 of Ireland’s 32 counties .. in brazen defiance of the results of all-Ireland elections in 1918 and 1921.

          Scotland in 2016 was a separate recognised country and devolved jurisdiction, so its vote to stay in the EU has infinitely greater democratic significance than the British attributed to votes in Antrim, Down and Armagh in 1918 and 1921. (Except that is in the BBC-propagandized minds of unreachable British nationalists.)

        • Cubby

          Ebenezer, and if the UK was a proper union instead of an English colonial project then the individual results for Scotland Wales NIreland England would have been respected, as in all must vote to leave for leave to happen. As ever in the English colonial project over the British isles the English get what they want. The claim of right gives Scots the legal right to decide who governs them and any vote like the Scottish vote to remain should have been respected but it wasn’t because England is a country with no standards and no respect for the law of other countries or their rights.

          The only thing that is absurd is that your colonial mindset still exists in 2022.

          • Terence Callachan

            I believe that the Brexit vote was valid. I voted Remain but I accept it was a U.K.-wide vote and the majority voted for Brexit.
            Our politicians failed us, we all thought remain would win, the politicians should have brought to our attention “what happens if Leave win“.
            Our politicians should have posed the following question to Scotland

            “ if LEAVE win the U.K. Brexit vote but a majority in Scotland vote remain should we have a clause that says Scotland will remain even if other parts of the U.K. leave “

            Regrettably our Scottish politicians failed to do that. I’m sure they had discussed and thought about it, but they did nothing. Then after the Brexit vote they knowingly argued, when it was too late to do so, that Scotland should not be taken out of the EU against their will.

          • Cubby

            Terence, I agree Scotland’s political leaders failed Scotland. Nothing new there. However, by stating you accept a British – or UK or whatever the English colonial project is calling itself these days – vote on the EU you are denying the sovereignty of the Scots, the claim of right etc.. English votes will always outnumber Scots votes. In your world then we get what England wants. In your world you accept that. So did Sturgeon. Not much of an independence supporter, are you?

      • Roger

        Democracy is voting from time to time. Not once for all time.

        True, Craig, but you’re attacking a straw man – nobody is saying that the 2014 referendum result was “for all time”. They are saying that it would be unreasonable to have a referendum every few years until you got the result you want.

        The 2014 referendum result was not close, and there should be some reasonable argument that things have changed.

        (To be clear, I support the right of the Scots to secede and form their own country if that’s what a majority of them want, and I think a case might be made that opinion has changed and another referendum is justified, but the case does have to be made, and it does have to address the 2014 result.)

        • Cubby

          Hmm Roger two points for you.

          1. The case for a referendum was made in May 2021 at the Scottish Parliament election where a majority of votes and a majority of MSPs were voted for that had a referendum in their manifesto. Majority being >50%.
          2. Sorry to say but perfidious Albion will try to make it never again re a referendum. Their lies and deceit know no limits.
        • Cubby

          Roger, glad you support the right of Scots to be independent if they vote for it . Perhaps you are not aware that a majority of people who identified as Scots did vote for independence. Perhaps you really mean the people of Scotland as in those who live there or have holiday homes in Scotland. Not all people who live in Scotland identify as Scots. I am sure you will not be surprised by that.

          EU citizens voted no because they were told they would be out of the EU if they voted yes.

          That well known Scottish paper the Scottish(?) Daily Mail boasted it was the English that won it for us. It being the Scottish independence referendum. A colonial media outlet proud of its colonial brothers and sisters.

    • Philip Maughan

      I believe in democracy and therefore another vote in the light of changed circumstances, notably Brexit. If the vote is against independence I will accept that but will not stop advocating for an independent Scotland.

    • Cubby

      Aden, there has never been democracy for Scotland. The people didn’t have a vote in 1707 but they certainly expressed their opinion they did not want the union. There still is no democracy in Scotland as long as Scottish votes are overuled by English votes. The referendum vote in 2014 was not democratic either. Scotland may have rights in the Treaty of Union but the English parliament masquerading as a UK Parliament have trampled all over them for centuries and in effect treat Scotland as a colony.

    • Terence Callachan

      Aden , how long does your democracy last ? As long as you personally decide ?
      2014 was 8 years ago , even Westminsters elections are less than that , 5 yearly
      You appear to have decided that people can never change their mind , ever
      The reality is that people can and do change their mind frequently minute by minute day by day year by year and there is nothing you can do about it

      Once Scotland decides to be independent you will be able to gather together your bettertogether friends and build a majority to vote in a bettertogether Scottish government and then have a referendum on reunification.

      Good luck with that
      Of the 150 or so countries that have become independent from U.K. none have ever asked to return
      and that is your great fear isnt it, you know that once independent nobody returns to buddy up with England

      • Cubby

        “None have ever asked to return” very true Terence and that includes that shambles of a country Zimbabwe.
        Most countries that have said cheerio Westminster have prospered despite Westminster saying your too poor or too wee or too stupid or all three probably but even those that are not doing so well prefer to run their own affairs and not be controlled by Westminster to benefit Westminster.

        England wants to hold on to Scotland’s resources the Scots people less so. The oil and gas which Westminster said would be finished in 5/10 years in 2014 is now bountiful with Britnats falling over themselves to insist on new fields being opened. Britnat lies and deceit = 2014 Scottish referendum.

      • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

        Newfoundland in the 1929 -33 crisis did accept a return to UK administration before being subsequently absorbed by Canada.

  • Highlander

    Scotland has always had the nine of diamond clique, willing to sell their own sons and daughters for greed and entitlement.
    But I suppose every country has their shares of degenerates; we only need look at the establishment figures, dating back to the judas and mercenary, Oliver Cromwell, who took “foreigners'” money to murder the King of England.

    Where is our Wallace?

    History has proven we won’t be given any entitlement that belongs to our nation and sovereign people.
    We need the man or woman with the moral integrity to fight for our existence, not so our sons can fight and die for English empire, which no longer exists, so we can exist and prosper free from foreign perversions and diktat.

  • Mist001

    “The Scottish Parliament has the right to call a referendum or to declare Independence as it wishes in reflecting the will of the Scottish people.”

    First, you have to know the will of the Scottish people.

    This submission to the Supreme Court for a referendum on Independence which would only be advisory is to me, essentially a glorified opinion poll which will, or should, determine the will of the Scottish people. So long as it’s not 55/45 against like last time, then the Scottish government can move forward and state unequivocally the independence is the will of the Scottish people. Westminster won’t be able to refuse that and will if needed, issue a section 30 order.

    At the moment, how does anybody know what the will of the Scottish people actually is? This is one way to find out and the result will be either good or bad for independence but at least we’ll know.

      • Mist001

        Thus proving my point, nobody actually knows what the will of the Scottish people is now. This referendum/opinion poll will tell us.

        • Alf Baird

          The primary aim of Imperial policies such as cultural assimilation and migration/plantation is to alter the national identity of ‘a people’, to obliterate their culture and identity with it. The ‘Scottish people’ are no longer some fixed entity so long as another dominant country and culture control their borders and population, as well as their resources, politics and culture etc, as has been the case for the past three centuries. The ‘colonial mindset’ also influences the ‘will’ of a people, some of whom may even celebrate their oppression and oppose their liberation.

          • Mist001

            What you’re saying then is that many Scots may be afflicted by Stockholm Syndrome? LOL!

          • Alf Baird

            You perhaps do not get the self-hatred aspect with SS as you do in colonialism; in the latter, the native seeks to assimilate into the supposedly ‘superior’ culture, discarding his ‘subordinate’ culture and language. The relationship fosters a dependency culture between the ‘mother country’ (i.e. the colonizer) and the colonized. In colonialism “it is not enough to leave one’s group, but one must enter another” (Albert Memmi). The assimilated colonized do not appreciate they have been ‘captured’ (as in ‘we have catchd Scotland and must hold her tight’); they think they have entered a superior cultural realm, one which enables them to look down on the non-assimilated native – which is the racist aspect of the relationship. However, the native who understands his oppression and the unequal relationship is perfectly able to discern his predicament. What may be similar with SS is that the only remedy for the condition is liberation (independence), and ‘self-recovery’ (of culture, language).

      • Bayard

        “Less than 38% of the electorate voted for self-amputation in The Referendum.”

        Less than 50% of the electorate voted for self-amputation in Brexit referendum, too, your point being?

      • Cubby

        Ebenezer, you really are starting to post some silly stuff. There wasn’t a majority of the electorate for staying in the UK either. This gerrymandering stuff as per the 1979 Scottish refrerendum really does highlight your colonial mentality. In Ebenezer’s world the dead can vote no. You really need to get a grip. It’s 2022.

    • Terence Callachan

      Mist001, wasn’t last years Scottish election contested by all parties on the basis of having another Scottish independence referendum, or not?
      That result was the settled will of the Scottish people.
      It’s a long time since we had a Labour or Conservative or Lib Dem majority in the Scottish parliament; in fact the Conservatives and Lib Dems have never ever had a majority in the Scottish parliament.

      Elections are the way that the settled will of the people is determined in U.K., but of course we have to take into account that some of those people die, some new people reach voting age, and some move to other countries. So “settled will” can only span fairly short periods of time, such as we see in U.K. elections – five years.

      The last time we had a right wing party win a majority in Scotland was the the SUP
      who disbanded and became part of the current Conservative party when it was formed in 1965.

      • Mist001

        Online, it’s easy to get swept up in things. For instance, if a person reads independence minded blogs, then naturally, they will form the opinion that Scottish people want independence but those blogs are very much in the minority. The majority of Scottish people don’t frequent these blogs or probably, any blogs at all, so an advisory referendum or as I see it, an opinion poll, will involve the average Joe in the street and we’ll be able to get a more realistic idea of what the will of the Scottish people actually is.

        I’m an independence supporter BTW and a member of the SNP. I’m no great fanboy of Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP but for me, they represent the only realistic path to independence at the moment. As far as I’m concerned, what they’re doing just now with the Supreme Court makes absolute sense to me.

        The bottom line for me is that the actual, true will of the Scottish people has to be defined first before anything else can happen. Rushing into independence just because it seems like everybody wants it or conditions are favourable is a recipe for disaster.

        • Alf Baird

          Establishing the “true will of the Scottish people” seems an interesting though forlorn ideal given half of the Scottish population have been removed one way or another from Scotland over the three centuries of ‘union’ whilst much of those remaining are subject to cultural assimilation and its resulting colonial mindset.

    • john

      “First, you have to know the will of the Scottish people.”

      Spot on there, Mist.

      Will of the citizens is a common denominator in the examples Craig gives, which is unknown in Scotland.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    “Once in a lifetime”. “Once in a generation”.

    Sound familiar?

    We, the people of Scotland, voted to remain part of the Union which was created by Scots.

    How long is a ‘lifetime’? Not very long in Dundee, which has the highest drugs death rate in Europe. About 18 years for some.

    How long is a “generation”? Probably about 15 for some in Wee Nippy’s constituency.

    How long is an appropriate period of time between Neverendums? It’s a serious question.

    How long was the interval between the two devolution referenda? About 18 years? How long was the interval between the two EEC/EU referenda? About the same.

    Let’s pencil in a date of 2032 for the next IndyRef.

    Hopefully the separatists will respect the verdict of the people in that one.

    • pete

      I think if you want to be regarded as fair in your comments you might take a moment to ask yourself what a fair election is. When the media coverage is dominated by the Unionist BBC and a few oligarch style conservatives you may have noticed that the coverage of the important parts of the debate about Scottish independence was biased against the yes side, in addition circumstances had changed, in the UK as a whole a majority voted by a narrow margin to leave the European Union, a major economic event in which the Scottish portion of the electorate voted the opposite way. Now you want us to think that the Scottish referendum can only be held 18 years on from the previous one, based upon Alex Salmond’s ‘once in a generation opportunity’ chance remark. I get the sense from that sentence that the once in a generation refers to the grudging opportunity granted by the Westminster Government rather than related to the frequency of what is basically a hyped up opinion poll. Referenda can be held as often as need be on important matters. That is Democracy.

      • Bayard

        Pete, a glance at recent history shows that a “fair” election or referendum is one that returns the desired result. Under that rule the Scottish independence referendum was fair.

      • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

        The following video (in which Craig Murray is a key contributor) has been well aired over the years, but no apologies for posting it again here in the context of this thread. Scotland is very much STILL encapsulated in an astoundingly disgraceful establishment-monitored broadcasting bubble. Scotland, a country with the population of Denmark, has NO control of broadcasting. It is as if all broadcasting in Denmark were controlled by a jaundiced assimilationist Berlin. The media treatment of Nicola Sturgeon is no index. It can now (and long since) be assumed she is in alliance with the British State. The current Supreme Court fiasco is only the latest in a very long list of collusive behaviour. As I have posted elsewhere, it would seem Nicola Sturgeon’s four prime tasks are 1) sabotage Alex Salmond, 2) sabotage the SNP, 3) sabotage Scottish assets (energy, ferries etc), and 4) sabotage the next referendum.

        Documentary –

        LONDON CALLING: BBC bias during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

        YouTube, 1h 9m 5s

        And all hail to G.A. Ponsonby for his personal watershed achievement in compiling irrefutable evidence of the BBC’s hermetically-sealed unionist bias in his 500 page book, generously illustrated with screenshots of BBC webpage imagery and headline manipulation, thus inspiring the above video. Ponsonby’s major exposé of BBC Scotland’s political news manipulation chronicles the influential world broadcaster’s default cynically skewed coverage of Scottish politics in general and of the 2014 independence referendum in particular.

        G.A. Ponsonby’s seminal 2015 book
        is still available on Kindle for £1.99 – Amazon

    • Cubby

      Ebenezer, says ” sound familiar” yes it does because politicians say it all the time doesn’t stop them having elections when they want. Why is that – because it is not a promise. Absolutely nothing in that to commit a whole nation. So you should really stop punting nonsense and lies. Nothing legal was signed to commit a nation.

      I noticed Truss stating that the Britnats promised it would be a once in a generation. More lies – didn’t happen.

      Of course the Britnat Vow did break the signed agreement called the Edinburgh Agreement that the referendum was based on. You never hear any Britnats mentioning this. Just their nonsense/lies about once in a generation.

      Democracy for Scotland – it is yet to make an appearance.

    • Terence Callachan

      Hey Ebenezer, Dundee has never ever had the highest rate of drug deaths in Europe.

      And by the way Scotland has a lower rate of drug deaths than England and Wales.

      The herniated Truss in westminster is a self-imploding hand grenade; the type of leader a person with your ideas deserves. You will not be glad to hear that elections tend to be every five years or so, and not every 32 years as you prefer.
      Once Scotland is independent you will have the opportunity to gather your better-togethers and try and get a majority in the Scottish parliament to agree to reunification with England.

      Good luck with that but of the 150 or so colonised countries that have left U.K., NONE have asked to come back.

  • Colin Alexander

    Craig, the only issue with your article is that you are shooting the messenger .Ms Bain pointed out it was the SNP First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon that sought the legal opinion on the lawfulness of the Scottish Parliament legislating for an independence referendum without Westminster approval. So, rather than pointing the finger at Ms Bain, the questions should be asked:

    Why is the leader of the SNP and ostensibly the leader of the campaign for Scottish independence not telling her government lawyer that she absolutely believes the people of Scotland have the right of self-determination without asking WM’s approval?

    For years Nicola Sturgeon been insisting on her “gold standard” UK-approved referendum, so the Scottish Government’s mindset is nothing new.

    Let’s face it, for all the looking back with rose-tinted glasses to 2014, Alex Salmond’s decision to go down the Westminster s30 begging bowl route and hold indyref1 was like General Lee’s madness at Gettysburg. A battle against impossible odds that was doomed to disaster, as the conditions for a fair indyref campaign did not exist then and they don’t exist now, as the UK state controls the media, so voters cannot make an informed decision; and the UK State can cheat with impunity. So, if you are right and the UKSC rules the Scottish Parliament cannot legislate for an indyref, I will breathe a sigh of relief that Scotland’s Indyref2 has been avoided.

    I wonder if 2023 will be the year when a Scottish politician finally finds the courage call a spade a spade and admit Scotland’s position within the UK is that of an oppressed colony as part of England’s crumbling empire and Scots are an oppressed minority denied the right of self-determination by Imperial England self-identifying as Great Britain. One thing for certain, it won’t be the British colonial administrator and champion of Westminster sovereignty, Nicola Sturgeon.

    • Jimmeh

      > General Lee’s madness at Gettysburg

      The confederate armies made mistakes at Gettysburg; arguably several of them were either decisions made by Lee, or the result of aspects of Lee’s temperament. The odds were not “impossible”: Lee’s 70,000 men faced Hooker’s 100,000. Those numbers were about the limit on field armies, in those days: beyond those numbers, forage ceases to be an effective way to feed an army, and the cost of feeding the logistics train (horses eat a lot!) starts to exceed the cost of feeding the soldiers.

      What’s remarkable is how few mistakes Hooker made.

  • Republicofscotland

    The once in a generation promise on holding an indyref is bollocks, it wasn’t incorporated into the Edinburgh agreement, if Salmond or Sturgeon for that matter said it so what, newsflash! politicians sometimes tell porkies.

    I’ve read that Northern Ireland can hold a reunification referendum every seven years, with Sturgeon and Bain at the helm, I’d wager that Wales will be independent and Ireland reunited long before Scotland dissolves this union, with these two holding the reins.

    • Ebenezer Scroggie

      “Once in a lifetime” was incorporated, twice, (pages 3 and 10 of the pdf version) into the gobshite of the SNP manifesto.

      It’s right there in black & white and was repeated by both Salmond and Sturgeon at least a dozen times in multiple tv interviews. It wasn’t some kind of slip of the tongue. That was the deal that we voted on.

      The people have spoken. We voted Naw.

      • Republicofscotland

        “The Scottish Government stated in its white paper for independence that voting Yes was a “once in a generation opportunity to follow a different path, and choose a new and better direction for our nation”. – of course this was never officially signed in the Edinburgh agreement therefore holds no political weight on any future referendum.”


        “Following the referendum result, the cross-party Smith Commission stated that: “nothing in this report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose.”

        • Ebenezer Scroggie

          I never understand it when the SNumPties go into denial of reality.

          Take a look at the 670 pages of gobshite that was the SNP manifesto.

          Take a look at page XI of the Preface. If that isn’t Alex Salmond’s signature, then whose was it? If it wasn’t his “official” signature, then what was it?

          The document very clearly uses the words

          “It is the view of the current Scottish Government that a referendum is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. This means that only a majority vote for Yes in 2014 would give certainty that Scotland will be independent.”

          He put his signature to those words.

          Wee Nippy went further. She said that “politicians have to respect the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland.”

          • Republicofscotland

            Firstly, I’m no fan of the SNP though I’m a die-hard indy supporter, secondly The SNP’s White Paper and the Edinburgh Agreement were to two different documents, it might be in the White Paper but the Edinburgh Agreement signatures made no commitments to what you claim.

            “In her role as deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon signed a document, known as the Edinburgh agreement, between the UK and Scottish Governments on 15 October 2012. The agreement set out how the two governments would work together to ensure the 2014 independence referendum could take place.

            This document did not commit to the referendum being a “once in a generation” event, but did commit them to ensuring that the referendum result would “deliver a fair test and a decisive expression of the views of people in Scotland and a result that everyone will respect”.


            Ferret Fact Service could find no evidence of Nicola Sturgeon signing an agreement that a referendum would be a “once in a generation” vote.

            However, senior SNP figures, including then First Minister Alex Salmond, said that the referendum would be a “once in a generation opportunity” for Scotland.

            The Scottish Government’s 2013 white paper, Scotland’s Future, which made the case for Scottish independence, also defined the referendum as a “once in a generation opportunity”.

            Douglas Ross is incorrect in his claim that Nicola Sturgeon signed an agreement that the Scottish independence referendum would be a “once in a generation” vote. The ‘Edinburgh agreement’ that allowed Scotland to hold the 2014 vote did not mention any timescale for another referendum. However, Sturgeon and then-First Minister Alex Salmond repeatedly stated in interviews that they felt the vote was a “once in a generation” opportunity.”

          • Cubby

            Ebenezer, ” current” Scottish government as at 2014. You clearly have a problem interpretating sentences accurately. This is 2022 – a different Scottish government. The current Tory government cannot even stick to its own current manifesto.

            Also if it is gobshite as you so nicely put it why do you keep referencing it as if it is some sort religious document.

            You really do post nonsense.

        • Cubby

          Personally, I would have preferred Salmond to have said it was a once in a 307 year opportunity.

          The Britnats won that election due to the high No vote from English residents in Scotland.

          So the Britnats won but still they sent their thugs to George Square, Glasgow to beat up independence supporters and still they feel the need to lie about the referendum. Not nice people.

          A once-in-307-year opportunity to end the Union and terminate the UK is not a promise to not have another one. Once in 307 years does not seem very generous of the English but colonial powers are not known for their generosity to their colonies. Will Scotland have to wait another 307 years?

        • Republicofscotland

          Exactly Terence.

          How many political parties’ manifestos haven’t been worth the paper they were printed on, as the parties never live up to their pledges?

      • Jimmeh

        No government can bind a subsequent government. Not by legislating; and certainly not by a manifesto (we all know about manifestos) or TV interviews.

  • pasha

    If the Kingdom of Scotland as a legal entity has not existed since 1707, then neither has the Kingdom of England from the same date. Neither has Wales as a principality even further back. And where does that leave Northern Ireland? As a colony?
    The fact that the non-existent KoS has its own legal system, independent of the KoE, means that the KoS does exist as a legal entity regardless of its status vis-a-vis the KoS or the KoE.
    Evidently Scotland exists only in a sort of quantum state, neither real nor not real, until somebody actually pokes it. Whether this is good news or bad news for Scots and visitors I wouldn’t care to offer an opinion.
    It would be hilarious if it weren’t so farcically tragic.

  • nickB1

    It’s perhaps a sort of dishonest PR-driven pretence of the legal profession that the law determines how things will be, even in the face of power. E.g. I’ve read more than once that legally speaking it’s plain enough that Canada belongs to descendants of its “first nations”. But when they raise this with lawyers with a view to asserting their property rights they are told “you and whose army”.

  • Wrong Russian

    As I mentioned once before, the example of contries leaving Soviet Union is not quite comparable because of the Article 72 of the Soviet Constitution. One thing is when nothing is specified, another is when, even with some problems, there is an explicit right to leave stated in the main document of the country

    • Terence callachan

      Wrong Russian, there is not a union of countries that has ever existed that cannot be parted; if the people want to part they will do so.
      As Craig Murray stated, it is uncommon for any any country to include in its constitution any mention of how parts of it can leave, and that is fair enough because the parts are not actual countries in their own right; BUT Scotland is a country and that is what differentiates it from Texas and Florida and Catalonia which are not countries.
      Why would English law mention anything about the break up of the U.K.?
      why would Scottish law mention anything about the break up of the U.K.?
      They wouldnt because there has never been any expectation of it until 2014.

      It’s new ground being covered and just as unification of England and Scotland was new ground being covered, new legal decisions have to be made NOW as they were BACK THEN.

      The legal explanation rests in the name United Kingdom. England had no royal family to inherit the throne so they asked the King of Scotland to also be King of England. He agreed and following on from that union of the Scottish and English crown – the two countries Scotland and England joined together and called themselves the United Kingdom.

      • Wrong Russian

        >> As Craig Murray stated, it is uncommon for any any country to include in its constitution any mention of how parts of it can leave

        That is why including in the same list countries where there was such a mention, weakens, rather than strengthens, his argument.

      • Ebenezer Scroggie

        Of course there was no pre-nup built into either part of the two stages of The Union.

        It was a Scottish King who took over the buildings at the back of Whitehall to dominate England. A place which to this day is called Scotland Yard.

        The Estates of Scotland (as the Scottish Parliament used to be called) had made such an arse of the economy that they begged to be allowed to join Westminster.

        It was Scotland which ‘colonised’ England, in both cases. Not the other way around.

        Forget the Braveheart crap. That’s not at all how the UK came about.

        • Cubby

          “It was Scotland that colonised England” says wind up merchant Ebenezer and master of Britnat nonsense. I have read and heard some nonsense from Britnats/ House Jocks/Unionists or whatever they call themselves but this is a beauty – thanks for the ?????.

          As McEnroe used to say ” you cannot be serious” – and Ebenezer clearly is not.

        • Republicofscotland

          Actually, on the signing of the 1707 Treaty there were riots on the streets the common man and woman weren’t too keen on the union, so much so that the bought for treaty had to be signed in the basement of a corner shop in Edinburgh away from prying eyes.

          The common people had no vote, and the landed gentry who did have a vote, the majority of them were bought and paid for using the Equivalent (with some left over to start up the unionist RBS) of which again the common man and woman received nothing. What did Scotland get in return for joining the union? Well we immediately took on part of England’s debt and, not long after, the Malt Tax.

          Of course, King William of Orange did everything in his powers to make sure the earlier Darien Scheme failed, from supporting the Spanish in Panama, to denying Scots ships the use of English-controlled ports. It was said that not one barrel of water was to be given to the Scots.

          The union is a farce always has been always will be. The only benefit that it had for Scots was it opened up trade routes once closed to it; this is no longer needed in this inter-connected world each country has its own.

      • Bayard

        Terence, you are conflating the Union of the Crowns with the Act of Union almost a hundred years later. The full name of the United Kingdom is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain was the country formed by the Union of England and Scotland.

    • Terence

      Once Scotland and England called themselves the United Kingdom they didnt stop being separate countries; even to this day England exists and so does Scotland.

      The eu is a union of countries but that does not mean that each individual country no longer exists.
      A member state can leave the EU any time it wants, as Brexit has shown.
      The EU cannot stop a country leaving.
      If a country decides to have a vote on leaving the EU it does not mean every person in every country in the EU gets a vote. Of course it doesn’t; if it did no country would ever be able to leave.

      Some English people, most notably the lawyer presenting England’s case to the Supreme Court today,E say that everyone in th United Kingdom should get a vote on whether not Scotland can leave the United Kingdom.
      That would mean everyone in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and possibly Gibraltar, too.
      Scotland has five million people, so even if just a quarter of the people in England decide Scotland cannot leave, they will outnumber Scotland’s whole population.
      It’s such arrogant nonsense typical of English legal presentation on the subject – and of course completely undemocratic and illegal.

      • Bayard

        There is no reason to suppose that a majority of the English, Welsh and Northern Irish are Unionists wrt Scotland, indeed the restriction of the last indyref to Scotland suggests that they are not.

  • James Galt

    The whole thing may be academic soon anyway.

    Is there a plot underway to install Starmer?

    The BoE appears to be taking part in a process to bring this Tory Government to an end and we could soon be having a UK general election with Labour likely to win – a safe Labour utterly purged and fit to serve the British and Global Establishments.

    Where then does that leave Sturgeon’s “plans”?

    Might she be perfectly happy for those plans to be so interrupted?

    • Ebenezer Scroggie

      So ironic that The Bank of England was created by a Scotsman with the very explicit intention of getting the country into debt!

      So ironic that The Royal Bank of Scotland was set up to administer The Emolument which resulted from the Scottish BoE guy bankrupting Scotland.

      So ironic that RBS was bailed out by Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Both Scotsmen, of course.

    • terence

      James Galt , Labour have not been purged , they are as blue and right wing as the Conservative party now those who couldn’t find an opening in the Conservative party were invited into the Labour Party and over time have changed it to their liking .
      Now you have a Labour Party that does not change or oppose Conservative policies
      The working people see this and know they are changed

  • d w

    Whether someone did or didn’t say “once in a generation ” is utterly irrelevant, it’s just ticker-tape in a gale.

    We need to be independent to enable a better society to be funded and supported. Given the way the NHS is being run into the ground under Tory ideology, It’ll soon be too late to save, at least, Scotland’s NHS.

    We need to escape their disgusting ideology for good, and start building a new future.

    • Goose

      d w

      It’s the sort of thing you say to mobilise your supporters. The unionists know full well it is and are just being pedantic about it. Nearly every general election is spoken of by various party leaders’ in terms of it being the ‘most important general election in our lifetimes’… until the next one that is.

      Revealing today how the SNP’s John Nicholson MP tweeted:

      “King Charles speaks for us all. ‘You’re back again. Dear, oh dear. Well, anyway ….’ At least he won’t have to endure her for long.”

      Nicholson was commenting on the new King’s comments to a curtseying Liz Truss. Leaving aside the demeaning nature of an elected PM displaying such fealty to some hereditary monarch in 2022, Nicholson somehow manages to illustrate the poverty of aspiration within the SNP too. How they’ve resigned themselves to the UK status quo enduring, and to hopes of simply mitigating things in the UK political context, rather than boldly striding towards independence.
      Liz ‘two seats’ Truss (I stand by that prediction) and that comfortable liar, with all the personality of a Cyberman leading the laughably titled ‘opposition’ to a likely ‘win by default,’ should and could provide a unique opportunity for Nationalists to drive home the progressive case for independence and possibly generate excitement around a new Scottish republic too. For never before have respected unionist avocates been so thin on the ground.

      As others have said though, I’m also of the opinion Sturgeon has privately given up completely on achieving independence, no fight, no plan; no excitement, no zeal, no interest. It’s been obvious for ages she’s simply buying time and would prefer to pass the ‘problem’ to her equally drab successor – that is if she has anything to do with the selection process. For why else take this peculiar path? How many ‘mandates’ do they need? And why is the last Holyrood one they asked for and received not valid? Always just one more mandate then they’ll launch another consultation, then ask for another final, final mandate on the basis of its conclusions….ad infinitum.

  • DiggerUK

    It seems from posts on this thread, that there is no possibility of taking the case to the Scottish Supreme Court if the UK Supreme Court turn down the Scottish Government case to allow an Indyref.

    It is possible to then take the case to the UN International Human Rights Court If the Scotgubberment choose to do so. If they haven’t raised the international rights for independence argument at the UKSC, then I don’t think it likely they will take that road.
    But hope springs eternal, perhaps AUOB could crowdfund the costs.

    All well and good except for one small point, what do you expect the unionists to then do. I don’t think they will just rollover and accept the decision, even if it is supported by a decisive Indyref in favour of independence.
    Perhaps independence will come about with the partition of Scotland. Unionism will always be the elephant in the room.

    Once again, we have our host blowing the tartan dog whistle and getting the expected response from the usual suspects…_

    • Cubby

      And once again we have a colonialist wanting to partition someone else’s country. Shameful.

      You have just had 100 years of partition in Ireland and learned nothing.

      • DiggerUK

        Cubby, I avoid corresponding with you because you are such a …..well, you are what you are.

        How you can claim I am calling for a partitioned Scotland is for you to reveal, don’t forget you’re right to silence is a sacred right.

        All I am doing is trying to place a mirror of sanity in your face. If you don’t present a sane face to voters when your opportunity for a referendum comes round again, you will simply get laughed off the doorsteps of Scotland…_

        • Cubby

          “Perhaps independence will come about with the partition of Scotland.”

          That’s your words in your post – I have revealed that you cannae even read your own posts. Get help from the NHS is my advice diggerUK.

      • U Watt


        To their eyes creations like Northern Ireland and “the UK” remain perfectly normal and legitimate.. So they can see nothing wrong with replicating such “constitutional” arrangements deep into the 21st century.

        • DiggerUK

          U Watt,
          Oh stop it will you, my position in favour of a united Ireland is well known.
          So to is my ‘In the middle at Lidl’ ambivalence to a United Kingdom…. “when it’s gone, it’s gone”

          Being a nationalist bigot is something that has never appealed to me however, I think it is the absence of intellect I find so distasteful. But each to their own…_

          • Cubby

            Hey digger colonial arrogance is pretty distasteful as well. You wear it well as Rod Stewart sang.

            I can just imagine people like you saying the same thing down the centuries about people like Ghandi not to mention all the other peoples of the world who didn’t like being under the oppressive boot of somebody else’s empire.

            I am sure you would love to get an OBE from Charlie boy some day.

  • Jon

    I have been wondering: if the SC hears two essentially unionist positions, and is asked to decide between the two, can it decide to uphold Scotland’s competence to hold a referendum even though the case has been argued poorly (or not really presented at all)? The judges surely would be aware of the major holes in the Scottish government’s presentation, even if only to maintain a veneer of impartiality. Can they (must they) take into account case law that has not been mentioned or presented?

    I appreciate it might be optimistic to hope that UK judges are going to find against the UK, but if we believed they would manufacture their judgement, it would not matter one bit how Bain had performed anyway.

  • Neil Donaldson

    Dear Craig,
    I’ve put this question to you before but you have not responded. By right of birth I am as much a Scot as yourself. The fact that I live in England precludes me from having a vote on Scottish independence, which I do support. A vote for independence would mean that I would lose my Scottish nationality. How can this be allowed?
    Kindest regards, Neil Donaldson.

    • Cubby

      Neil, who told you that.

      No reason you cannot have Scottish citizenship. No reason the Britnats can’t have British citizenship

    • craig Post author

      A residential qualification for the franchise is perfectly normal. If you are as Scottish as I am, then on any probable Scottish citizenship rule you could get Scottish citizenship. Although of course the citizenship requirements will be decided by an Independent Scotland.

  • Cubby

    Britnat arrogance and English lies on full display on Question Time tonight.

    Your Scottish financial turmoil will be worse than our current English financial turmoil after independence.

    Even our Scottish hypothetical turmoil is not good enough says Hardman.

    Elizabeth Hardman from the Spectator showing her face in Scotland after her magazine said Scots are vermin and should be put in a concentration camp and exterminated. I don’t remember an outcry about this but a Scottish leader dares to use the word detest about an English political party and the fake outrage pours out from the Britnats.

  • Jim

    This is Scotland without its devolved hat on that’s attempting to extricate itself from the UK. Where’s the difficulty in understanding that concept! Scotland the country existed before the Treaty of Union, also throughout said treaty, and now going forward will continue as a country. I fail to see how it looks like it’s the devolved Scotland which is the one looking to quit the UK. Am I missing something?

  • nevermind

    Imho there will be a GE soon to elect a new Government. If Independence should play a role, then Alba, Salvo and AUOB groups should work out a manifesto for Independence, setting out their policies and first steps.
    The SNP will be trying their best to frustrate such efforts, showing voters their real face.
    The last episode of show-womanship in the High court and the lame performance, at high costs to voters, as well as their lack of actions on ferry issues, absence of any policies on a future currency, Scotland’s vote to stay in the EU, issues of resources and taxation, energy dependencies that should be reviewed, and much more, should be part of a GE campaign.

    Without an united alternative there will be no support. I’m sure Alex Salmond knows this, and so does Salvo and the steering groups. Get to it!

  • Aim Here

    I was under the impression that the Scottish Government were arguing ‘It’s only an advisory referendum so it’s not a reserved matter’, while the SNP were arguing ‘Scotland has the right of self-determination so it doesn’t matter what Westminster thinks’.

    These aren’t entirely compatible arguments, and rather than having the Westminster government point that out and say ‘Make up your mind – does this referendum matter or not?’, the pro-indy faction has two separate parties here, the Scottish Government bringing the case, and the SNP putting other arguments to the court using some amicus-curiae-type mechanism.

    I’m under the impression it’s Claire Mitchell KC who’s arguing for the SNP here, and the SNP’s submission, with the self-determination argument can be found at:

  • DavidH

    You can’t expect the UK Supreme Court to agree with the argument that “Compliance with UK law is not necessary”.

    If you believe that, then you should be proceeding without reference to the UK Supreme Court.

    If you go to the UK Supreme Court, and you expect to win, you have to present a case from within UK law.

  • Fwl

    Can’t understand how an independent Scotland could make use of GBP as it would then be another country’s currency (possibly then known as BP). Whilst England & Wales could jointly dilute and create money out of air Scotland could not. If independent Scotland would need its own currency from day one.

  • Maglocunos

    A little harsh, Craig.

    Sure she’s no firebrand, but she makes her submissions clearly, concisely and comprehensively within the framework of the existing legal devolution framework, and remember that oral argument is only a small part of the case.

    Of course you can argue that the discussion should not be held within that legal framework at all, and/or that international law should take precedence, but that can hardly be gainsaid.

    You may be right as to the outcome, but let’s wait for the court’s judgment and see.

  • Ewen A Morrison


    When a venerable person like Craig Murray, a man who is qualified enough – Historian, Former Ambassador, and Human Rights Activist – writes an article that’s entitled: ‘The White Flag Hearing’, then most of us might sit up and pay attention;
    especially in Scotland’s population. Today’s world is in an unusual state of affairs, let alone climate concerns. Exceptional challenges need out-of-the-ordinary solutions and perhaps people like Mr Murray are going to be among our saviours?

    Occasionally, some answers are too great or extreme to be expressed or described in simple words – however, it’s natural to be inquisitive and thank goodness for this tendency, especially in humankind. We, ordinary people, are more likely to be more reactive than our leaders… However, in a good democracy, it is in the electorate that sovereignty exists and this has been proven in Scotland’s history. This factor is inherent in Murray’s title and this WILL give some of us a reason to read his article.

    With thanks,

    Ewen A