In the wake of the Brexit vote, two issues regarding Scotland have arisen.
- Can the Scottish parliament veto the referendum?
- Will Scotland seek another referendum to leave the UK?
The BBC reports Nicola Sturgeon says MSPs at Holyrood could veto Brexit
Notes: The Scottish parliament is in the Holyrood section of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. MSP stands for members of Scottish parliament. Nicola Sturgeon is leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP).
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told the BBC that Holyrood could try to block the UK’s exit from the EU.
SNP leader Ms Sturgeon said that “of course” she would ask MSPs to refuse to give their “legislative consent”.
Constitutional law expert and Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins tweeted that Holyrood had no power to veto the UK’s withdrawal.
Mr Tomkins – who backed the Remain side of the referendum campaign – said that while Holyrood had the power to withhold consent, that was not the same as blocking.
Another Scotland Referendum?
The veto threat is a mirage. What about another referendum?
Scotland had a chance to break away from the UK on September 18, 2014 in a Scottish Independence Referendum.
The vote was 55.3% to stay vs 44.7% to break away. Now Scotland is having second thoughts.
The Sunday Post reports New Survey Shows 59% Support Scottish Independence After Brexit Vote.
The online survey, by research firm ScotPulse, took place on Friday and was sent to a representative sample of 1600 adults across Scotland.
Respondents were asked: If there was a referendum tomorrow with the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, how would you vote?
A total of 59% said Yes, 32% said No and the rest were undecided.
A total of 73% of those under the age of 25 backed independence, with over-65s the only age group with support for separation under the 50% mark.
People were also asked: “In light of the EU referendum result, were you more or less supportive of Scottish independence?”
A total of 50% said they were more supportive, 17% said they were less supportive and the rest said the result hadn’t changed their view on the question.
Asked if Nicola Sturgeon’s bid to stay in the EU was the right decision, 62% backed the First Minister, 33% said it was the wrong decision and 6% were unsure.
Asked what will happen to the EU in future now that England and Wales have voted to leave, 56% thought other countries would also look to quit the alliance, while 31% believed it would carry on as normal without the UK.
A further 7% thought it would expand its membership to make up for the loss of the UK, while another 7% believed the EU would collapse.
Scotland to Negotiate with EU to Remain
Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday she would seek “immediate discussions” with Brussels to protect Scotland’s place in the EU while warning again that another independence referendum was “very much on the table”.
Following an emergency meeting of Scottish ministers – the first held on a Saturday – the First Minister said she would “act decisively but in a way that builds unity across Scotland”.
Ms Sturgeon insists a second vote on independence is now “highly likely” in the next two years, and confirmed her government will draw up the necessary legislation for a fresh vote.
“I can confirm today that over the next few days I will establish an advisory panel comprising a range of experts who can advise me and the Scottish Government on a number of important matters – legal, financial and diplomatic.”
The SNP manifesto for May’s Holyrood elections said the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another independence vote if there was a “significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014” – such as Brexit.
Henry McLeish, a former Labour first minister, said he was now “very, very attracted” by separation if it kept Scotland’s place in Europe, and described Thursday’s referendum as a “game changer” for the constitutional debate.
Meanwhile, the SNP has reported large numbers of No voters from 2014 contacting the party to say they would now vote Yes.
Statement of the Obvious
Sturgeon: “It’s a statement of the obvious that a second referendum must be on the table, and it is on the table”.
Scotland would not remain in the EU even if it won a referendum tomorrow. Like any other country it would require a new treaty.
If Scotland was in the EU with its open migration policy, border issues come into play.
Finally, and most important, what about currency issues? Scotland could not stay on the British pound.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock