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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Resorting to the courts

This morning's Telegraph contains an interesting article on the SNP's much-talked about Independence Referendum.

This is particularly relevant given that a number of Plaid Cymru figures are already pre-empting the result of that plebsicite and demanding that we make contingency plans for an emasculated British state. I would contend that not only are they taking the vote for granted but also that they are deliberately misleading people on the process should a 'yes' vote emerge.

The paper says that one of Scotland's leading QCs has claimed that the planned independence referendum has a “high chance” of being struck down by the courts as illegal.

Aidan O’Neill says that only Westminster has the authority to hold a vote on breaking up Britain, but adds that he believes that Mr Salmond may seek “political advantage” by crying foul when his proposals are declared unlawful.

The UK Supreme Court would ultimately decide on whether the referendum was legal, he says, but he notes that both the First Minister and Kenny MacAskill, the Justice Minster, have “form” in attacking its judges.

The Prime Minister has also hinted that he will take charge of the referendum if Mr Salmond continues to refuse to ask a single “straightforward” question. At the same time the Coalition Government is examining the legality of the First Minister staging the vote amid widespread expectations of a third-party legal challenge on the grounds constitutional affairs are reserved to Westminster.

This is far from a straightforward matter but then I expect Alex Salmond knows that and is counting on these sorts of challenges to bolster his own support in Scotland.
Scotland just gave the go-ahead for fracking (shale gas); does this show their increasing independence? If the Scots want independence then who are we to deny them. Let them have it. Legal arguments will likely mean zilch if there is a national referendum and a significant majority of Scots vote for independence. cw
Be a brave English Government that says no to the people, in Wales it's a different story.
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