UK Not Likely to Survive Brexit Article 50 Decision

I never thought I would get so fascinated with a UK Supreme Court decision, but I watched much of last week’s hearings with an interest which belied the profoundly boring content of the arguments. In addition to teaching us a lot about the UK unwritten constitution, it also demonstrated how constitutionally dysfunctional the UK is and has always been, to the point where the decision to be handed down in January could ultimately lead to Irish reunification, Scottish independence, who knows with Wales, and leaving little England to leave the EU by itself.

The case hinges on two fundamental constitutional questions. First, whether Parliament must legislate to invoke article 50, or whether it can be  unilaterally invoked by the Prime Minister using Royal Prerogative. Second, must the devolved parliaments also give legislative consent to invoke Article 50?

For the first question, the Government argues that the Royal Prerogative, which includes the power to make and unmake international treaties, gives them the authority to invoke Article 50.

The claimants argue that while invoking Article 50 in itself would not change domestic law immediately, as night follows day, it will have a profound effect once the UK leaves the EU. Only Parliament can make and unmake laws.  Because the EU law shapes domestic law, Parliament must therefore legislate to invoke Article 50. Royal Prerogative ends where affecting law begins.

As to the second question over requiring legislative consent from devolved parliaments, Attorney General for Scotland Richard Keen argued in favour of Parliamentary supremacy and absolute sovereignty of the Crown in Parliament, that the Scottish people were not sovereign, and had no right to be consulted on their constitutional future.

Arguing on behalf of the Scottish Government, Lord Advocate for Scotland James Wolffe held that while the UK government could invoke Article 50 without legislative consent, doing so would be in violation of the Sewell Convention. This convention, on statutory footing since the 2016 Scotland Act was passed, holds that the UK Parliament will not ‘normally’ legislate on devolved matters without legislative consent. How ‘normally’ is defined in this case is a matter for the court, who will decide whether it is mandatory. Nevertheless, Wolffe argued that invoking Article 50 without legislative consent would melt the consensual glue which has purportedly held the Union together.

It is almost certain that the court will uphold the appeal and rule that Parliament must be consulted, though to what degree we will learn when the decision is handed down. For the second question, either outcome will likely dissolve the Union.

The decision will likely fall somewhere in between categorically requiring legislative consent and upholding absolute UK parliamentary sovereignty. If it is closer to the former, expect the howls from Westminster and the Unionist press to be deafening. Given that the Scottish will not give consent, at least in the absence of a cast-iron guarantee that Scotland shall remain in the single market (impossible), it is entirely conceivable that Westminster would be forced to allow another independence referendum before the end of the negotiations which will allow Scotland to remain in the EU as an independent nation.

If the decision is closer to the latter, it will put to rest any notion that Scotland is an equal nation within the UK, or that Scotland’s voice will be heard, much less respected. There will no longer be a union, in that the UK would have so fundamentally violated basic conventions of partnership and collaboration that Scotland would hold a second independence referendum, with or without the consent of Westminster.

For Ireland, Brexit poses an existential threat to the Good Friday Accords, which are the basis of the peace process. During the arguments, lawyers for the claimants argued that the accords gave the Northern Irish a say over their constitutional future. Therefore, they must have a say over their status within the EU.

Loyalists in Northern Ireland are loyal to Scots Presbyterians, not to England. If Scotland leaves the Union, thus dissolving it, this could engender a fundamental rethink over the meaning of Unionism and whether now is the time to begin a debate over unification, which the Scots would be delighted to help inform. Given Nicola Sturgeon’s rapturous welcome in the Irish Seanad, her unequivocal support for not reimposing a north-south border, and their support for Scottish independence, this goes beyond mere fantasy.

Either way, the only thing that is certain is that the UK will not survive Brexit in the same form.

This is compounded by the fact that the UK government is utterly oblivious to what a train wreck the negotiations with the EU are likely to be. Theresa May continues to talk about getting the ‘best deal’ for the UK with ‘access’ to the single market, when clearly there will never be a deal which is better than the UK currently enjoys.The Europeans have been crystal clear about two things: no negotiation without notification, and no division of the four freedoms: people, goods, services, and capital. Also, no matter ‘plan’ the Brexiteers come up with it, the agenda has already been set by the EU. Among the items: the divorce bill, the status of EU citizens living in the UK and vice-versa, and unique situations such as Scotland and Northern Ireland who it is understood will take part in this part of the negotiations.

Nowhere on the agenda is any talk of a new deal, which would likely only able to be arranged once the what is left of the UK has exited the EU. Boris Johnson and other Tories are harking back to the era of swashbuckling gunboat diplomacy in thinking countries will be lining up to do trade deals with the UK. This ignores the fact that no country will be remotely interested in serious negotiation with the UK until its trading status with the EU is resolved, as EU market access is a major reason why many have invested in the UK.

Only time will tell what will emerge from the EU talks in 2019, but the British isles will never be the same constitutionally. While Scotland as a sovereign country became ‘extinct’ in 1707, 2019 could well see the extinction of the UK and the remnants of the British Empire.

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74 thoughts on “UK Not Likely to Survive Brexit Article 50 Decision

  1. Clydebuilt

    Best analysis of the entire mess and the possibilities I’ve read yet. I learned some things from reading it.

  2. Edward Freeman

    One small point – I don’t believe that Westminster has to “allow” us to have a referendum. It would of course be best if we got their OK, but in the event that their current record of sheer incompetence, idiocy and craziness persists, and they deny their “permission”, we are perfectly entitled to have one anyway – national self-determination is a right under the UN Charter, and it’s not a dead letter either.

    Incidentally, the principle of national self-determination means that we have the right to decide on our sovereignty and international political status without interference. This necessarily means (if someone out there knows different, I’d like to hear the reasons why) that we have the right to take back our sovereignty as an independent State if and when we want, and to remain in the EU if we so wish.

    We voted no to the former in 2014 (on the basis of a referendum that can scarcely be held to have taken place “without interference”, though the tanks did not roll), but yes to the latter this past June. Any attempts by the Usual Suspects to say that the Remain majority in Scotland did not mean that Scotland wanted to stay in, we wanted the UK to stay in, should be treated with the contempt they deserve.

    Logically speaking, we MUST have a second referendum on independence BEFORE Brexit, on the well-founded assumption that a satisfactory “special deal” for Scotland will not be forthcoming. I cannot see any other way to resolve the contradiction. What positive purpose Ms. May’s offer would serve, that we have indyref2 AFTER Brexit, escapes me, unless it is to compound the current chaos and confusion and fling our Usual Suspects another nice red herring to shout about when our Government goes ahead with indyref2 beforehand, which it most definitely should do, whatever the regime in London thinks – it will be interesting to see what the Supreme Court thinks about it.

  3. Dan Huil

    Very interesting post. Westminster has already offered [!] an IndyRef2 post-brexit – rightly turned down by our FM. I agree that there must be IndyRef2 pre-brexit. Either that or Holyrood should hold a vote to dissolve the union with England pre-brexit.

    1. Conrad

      our Fm turned it down because Theresa May wont give us it until after brexit and rightly so.

      why should nicola bow down to what Theresa wants and doesnt.

      who do the Tories think they are.

  4. Seph

    Even if Irish reunification is not politically doable (yet), another option is for a mostly self-governing NI to remain attached to an independent Scotland in some fashion.

    1. John Webb

      Propose a federal United irish state and offer the people of Northern Ireland the three counties of the historic Ulster: their new province would sit in a federal assembly. The real difficulty lies in the dependence of NI on subsidies from the UK Govt, unless these continue in some form the people of NI would prefer to take their chances outside the EU and under the current constitutional arrangements.

  5. Brexit for Scotland

    I will never put my stubby pencil to any piece of paper to rejoin the UK once we leave. And I pray to god that Nicola give us the choice to become a republic.

  6. James

    Brilliant article, only quibble is a touch of ambiguity in “It is almost certain that the court will upold the appeal and rule that Parliament must be consulted”. You mean uphold the original decision and refuse the appeal.

  7. Mary Goodall

    I want my Country Scotland to be in charge of our own Scottish Government. Not to be Subservient to another Country. Ruled by another Country. And have all our Revenues sent to another Country. That builds up its infrastructure. With our Revenues.

    1. Ed

      And yet you seem happy to cede sovereignty to the EU. Don’t get me wrong, I very much voted to remain, but the arguments for leaving both the UK and the EU are similarly flawed and small minded.

      1. Conrad

        your not making sense sorry. if you voted remain in the EU as i did also. and leave the UK what is your point sorry

    2. T Barham

      Good idea to be ruled by an unelected EU and take the Euro as well. I think Scotland’s trade with the rest of the U.K. Far out ways it’s trade with Europe. But then with”independence” in mind, economics goes out the window

      1. Bibbit

        ‘Ruled by unelected EU’ is one of the Leave lies of Leave demolished by the Liverpool University professor in next post.

        It is also a lie that Scotland would be forced to use the Euro. of the current 28 members of the EU, only 19 use the Euro as their common currency. The NINE EU member states which do not use the Euro are: the UK, Croatia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Denmark and Sweden.

        Conversely, 6 countries use the Euro as their currency but are NOT members of the EU: the Vatican City, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Kosovo and Montenegro.

        It is also quite mad to think that the airts & pairts of a former UK will cease to trade economically based on right wing political English nationalistic zealotry. Did trade cease between the UK & Eire on independence? Did trade cease with Australia, India, Canada with UK on independence? Of course not!

        One of my many incentives for desiring Scottish independence is to rid my country from the over 800 cronies, public rejects & party donors in the swollen unelected House of Lords passing laws in Scotland costing millions per annum.

  8. Lisanne Valente

    Excellent article and clear analysis. I don’t know why – as one who has always, and will always support independence – find the whole prospective outcome, quite depressing. I suppose it goes hand in hand with endings.
    Should it be the realization of what many Scots have said for at least twenty years, that our voice isn’t heard, but now that we may be considered also, as inconsequential it introduces the question of where do we go from here? Another referendum?
    I would love to believe second time around it would be a different outcome than September 2014 but with the propaganda machine in full flow, it will be an uphill battle.
    It is, or perhaps should be, time to recall our MP’s and simply declare ourselves independent and to hang with Westminster!

  9. Kenneth East

    I’ve been waiting for something like this. The Westminster government have backed themselves into a corner over brexit and the unforeseen consequences of the result of the Supreme Court will either say that Scotland does not have a say on article 50 or that they do have to be consulted, win win situation. Sit tight nicola they’re doing our job for us

  10. bringiton

    As far as England’s Tories are concerned,Cameron made some colossal blunders.
    By agreeing to indyref1,Westminster acknowledged the right of Scotland as a country to determine it’s constitutional arrangements.
    This completely undermined the unitary state contention of unionist politicians with regard to the UK.
    By mounting a completely negative campaign largely based on misinformation and his subsequent announcement of EVEL,it became clear to many No voting Scots that they had been misled.
    By refusing to listen to advice that Scotland would not accept being taken out of the EU against our will he created a situation where the true nature of the UK union has been exposed in open court.
    Cameron has been a great friend to the cause of Scottish independence but a total disaster for Tory unionists.

  11. Kangaroo

    Scotland has always been a sovereign country, its sovereignty just got nicked in 1707 and as long as unionists were voting in Wastemonster nothing was done. Now this is no longer the case and as the Kingdom of Scotland demands its equal status with the Kingdom of England it becomes problematic as we will brook no superior and they no equal.

    Tick tock… the union is dead.

    Wakey wakey everyone.

    1. Derek Petrie

      To be fair it didn’t get nicked, we had to give it away because we were financially unwise. Let’s avoid both in future.

      1. Thomas

        It got nicked mate, the people of Scotland didn’t get a vote on the Act of the union, about 170 member’s of the so called Scottish parliament voted for it and only marginally won.

        Most of the members in the Scottish parliament who were made up of lords and wealthy land owners were bribed by the English at the time and most were bribed with greater riches and land, they sold out the rest of Scotland for personal gain.

        This caused riots across the length and breadth of Scotland at the time. The English army’s were called in to quell the unrest.
        Make no mistake it was nicked from the majority of scots by a greed shower of shit in the Scottish parliament.

  12. Linsey Young

    I would suggest that Scotland became “dormant” as a Sovereign country in 1707, rather than extinct. Other than that, spot on.

  13. Patricia Reynolds

    The assertion that Scotland ceased to exist in 1707 is simply incorrect. The two nations entered into union…and currently that union is not working for both nations. Divorce is inevitable. …

  14. Bruce L

    Para. 7 begins: “It is almost certain that the court will uphold the appeal”… Surely that should be “It is almost certain that the court will NOT uphold the appeal” since it is the government which is appealing?

  15. Rigg Robertson

    When a previous North British branch manager (Holyrood) embarked on the “something for nothing culture” speech I couldn’t quite sum the phenomenon in a word. Eureka, Brexiteers!

  16. John Howe

    Pray for poor Wales which is likely to be dragged along with England without a peep of dissent from the population – until of course it is too late.

    I am deeply worried about the future of my country.

  17. kininvie

    The key moment for me was when the judges were questioning Keen about why Sewel had been given statutory status. Keen argued that it was unimportant – it still had no legal force. ‘It was a kind of douceur (sweetener/bribe)?’ asked a judge. Keen did not object to the term.

    ….not of course the first time that Westminster has used ‘sweeteners’ to prop up the Union…

  18. Piscivore

    It is almost certain that the court will uphold the appeal and rule that Parliament must be consulted, though to what degree we will learn when the decision is handed down.

    The appeal is by the Government against the ruling of the High Court that Parliament must be consulted. Get it right!

  19. Habib Steele

    I would be grateful if you would address the argument for the sovereignty of the people of Scotland. Is it, in fact, part of the Constitution of Scotland, which was taken into the Union with Scot’s Law, thus including in the Constitution of the UK, both Scottish and English constitutional understandings of sovereignty? The English notion is that the Monarch in Parliament has unlimited sovereignty, which is the contrary of the Scottish notion of the sovereignty of the people. For this reason The Royal Prerogative cannot be exercised in this case, because the people of Scotland have not given their permission. In Scotland the Monarch reigns, the Government Administers, and the Parliament legislates; all under the Sovereignty of the Scottish people in matters concerning Scotland.

  20. One_Scot

    I believe May knows that she cannot just drag Scotland out of the EU as she wishes, and that she will have to give Scotland IndyRef2 so that she can get the mandate she needs to take Scotland with her, through a No vote.

    She is probably confident that the British Establishment, ‘Dark Forces’ and unionist media will scare the crap out of Scotland again.

    1. manandboy

      The Westminster Governments ‘ constitutional duties and responsibilities are invariably compromised and frequently corrupted by the knowledge that through control of both the UK Parliament by virtue of a large majority of the UK population, and the Electorate by means of the all-pervading State Propaganda machine, Westminster controls all the levers of real power, including The Supreme Court.

      The elephant in the room is the true nature of The Establishment which only yesterday was again revealed, in the vote against Amendment 7, as self-serving.

      When the Monarchy and the ruling class have abandoned the principle and the practice of serving one’s country, in favour of private greed and ambition, then the UK is constitutionally and institutionally bankrupt.
      The Union is already ended. It just hasn’t been acknowledged yet.

  21. stevendurrant

    Not to urinate on anyones chips, but Scotland does far more trade with England and Wales than it does with the rest of the EU. That said, it may well not be in their economic interests to leave the UK if the UK leaves the EU.

    Personally I support an independent Scotland anyway, in or out of the EU. But I’m welsh living in england so my view counts for knacker all.

    1. Thomas

      That’s not quiet correct. most of Scotland’s trade with Europe has to go through England or the UK as the UK is a member of the EU and is counted as trade with the UK.
      Scotland produces some 4 – 4.5 billion in whisky every year and most of it is shipped from England and is counted as English tax and not counted in the GERS figures which are a joke anyway. But those figures are very misleading and massaged to make it look like most trade is with England.

  22. Brian Lee

    I’ve always believed that our legal system has too many layers of lawyers, creating utter confusion using smoke and mirrors to justify their existstance. They run the country and always have done.

  23. Matt Shardlow

    The description of the mess is pretty accurate and the potential outcomes are probably wider that we can guess and almost all will result in a weaker union.

    I will just point out that you are tending to conflate the UK Parliament with England, which of course it isn’t. Those wishing for the Kingdom of Scotland to achieve parity with the Kingdom of England are wishing for a country with no national parliament.

    The other aspect that will become increasingly interesting is that when we are all in the EU the ‘UK’ could keep a certain degree of control over the four countries through the EU Parliament and particularly the EU Council of Ministers. Out of the EU devolution looks much more profound.

  24. Andy McKirdy

    Ever get the feeling, One_Scot, that those “Dark Forces” did more than just scare no voters! I get very pessimistic that without the UN overseeing Indyref2 that those same forces will do their work again!!!!
    The ‘British Establishment’ hasn’t ruled for a thousand years just to allow a bit of democracy in their northern colony to bring about their end.
    Hope the superb analysis above proves to be true though.

    1. Catherine

      Perhaps it would be wise not to dismiss all no voters as having been misled and scared. Just as it’s wise not to dismiss all yes voters as romanticists. People often just have different views on e.g., why Scotland agreed to a union in the first place and why now at this time they believe it may be better to remain within a union not just with England but Ireland and Wales too.I believe everyone needs to listen more to those that think differently instead of dismissing them. Its never that simple. There is so much at stake for all of us.

    2. David Mooney

      Have to agree Andy. Independent scrutiny of the full referendum voting process (especially the postal vote) is vital. The British Establishment’s “dark forces” will stop at nothing to prevent a Yes vote at Indyref2.

  25. Andrew Morton

    A very good, clear perceptive post.

    However, you have completely omitted the Claim Of Right part of the argument.

    The Scottish Claim of Right Act 1689 set out, among other things, that in Scotland the people are sovereign.

    ‘Therfor the Estates of the kingdom of Scotland Find and Declaire That King James the Seventh being a profest papist Did assume the Regall power and acted as king without ever takeing the oath required by law and hath by the advyce of Evill and wicked Counsellors Invaded the fundamentall Constitution of the Kingdome and altered it from a legall limited monarchy To ane arbitrary despotick power and hath Exercised the same to the subversione of the protestant religion and the violation of the lawes and liberties of the Kingdome inverting all the Ends of Government wherby he hath forfaulted the right to the Croune and the throne is become vacant.

    And wheras His Royall Highness William then Prince of Orange now King of Ingland whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make the glorious instrument of delyvering these Kingdomes from Popery and arbitrary power did By the advyce of severall Lords and Gentlemen of this Nation at London for the tyme call the Estates of this Kingdome to meet the fourteenth of March last In order to such an Establishment as that their Religion lawes and liberties might not be again in danger of being subverted And the saids Estates being now assembled in a full and free representative of this Nation Takeing to their most serious Consideratione the best meanes for attaining the ends aforesaid Do In the first place as their ancestors in the like cases have usually done for the vindicating and asserting their antient rights and liberties Declare’.

    I understand that part of the Lord Advocate’s submission related to the Claim of Right.

  26. John Burrows

    Another alternative open to the judiciary, and the likeliest, is to uphold the lower court’s ruling without offering any opinions on how the government would resolve these constitutional issues. A single statement decision.

    No sane individual would bring upon themselves the fury of the mob in it’s current state. Much less the sedate group of self effacing supreme’s. The Prime Minister and Chancellor didn’t exactly have the judiciary’s backs after the lower court ruling.

    Why would the judiciary take the heat off May’s Government and take it on the chin for them now? They know they will be hung out to dry.

    I am fairly certain that turmoil will immediately ensue whatever decision they might advance on any of these issues. Especially if they chose one argument over another.

    They are probably trying to figure out right now the simplest statement they can concoct that will get them off the hook.

    Essentially, I think the Lords will kick it back to the politicians to make there own decisions on the next steps. In other words, a pigs breakfast. May will pass the enabling Act through Parliament in March that triggers Article 50, in as brief a form as possible.

    Delay is the only plan being followed right now for leaving the European Union. The half wits with the keys to the asylum are just tossing a live hand grenade around between each other. Each of them hoping they won’t be around when it finally goes off and praying for a miracle.

    1. John Burrows

      A political and economic union of Scotland and Northern Ireland would be the most satisfactory conclusion of this entire morass – with a CETA-like trade union with the rUK. The latter would then allow the latter to have indirect access to the EU and ensure that our New Union would abide by the recently concluded trade agreement between the EU and Canada.

      This would accomplish three primary goals:

      1. Ease any future transition of the New Union to re-joining, or even retaining our EU membership;

      2. Creating the foundation for re-aligning the four majority “nations” of the British Isles in the most positive manner;

      2. Abandoning our current status as a minority indigenous nation, with a fatally compromised constituent assembly, forever oppressed by a Kleptocracy that is currently bent on regressing us all to the 17th century.

      1. John Burrows

        I recommend Ayr as the Political Capital of the New Union. It is geographically well placed between the two “Nations” with close access to both Rail, Ferry and Aviation links.

  27. Pedr ap Ioan

    Who knows with Wales !? I only wish I had a positive answer I fear some would be happy being Cymrushire. While reading this great and informative article I came to the comment “who knows with Wales” It was as if someone had reached into my chest cavity and ripped out my heart !

  28. Alan Bell

    You are right to mention Ireland. The way indyref 2 works is if Scotland offers to solve the very serious problem of a visible border on the island of Ireland. A hard customs border between Scotland and England would be a series of service stations and warehousing hubs on the A and M roads creating a bunch of jobs in the borders and much cheerfulness. The relatively few minor roads crossing get height restrictions or just get closed. Northern Ireland retains the power sharing in Stormont, they would just be ignored by Edinburgh rather than ignored by Westminster – basically no change. At some point everyone ditches the toxic pound and takes the Euro.
    There are a lot of hideously difficult problems on the table at the moment. There is absolutely no appetite for a net increase in problems. If indyref2 is presented as adding a few small problems whilst solving some very big problems then it really can happen.

  29. Carol Fraser

    What a monumental disaster it all is. May has alienated the Europeans with her arrogance already. She”s now doing the same with Scotland in the AG saying the country does not need to be consulted! The Irish seem also to be of little consideration. She already has 116 million disgruntled remain voters, 1.5 million 16/17 year old and 1 million expats deprived of a vote. What was that about getting our democracy back?

  30. John Connolly

    Ireland is an independent nation that legitimately claims sovereignty over the whole of the island of Ireland including the six counties in the north that were partitioned from the rest of it to establish Northern Ireland, a gerrymandered area set up so that England could continue to have a foothold in Ireland. Those six counties should be returned to the Irish Free State.They along with the three counties in Southern Ireland adjoining them across the present border form the province of Ulster one of four provinces that go to make up Ireland. The Irish people will not agree to six of it’s counties going into a new union with Scotland or any other entity and nor should it. I respect Scotland’s right to independence. The Scottish people should equally respect Ireland’s and all of it’s people’s right to be a unified nation again that determines it’s own affairs without any interference from external countries.

    1. John Webb

      I agree that the Scottish Govt would be ill-advised to ‘annex’ the Six Counties of NI but the RoI changed its Constitutional claim to the whole of the island as a quid pro quo within the Belfast Agreement of 1998. This Agreement is an international treaty. Will an English Tory Govt tear it up? Perhaps the best solution is a Brexit from NI!


    After reading this in full,It has enforced my already held opinion that the referendum
    result for Brexit will bring about a complete disaster for the U.K. In every respect,
    which we will never recover from.

  32. Kevn Beach

    “It is almost certain that the court will uphold the appeal ”

    I think you mean “… dismiss the appeal” or “… uphold the High Court’s decision”

  33. Kevn Beach

    Regarding Northern Ireland and Scotland, I wonder whether we might even see a unification or federation of (all) Ireland and Scotland, which would very neatly solve the Northern Irish issue.

  34. Tony Matthews

    These arguments are interesting but fail to take into account the nature of the present UK government. This is not a regime that welcomes arguments for dissolution of the union and it is very unlikely to accept such a development, however strongly Nationalists in Scotland and Northern Ireland may wish for it. The progress in devolution and genuine representation of the wishes of those countries dates back only to the 1990s. Until 1997 the Conservatives refused point blank to consider such reforms, even under the now moderate John Major. Sadly the party that now holds power faces no credible opposition from Labour and is more than capable of enforcing its control on every part of the UK whether or not that is the will of local people. Such is the result of Labour’s refusal to implement genuine constitutional reform when it had the chance and the incompetence of the Cameron administrations in improving the situation. On the contrary, of course, our present dire circumstances are entirely down to the now discredited Cameron and his cronies.

  35. Norman Darbyshire

    The Westminster Government cannot proceed on vague notions of their ultimate sovereignty over the affairs of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Ignoring their democratic decision to remain part of the EU would be a contravention of the human rights of the two constituent nations and would be morally and philosophically criminal.

  36. Pingback: UK Not Likely to Survive Brexit Article 50 Decision — Towards Indyref2… | Thoughts from John

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  38. Folkdisco

    “Loyalists in Northern Ireland are loyal to Scots Presbyterians”. Yes, I had totally forgotten about the NI Scottish link. In my year at Paisley University halls of residence, there was a huge handbags at dawn incident, with Scots outside chanting “You kicked the English out, but you couldn’t kick us out!” The interesting thing is everyone expected the leave vote to lead to huge calls for Scottish independence. But the polls for independence have gone down in Scotland. Do people want physical border posts at Gretna Green? I believe there is no strong feeling for independence in Scotland, so long as England does not take the urine. Unfortunately England has been doing exactly that for the past 35 years.

  39. Patrick G Cox

    Thank you for this excellent analysis. I find the irony of the fact that the “empire” and the Union began with the death of the first Elizabeth, and seems likely to be no more by the passing of the second fascinating. I doubt it has even occurred to most of the Westminster Mob. In an even stranger twist, some ten years ago I mapped out a science fiction story arc I proposed writing (and have now largely completed, though only the first two books are in print at the moment) in which I envisaged a Confederate States of Europe and the dissolution of the U.K. At the time readers thought it an unlikely scenario, now some ask how I knew …

  40. dave

    Dear friends, please please please grant those of us who didn’t vote for this and are stuck down here with these Tories refuge when Scotland gains her glorious freedom!


  41. Paul O'Brien

    Not sure if Scotland will go for independence in a new referendum. I hope they do, but it will depend on the price of oil. If it happens, maybe a Scottish-Irish Celtic con/federation of some kind, within the EU, down the line? Would resolve the Northern Ireland problem at a stroke. Ms Sturgeon went down very well here in Ireland.

  42. Nicky

    Excellent analysis. It makes it clear that Brexit is really some kind of madness and Cameron (among others) has a lot to answer for. Hard to see who will want to trade with a tiny, is unstable island. There is so much to lose.

  43. William Tobin

    Parliament in London blundered big time with the European Union Referendum Act 2015, failing to subject it to the scrutiny that legislatures are meant to ensure. Apart from not indicating what should happen in the event of a “Leave” vote, the Act did not even specify what would constitute a “Leave” vote. Should a US “states rights” interpretation apply? In which case the result was a 2-2 draw: England & Wales vs Scotland & Northern Ireland. But if individual votes count, the referendum suffers from a glaring injustice because 5½ million people were excluded because Parliament considered them too young, too long abroad (like me) or too foreign to be consulted, and this despite the novelty of enfranchising peers (760 persons) and the people of Gibraltar (23,1000 electors). 5½ million is quite a democratic deficit when the “Leave” majority was only 1.3 million.

    Having blundered, it should ultimately be up to Parliament in London to try to mitigate the effects. This is why MPs should not hesitate to vote according to what they think is best for the UK, its inhabitants, its nationals, its constituent countries and even Europe and the world. In addition, to ensure that future voting is more properly representative, it should enfranchise the excluded 5½ million. If you agree, sign the Petition to Parliament to this effect:

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