VOTES OR SEATS AND WHAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT?

Mia examines and discusses some of the options. The UK is a parliamentary democracy. It is a majority of MPs what counts for every political decision, and not the vote of a majority of the people. Successive England as the UK governments since 2015 have governed Scotland on less than 30% of the vote. TheContinue reading "VOTES OR SEATS AND WHAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT?"

VOTES OR SEATS AND WHAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT?

Mia examines and discusses some of the options.

The UK is a parliamentary democracy. It is a majority of MPs what counts for every political decision, and not the vote of a majority of the people.

Successive England as the UK governments since 2015 have governed Scotland on less than 30% of the vote. The tories invoked A50 dragging Scotland out of the treaty of union with the EU even after Scotland voted to remain on in by 62%. The tories invoked A50 when they held less than 15% of Scotland’s vote and only one MP. Yes, you read it right. Scotland was dragged out of the Treaty of union with the EU on the “super-democracy standards” of just ONE tory MP and the UK government party holding the mandate of just 14.9% of the Scottish vote. That is why now foisting on us the demands over 50% of the vote for pro-indy parties in Scotland in a UK general election to exit the Treaty of union with England feels so unfair, so hypocritical, so wrong and comes across as the new obstacle Sturgeon has found to continue frustrating independence.

It could be circumvented for example by demanding from the pro-indy parties, with the threat of denying them the vote, to re-establish as threshold in a GE what has always been historically the threshold since 1707: a majority of anti-union MPs. The expectation would be for those MPs to run on a manifesto that EXPLICITLY establishes that a majority of pro-indy MPs is a mandate for independence (to declare independence within a deadline, not to “start negotiating” it) , and therefore a mandate to terminate the treaty of union and initiate separation and division of common assets with our partner. 

So how could we proceed after this? Well, that is what the clever people within the pro-indy parties in Scotland (if they really care about Scotland and are serious about delivering independence) would have to decide. Hell, the SNP has had time to think about this from the moment it was conceived as a pro-independence party. If it was down to me, I would think in something down the lines of the following but much more thoroughly and carefully thought out and planned, polished and legalised. When I say “legalised” I mean under the context of Scots and international law, not English law or English “as UK” law. This is how I think the process could look like:

a) Before the new UK parliament is called, our partner voluntarily accepts our legitimate right to declare independence after a majority of pro independence MPs, sent on a manifesto to terminate the union, are elected by the people of Scotland. After the election where Scotland sent a majority of pro independence MPs standing on that mandate has taken place, our partner sits at the negotiating table to start, in good faith, the negotiation of the division of common assets.

b) if our partner refuses to accept Scotland’s mandate, then Scotland pro-indy MPs would refuse to swear allegiance in the uK parliament and refuse to take their seats in that parliament. Those pro-indy Mps would then reconvene the old Scottish parliament in Edinburgh by swearing allegiance to Scotland and invite the other Scottish MPs to join the reconvened parliament. If they don’t wish to join, with a majority of pro-indy MPs, they would proceed to repeal the Act of Union with England on the basis of:

1. Unlawful ratification of the Treaty of Union instigated by bribes and duress
2. Sustained breaches of the treaty of union for the last 300 years
3. Abuse by our partner of its position of power, by proceeding to unlawfully force on Scotland conventions that belonged in the old Parliament of England but had not counterpart in Scotland’s constitutional tradition.
4. Abuse by our partner of its position of power by proceeding, in bad faith and for its own advantage, to force on Scotland its own wrongful interpretation of the treaty of union as a capitulation of Scotland’s sovereignty and rights and as a right to exploit Scotland as a colony rather than as a voluntary union for the common benefit.
5. Abuse of position of power from our partner and indirectly the monarch by ratifying laws, who proceeded to impose absolute rule over Scotland against its will in the form of policies, unilaterally re-writing of laws, unilaterally dragging Scotland out and into treaties without our consent, in direct contravention of Scotland’s Claim of Right, a fundamental condition for the treaty of union to remain in force.
6. A change in fundamental circumstances – that of Scotland no longer giving its consent for this union to continue in its present form.

The reconvened Scottish Parliament would file with the UN its intention to revoke the treaty of union and would communicate this to its partner

In the meantime, it would be debatable that in the context of a parliamentary democracy and the treaty of union, without a majority of Scotland’s MPs present in the so called UK parliament, this would be able to function any longer as such. It would become the de facto Kingdom of England’s parliament. While there is no explicit exit clause in the Treaty of Union, it is evident Scotland’s MPs cannot be in two parliaments at once. So one could argue that Scotland recalling its MPs on a mandate for independence would be an implicit exit clause that would remove legitimacy from Westminster to continue acting on behalf of Scotland.

c) Any threat of violence or military intervention from our partner to stop the reconvening of our MPs or the progress of the repealing of the Act of Union with England should be immediately publicly denounced to the UN as an imperialistic and unlawful and unconsented attempt to subsume Scotland as a colony. At that point, Scotland can formally request its right to decolonisation under the UN charter of decolonisation. Needless to say that all this documentation and communication statements should be prepared well before hand and ready to go on the spot.

My guess is that in such scenario, the immediate reaction of the powers that be would be to call another general election, ramp up the smearing of pro indy MPs with sex-scandals or of the sort galore, and abuse their power and access to the UK purse and security services to revert the result what come may. The people of Scotland must be prepared before hand to expect all this as to rxpect to be force-fed countless levels of anti-independence propaganda and to watch every dirty trick the establishment will attempt to deter both, the population of Scotland from voting pro independence parties running on such manifesto and any candidates to stand on such manifesto. In that event, the pro-independence political parties in Scotland must stand firm (I am aware this is a bigger than huge ask) on the same manifesto as before. Information is power, therefore informing the people of Scotland of what is expected before it happens would be a crucial step of the process.

Clearly this situation would sink the UK into a huge constitutional crisis with huge economic repercussions. It would be in the hands of our partner to make this painful period long or short. The sooner they would be prepared to agree to Scotland’s demands to terminate the treaty, the shorter and less painful this period of instability for everybody would be. As per Scotland, nothing other but Scotland’s independence and a fair share of the common assets (while retaining IN FULL our natural assets, that is) should be accepted.

Alternatively, our partner may find its “generous” and “persuasive” side and could choose to attempt to stop the process by opening negotiation with offers for federalisation of the UK or goodness knows what other labour-like pie in the sky. At that point, actually before that, pro-indy MPs should be clear that such an outcome would be unacceptable. The chance for federalism was immediately after indyref2014. The British state failed to deliver at that time, so time for this option to be acceptable has run out. Only independence in its full sense should be acceptable.

I think there is a minimum period of 3 months (?), in line with the Vienna Convention, that we would have to give our partner to respond. Independently of the grievances of our partner would present during that period (and will be a mile-long list of them), this would drag them to the negotiating table. 

After independence has been declared, Scottish citizenship status must be defined and established, together with the conditions to be eligible for that citizenship, in a way that only citizens with Scotland’s citizenship are eligible to vote in a referendum. Being born in Scotland or being born to parents born in Scotland as a way to get automatically Scottish citizenship would be in line with the conditions currently present in every other country in Europe. In addition, in line with the rules of every other country in Europe, being born elsewhere and to parents born elsewhere but having lived continuously in Scotland for a certain number of years, or being married to a Scottish citizen and lived in Scotland for a certain number of years AND a ceremony where allegiance to the country/people of Scotland, could make somebody eligible to apply for Scottish citizenship. Those are rules currently applicable to citizenship in every country in Europe.

Once all that has been established, a referendum to decide if Scotland establishes a new treaty of cooperation with the kingdom of England (we are in the same island after all) could be discussed. A draft can be prepared and negotiations with the Kingdom of England start for the draft. The final draft must be agreed by parliament (that not ratified) before it can be presented to the people of Scotland. It would be only ratified AFTER the people of Scotland voted for it in the referendum. But once the people of Scotland voted for it, this can no longer be modified by parliament, only ratified.

The treaty must have a clear, achievable on Scotland’s own will and explicit exit clause. This treaty would not require for Scotland to give up neither its parliament, government or administrative structures NOR sovereignty. 

The people of Scotland would be presented to alternatives to vote for or against: 

a) A formal union treaty which will lead to an EXTRA (not instead of Scotland’s parliament) union parliament where the representation would be 1:1, in other words, Scotland retains its right to veto EVERY decision made in that parliament. This parliament of the Union would be of course a completely separated one from that of England. The government of the union would be in turns, on term will be England/Wales/NI (whatever arrangement they wish to have between themselves), and the next term would be Scotland.

Needless to say that the treaty I have in mind would give this new union government and parliament power to control a VERY LIMITED number of areas (I am thinking only in defence cooperation, trade, environmental issues, free mobility between countries, regulations for corporations operating in both countries, cooperation in scientific research, regulation of telecommunications, financial agreements, mobility of students, and inland security (that not immigration), to cite some) but, AT ALL TIMES those areas would be still reserved to Scotland’s own parliament. Immigration and the forming of international trade agreements or other treaties remains under the exclusive control of Scotland at all times. If this new union considers to join other countries with agreements related to security, environment or defence, for example, it will be ONLY under expressed agreement from Scotland. 

Needless to say that such treaty could not in any way or form, restrict Scotland’s legitimate right to form other alliances/treaties with other countries or union of countries. 

b) a simple trade agreement that would cover a series of areas that would be managed simultaneously by Scotland’s and the kingdom of England’s parliament without the need to establish a formal union nor a union parliament nor a union government. Pretty much an agreement like the one the UK has with other countries at present.

Of course such treaty/agreements could only be presented to the people of Scotland as alternatives in a referendum if the kingdom of England agrees to them too. If England/Wales/NI (in whichever form they wish to present themselves) did not agree with such conditions within a new treaty or with a more simple state to state agreement, then well ce la vie. England’s loss. We could at least say we tried. Stick a hard border between both and look elsewhere for alternative, more willing partners, which I am convinced could be found.

Before that referendum takes place, there has to be a registry of Scottish citizens. Individuals born in Scotland get automatic citizenship – they only have to present their birth certificate/current passport for this. Those born from parents born in Scotland would also get automatic citizenship, presenting the corresponding documents. There could be an extra period of grace (for example 2 years) to allow for those eligible for Scottish citizenship on the basis of residency to enter the registry after presenting documentation that demonstrates continuous residence in Scotland for whatever the period established is. In my personal opinion, considering Scotland’s small population, it should not be any less than 10 years.

Scottish citizens who live abroad (and by abroad I include England, Wales or NI), would be classified as “non residents” and therefore limits to the vote will also apply in line with the rules in every other country in Europe.
Citizens from other countries living in Scotland could be given a residence card that would entitle them to vote in local elections and EFTA/EU elections should Scotland join any of those. As far as I know, this is common practice in many countries of Europe too.

This is of course only my own romantic vision of the process as a pro-independence citizen who has had 8 years of despair and continuous disappointment to think in what alternatives to the non-existent strategy of Sturgeon’s SNP to deliver independence there would be. I have zero political power/clout to see any of that implemented or even listened to. That does not mean I would be prepared to accept as a voter a plan that I consider a non-starter nor get behind a campaign that I see designed more to frustrate independence rather than facilitate it.

As a voter I consider unacceptable for Nicola Sturgeon to impose on us all the inconveniences of an actual referendum and absolutely none of the advantages. I cannot accept her continuous moving the goalposts for the benefit of no voters and a union which at this moment a large section of the population in Scotland does not support and when it has already been demonstrated that the native population of Scotland’s vote against the union was frustrated 2014. That is neither fair, nor democratic, nor an expression of self-determination. That is setting us to fail.

This is a union of equals. Scotland never asked for, never voted for and never gave consent for brexit. Brexit is our partner’s own making, therefore it is for them to suffer its consequences in full and it is not for Scotland to serve as their life-raft to stand on while they sink us and drawn us in a sea of their own stupidity.

It is not acceptable for our partner (and their useful idiots in Scotland) to continue to force Scotland to remain in this union against its will for the sole purpose of the economic benefit and geopolitical interests of our partner, while Scotland’s natural resources and chances to stand alone are exhausted, and its economy, prospects of growth, social values, longstanding links to Europe and Scotland’s demographics are destroyed

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