As Brexit rumbles on in a never ending cesspit of Tory incompetence more is starting to be spoken about the Scottish Government potentially refusing a legislative consent motion for Brexit. Many unionists sight the Sewel Convention as a means of protection for Scotland and that the Tories would never do anything to undermine devolution, the convention states in short –
The Sewel Convention applies when the UK Parliament legislates on a matter which is normally dealt with by the Scottish Parliament as part of its work. Under the terms of the Convention, this will happen only if the Scottish Parliament has given its consent.
As noted on Lallands Peat Warrior Sewel is pretty much a piece of shit. The Scotland Act 1998 makes it very clear where the power lays,
the devolution of legislative competence to the Scottish parliament does not affect the ability of Westminster to legislate for Scotland even in relation to devolved matters. […] However, as happened in Northern Ireland earlier in the century, we would expect a convention to be established that Westminster would not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters in Scotland without the consent of the Scottish parliament.
Even with the changes to the Scotland Act in 2016 section 7 of the 1998 Act remained,
This section does not affect the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to make laws for Scotland.
Last year the Supreme Court of England(UK) ruled that,
by such provisions, the UK Parliament is not seeking to convert the Sewel Convention into a rule which can be interpreted, let alone enforced, by the courts; rather, it is recognising the convention for what it is, namely a political convention
Basically the Sewel Convention is about as much use as a chocolate teapot . Sewel means nothing, does not stand up in a court of law and when Westminster ignores Scotland on the issue of Brexit and legislative consent, they will do it shouting, laughing and ridiculing Scotland’s MPs in Parliament, mainly SNP, and they will do this in the full knowledge that Scotland can’t do a bloody thing about it and that 55% of the people in 2014 didn’t have the balls to stand up and be that nation again.
Now the Scottish Government is set to bring in it’s own EU Continuity Bill in Holyrood in February.
Basically the idea of the bill is to safeguard the (Scottish) government’s power over the areas where EU law and devolved competence intersect, the idea of a continuity bill has been described as “a legal insurance policy” taken out in advance of the passage of the EU Withdrawal Bill. It would seek to retain EU legislation in devolved policy areas (Institute for Government).
You can bet your last valueless pound that Westminster, in the event of any Bill being passed by Holyrood, will either ignore the bill or will take the issue to the Supreme Court of England (UK) and this is where it will get interesting, and where we will all have to do our bit to get the issue out there. Given the zero coverage of Scottish Tory MPs voting for the EU Withdrawal Bill last week in Westminster, being the lobby fodder they are and the waste of f space they most definitely are, we cannot expect the media in Scotland to report any actions by Westminster that undermines Scotland, in fact they will no doubt support it.
We need to be very very clear on this, Scotland and Devolution will be shat on, make no mistake about that.
As I said at the time, exiting the EU was always going to provide the ideal opportunity for a right wing UK government to destroy devolution by taking the powers held by the EU in respect of devolved matters then using that to undermine the whole ethos of “what is not reserved is devolved”
Some seem to see the vote for the UK to leave the EU as an opportunity for independence for Scotland. I believe you hold that position yourself. I see it as a disaster which will allow an almost totalitarian take over of all “British” property by a truly dreadful government in London, with no mitigation in the long run from devolution.
Power devolved is power retained, and leaving the EU has handed the UK state the levers it needs to destroy devolution.
I am ready for any argument you might have about Spain. The parallel is not accurate. Ask WGD.
While I reserve my real hatred for Tories, I can’t help at least tutting at leave voters. Yes, that includes you.
You have made your arguments well and with excellent clarity. I do think that the shambles that is Brexit takes Scotland a step closer to self government, it is going to hurt but it was always going to hurt anyway. If we had voted yes in 2014 then rUK would have made sure Scotland has no easy pathway to EU membership if at all is my view. The Catalonia situation, as you have explained , is complex for the EU and I understand that but it still didn’t mean that individual MEPs had to support Spanish action, not all did but too many were quiet for lots of reasons. I think we might need Westminster to male Holyrood weaker as far as powers go for more people to wake up, sad but. 2014 is the template and by accepting the last referendum they will find it very difficult to refuse the next and while they will delay it will happen as long as we keep the SNP in power in edinburgh. I just have faith that the good will put and we will get there.
Thanks for taking the time to comment as always.
Sorry for typos, on phone.