Coffee House

If Scotland breaks away, the constitutional consequences would be dramatic

24 June 2014

10:39 AM

24 June 2014

10:39 AM

The result on the 18th September may cause the dissolution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This Union is in fact made up of three different uniting acts, the evolution of which is worth examining.

The following 2 articles from the Act of Union 1707 clearly show that the primary Union was between the Kingdom of England ‘incorporating Wales’ and the Kingdom of Scotland. Together they formed the so-called ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain’.

ARTICLE I

That The Two Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall upon the first Day of May which shall be in the Year one thousand seven hundred and seven, and for ever after, be united into one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain.

ARTICLE III

[Alt-Text]


That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament, to be stiled, ‘The Parliament of Great Britain’.

It was this United Kingdom of Great Britain that in 1801 entered into a union with the Kingdom of Ireland. The rump of which after 1922 is the ‘province’ of Northern Ireland. This was not part of the primary Union but was a secondary Union and as such did not interfere with the primary Union.

However for Scotland to become independent the Act of Union 1707 would have to be repealed, thus dissolving the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain’.

It may be inconvenient for many British politicians to accept this, but instead of continuing as ‘rest of the United Kingdom’ (rUK), there could be numerous other possibilities if Scotland does become independent.

Legal and constitutional logic dictates that unless there is ‘further constitutional legalisation’, the break-up of the UK will lead to the re-emergence of the ‘Kingdom of England’ ‘incorporating Wales’ or an independent Wales. The Union with Northern Ireland would also lapse as Northern Ireland would no longer have a union with an existing entity. Perhaps this could lead to calls for a reunion with the Irish Republic.

It is time to recognise that the Union must be quickly re-balanced, with a new constitutional structure that answers the English Question. This could only be done with a democratically elected English First Minister and English government. This re-balancing would have the effect of protecting the newfound political structures in Wales and Northern Ireland and it would starve oxygen from the SNP’s calls for independence.

Instead of waiting to see what the outcome of the Scottish referendum is, we must begin to tackle the constitutional consequences. Now is the time for our political leaders to stand up and be counted. Unfortunately if more do not join them, it may not be chants of ‘long live the rUK’ but rather the mournful death knell for the former UK (fUK).

The CEP has prepared this chart to explain as simply as possible the constitutional position (click here to expand)

ruk_info_email

Eddie Bone is Chairman of the Campaign for an English Parliament

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Show comments
  • Craig Offenhauser

    I am in Australia. Far from me to tell a proud Scotsman what to do!! I wouldn’t do it in Australia, so I would never dare to tell them what to do in Scotland.

    However, I must say that Scotland has always been unique and separate to me. I could hold my hand on my heart and say to every Scotsman, “Hey, you are independent!! you are unique!! you have always been the one and only “Scotland”!! And that is in the entire world!!

    But you are also in a very unique “team”!! Scotland, Wales, & England!1

    That team is very unique!!! It is like a 3 leaf clover!!! Why would want to break that uniqueness!!! together you are unique and strong and a force in the world!! Each contributing to the United Kingdom!!!

    It is not for me to tell you what to do! But you are Scotland, and a Scotsman is a unique individual!! He is not a Englishman or a Welshman, he is a Scot!!

    You can be no more unique!!!

    Why take a clover off the branch???? There is no benefit! Only financial loss and weakening of a great team.

    Good luck Scotland!! God Bless!!

  • alexandra hall

    Someone on these comments asked why the English are so put down around the world brought to mind an old Arab saying.

    Always keep the English as your enemy

    As your enemy he will try and buy you

    As your friend he will try and sell you

    • IndependentEngland

      And what a peace loving and honest lot the Arabs are!!

  • Stephen52

    Thank you Eddie Bone for spelling this out. Personally I would like to see England emerge from this devolution mess left by13 years of disastrous Labour rule. We don’t want Euro regions, England will do nicely without interference from the Scottish Raj. NI and Wales can freely decide if they want to be in a federal UK.

  • fynesider

    I’m sorry Mr. Bone you lost me with this one…

    “This re-balancing would have the effect of protecting the newfound political structures in Wales and Northern Ireland and it would starve oxygen from the SNP’s calls for independence.”

    I thought your article was discussing what would happen post Sep.18 and a Yes vote in the Scottish referendum.

  • Alf

    Whatever way it goes for the Scottish Vote, England must have her own full parliament, this will allways be a bone of contention and anger in an undemocratic Country, the UK has to become Federal to survive. England must have her own national status, four nations four equal parliaments.

  • http://batman-news.com Leo

    Your article points the way to the solution. In 1922, the Irish Free State left the Union and at the same time power was devolved to Stormont. This was done by legislation – the 1801 Act was not disolved. That did not cause a constitutional crisis and would not have done so even if all of Ireland left. The cross of St patrick was not removed and this did not cause protests from Ireland about a constitutional claim. If Scotland leaves the Union, The Union can still exist, containing redundant language. Its provisions can remain in force but apply to a different territorial extent. The flag does not even have to change.
    That of course depends on what people want. Constitutions and states change and develop.
    … but what happens to Berwick-on-Tweed?

    • Wessex Man

      well it’s in England so will stay in England unless it’s population wish to leave!

  • http://batman-news.com Angus McIonnach

    No, this is flimsy argument. There’s no reason why Scottish independence calls into question the status of other regions of the UK that became part of the UK after Scotland became part of the UK.

    The diagram doesn’t illustrate the guaranteed outcome in 2016 after a Yes vote: a newly independent Scotland, and an rUK.

    • Wessex Man

      No it doesn’t when you’ve got 119 Member of the UK Parliament able to vote on matters relating solely to England but able to have any influence on those same matters in the countries they were elected in is a disgrace that would not bwe alllowed to happen anywhere else in the world!

      • http://batman-news.com Angus McIonnach

        Nah. As a result of force of numbers, the influence of these peripheral regions is small. The advantages of ruling over a larger area outweighs this as England gets to project its culture outwith its borders, and use tax revenues from these near-abroad regions to pay for that. Sure enough there is a trade-off here but it’s not a ‘disgrace’ by any means.

        And of course – there are asymmetrical messy constitutional arrangements the world over. The English are not uniquely persecuted beneath the jackboot of their celtic fringe. 😉

        • Wessex Man

          Gibberish!

      • http://batman-news.com Angus McIonnach

        NB: after independence there’ll be only 58 Celtic Territory MPs in the Greater England parliament. And 18 of those don’t participate directly in forming governments. Hardly worth getting all Braveheart about Wessex Man.

  • Ahobz

    it’s not such a big deal. It can and will be fudged. For a start it is not necessary to repeal the Act of Union. Just pass a new act redefining for the future the Kingdm of Great Britain; the consequence of this is that repeal is implied, but only so far as is necessary to give effect to the new law.

  • Q46

    And this ‘rebalancing’ logically means there should be a President to preside over all these First Ministers and Parliaments.

    How about one Parliament as before and decentralisation of power, not to quasi-national institutions but to local level, parishes, towns… get rid of all the bureaucrats and political hangers-on.

    Central Government then to be responsible for law and order, dispensation of justice, internal and external security, foreign relations and wider public health and environmental issues. Remove tax raising powers except to pay for these reasonable expenses.

    Leave the locals to decide what gets built, do they want communal public services, private provision, mutuals, etc… all the things that affect people personally that no central body can do better.

    Let people govern themselves.

    • Wessex Man

      erm, that’s what New Labour tried to force on the English Nation long ago.

  • Peter Thomson

    Small but important error: The 1801 Act of Union with Ireland was a bill of the UK Parliament and would no longer have any force after a ‘yes vote’ as the UK Parliament ceases, in effect, to have full powers as it has to surrender sovereignty to the two negotiating parties; even if the 1801 Act had not already been repealed in 1962.

    The Treaty of Union is an international treaty and will require commissioners representing the original signatory parliaments to negotiate its end as the UK Parliament has no role, under the conditions of the Treaty, in its own dissolution (McCormack vs Lord Advocate 1953 before Lord Cooper).

    Dr John Baker of Oxford University, one of the UK’s constitutional experts, recently stated that on a ‘yes vote’ there would have to be elections in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to give the new rUK Parliament legal and constitutional legitimacy to negotiate on England, Wales and NI’s behalf over the dissolution of the Union.

    This changes the political landscape far more rapidly than the current UK Government and Parliament is leading the future rUK electorate to believe on a ‘Yes vote’. The myth perpetrated in Victorian times that Scotland was subsumed by England in 1707 is about to unravel big style, the impact for the rUK could be sizable in terms of political and constitutional reform but will not be if the English Establishment can possibly avoid it. The media output from Westminster’s tame journalists and TV Channels, around the referendum in Scotland and much else, is designed to keep the English electorate ignorant and ill-informed with a series of ‘Look a Squirrel!’ headlines which the destruction of England’s NHS and the rise of UKIP seem to be working as planned.

    The constitutional reality is a ‘Yes vote’ will require a snap election in the rUK in late October which is why with the UK Union ever more likely to slip away from Westminster, the ‘English’ parties are already in full General Election mode. The last thing the modern day Whigs and Tories in England’s parliament want is a centre left option to pee on their parade.

    There are a lot of anti-Scotland articles to come over the next 3 months all designed to maintain the status quo in England.

    • Wessex Man

      Good grief, why don’t you understand that the English are not doing anything to stop your right to independence, it’s the UK Government and the Better Together Campaign made up of SCOTTISH PEOPLE!

      RACIST!

      • Peter Thomson

        You clearly are unable to read what is written.

        My point is that folk like you are being conned and deluded by the London media to ensure you do not wake up to what is actually going on until you are once again safely screwed into submission by your modern feudal overlords.

        If that is racist, rather than friendly concern, then I am guilty as charged

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5pPXGrdTY Amanda

          No, you’re just a berk in tartan.

          • Wessex Man

            Thanks for that Amanda, I agree entirely and have been able to read since I was a small child, my interpretation of this person’s post here there and everywhere causes me to come to the conclusion that I reached.

        • Moira

          Yes, Peter I agree completely. I really like what you have said making it very clear especially the bit about modern feudal overlords. The Scottish upper class with property both in England and Scotland do not want the countries to be separate as it leaves them in a difficult situation.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5pPXGrdTY Amanda

      the rise of UKIP

      Oh yeah, that’s what UKIP is all about — a cunning plan devised esp. to keep Scotland in the UK.
      If you’ve got your heads that far up your funda—-, then you can forget about ruling yourselves rationally as an independent country. You’ll be Bangladesh in a heartbeat.

  • TruthBeatsLies

    Scotland should immediately consolidate its claim to offshore oil and gas – while making common-cause with the Falkland Islanders to sever all ties with the UK and jointly pool their respective North Sea and South Atlantic energy prospects…!

    There’s no reason on earth why Scotland, together with Falklands shouldn’t prosper ‘very nicely thank you!’ As just one more of those cosily small but enviably rich little sovereignties… Of which more than a few dotted around spring, immediately, to mind – cherry-picking every slick advantage circumstances gift them, of course.

    Like Norway, for instance…

    It’s no joke – THINK ABOUT IT…!!!

    • Wessex Man

      oh for heavens sake be real!

    • http://batman-news.com Angus McIonnach

      The Falklands are part of the British Empire (technical term evades me) so will see themselves as British (English) if Scotland were to become independent.

    • blingmun

      The Falklanders are British, descended from both Scottish and English settlers (among others). Their priority remains the same if Scotland leaves the UK, which is self-determination in defiance of Argentina and the likes of Hilary Clinton. The question is, who would better protect them from Argentine aggression and diplomatic pressure from misguided Americans who think their existence is about hanging on to a bit of “British Empire”, Scotland or England?

    • IndependentEngland

      And the Shetlanders make comon cause with their true bretheren the Norwegians.
      I look forward to the Scottish Army, Airforce and Navy defending the Falklands from Argentinian agression.

  • Ricayboy

    Independence for England!

  • brefni

    Clearly when/if one
    kingdom in a united kingdom of the two kingdoms of Great Britain opts to leave
    the union there will remain but one kingdom. Of course that is
    complicated, as it was between 1603 and 1707, by one monarch presiding over
    both. Nowadays that is of less importance than it was in 400 years ago, which
    brings me to my main point. What we should have is a 21st century British
    state composing the countries of England, Wales and Scotland and the province
    of Northern Ireland. Each should be in equality with each other and to the
    central British government. This state of affairs has so nearly been
    reached with only England remaining without an internal government. We
    have written the federal constitutions of Canada, Australia and essentially the
    US each of which have vastly differing territories in size, economy and
    population why can we not do it for ourselves?
    Is the reason that the political elite use and abuse England as the cash
    cow for the rest of the UK? There is no need for any more bureaucracy we
    already have more MPs per population than, for instance, the US. A proportion of the 550 British MPs that sit
    for constituencies in England could form
    an English Parliament. Unfortunately, we
    in the Campaign for an English Parliament have found that only a pitiful few
    have any loyalty, interest or concern for England and some are positively
    antagonistic.

  • Ian Walker

    Seems pretty easy to avoid – rather than repeal the Act of Union 1707, you just amend it so that ‘for ever after’ becomes until the date of separation, and then add a clause that following the end of the Union, the Kingdom of England should retain all of the legal standing of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

  • evad666

    Surely if Scotland becomes independent
    Northern Ireland and Wales will follow and England will split into Islamland and England.

  • Henry Hill

    Alternatively, you could just amend the original legislation rather than repealing it. Problem solved.

  • swatnan

    Bring it on! We could do with the UK being shaken out of its lethargy.
    It might give everyone a more renewed purpose.
    Forget about pontificating the breakup of Iraq when we have more important decisions on our doorstep to contemplate.

  • vieuxceps2

    I think that the people of England should look upon the possibility of Scotland seceding from the Union, by reneging on the treaty of 1707, as a wonderful opportunity to re-establish their Parliament and to regain the independence which they lost when this wretched treaty was agreed.
    The people living in England have,amazingly, no say on whether Scotland goes alone or not so there is no point in the discussions being held here or elsewhere. We need instead to ensure that we get back our Parliament and our independence as a priority and only then should we offer to negotiate the relations with the remaining Union members Wales and N. Ireland.No point in nostalgia in this,let’s ensure that England comes first ,I do not think that the other two lands will have much regard for our position,they will rightly seek to ensure their own interests are met.
    The current set of traitors at Westminster cannot be relied on to uphold England’s interests. We need instead an English Parliament made up of MPs for English seats only, no need for devolved MPs to be there,and if the Union does morph into a sort of loose federation ,then an ad hoc federal assembly drawn from the four national parliaments for use in affairs of common interest.
    We must face the reality of our position and stop this endless harking back to the past ,Scottish secession will lead ineluctably to inependence for England, perhaps at the expense of Wales and N Ireland. Yes it’s an end-but it’s also a beginning.

    • FrankS2

      “The people living in England have,amazingly, no say…”
      And – something which seems to have attracted little comment – the only Scots to have a vote are those actually living in Scotland. Any Scot living south of the border has no vote in a referendum which could make his homeland a foreign country.

      • Wessex Man

        The Scots people living in England that I know have never said they want a vote in the referendum an intend to stay here where they have made their homes.

        I personally think it’s wrong that the entire make up of the UK is facing such a change and the entire population has no vote.

        I would expect that all electors in ENgland and Wales would be given a vote in the event that for instance Scotland be allowed to share our currency.

        • monty61

          Rubbish. I want a vote. I’ve moved back and forth several times and just because I’m currerntly in leafy Berkshire doesn’t mean I’m happy with the way Salmond has gerrymandered the vote to exclude me and many like me.

          • Wessex Man

            I said the people I know, I don’t think I know you, where would you like to extend the voting to? third, fourth generation Americans or Canadians?

            • monty61

              How about people born in Scotland? Seems reasonable to me. Easily proved (copy of passport, notarised if need be. WTF is this about Americans?

              • Wessex Man

                There’s no need to WTF, a line has to be drawn somewhere, people born in England but living in Scotland are going to be allowed a vote, I suggest if this is of such great concern to you that you move up to Scotland to cast your vote and then move back down to Berkshire!

    • IndependentEngland

      We English don’t want a say on Scotland seceding from the Union. We want a say on England seceding from the Union.

  • EnglishKnight

    Well done Mr Bone; what a terrific article! The simple answer is of course England should have it’s own national parliament re-established, along with an English government and English First Minister so that the interests of the English people and nation are put first for a change! All that is being suggested here is fairness; giving England political parity with the other constituent nations of the United Kingdom (I do have to laugh at the ‘United’ part).
    England is a proud and unified nation; not a bunch of fractured, squabbling and artificial regions as the deceitful Labour and Liberal Democrats would like it to be! Anyone who argues that the proposal put forward by Mr Bone is somehow unnecessary, unworkable or undesirable is in my opinion anti-English, perverse and undemocratic.

  • CraigStrachan

    “(C)alls for a reunion with the Irish Republic” would be odd, as Northern Ireland has never been in a union with the Irish Republic.

  • Ron Woodhouse

    When Scotland goes independent will all Scots working here have to go home to apply for a work visa under the new immigration limits?

    • Wessex Man

      Why on earth would that be, not scare tactics again surely?

    • FrankS2

      Why should they? They won’t have a vote if they live in England.

      • http://batman-news.com Angus McIonnach

        They’ll probably be treated like Irish citizens so of course they’ll have a vote, and will be allowed to stay. There’ll be a Common Travel Area like the one that exists now and encompasses Ireland.

        They’ll also be allowed to stay by virtue of being EU citizens (NB: I’m ignoring insane scenarios where Scotland is kicked out of the EU and made to re-apply, at great inconvenience and cost to the EU).

        • Wessex Man

          I think you miss the point of the question posed by Ron Woodhouse which I read as will they have a vote in the Scottish Referendum, the same question was posed on another thread.

          • http://batman-news.com Angus McIonnach

            Are you sure? Those guys are discussing the scenario of Scots “here” (England) if Scotland goes Separate. Could be, though.

            • Wessex Man

              Yes I am sure, he’s also attempting to be a tad ironic.

              • http://batman-news.com Angus McIonnach

                You could be right – either way it’s pretty incoherent nonsense.

    • Maidmarrion

      Just like all the French , Australians , Russians ,Poles , Indians ,Bangladesh, Americans , Portuguese ,Pakistanis , Afghanis, Japanese, Chinese ,Malayans and uncle Tom Cobley and all do you mean??????

      • IndependentEngland

        You forgot the Iriish. there’s more of them here than there are in Ireland!

  • Mark Myword

    I am puzzled by this article. If the Scots vote to leave, then a process of negotiation will ensue eventually leading to an act of the Westminster Parliament which will enshrine the separation in law – just as in the case of Irish independence. That act will give the indepent Scotland international legitimacy, but will also cover the consequential effects on the remaining UK. The immediate position of Wales and Northern Island would be dealt with (if they need to be). I would be surprised if this act were used to produce an English Parliament. Such an outcome might well happen as a consequence of Scottish independence, but would require its own substantial legislation. The remaining UK could continue to call itself the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island if it wished. Or it could call itself The United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Island if it wished, or just the United Kingdom. The act would deal with that too. It would claim ‘continuator’ status in international law and would take on all the international rights and responsibilities of the present UK. Such continuator status is not contingent on the name of the state or its internal structure – the Russian Federation is the continuator of the USSR.

    • Wessex Man

      I as an Englishman am even more puzzled by your reply, I don’t really care what Scotland does as long as it goes and yearn for LeeAnn Wood and continual whines would go as well!

    • arkletten

      It could call itself Great Britain if it wished. But not UK, because UK was what was set up by the union of the two founding kingdoms. If one leaves there’s no UK. And whilst England was a kingdom Wales was not. The six counties of Northern Ireland are not a kingdom either. They are the rump of a former colony which Henry VIII declared to be a kingdom, but (a) he never actually ruled this territory, and (b) old Ireland was a loose tribal federation, and (c) the Good Friday Agreement (1998) sets out that this is no longer an integral part of the UK.

      • Mark Myword

        Your history is correct, but that does not take away the right of a country to adopt any name it chooses. Generally, the UN will accept a proposed name. However, other countries might object. At present, as far as I know, there is one disputed name: ‘The Republic of Macedonia’. The UN knows it as ‘The former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia’. This dispute arises because of Greek objections to the chosen name. The dispute does not prevent Macedonia being recognised by other countries, nor engaging in international business. If Scotland goes I suspect the remaining UK will opt for the status quo.

        • arkletten

          I agree. A name is just a name, after all. But the significance in this case is who is the continuator state? By my reading, there would be two continuator states, not of equal size (and thus importance) but of equal legitimacy. England cannot claim automatically to be ‘r.UK’ and assume the mantle of everything the UK has been internationally. UK is a union state comprising of two unequal partners, unequal in size, but equal in legitimacy, as both were kingdoms (not provinces or principalities) and both kingdoms worked together after 1707 to build the British Empire and the British system that has ensued from that. Scotland is 30% of the territory and (currently) 8% of the population (though in 1707 it was more like 15% of the population – an indication of how much power has been sucked down south ever since). It would all have to be negotiated which was the continuator state. Scotland might well choose to agree that England assume that mantle, but would not do so if it presented some insurmountable difficulties or impediments for Scotland. Both Scotland and England would have to be fair and pragmatic about this.

          • Mark Myword

            Given that rUK would have 70% of the territory and 92% of the
            population, it would have the only legitimate claim to be sole continuator inheriting all rights and obligations of the UK. Scotland would be a new state and not yet a member of the UN. If Scotland were to agree with that claim then rUK would become the continuator de facto. If Scotland disagreed, then it would be up to the UN to decide if it wished to accept the claim. I would be amazed if they didn’t.

            • arkletten

              But we do have 85% of the coastline and 95% of the oil (which is in Scottish territorial waters and subject to Scottish law). It’s all those island groups (Shetlands, Orkneys, Inner and Outer Hebrides) firths and indentations. This suggests that it would not be in England’s interests to delay Scotland being part of NATO and other international arrangements that would ensure the security and prosperity of these islands. We would also have Trident, Faslane, and Rosyth bases in our now independent territory. Apart from many Scots opposing Trident being along the Clyde in the Holy Loch near to the major population centre of Glasgow, and wanting it removed, there is also the issue for England ‘r.UK’ of (1) who does Trident belong to (2) if it is ‘r.UK’ and ‘r.UK’ is actually England by another name, is it rational for England to have its nuclear weapons in the territory of another state? Doesn’t that suggest a form of shared sovereignty – for as long as that situation would continue? Obviously if England wants to keep Trident she is either going to have to come to some agreement with Scotland recognising this shared sovereignty until such time as she is able to provide another haven in her territory for Trident. Sometimes small nations can punch above their weight and have a greater geo-strategic significance than size alone and both governments would have to be fair and constructive about this.

              • Mark Myword

                If ‘yes’ wins the Scottish referendum, then a process will begin that
                will eventually lead to legal separation. That legal separation will be
                enacted, initially, by Westminster. Immediately thereafter the newly
                independent Scottish Parliament will enact its Interim Constitutional
                Law (which is presently out for consultation). The interim law outlaws
                nuclear weapons on Scottish soil – no ifs nor buts. However, outside
                these pieces of legislation there may well be a series of agreements
                laying out details about timing, and sharing, and international matters
                etc. The formality of these agreements will depend upon how formal the
                parties wish them to be. I would expect tough negotiating on both sides
                but, other than the red lines of no nuclear weapons for Scotland and no
                currency union for rUK, I can see no reason why agreements cannot be
                concluded amicably.

                • arkletten

                  Cameron has ruled out pre-negotiation. But come the event he is going to have to move on currency union. Mark Carney has advised that this is a workable solution. But he is also advised that it is a political decision. There is of course nothing to stop Scotland using the £ as it is a free-floating currency, but there would be no bale out by the Bank of England should it ever be needed, because without a currency union Scotland would not have the safety net of a central bank. But if Trident remains in the Clyde, then England or ‘r.UK’ has no access to, or use of it, without Scottish agreement. Which Scotland would withold, if England refuses to co-operate about other strategic assets like the currency. Scotland would be in the nuclear club and England would not. Trident is of course an Anglo-Scottish pre-union possession. If England wants control over Trident and all the diplomatic leverage and international status that goes with it, such as the claim to be the continuator state and the permanent seat on the UN Security Council, then she is going to have to be fair and realistic. You want Trident, we want the £ in a currency union. To my mind it seems reasonable that long term Trident cannot remain in the Clyde if England wishes to claim status as the sole continuator state. As long as Trident remains under Scottish control, there is de facto shared sovereignty in respect of this strategic asset.

                • Wessex Man

                  You keep referring to England there is no English Adminstration, that’s why Eddie Bone, author of this article is writing it, it’s why people like myself and quyite a few others want an English Parliament.

                  Alex Salmond is dealing with or trying to the UK Government.

                • arkletten

                  Yes but England is the UK because it dominates it so comprehensively and also if Scotland votes Yes, England will claim to be ‘r.UK’. UK is a chimera. It is none other than England in disguise. With 92% of the population does anyone in England seriously think that the Westminster Parliament is anything other than the English Parliament? I know Bone contests this, but that is witting amnesia for what is obvious to everybody else in the UK. What Bone seems to be exercised about is the London power elite and its centralisation of power. There I would agree with Bone. As long as power existed at the local level Scots and Welsh were happy enough. But after 1945 all that changed pretty dramatically. Post-war reconstruction made this a necessity and for a while, as long as there was investment in the nations and regions, the UK population was happy enough. But Labour nationalised all the industries then Thatcher sold them off, along with all the public utilities, and suddenly we at the far flung corners of Britain saw the leaching of power to London in a different light.

                • arkletten

                  The English won’t admit it, but what we all actually need is a written constitution that protects local power and the rights of the people from the encroach and swagger of the London power elite. Meanwhile, you can’t blame us in Scotland for wanting out. It’s by no means certain that Yes will will, but quite a lot of us are sick fed up with ‘London rule’ and the insane policies of the neoliberals which result in a straightforward transfer of public money (in the form of the National Debt, since English Tories refuse to put up taxes) to the private sector via high house prices which have lost all semblance of reality and link to real wages.

                • Wessex Man

                  You are now falling into the same phraseology of the more bombastic nationalists which surprises me, it should be clear to you by now from the majority of comments by the English here we have no problem with Scotish Independence!

                • arkletten

                  What is wrong with referring to the population south of the Tweed as English? Are you afraid to own your name?

                • IndependentEngland

                  London rule? Only 73 MPs represent London constiuencies and the majority of them are Labour.
                  The deputy PM’s constituency is in Sheffield.

                • arkletten

                  That’s not what I meant or is meant by ‘London rule’ but the concentration of centralised power that is at Westminster and Whitehall. BTW, that’s as many MPs as Wales and Scotland together.

                • IndependentEngland

                  If the Westminster Parliament is the English Parliament then Scottish Welsh and N.Irish constituency MPs should get out of it. You can’t have it both ways. How would Scotland like it if England elected 20 members to the Scottish Parliament with full voting rights on Scottish affairs?

                • arkletten

                  Gladly. Stop stealing our taxes and we’ll pack up and go. But as long as you control the purse strings we’re joined at the hip to you and can’t leave for you blocking us. Currently we control only 15% of our revenues remitted back to us. Each state of the US has more power over taxation than devolved Scotland and Wales currently do. That’s why Scottish and Welsh members require to be present at Westminster. But full fiscal autonomy was ruled out by your Cameron. We have taxation with representation, yes, technically; but when you only have 8% representation effectively you have no say whatever.

                • Wessex Man

                  Here we go again, stealing your taxes, this is why I and a great many other English people wish you the very best in your indenpendence campaign, it will prove after several years of your independence whether you are I am right.

                  If I am proved wrong, If my country is ground down into poverty that’s a chance I’m willing to take. We want you to have your own currency as well, no sharing we wouldn’t want to drag you down with us!

                  Why that economist that is always being quoted by you Scot Nats is even now suggesting you go back to your old currency before the Union but Alex Salmond doesn’t seem to keen on the Merk for some reason!

                • arkletten

                  That’s fine, but remember share and share alike? We will have Trident in our territory, which will be a foreign territory and you will have to negotiate with us for what is to happen with it. I see nothing wrong with us keeping Trident for a decade or two until you make other arrangements for it and us keep sterling in a currency union until we set up our own central bank and float our own currency. That gives everybody time to get sorted out. Scotland raises more per capita in taxes than any other part of the UK and has been a net contributor since at least 1968. So we will be just fine, and so of course will you, because you are a larger economy than us and you will adapt quite quickly to the loss of our taxes. So let us part as friends, and agree that the political union has had its day. England will be far happier having perpetual Tory governments, it reflects the settled will of the English people, and we will be far happier having governments and policies we actually voted for.

                • IndependentEngland

                  Sod Trident. Let’s scrap it. As for perpetual Tory governments I’m afraid that’s nonsense. yYou need to look at the history of general elections.

                • IndependentEngland

                  Declare independence and all those lovely taxes will be yours to do with as you wish.

  • FF42

    Does the 1707 Act of Union have to be repealed for the rUK? Wouldn’t this be done by a new Act of Secession, that would supersede certain articles in the 1707 Act? So Article I that you quoted would be superseded, while Article III would remain.

    The question of English representation in a Union that endures is another question, and a very vital one, I suspect.

    • FF42

      It seems theTreaty has already been amended: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aosp/1707/7/contents

      I presume. Scotland would repeal its 1707 Act in its entirety

      [Edited]

      • ChuckieStane

        FF, the link provided is to the Scots Parliament Act. The remaining Articles of the English Act would be irrelevant post-independence.

  • Swiss Bob

    That The Two Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall upon the first Day of May which shall be in the Year one thousand seven hundred and seven, and for ever after, be united into one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain.

    As article 1 is being thrown out then surely the rest is irrelevant, it is for the remainder of the UK to decide on its future. This is 2014 not 1707.

    • Kitty MLB

      yes indeed England is a fully formed country, London is one of the world centres for business, we’ll not be a small country starting again as Scotland will be. And best of luck to them but we’ll still be the United Kingdom and great Britain and this thread is somewhat dramatic , I really must say.

      • Swiss Bob

        The whole article is nonsense.

        Scotland cannot have a referendum or depart ‘Great Britain’ under the treaty so the treaty is meaningless in this day and age.

        Anything the Govt decides will be ex post facto justified and that will be that.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5pPXGrdTY Amanda

          Au contraire, your own comment makes no sense. There is certainly no precedent for your assumption in modern times. In the American Civil War, the South was not legally allowed to secede from the Union but it did attempt to do so, and the American Constitution was not rendered ‘meaningless’ by its attempt. Instead the North and South fought it out, the South insistent that it had the right to secede (what you consent to as a free people you can also, if the rules change, reject as a free people); while the North had a complex argument that is discussed in Harry Jaffa’s book, Crisis of The House Divided.

          • Swiss Bob

            Under the treaty there is no Scotland so the region of Great Britain, that old bit that used to be called Scotland has no right to secede.

            If the current Govt has decided that that is OK then any talk of a three hundred year old treaty is meaningless.

            As for the American Constitution, that document ceased to have any meaning in the US a long time ago.

            • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5pPXGrdTY Amanda

              Leaving aside your other comments, the last sentence is one of those absurd statements that there just isn’t an answer to. For all I know, you also believe that the stars are God’s daisy chain. It’s not up to me to prove otherwise.

              • pedestrianblogger

                “As for the American Constitution, that document ceased to have any meaning in the US a long time ago”. People are prepared to kill and die for this thing and Bob thinks it is of no consequence. The mind boggles.

                • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5pPXGrdTY Amanda

                  It does indeed, darling : )

                • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5pPXGrdTY Amanda

                  It does indeed, darling : )

                • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5pPXGrdTY Amanda

                  It does indeed, darling :^*

                • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5pPXGrdTY Amanda

                  It does indeed, darling
                  What is wrong with Disqus????

                • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW5pPXGrdTY Amanda

                  Check your email: Disqus is having a snit-fit. All I said was; oh never mind : )

                • Guest

                  .

      • Wessex Man

        This post and the one above shows how confused you are.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Yes, we now understand that even the UKIP wish for a federal UK, as a last attempt of clutching at straws.

    • Wessex Man

      even ‘the UKip’ why should UKip not propose to recitify the deliberate act against the English by the Blair Government of 1997/99?

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        you tell me.

        • mairinart

          There is no reason at all .

          The EU wants rid of England and this is their way , Germany runs EU the dream has been fufilled the only country that has ever beaten the dream has been us , regionalisation did not work so now we are to have mayors to regionalise under a different name , With the EU arrest warrant due to come into effect in November we will be under corpus juris. we need UKIP because without them I do not believe we will be strong enough,

          As for Salmond wanting to retain the monarchy does little eck realise that would also retain the Union Jack.

          • Maidmarrion

            Your final insulting sentence says more about you than Mr Salmond – not to mention displaying the idiots guide to unionism.

            • mairinart

              Thank you so much, having read your other posts to people I take your response to me as a compliment , over and out only one response to posts such as yours.

        • Wessex Man

          You haven’t answered my question to you, my answer to you however is that the Act that was discussed by this rabble also left jolly John Prescott and the unelected Lord Falconer to try and impose upon the English Regional Assemblies and the ending of England.

          Welsh Prescott and Scottish Falconer thought that if they got the North East, which they considered to be the most likely to vote yes it would encourage the ‘other regions’ to follow suit. The north East voted 7 to 1 to reject it.

          I’m not happy and nor are many more English people that England was not allowed the same privileges as the other countries of the UK and that the 119 Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from those other countries can and do with the honourable exception of the SNP vote on matters to do purely with English matters and yet they can’t vote on those very same matters in the countries they were elected in.

          Are you happy with that situation, are you a democrat? do you wish to see the democratic deficiency carry on?

          • BarkingAtTreehuggers

            I have prepared you, day in day out, for what’s coming. You would not listen. You laughed it off, then you got angry, then you whinged and whined – now you want to discuss what ‘democracy’ was?
            You have no idea what democracy is, lad. I was not joking when I said that ages ago.
            You will be made to be democrats, whether you object to it or not.

            • Wessex Man

              what nonsense are you babbling about, please make your comments understandable and I will attempt to reply to them!

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Impossible that gang of sock puppets only speak in gibberish.

  • Blindsideflanker

    This is a subject the British establishment do not want to talk about, they can hardly utter our countries name, England, let alone believing it should have its own Parliament.

    The time to sort out the English Question was almost a generation ago, they couldn’t be bothered to do that then, and still can’t be bothered to do that now, the departure of Scotland isn’t going to change anything with them.

    It appears they have decided that having a state, the UK, dislocated from nationality has been advantageous to their backers, which is something they intend to keep. They are seeking to achieve this by making England a ‘non’ country, a place of city regions, and multicultural ghettos, somewhere they can continue to divide and rule just as they had a divided construct, the UK, which they could rule.

    • DaveTheRave

      I concur absolutely.
      Either way it seems England is ripe for destruction in most quarters, some of which are in the country itself. Traitors the lot of them.
      The question is, why are we ‘the enemy’?
      What is it that we have done wrong?
      Is it merely that England’s 50 million population is too big to be considered a political unit in itself?
      Or are we, the English, simply considered too ‘dangerous’ by the neo-liberal elite at home, in Europe and the world?

      • Blindsideflanker

        It is a question I have asked and have not managed to get an answer for. The dislike of English people is something George Orwell noted in 1941 when he wrote “England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality”.

        What is it that we have done that makes them hate us so much they deny us equality, and seek to eliminate us as a nation? What is it, the crime of creating Parliamentary democracy? Common Law? Agricultural or Industrial revolution? What?

        • DaveTheRave

          Exactly. Orwell was correct.
          Perhaps our greatest enemy lies within. I really can’t understand it, yet we are told so often that we are ‘arrogant’ perhaps many of us believe it. Not me. Saints Edmund and George.

  • Paul Owen

    Surely the biggest impact will be on who runs what remains of the UK? If Scotland votes to leave do Scots get to vote in next year’s general election? If they do and Britain as a whole elects Labour, but elects the Conservatives shorn of Scotland who forms the next government? If Labour form the government thanks to Scottish MPs after rejection of independence and then hand Scotland more powers such as on tax but they lack a majority in England who would set tax rates and laws for England? Would we need two Chancellors?

    The whole thing could be an unholy mess and will probably lead eventually to the dissolution of the UK anyway. I’m beginning to think it would be better for us all if Scotland votes for independence.

    • arkletten

      Scotland would still be part of the UK during any interregnum between a Yes vote on 18th September and the date the Scottish Government anticipates an independent Scotland would be set up and have completed negotiations with ‘r.UK’, which is 24th March 2016. So Scots would be allowed to vote in UK elections in 2015 and would be entitled to have MPs in that UK Parliament that would be doing the negotiating. Currently that number is 56. But upon those negotiations being completed, those 56 would have to demit office, since Scotland would no longer be part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. This demission might well alter the political balance. If so, England would have to form a new government if the former ruling party no longer had a majority. But Scots would be entitled to be represented in the UK Parliament for as long as it lasted.

      • Paul Owen

        Yes, I realise all of that. From a legal point of view it is all very obvious. But politically it would be nightmarish. English voters would look askance at this situation and it would create a potential constitutional crisis.

        • arkletten

          Well that was why we used to have ‘one nation Toryism’. Remember that? But when that evaporated, it has prompted a constitutional crisis in Scotland. That is what this is all about. As long as the post-war consensus lasted there was no problem. But after England wanted to go in a radically different direction from Scotland, and as long as the UK remains so centralised, then the only solutions for Scots are (1) shut up and put up, or (2) get out and go it alone.

      • FrankS2

        The date of March 24, 2016, was, I’ve heard, picked at random by the SNP. It allows some 18 months between vote and independence day, which seems optimistic. Alex Salmond’s Band of Bravehearts seems to have given little thought to the practicalities of becoming an independent nation, if the uncertainty over its currency is anything to go by.

        Mind you, Crimea managed the whole process in weeks – but where is Holyrood’s Putin?

        • Maidmarrion

          “. Alex Salmond’s Band of Bravehearts seems to have given little thought to the practicalities ”
          And you make this comment in full knowledge of the workings of the SNP over the last 60 years do you?
          Privy to all those ” braveheart ” minds activity are you?
          How impressive!

          • FrankS2

            Well, maybe they have a secret plan – perhaps even a cunning one!

            • elainesk

              I hated the film Braveheart, fictional in most and cheesy and I’m also a Labour for Independence voter,one of many. You’ll find in this map how many diverse groups of folk that want Indy,even Wales for Yes and English for Yes. “braveheart” digs are old hat.
              pic.twitter.com/8pX2t0QsIa

      • Wessex Man

        If it’s yes vote victory, I honestly don’t see how March 24th 2016 could be a date set in stone, especially with the dreaded Whiehall Civil Servents becoming involved in negotiations.

        I would think that both parliaments would go to general elections fairly soon after the final agrement which would probably be in 2017, thereby enabling David Cameron to call off the EU Referndum if he is still in power.

        • arkletten

          It would not be in anyone’s interests to drag this out as the markets do not like uncertainty or instability. If the markets are freaked, the credit rating of ‘r.UK’ would be affected, the cost of borrowing would go up, and thus the deficit and National Debt. Both governments would have to work together in a speedy way that is fair and in the best interests of everyone, and this is exactly what the 2012 Edinburgh Agreement signed by Cameron and Salmond pledges to do.

          • Wessex Man

            I’m in agreement with you, however having dealt with Civil Servents over the years and knowing their shocking attitudes, Salmond’s and Cameron’s pledges will be seen by them as a challenge.

  • jmjm208

    Relax, Eddie, it’s not gonna happen. There is no way on this earth that Scots will vote to end their meal ticket viz. the English taxpayers.

    • Wessex Man

      If that’s the case, it’s not a question of relax, every English man and woman must question why the ruling clsses are so against redressing the democratic deficiency created by Blair’s Scots dominated Cabinets of 1997/98 which brought the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly into being.

      I believed then and have no reason to believe otherwise this was the malicious act of spite by what the Press called the Tartan Taliban lead by Gordon Brown, John Reid, Robin Cook, Donaldd Dewer and Michael Martin.

      The West Lothian Question now titled the English Question cannot be allowed to stay on the back burner.

      I hope that my Party UKip include their Deputy Leader’s, Paul Nuttall’s Policy Proposal to establish an English Parliament.

      • Blindsideflanker

        Indeed, UKIP have made it their business to occupy political territory the British establishment have chosen to vacate as policy areas too difficult to engage with. English devolution would seem like ripe territory for them to exploit.

      • JoolsB

        UKIP have gone very quiet on the subject of late. I have written to Paul Nuttall to ask if an English Parliament is still on the cards as they have gone very quiet on the subject and three months later I’m still waiting for a reply. The only way they are going to get my vote is when/if they come down off the fence and declare their full support for an EP.

        Any party which gets most of it’s votes from England as UKIP and the Tories do are idiots not to address the English Question.

      • arkletten

        The only reason Labour brought in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly was in retaliation for Thatcher’s axing the Greater London Council and the Greater Manchester Council. These were Labour bulwarks if there was a Tory government in London. They thought that if they were ever locked out of power for another 20 years they might have two regional power blocks they were sure to dominate. It had nothing to do with support for nationalism or democracy. It was a cynical ploy.

  • HookesLaw

    For Scotland to leave the United Kingdom Scotland simply leaves the United Kingdom. Why does the act of Union have to be repealed and if acts of union were created in the past why cannot new acts of union be created in future.
    England Wales and Northern Ireland can call themselves what they want. All are currently called the United Kingdom and can remain so if they wish.

    • tartanrock

      Eddie’s outline seems logical to me. In 1707, the English and Scottish Parliaments each passed an Act of Union and then each country signed the Treaty of Union. If one of the parties repudiates the treaty, the union created by that treaty no longer exists.Yes, of course countries can (within the limits of other treaties – remember the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia) call themselves what they like and, yes, new acts of union can be created. That surely is Eddie’s point. If Scotland leaves, England, Wales and N Ireland will need a new treaty if they wish to remain united. Many would suggest that, even if Scotland decides to remain, a new Treaty is needed anyway since all three parties have promised a further round of devolution to Scotland and possibly to Wales, with the implication that the position of England (the ‘English Question’) must also be settled,.Home rule all round suggests that a move towards a federation is the likely direction that we would take.

    • Robin Tilbrook

      What rubbish “HookesLaw”. As any common law lawyer could tell you Eddie is quite right. What is the meaning of “United” in the title of United Kingdom if not a consequence of the process of uniting the two kingdoms of England and Scotland. Seperation inevitably will lead to a demerger and that means two seperate kindoms.: England and Scotland with also a Province and perhaps a Principality.

      • Wessex Man

        You are of course correct, I haven’t seen you on this blog before so you will not probably know that Hooky babe is a very childish Tory who believes that the sun shines out of David Cameron’s A******, which is why he always talks such b*******!

    • Wessex Man

      The only one indulging in silly flights of fancy is you as usual Hooky babe!

      • Kitty MLB

        Hooky speaks a lot of sense on this occasion ( we separate as far as the EU is concerned) But honestly the only one indulging in silly flights of fancy is you. Oh what was it ,Paul Nuttall establishing a English
        parliament from where ? The Kunlum Mountains.

        • Wessex Man

          Well thats a very childish reply, I know you are a Tory and probably as anxious to keep Scotland within the UK as David Cameron. The pathetic campaign run by the Better Together Alliance has had exactly the same result in Scotland as the smearing campaign by your party toward UKip in the European Elections. Ukip soared because of the Tory, Lib/dum/Lab smears just as the Yes Campaign is in Scotland as a result of your lot talking to the Scottish people like children!

          You last sentence shows you truly are Hooky babe’s apprentice.

          • Kitty MLB

            What smears, the ones Nigel Farage keeps harping on about
            as a way to manipulate and get the sympathy vote,
            that only works for a while and is already fading away.
            The EU elections were hardy the general election and
            was very much a vote against Nick Clegg.
            You are rather odd, I were speaking to some reasonable
            level headed kippers who said they are just hoping to do
            well in the local elections next year and don’t expect to lead
            the country and know they wont as they are still growing as
            a party. But you are quite bonkers, a Dundee.
            And you are the ones insulting the Scottish people, you don’t
            give a toss what happens what happens to them.
            And don’t respond, not interested and I will not read it anyway.

            • Wessex Man

              oh get you, you will stamp your tiny foot and scream and scream will you? You are like Eliabeth Bott, a fine back up to hooky babe. I happen to have family in Scotland, so of course I care about what happens to them you silly girl.

    • zoomhoody

      Possibly because the people won’t want them. You’re British by choice aren’t you? This matter should be put to the vote as is happening in Scotland so let’s be fair and consistent and have a vote on the creation of an English Parliament and then if England leaves the UK, following your logic, you can hitch your wagon to Wales and Northern Ireland as the “United Kingdom”. Just remember that it will be a fairly small Kingdom though, with the English making up 85% of what is currently the UK, even though they don’t yet have a Government unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • Frank

    Dramatic? Suspect that it will be one huge anti-climax (plus huge covert joy in England).

  • Bardirect

    IF it is assumed that with independence Scotland is outside the EU, why would the rest of the United Kingdom remain in it? With the de facto dissolution of the UK the entity which acceded to the EU in the 1972 Treaty would cease to exist at the same time as Scotland’s membership of the UK. Equally what of all the other bodies subscribed to by the “UK” including the Commonwealth, NATO, OECD, Council of Europe, IMF and the UN, indeed, what happens to the UK’s permanent seat on the UNSC?

    • HookesLaw

      I tiresome treatise. Scotland leaving the UK still leaves the UK as an entity. It is remarkable that we can have a referendum without these issues being spelled out to the voters. Ultimately of course the UK cannot and would not agree to anything which would break up its own existence – which is the absurdity you imply.

      • arkletten

        What would that entity be, if Scotland leaves? Scotland was a kingdom, and England was a kingdom. Together they made up the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Without the kingdom of Scotland only the kingdom of England remains. Wales was a principality already annexed by England by 1707 when the Treaty of Union establishing UK of GB was negotiated. Wales was not a signatory, so does not come into it. But after England became part of the UK, so too did Wales, but as an English appendage.

        Ireland wad never actually a kingdom but it was nonetheless declared to be a kingdom by Henry VIII. Because he had designs on it. Ireland was then conquered and settled by English (and Scots) and was obliged to join the UK in 1800 but broke away in 1922. A rump of six counties remained in Ulster, who did not wish to secede, but in 1998 by the Good Friday Agreement, the UK government agreed that it no longer claimed these six counties as an integral part of the UK. The six counties remain only by the voluntary attachment of the majority, but should this change, as by a referendum, the UK government has recognised their right to leave.

        • arkletten

          …So territorially you would be left with the kingdom of England, with the principality of Wales as a part of it plus six counties in Northern Ireland which the UK has already agreed are no longer integral parts of UK territory, but a kind of UK protectorate – so long as the population of the six counties chooses to remain.

          You could not call this the United Kingdom, but you could I suppose continue to call it Great Britain.

          • http://www.englishstandard.org/ Wyrdtimes

            “so long as the population of the six counties chooses to remain”

            Who’s to say that the English would go along with that? Or are we assuming that rUK would continue to ignore the English as the UK does now?

            • arkletten

              It’s already in the Good Friday Agreement. Should the population of Northern Ireland decide at any point to leave the UK, they may do so. UK no longer recognises Northern Ireland as an integral part of the UK. That was what the Good Friday Agreement agreed.

              At the present moment the population, Catholics included, wishes to remain.

              • IndependentEngland

                Similarly of course should the population of England decide at any point to leave the UK they may do so.

                • arkletten

                  True. But why on earth would you leave what you are in charge of? England is 92% the population of the UK and dominates Westminster.

                • Wessex Man

                  I’d like England to leave the Union.

                • arkletten

                  The 8% share that others have is so de-stabilising to you? It gives you the night terrors? Fair enough, but maybe you’re fears are actually much closer to home?

                • IndependentEngland

                  92% is enough for me. The rest is an irrelevence to most English people.

          • Maidmarrion

            Surely ” great Britain” is the island and as such Scotland will still be ON great Britain?
            Call yourselves England and let Wales call itself Wales and get on with sorting out YOUR democratic deficits.
            Good luck!

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