IN the past few days there has been much comment about whether a second independence referendum would be legal or not.

What do you begin to say about the position being put forward by the UK Government which says it will refuse a Section 30 request to hold a referendum. Does anyone trust this government on legality or what’s best for Scotland?

I also find it extremely disheartening and also unfortunately all too predictable that the media in general is running with the Unionist narrative, as we have seen with the headlines about an “illegal referendum”.

I work on the media side of things now and I know how such narratives are formed and gain traction. It is therefore very important that we counter the narrative.

Putting forward the narrative of an illegal referendum when there is no such certain legal definition – in my view the relevant laws are at least open to interpretation – is either being wilfully disingenuous or simply not factual. I was reading some of the stuff written by National columnist Andrew Tickell, particularly on Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act, and he is quite clear that while the constitution is a reserved matter, it is only elements of the constitution – and the holding of referendums is not mentioned.

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The precedent for a referendum has already been set as the UK Government granted a Section 30 referendum before, but now their position is to refuse it. That completely changes the ball game. This is no longer a Union by consent.

As I wrote last week, I did not appreciate just how institutionally Unionist Scotland is, and following this referendum issue in the mainstream media and on social media in recent days has only reinforced my views.

The Scottish Unionist politicians all buy into the narrative that, as the electorate voted No by a majority in 2014, that means the opinions afterwards of the Scottish people – such as the overwhelming Remain vote in 2016 – must be ignored if it is contrary to the opinion of rUK/England. As a supporter of Scottish independence I find that view completely unacceptable.

The will of the Scottish people must be sovereign and must be listened to, and whether the Unionists like it or not, Scotland voted to remain in the European Union. Yet it’s the UK Government which is getting to decide our fate. Could there be a better argument for independence?

The National: Scotland voted 62% to 38% in favour of remaining in the EUScotland voted 62% to 38% in favour of remaining in the EU

Let us look at this the other way round. The Scottish Unionists are happy to go along with this idea of the UK Government being supreme and that Scotland has to accept it.

But what if the Westminster Government was to have a change of heart and say “right, Scotland, on your way, we’re putting you out of the Union” – would today’s Unionists just accept that? Would they say “well it’s a UK decision and that’s it, we’re out”? Clearly, they wouldn’t accept such a fate because it is so contrary to their beliefs. They should learn, therefore, that denying the sovereignty of the Scottish people is a dangerous game to get involved in.

The expressed will of the Scottish people in 2016 was to remain, and that is what led to the vote in the Scottish Parliament for a second referendum on independence. Had there been no change in material circumstances the parliament could not have voted the way it did – but Brexit was exactly that change, and that’s why the Scottish Parliament voted for a second referendum. That is our democracy, our parliament, the one which is wholly representative of Scotland’s electorate.

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Mentioning current narratives, there’s another tale the Unionists are putting about. Roughly they are saying that “look at the disaster of Brexit, and we’ve only been in the EU for 40-odd years, so how much more disastrous would it be to break up a 312-year-old union?” Again, that’s completely disingenuous garbage because there’s no comparison between the construct of the EU and the UK. They’re two vastly different things.

At the moment Westminster says it is sovereign and supreme, but if we leave the Union, we can choose to go back into the EU, or some other form of trading arrangement with Europe, or not link up at all – the point is that we in Scotland would make the choice, not England and its politicians.

To me, the fundamental driver of Brexit is English nationalism, and the reason why Brexit is proving so unbelievably difficult is that you have idealogues with their red lines at the head of the UK Government who are determined to keep out of Britain everybody that they can, in line with the way England voted.

I do have to say, however, that England as a country has been very poorly served by the establishment, the so-called elite.

At the other end of the society scale, I have also never bought all that talk about ordinary people showing solidarity with England – what piffle. All that nonsense about workers standing alongside each other in Liverpool and Livingston, well what about solidarity with workers in Limerick and Lyon – does solidarity end at the white cliffs of Dover? You don’t need to be in a political union to show solidarity with your fellow man.

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Scotland showed by voting Remain that we are not about pulling up the drawbridge, we’re about forging partnerships. That’s why a second referendum must come and at a time of our choosing, because it’s simply about self-government and deciding our future for ourselves, so that we can take the place in the world we choose.

What is happening over Brexit could not make our situation any more stark – Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against our will, while Ireland is being backed to the hilt by the other 27 members of the EU. As long as we stay in the UK, we will always suffer such a fate.

If you have any awareness about yourself and your country, you cannot ignore these facts, and you should decide accordingly.