JOHNSON has now formally refused a Section 30 order, but we cannot accept that Westminster has the power to stamp on our sovereign right to determine our own future. An advisory referendum is one way forward, but another is securing a mandate for constitutional change at the next Holyrood election. If we vote to scrap Westminster’s reserved powers and have Holyrood take all decisions for Scotland can this really be denied?

It might have to be fought in the courts, even internationally, but a sovereign decision cannot be overturned except by a counter vote.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson publishes response to SNP's Section 30 request

The Scottish Social Attitudes Surveys have shown since 1999 that an overwhelming majority want the Scottish Parliament to determine how Scotland is governed. Foreign affairs and defence were typically excluded, but the former has been badly dented by Brexit and the latter by Blair’s Iraq adventure. So we’re looking at an open door and just need to step through it.

Instead of instant statehood, we need to think in detail about government by consensus, whereby we initially share certain aspects with rUK before moving on to our own arrangements on taxation and fiscal policy, social spending, EU/EFTA membership, defence and so on. But once we have empowered the Scottish Parliament, the act of independence has been made and there is no going back.

Robert Fraser

DEAR Boris,

Thank you for your reply of January 14 2020. I have carefully considered and noted your response to Scotland regarding the request for powers to hold an independence referendum.

The UK Government made a promise that a No vote was a vote for change. If we voted No to independence in 2014 we were promised extra powers, that Holyrood would be the most powerful devolved government in the world and we would remain in the EU. The people of Scotland voted decisively on that promise. However, I note from your response that the people of Scotland are not allowed to have a democratic vote to decide our nation’s future governance. Scotland is leaving the EU despite voting 62% to remain. Devolution and Holyrood are disrespected by the UK Government.

READ MORE: First Minister responds to Boris Johnson's Section 30 rejection

The UK Government continues to deny the democratic right of the Scottish people to choose self-determination. For that reason the UK union of equal nations is broken.

Another independence referendum would ensure that political stagnation will end when Scotland decides to flourish as a prosperous independent nation where Scottish schools and hospitals will be properly funded without the cuts and privatisation imposed by successive Conservative governments that Scotland doesn’t vote for. Every nation has the right to choose how it is governed and no-one has the right to deny that choice.

It is time that we in Scotland all worked together to leave the United Kingdom and unleash the potential of this great country.



Alasdair Smith

NOW Boris Johnson has formally rejected the Scottish Government’s request for a Section 30 order to facilitate indyref2, it is time to look more closely at our present constitutional settlement to make sure we know where we stand.

Scotland and England are in a de jure union. But what sort of union is it in which one partner cannot leave without permission from the other? Married couples can divorce even if one spouse does not want to. Nations too can separate, as was shown by the “Velvet Divorce” that brought Czechoslovakia to an end.

Some who are pro-independence take comfort by looking to Section 63A of the Scotland Act, which states “the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are not to be abolished except on the basis of a decision of the people of Scotland voting in a referendum”. They would be wrong to find comfort there. The Scotland Act is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom is dominated by English MPs because England is more populous than Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales together. The Act can be amended, or even repealed, by Westminster.

Scotland’s devolution is a chimera. The brutal truth is that Scotland is de facto a partially self-governing colony of England, and those parties in Scotland that support the Union thereby support the subjugation of the people to the will of a government elected by voters in England by an undemocratic system (the Tories have 56% of the seats in Westminster but only won 44% of UK votes). Despite trying to give the appearance that they exist to promote the interests of people in Scotland, the “branch offices” of Unionist parties in Scotland are treating the Scottish electorate as cannon fodder to increase their firepower in Westminster. It is high time those who vote for them opened their eyes to this truth.

Peter Martin
Strathconon, Muir of Ord

NOW that Boris has finally replied to our First Minister’s request to hold another referendum, one thing is clear. Westminster reserves to itself the right to make the decision about who has the right to make the decision about who has the right to make decisions about Scotland. Democracy, anyone?

L McGregor

JOHNSON needs to understand that Scotland’s right to self-determination does not hinge on any individual’s personal promise to anyone on anything. He has to understand that it is not Nicola asking, it is the First Minister of Scotland. It’s only the likes of him or his pal Donald over the pond who conflate their person with their public office. But on the matter of actual personal promises, why is he not dead in a ditch?

B Campbell