WHAT we heard on Wednesday was the legal answer to a legal question. Disturbing and damning as it was for the state of the democratic process in the UK, it does have a silver lining. For as far as the court did venture into the political space, it recognised that “a lawfully held referendum would be a political event with political consequences”.

So if the court deems that a merely consultative, non-binding referendum has undeniable political ramifications for the state of the Union, then how much more would it have to hold that a caucus of Scottish MPs, voted to the hallowed halls of Westminster in a General Election on a majority of votes and with a clear platform of standing for independence, would be politically impossible to ignore? Used wisely, the court’s findings could be a reference point to support the validity of a de-facto referendum held on the basis of a General Election.

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But the point has to be made tirelessly. When Labour and the Tories attempt to deflect by arguing that people vote in elections on a range of issues, which may be true for England, the response is that in Scotland we have Holyrood for that. Instead, for Scotland, Westminster is about the framing conditions for the Scottish Parliament, and if a majority of Scottish voters express through their Westminster representatives that these framing conditions are no longer fit for purpose and not reformable, then this can only be interpreted as a clear expression of Scotland’s will for self-determination.

The challenge will be to wrestle the narrative from a London-centric media landscape and build consensus and cooperation across all pro-independence parties for a de facto referendum starting now. Let’s help ourselves to this court’s verdict in the process!

Bruce Campbell
via email

I COMMEND the various points advocated by Alan Hinnrichs in The National on Wednesday. With the UK “Supreme” Court decision, allied to new Tory laws to curb the right to demonstrate and on voter ID, clearly Scotland is in the grip of a kind of pin-stripe falangism.

The SNP MP’s should disrupt Westminster to specifically highlight the supine position Scottish democracy now finds itself in, and if not ejected should stay out for a day in protest. They could use this time to convene the international media outside the Commons and highlight Westminster duplicity and hypocrisy to the world.

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Now that the referendum route is in tatters, the wider Yes movement must revert to the traditional SNP platform of fighting national elections on an independence mandate, as it did 1934/1997. But that need not be a Westminster election where the odds are stacked against an independence majority, nor should – as seems to already be conceded by the Greens/SNP – it be on the percentage of the vote rather than seats won.

It is right that the SNP should seek to lead in this campaign, but the kind of confederal approach favoured by Action for Independence prior to the Scottish elections should be the aim. This allows all pro-independence parties to retain their distinctive policies and platforms but will help to maximise the independence vote.

Cllr Andy Doig (Independent)
Renfrewshire Council

I WAS, like a lot of people, disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling, but not surprised.

It did not take a bunch of learned judges to tell us that the Scotland Act of1998 stipulates what is a reserved matter. But maybe after the evidence of our Advocate General there was a slim chance that they would tell us that we could hold a referendum without Westminster’s consent.

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Now a lot of learned people are saying that if the UK is a nation of equals, how come one nation has control over the other? I am a bit perplexed as to why these learned judges were asked to decide on the 1998 Scotland Act instead of the Treaty of Union 1707. Does this mean the Treaty of Union is superseded by the Scotland Act? Perhaps some learned person could clarify this for me. As far as I have been led to believe, the Act of Union stipulates that one Kingdom and its subsequent parliaments were joined as equals.

Would it not have been better to ask the Supreme Court judges to scrutinise the Act of Union?

M Forrest
via email

MAY I thank Derek Lloyd (Letters, Nov 24) for highlighting a statement in Lord Reid’s decision which I should have mentioned in my recent letter? This is that the outcome of a referendum could affect “the UK’s sovereignty over Scotland”.

As recently as 2018, Westminster ACCEPTED the Claim of Right, which enshrines the sovereignty of the people in Scotland, and a more recent legal judgment stated that the English concept of the sovereignty of the monarch through parliament has no legal equivalent in Scotland, where Scots law pertains.

The UK Parliament in London, whether designated as UK or English, does not have ultimate sovereignty in Scotland. That sovereignty rests with the people. Moreover, following on from my final argument, anent the later Scotland Act negating the Treaty of Union, the Westminster acceptance of the Claim of Right would negate the relevant part of the Scotland Act. The ruling of the Supreme Court, therefore, is based on false premises, and should be considered irrelevant.

P Davidson

“BUT we can still rise now and be the nation again.” Can we? Will we? The jury is out.

John Randall
Isle of Lewis

MAYBE Lesley Riddoch won’t want our thanks but by golly she obtained our support! Well done Lesley!

Douglas Hewat
via email