THE UK Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict as to whether a devolved government is permitted to specifically ask its citizens whether Scotland should move from devolved governance to independent governance surprised me, given that the question, albeit bundled with other questions, had already been answered by the citizen electorate of Scotland.

My error was to inject common sense into a strictly legal interpretation of the Scotland Act.

What also surprised me were the long grim faces on the Tory front bench after the ruling that the Union was only voluntary with the permission of the UK Government, which currently appears further limited to one day per generation.

So why the long faces? Well, their preferred outcome was actually no outcome at all, and this is what they sought via their legal representation.

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Their second preference would actually have been that indyref2 was permissible, whereupon they could devolve some more powers, and then with the connivance of UK Labour, change the Scotland Act to stop indyref2 in its tracks.

What they are left with is a battle for English votes in a UK General Election, competing with Liberal Democrats and Labour and trying to knock lumps out of them, and a battle for Scottish votes in a de facto referendum at the same time, presumably lauding the LibDems and Labour as fine, upstanding and believable.

“Stramash” just does not cover it.

I am just waiting for the “vote Labour, don’t get Sturgeon” twist to Tory election propaganda aimed at England.

Stephen Tingle

Greater Glasgow

IN her report, Judith Duffy quotes Glasgow law lecturer Nick McKerrell commenting on what Lord Reed said about the Kosovo case as making the use of international law more difficult (What’s next for indyref2: Can the SNP turn to the international courts?, Nov 23). Lord Reed may currently be the “top judge” in the UK but surely his view contradicts what his own belovedthe UK Government said and did about Kosovo.

When Kosovo seceded from Serbia, the UK Government enthusiastically supported its right to do so, making a submission to the International Court of Justice which the ICJ accepted.

In that submission the UK Government said: “In most cases of secession, of course, the predecessor state’s law will not have been complied with: that is true as a matter of definition.”

The ICJ agreed and said: “Nor is compliance with the law of the predecessor state a condition for the declaration of independence to be recognised by third states, if other conditions for recognition are fulfilled.

“The conditions do not include compliance with the internal legal requirements of the predecessor state. Otherwise the international legality of a secession would be predetermined by the very system of internal law called in question by the circumstances in which the secession is occurring.”

Lord Reed may be a very learned judge, but I fail to see how this does not apply to Scotland’s position vis a vis the UK.

Andrew M Fraser


AS a postscript to my recent post on the matter in Wednesday’s National, following Lord Reed’s announcement of the unanimous result of the Supreme Court’s deliberations, it must be noted that the court President Lord Reed, a Scottish lawyer, stressed the unlimited sovereignty of the English Parliament, a distinctly English principle that has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law.

Too bad that English ratification of that fact led to ultimate English success in what turned out to be their corrupt final negotiations for unification of the parliaments.

Perhaps the old fellow has gone native down there, but it really is time he was put out to grass. He really is of no use to man nor beast in his current position, and neither are his fellow jurists on that particular panel who all claim to know that Scottish constitutional law is extant and well, except in that particular case.

Bruce Moglia

via email

NOAH Miles (Letters, Nov 24) – this is to you aged 17 from me aged 76. You felt “overwhelming disappointment” at the Supreme Court decision – I felt overwhelming anger. My action was to immediately get a pole and saltire and embed it in my front garden and put a Yes poster in my window. I also attended the Aberdeen rally.

The future is yours, Noah – we oldies are fighting for a better Scotland and a future for Scotland, for you and your generation, and for the generations in the future you will produce.

READ MORE: Scotland in Union starts fundraiser to stop SNP de facto referendum

Don’t get angry, get even, is one way – the other is not to be unsure of the next steps for independence. The next move is to never lose that disappointment and in my case anger and to turn it into positive and solid determination to persuade fellow citizens of Scotland that they can and will be stronger, better cared for and a happier nation free from the heel of Westminster.

Yours is the future Noah – persuade your friends, get the youth to march, to demonstrate, to leaflet, to canvass, to keep on knowing that Scotland’s time is coming. We must not give up the hope but face the “cowards” down – we will get there.

Frieda Burns


NOW is the time for independence-supporting Labour, LibDem and even Conservative voters to set up their own parties to stand in the next General Election to allow those voters who, for their own reasons, cannot bring themselves to vote for one of the established independence parties to express their views.

Cameron Crawford