Constitution Unit Press statement.
Hon Senior Research Fellow, the Constitution Unit
University College London
A SINGLE REFERENDUM FOR SCOTS TO BREAK UP THE UNION WOULD BE UNLAWFUL TWO REFERENDUMS REQUIRED FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE SAYS THE CONSTITUTION UNIT
Constitution Unit Press statement
TWO REFERENDUMS REQUIRED FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE SAYS THE CONSTITUTION UNIT
A single referendum initiated by the SNP government and authorised by the Scottish Parliament could not achieve independence for Scotland. The terms of any independence deal negotiated with the UK government would require a second referendum authorised by Westminster, says the Constitution Unit. A first referendum could only be held on the principle of independence, and authorise the SNP government to enter into negotiation with the UK government about the details.
The Constitution Unit is responding to the apparent U turn on a referendum by Wendy Alexander leader of Scottish Labour, after her call on Alex Salmond’s SNP minority government to “bring it on.”
“We have long argued that Scottish independence requires two referendums, for reasons of law and practical politics” said Constitution Unit director Prof Robert Hazell. “Under the Scotland Act only Westminster can authorise a referendum that would grant Scotland independence. I would be surprised if Gordon Brown has also done a U turn and wants Westminster to hold such a referendum any time soon”.
“But there are also reasons of principle why there should be two referendums. People in Scotland might support independence in principle, but think again when confronted with the terms of independence. The terms will include not just issues like North Sea oil, but division of the national debt, ending all financial transfers from the UK government, and Scotland’s continued membership of the EU. The Scots are entitled to know the detailed terms of independence before making such a big decision”.
You can read the rest, here(comment 9).