Car crash Dugdale in her speech to the Labour conference stated absolutely clearly (at least for a few hours) that under no circumstance would she or the Scottish Labour branch support a second Scottish Independence referendum.
Later she was asked in an Interview if she would consider supporting one if it turned out that it would be in Scotlands best interests to become independent if Brexit proved to be damaging to Scottish Interests. She still maintained her position that she would still oppose it.
A few days ago it was reported that when asked, that a spokesman for Theresa May had said that Nicola Sturgeon did not have a mandate to call another Independence referendum.
“Asked if the Prime Minister regarded the FM’s position on the possibility of holding another independence referendum as a serious option or an idle threat, her deputy spokesman replied: “The Government does not believe there is a mandate for a second referendum.”
We know that Jeremy Corbyn is implacably opposed to Scottish Independence, so too is the Lib Dem leadership and obviously UKIP.
So if Nicola Sturgeon has no mandate to call another independence referendum, it sort of begs the question why these Westminster parties and their Scottish branches are so exercised by it?
Indeed if there were a mandate, then why should they be at all concerned about another independence referendum? After all they and the polls keep telling us that the appetite for YES is stagnant and the majority of Scots are still in favour of remaining in the Union.
Well for one thing, the effects of Brexit still haven’t kicked in yet, but It will, and when it does it will only have a negative impact on peoples lives.
Instead of less than 30% support at the start of the last campaign, the starting base for Yes this time is currently at 47%. A mere 4% more and Independence is in the bag.
Worried? You bet they are!
Some Union supporters try to make the false argument that the Scottish Governement does not have a mandate because a referendum was not in the SNP manifesto. This is entirely false.
The SNP’s 2016 Scottish parliamentary election manifesto stated: “We believe the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people, or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014 such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.”
It is therefore crystal clear that as soon as article 5o is implemented by Westminster these exact circumstances in the manifesto will have been met. The will of the Scottish people on remaining in the EU is expressed conclusively in the 62% who voted to remain in the EU referendum.
Theresa May and the rest of Westminster may howl as much as they like, the Will of the Scottish people is Sovereign.
Which brings us in conclusion to a rather Interesting question.
Perhaps there is no need for a referendum at all?
In the extremely unlikely event that Westminster attempts to block another Scottish referendum, there would arguably be nothing that they could do to prevent Scotland walking away in any case.
A Universal Declaration of Independence would only be in the last resort, and is an extremely fraught and dangerous road to go down and not advisable.
However, just as an exercise lets look at that possibility.
If as has been argued in an Aberdeen university senior law lecturer the Conservative government in Westminster decided to apply the results of Brexit after the article 50 negotiations had been concluded, without ratifying by an Act of Parliament after bringing it to the house for debate and approval, which appears to be what they intend.
They will have blown wide open simply scrapping the unifying Act of union of 1707,and Scotland could simply walk away from it all perfectly legally.
A precedent would be set by their actions over the EU Article 50 which would equally apply to the UK Acts of union.
All of this is of course open to legal debate and challenge, but interesting none the less.
Scotland would simply walk away from it all.
The upshot of all this is. We shall have our Independence referendum and there is damn all they can do to stop us. No wonder they are howling!