In her first speech as leader of the Conservative party as Prime Minister Theresa May came forth with the following:
“we will leave the European Union as one United Kingdom. There is no opt-out from Brexit. And I will never allow divisive nationalists to undermine the precious Union ”
“Whether people like it or not, the country voted to leave the EU. And that means we are going to leave the EU. We are going to be a fully-independent, sovereign country, a country that is no longer part of a political union with supranational institutions that can override national parliaments and courts. And that means we are going, once more, to have the freedom to make our own decisions on a whole host of different matters, from how we label our food to the way in which we choose to control immigration.”
“The final thing I want to say about the process of withdrawal is the most important. And that is that we will soon put before Parliament a Great Repeal Bill, which will remove from the statute book – once and for all – the European Communities Act.
This historic Bill – which will be included in the next Queen’s Speech – will mean that the 1972 Act, the legislation that gives direct effect to all EU law in Britain, will no longer apply from the date upon which we formally leave the European Union.”
So there we have it….shut up Jocks and eat your porridge.
The only thing is, is that it might not be quite as simple as May and all the other Unionists would have us to believe.
What Big T (as Ruth Davidson calls her) is trying to get away with here is a massive con job. Unless she and her fellow Blue/Red and Yellow unionists are challenged, she has every right to expect to get away with it.
Yet it is not all quite as simple and straightforward as the Tories,Labour and Lib Dems in Westminster would have us believe. All the while that Labour and the Lib Dems may very gently challenge some of what Theresa May and the Conservatives say, under no circumstance will they really question at all.
All of them know, or should know, if they have any grasp on the Acts of Union which created the political union of the United Kingdom, Is that it all boils down to Sovereignty.
The Sovereignty that Theresa May and all the rest of them cite is that of the Sovereignty of the Queen in Parliament.
That is a Sovereignty which they all ascribe to. It is the Sovereignty by which they all hold power.
To even whisper that there may be another sovereignty in play brings them out in cold sweats and threatens to make their greatest nightmare come true.
The other evening after Theresa May came out with this speech, and told Scots to get back in their box, I ended up in a twitter debate with an English Barrister.
I had questioned the ability of Theresa May to implement the wholesale scrapping of the 1972 European Act in Scotland. I argued that EU law is firmly ensconced in Scots Law and that the British government would have a hard time to remove it without the consent of the Scottish government.
He came back at me and said with his pompous authority that the Scottish government would have no option but to comply as all European matters were reserved to Westminster and that the Acts removal would be written into UK Law.
Not so argued I. There is no such thing as UK Law.
He came back with: “People who bring unfair dismissal, discrimination and social security claims may disagree.”
I responded that while these matters were dealt with similarly across the UK, all of these matters were written separately into law in each legislature. In Scots Law, English Law and Northern Ireland Law. Scots Law is and always has been Independent of English Law.
I went on to reiterate ,” EU Law is ensconced separately in Scots Law”
He shot back with … “They are separate legal systems, but to suggest that UK parliament can’t repeal EC Act and remove EU law within it’s legislative competence is demonstrably incorrect.”
and then he referred me to paragraph 7 of the 1998 Scotland Act “International relations, including relations with territories outside the United Kingdom, the [F4European Union](and their institutions) and other international organisations, regulation of international trade, and international development assistance and co-operation are reserved matters”
Oh Yeah say I…. and referred him to an article by Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott Anniversary Chair in Law at Queen Mary University of London.for the constitution unit in the Department of Political Science at University College London is the UK’s leading research body on constitutional change.
In the article she asserts that EU Laws in devolved matters would require legislative consent from the Scottish government. This is by the application of what is known as the Sewel Convention. This of course could conceivably be challenged by the UK government and ridden rough shot over, but that would create a constitutional crises, by which they would not even in Law be guaranteed of winning.
All very interesting says he……and quickly backtracks to the huffy statement…”As interesting as this is, it’s a long way from your original point that there’s no UK law.”