IS UDI THE WAY TO GO FOR SCOTTISH NATIONALISM?
Over the last week or so we have been entertained by the spat over the Scottish Referendum between Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May. Andrew Marr's programme had it commented that it was “handbags at dawn”!
Nicola Sturgeon has been saying that she wants to call another Scottish referendum before Brexit is complete, i.e. in about 18 months. Theresa May has been saying that she does not want it called for at least 6 years!
The process is that the Scottish Parliament will vote on the issue this week. Given the political balance in the Scottish Parliament of SNP and the Scottish Greens, it is inevitable that the resolution will be passed.
The resolution will then be formally submitted to the British Government, in accordance with the legislation which was passed by Westminster when it was agreed between David Cameron and Alex Salmond on holding the first referendum.
An interesting and real question will be whether Theresa May actually has legal power to refuse or delay a resolution made by the Scottish Parliament which fully complies with the legislation?
It may therefore be that in the drumroll of press releases one of them will be an Application by the Scottish Government for Judicial Review! If Theresa May loses such a Judicial Review, after her fiasco over the BREXIT case, she, and the British Government, will be utterly humiliated.
Whereas if Nicola Sturgeon were to lose the Judicial Review it could be useful to her as part of the case for the Scottish Parliament to go ahead and hold its own referendum (as an act of non-violent civil disobedience), unregulated by the British State. This would be in opposition to the British State, on much the same footing as Catalonia has held a referendum in which there was a majority for Catalonian independence, but which the Spanish State has sought to quash.
Unlike Spain, Britain no longer has a sizeable army that could be deployed to crush a rebellious civilian population and consequently there will be nothing practical to stop a Scottish Government, which having won an unofficial referendum then declare a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (“UDI”)!
Indeed from the Scottish Nationalist point of view I can see very good reasons to do so which will gel nationalists support into an even harder block of determined supporters than it currently has in Scotland, with Scottish nationalists being literally ready to fight in order to protect Scottish independence.
Much the same process occurred in the early 20th Century in Southern Ireland but then the British State had the whole might of the imperial British army to try to hold down the population of Ireland against its Will. Even so this proved to be an utterly futile and bloody exercise.