Nicola Sturgeon has threatened to demand a second independence referendum unless David Cameron reverses his welfare cuts and halts plans to renew Trident.
The Guardian, 18 September 2015 : Sturgeon: scrap cuts and Trident or face another vote on independence
Cameron, however, dismissed her challenge. The prime minister said the nationalist quest for separation was an “obsession” that ignored the clear and decisive vote in last year’s referendum for Scotland to remain part of the UK with a strong Scottish parliament. ibid
Is the requirement for constitutional stability such that the conditions for a referendum can only occur “once a generation”?
But if the Westminster Parliament consistently votes for bills which are not wanted in Scotland, how long until Scots decide that they have “had enough”?
This week in the House of Commons:
- Trade Union Bill: UK For: 317:284, Scotland Against: 1:57
- Tax Credits: UK For: 325:290, Scotland Against: 1:55
- Trident Renewal: UK for: ?:?, Scotland Against: ?:?
- EU Exit: UK leave: ?%:?%, Scotland Stay: ?:?
The Conservatives will possibly argue that 1:57 does not represent opinion in Scotland – but that is the result of the electoral system that the Conservatives have chosen.
The Conservatives claim “the country voted for their programme” at the last election.
I think there is an identity issue which the Tories (and possibly English Labour) fail to understand; their primary identity is British (rather than English). In Scotland I think many more people’s primary identity is Scottish (rather than British).
Data from BBC
A series of votes where Westminster apparently votes heavily for a proposition, yet Scottish MPs vote heavily, say 3:56, against, will inevitably undermine the Union.
It is unpalatable but when a part of a country with a distinct asserted identity consistently feels differently to the rest of the country on important issues, there are only two options:
- Fully devolved the contentious issues, or