Dear Orkney News,
We have just finished reading the excellent Common Weal published “A Short Guide to Starting a New Country“, in preparation to reading the long version. It sets out an easily digestible template for setting up an independent Scotland.
There are 2 items in the book which lead me to think that Westminster will do everything that it can not to agree to a second referendum on Scottish independence.
In the chapter on defence, the authors say that they expect that an independent Scotland would sign amongst others, the 2017 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This would mean that the nuclear weapons in Scotland would have to be immediately made non-operational and then removed from Scottish territory under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In the chapter on negotiations, the authors make the point that the UK has nowhere to move its Trident nuclear system to. Given the desperation of Westminster to stay at the international “top table”, I cannot envisage them agreeing to a referendum which would immediately take away their big power status.
With this in mind, I think that all of us who are pro-independence, will have to be prepared to take on a referendum without the agreement of the British state. As the UK has no written constitution binding Scotland to the Union, and the 1707 Treaty of Union is the only tangible thing binding Scotland to the Union, then I believe that the Scottish electorate have the right to take a unilateral vote on staying or leaving.
Yes then, Yes now, Yes always. Jon Southerington, Orkney