Claim of Right for Scotland

Part of Opposition Day - [15TH Allotted Day, 1ST Part]Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 5:46 pm on 4th July 2018.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 5:46 pm, 4th July 2018

I beg to move,

That this House
endorses the principles of the Claim of Right for Scotland, agreed by the Scottish Constitutional Convention in 1989 and by the Scottish Parliament in 2012, and therefore acknowledges the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs.

Before I begin, I am sure the whole House will join me in congratulating the former Member for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire and former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, George Reid, who is celebrating his golden wedding anniversary today with his wife, Daphne.

“The principle of unlimited sovereignty of parliament is a distinctly English principle and has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law”— those words are not mine. They are the words of the Lord President of the Court of Session in 1953 during the case of MacCormick v. Lord Advocate. This Parliament, I accept, has a great deal of power, and rightly all of us who are democrats should respect the will of the people, but if we are to accept and respect that will in this place, why not in Scotland?

Why do the Tory Government think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it? Many in Scotland are outraged that the Conservative Government have argued that times are not normal and that that allows them to change the devolution settlement in the teeth of the opposition of the Scottish Parliament. Put simply, the Conservatives have no mandate for their power grab on the Scottish Parliament. The case is this: in Scotland, it is the Scottish people who are sovereign.