Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Westminster Unionist never learn.

“We are bound to lose Ireland in consequence of years of cruelty, stupidity and misgovernment and I would rather lose her as a friend than as a foe.”
William E. Gladstone (British Statesman and Prime Minister (1868-1894),

The UK Government should keep this in mind when measuring their response to the 2014 Scottish referendum.

Their latest campaign  Scottish independence of questioning the legal status of a separate Scotland.
by insisting  that while the remainder of the UK would inherit more than 14,000 international treaties, an independent Scotland would not.smacks of colonial arrogance ,

In what it calls an "unusual step" ( ie for political not legal purposes) Whitehall has published its legal advice on the international law aspects of Scottish independence. 

It claims that international precedent dictates that an independent Scotland would become a “new state” and what’s left of the UK would be considered a "continuing state".

According to its legal opinion, (and its only an opinion) only the remainder of the UK would automatically continue to exercise the same rights, obligations and powers under international law as the UK currently does, and would not have to renegotiate existing treaties of re-apply for membership of international organisations.

I have no legal training but it seems to me that unlike Wales and even Ireland . Scotland entered the so called Union voluntarily  and in a similar way a company mergers into a partnership.

Now some want to dissolve that partnership and it would be natural to assume that if this was so all existing s assets and liabilities will be divided accordingly and all contracts valid.

The UK legal advisers seem to think this is not the case, though I suspect not in the case of liabilities

It seems that this legal advice is the one that the government asked for and has been skewed to meet their case.

The Unionists seem to be arguing on one hand that it is a partnership of equals and on the other hand that if it is dissolved only one state will have any international status.

Why the Unionist are arguing their case in this arrogant way is beyond me it reeks of colonial bullying.

It used to be argued in the 19th century  that the fact that Ireland wanted to leave the "greatest empire in the world" clearly meant that they were no suitable for independence.
Clearly among Westminster politician  and their advisers that mindset still exists.

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