Scotland should not need PM's permission to hold IndyRef2

The Scottish Parliament have spoken. The Scottish people should be allowed to speak.

That is what the democratic tradition of Scotland dictates.

If Theresa May has an ounce of respect for our Parliament, our people, our traditions and our democracy, she will take heed.

The vote yesterday in the Scottish Parliament to hold another referendum on our country’s future should make that happen.

Many readers will wonder why the final say lies elsewhere. Why is it Westminster, where Scottish MPs are outnumbered and repeatedly outvoted by English Tories, who get the final say on whether we have a referendum?

Why do we need their “permission”?

We are not children. We are not a colony. But that is exactly how Scotland is being treated by a remote and high-handed British Tory establishment, shamefully supported by Labour.

What a disgrace that Westminster has passed EVEL – English votes for English Laws – to stop Scotland’s MPs voting on English legislation (even if it has a knock on effect on Scotland).

Yet in this critical matter of putting Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands, it is English MPs, along with peers in the unelected House of Lords, sitting in London, who have the final say.

Devolution was once described thus: “Power devolved is power retained”. Quite. We were told we would have the most powerful devolved parliament in the world after 2014 (if we voted No).

A narrow majority did so and now find their Parliament is ignored and powerless.

But this is what the Scotland Act of 1998 that set up the Scottish Parliament put in place. The constitution is reserved to Westminster.

Read the rest of my column here.

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