Scottish Independence – How Cameron sold England down the river with the Edinburgh Agreement

Robert  Henderson

The Edinburgh Agreement was signed By David Cameron and Alex Salmon  in Edinburgh on 15 October 2012.

(http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Government/concordats/Referendum-on-independence#MemorandumofUnderstanding ).

It established the legal basis for the Scottish independence referendum.

The first point to note is that Cameron went to Edinburgh. As Scotland are a  supplicant which wishes to  leave the Union,  Cameron should have insisted that Salmond came to Westminster. By going to Edinburgh it at best created a spurious equality between UK national government and the devolved Scottish one and at worst that Salmond was controlling the negotiations. .

The gratuitous pandering to Salmond went far  beyond the place of negotiation and signing. The clauses in the agreement which pander to the SNP are these:

4. The Order enables the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum that takes place at any point before the end of 2014.  The date of the poll will be for the Scottish Parliament to determine and will be set out in the Referendum Bill to be introduced by the Scottish Government. The Order requires the poll for this referendum to be held on a day with no other poll provided for by legislation of the Scottish Parliament.

6. The Order enables the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum with one question on independence.  The wording of the question will be for the Scottish Parliament to determine and will be set out in the Referendum Bill to be introduced by the Scottish Government, subject to the Electoral Commission’s review process, as set out in the paragraphs which follow.

9. The Referendum Bill introduced by the Scottish Government will create a franchise for the referendum.  Both governments agree that all those entitled to vote  in Scottish Parliamentary and local government elections should be able to vote in the referendum.

10. The Scottish Government’s consultation on the referendum also set out a proposal for extending the franchise to allow 16 and 17 year-olds to vote in the referendum.  It will be for the Scottish Government to decide whether to propose extending the franchise for this referendum and how that should be done.  It will be for the Scottish Parliament to approve the referendum franchise, as it would be for any referendum on devolved matters.

11. The Scottish Government’s decision on what to propose to the Scottish Parliament will be informed by the analysis of responses to its consultation exercise and by practical considerations.  The Order does not restrict the extension of the franchise in the case of this referendum.

25. The Referendum Bill to be introduced by the Scottish Government will provide for the spending limits in the regulated period for the independence referendum. Both governments agree that the rules and standards set out in PPERA provide the basis for setting the limits.

Cameron gave away any say in the following matters by leaving it to the Scottish parliament to decide what should be done:

1. The general referendum legislation

2. The date of the referendum

3. The referendum  question

4. The franchise

5. The  referendum expenditure rules

There is also a clause which may well cause difficulty should there be a vote for Scottish independence, viz:

30. The United Kingdom and Scottish Governments are committed, through the Memorandum of Understanding 4between them and others,  to working together on matters of mutual interest and to the principles of good communication and mutual respect.  The two governments have reached this agreement in that spirit.  They look forward to a referendum that is legal and fair producing a decisive and respected outcome.  The two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom.

The final sentence is the fly in the ointment. Although it is vaguely worded it could give Salmond a platform to argue for things such as a currency union.

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9 Responses to Scottish Independence – How Cameron sold England down the river with the Edinburgh Agreement

  1. james s says:

    You seem obsessed with this referendum in Scotland Robert.

    Shouldn’t you be more concerned with your own bankrupt country?

    • William Gruff says:

      Bankrupted by a morally bankrupt government dominated by thieving Jocks. The funny thing is that you bastards will have to take a disproportionate share of it with you when we kick you out.

      • Jock haha says:

        Please kick us out Oor wullie we’re pleading with our masters/superiors to release us even though you think we’re bastards we’still love you all

  2. CS says:

    Britain should have legislation comparable to Canada’s Clarity Act to insure that a referendum question makes clear to the voters what they will getting if they vote yes, i.e.,there must be clarity on the consequences of the vote on the question of the currency, Britain’s military bases in Scotland, and much else.

    By agreeing to work out the details after the vote, Cameron apparently seeks a “yes” vote.

    • J. R. Tomlin says:

      You can’t get much clearer than the question: Should Scotland be an independent country? Independent countries make their own decisions on currency, military bases, etc when they are independent and able to do so.

  3. I agree on the need for the terms of independence being agreed before the vote, but Cameron is not working for a Yes vote. He mistakenly believes that appeasement can be a strategy when it can only ever be a tactic to gain time, something which has no utility in this situation.

  4. Rob Mason says:

    Speaking for the ordinary person in the street I cannot understand why participitation in the Scottish Refrendum shouldn’t have been for all voters across the UK . We are a United Kingdom, and we should all have a say in whether or not we wish a part of our United Kingdom to become independent. Scottish people are proud of their heritage. I am from Yorkshire, and I am proud of my heritage. Westminster seems just as distant to me as it appears to do to those in Scotland, yet a break up of the United Kingdom would hurt us all economically, socially, politically, and in matters of defence and our relationship with the rest of the world.

    • Colin Ray says:

      Unfortunately, since the devolution settlement, England has ceased to exist. We were told that there is no such thing as an English nation (I forget by whom, but it was a leading politician). Devolution granted a parliament to Scotland, assemblies for Wales and Northern Ireland and to complete the destruction of England’s cohesion, England was balkanised into nine unelected, anonymous and undemocratic Regional Assemblies. The calls for democracy in England in the form of an English Parliament were and are refused by the British ruling classes.

      The UK was constantly referred to as ‘The Nations and the Regions’, especially by the BBC.

      There was absolutely no requirement for the Scots dominated UK government, under Blair and Anglophobe Brown, to consult the English or ask for their consent in the form of referendum. After all, you will recall, there is no such thing as an English nation. It logically follows that there is no need to consult a people who are not recognised, or who even exist in political circles. Except, of course, as milch cows and drones to supply the revenue the Nations required, to the detriment of The Regions.

    • J. R. Tomlin says:

      It’s this little thing called ‘self-determination’. No nation has to go cap in hand to another to beg permission to be independent.

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