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A Unitary State bound by Consent, and Law



A Force For Good activists at one of our Jubilee Street Stalls in the heart of the Great British City of Glasgow on 14 May 2022. The 'British Together' Hoodie can be found at our Hoodie and T-shirt Store here.


One of the current Scottish nationalist notions is that the Union used to be based on nice and cuddly "consent", but now it's based on harsh and oppressive "law".


For example, a Scottish nationalist will deceptively enquire: "Is Scotland in a voluntary Union?" or "Do you agree that the Union is based on consent?"


They are trying to manoeuvre us into their web.


If we accept, without clarification (which we provide below) that "Yes, it is voluntary" or "Yes, it is based on consent", then they will use this logic against us.


They will demand that we should agree to a second referendum based on this "principle of consent". If we don't agree, then they'll call us "anti-democratic". They'll say we are ignoring "the principle of consent" and instead we're "imposing the Union by force of law".


That's the way they play!


WHY THEY DO THIS

This "we used to be in a voluntary Union based on consent but now we're forced into Union by law", is a relatively recent Scottish nationalist false frame.


It's all rubbish of course!


The fact is, British Parliamentary laws have underpinned the Union since the very beginning and continue to do so every day.


The UK is a Unitary State. That is, "a state governed as a single entity in which the central government is the supreme authority." Laws are central to its operation.


However, the nationalists are trying to move the frame away from that political reality, to one of their own fantasy creations.


They do this because they want us to believe that the British Parliament which runs the Unitary State known as the United Kingdom should literally have no say in the matter of the break up of the United Kingdom itself!


They want us to believe that the British Parliament should not be able to apply any kind of law to keep the UK together.


They want us to accept their frame that only the people of Scotland should have a say; that it is only for the Scottish people "to decide". They want us to accept that the rest of the United Kingdom should be a mere bystander in the witness of its own destruction; and that those who do not consent, should not have a voice!


THE PRO-UK FRAME

However, as pro-UK folk, we see the matter within the bigger pro-UK frame, within the wider British context, within the Big British Picture.


We know that, democratically-speaking, the interests of all the people of the UK must be involved, considered and, if necessary, protected. That's where the role of Parliament and its laws come in.


We not only consider the democratic interests of those people in Scotland who might want to break up the UK, we also consider the democratic interests of all the people throughout Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales, who want to stay together.


We consider the rights of all the people throughout the UK who do not consent to another referendum, just as much as we consider the rights of those who do consent.


We know everyone must be involved. We know that it is the British Parliament – the Union Parliament – which is responsible for looking out for everyone.


Therefore, the pro-UK frame is that Scotland is part of a Unitary State with the British Parliament at the centre.


The UK is more than a voluntary Union based on consent. It is also – by necessity – a legal Union based on laws. It is held together not only by the consent of its parts, but also by laws made in the British Parliament. It is bound by law, as well as consent.


It has to be held together by law because we're all involved, wherever we may live throughout the United Kingdom. We've all got a stake in the UK and its future, and that stake has to be considered and protected.


It is a Union of all its parts, and all its parts must be involved, considered, and protected – Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales together. That is the role of the British Parliament and its laws!


There is nothing controversial about this!


The laws are there to ensure that all parts of the UK are involved and considered, and if necessary, protected from the actions of any one of the other parts.


In short, the Union is based on consent, and it is also based on law, because everyone in the UK is involved!


THIS is WHY the UK is NOT "LIKE THE EU"

If we try to pretend that it is only a "voluntary Union", which is held together only by the consent of one of the members, and that there are no over-arching laws, and there is no over-arching unitary body – Parliament – which can moderate, or restrain the actions of any part of that Union, then we don't have a functioning nation.


Instead, we just have a group of different countries in association for the time being, but ready to break up whenever one of them fancies.


That's not a cohesive nation!


That's just like the EU, where any member can choose to leave at any time and where the other member nations, and the EU Parliament, do not have any legal ability to stop them.


Thankfully, because we are also held together by law, then all the parts of the UK have to be involved. That's where the British Parliament comes in.


Imagine the unfairness, and indeed political chaos, if this were not the case.


Let's take a worked example.


Imagine a second referendum were held tomorrow, without the permission of our collective British Parliament, and by extension without the permission of the rest of the people of the UK who are British, who love the UK and who want to stay together.


HOW a TINY NUMBER of PEOPLE COULD BREAK UP the UNITED KINGDOM

Let's crunch the figures!


These are the latest electoral figures available (December 2021) at the ONS website: tinyurl.com/bdzdhskc


We are using the largest figures which are the "Local government electoral registration" figures, at Table 1:


Overall UK Electorate: 48,844,292

Electorate in Scotland: 4,245,217


We've chosen the local government figures, since the Scottish referendum in 2014 was run on this franchise.


Let us presume the same turnout as in 2014, which was 85% rounded up. This means that 3,608,435 people would vote in Scotland.


Say a second referendum was won by the Scottish nationalists by 51-49 per cent, although it could be even closer.


This means there would be 51% of 3,608,435 = 1,840,302 people in Scotland voting to break up the UK.


This winning number would represent a minuscule 3.77% of the overall UK electorate!


Even if the winning figures from 2014 were completely reversed and 55% voted to break up, that would still only be 1,984,640 (which is also a minority of the overall Scottish electorate) and 4.06% of the overall UK electorate.


In what democratic universe does it make sense for 3.77% – let's say 4% – of a nation's electorate to break up the entire country? It would be morally wrong.


IN CONCLUSION

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, which is a Unitary State with the British Parliament at its centre. The UK is more than a voluntary Union based on consent. It is also – by necessity – a legal Union based on laws. It is bound by law, as well as consent. It must be bound by law because we're all involved, regardless of where in the UK we live.


In practice, this means it is held together not only by the consent of its parts, but also by the British Parliament and the decisions and laws that it makes collectively to govern for the good of the entire United Kingdom – a Parliament to which, it must be emphasised, Scotland continues to send MPs in order for them to do exactly that!


And thank goodness, because pro-UK folk throughout the United Kingdom want to know that we're held together by something more substantial than the momentary whim of a minority of the Scottish electorate, at a one-off referendum, on one day, which could be won by a tiny margin, and with an overall majority of around 4%, or less, of the entire UK electorate.


The British Parliament has a perfect right, duty and responsibility to avoid such a potential tragedy and to keep the United Kingdom together.


We spoke about this in our programme "Good Evening Britain", broadcast on 9-11-22:



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