A majority of seats for the separatist parties at a Holyrood election is not enough to demand a second vote to break up the UK. The United Kingdom is held together at the level of the British Parliament. That's where the mandate for unity is found. So that's where any mandate for separation has to be found.
It's an article of faith among the Scottish nationalists, and the Scottish mainstream media, that if the "independence supporting parties" were to win a majority of seats at the Holyrood Election on Thursday 6 May 2021 then that would represent "a mandate" for a second referendum to try to break up the UK ["mandate" means "the authority to carry it out"].
In effect this would mean a majority of seats being won by the SNP, the Scottish Cabbage Party (the Soggy Greens), and any other separatist group that might get elected on the Regional List.
They are very adamant about this.
As an SNP MP says:
"If people vote for that proposition and elect a pro-referendum majority then it would be illegitimate and undemocratic for any UK government, Tory or otherwise, to deny that expression. If they did, they would be keeping Scotland in the UK against the wishes of the people who live here."
Tommy Sheppard SNP MP, quoted in The Daily Express, "Sturgeon are you listening? SNP MP finally admits referendum was once in a generation vote", online 9-10-20.
There is so much wrong – and dangerously wrong – with his arrogant statement. We include it here only because it sums up the basic position of the Scottish nationalists.
A MAJORITY OF SEATS AT HOLYROOD, IS NOT A SUFFICIENT MANDATE
We maintain that a vote in a devolved election – an election which obtains its authority from the United Kingdom Parliament at Westminster – cannot deliver a mandate to call for a second separation referendum to break up that United Kingdom.
Only a vote in an election for the Union Parliament itself can potentially deliver a mandate for a second referendum to be held to break up that United Kingdom.
Let's examine the 4 fundamentals upon which our position is based.
FUNDAMENTAL 1. OUR UNITED KINGDOM – ONE BIG COUNTRY
Our position is based, firstly, upon the understanding that since the Union of the Crowns in 1603 (and even long before) and certainly since the Parliamentary Union of 1707, the United Kingdom has developed into one nation – certainly a nation which consists of smaller nations, but nevertheless, a nation in itself.
We understand the United Kingdom as one Big Country, not just 4 separate ones.
It has come together through time, through hundreds of years of shared development, to the point where, today, it is much more a Nation of Unions, than a "union of nations"; it is much more a Nation of Families (quite literally) than a "family of nations".
Above all, it is our home – all of it – and we don't want our home to be broken up.
Of course Scottish nationalists don't accept that the United Kingdom is a nation. If they were to do so, it would lead them to accept that what we say is true!
Whatever they may think...this is what we believe, and that is the first fundamental upon which we make our stand!
FUNDAMENTAL 2. IT IS NOT FOR SCOTLAND ALONE TO DECIDE TO BREAK UP – AND EFFECTIVELY DESTROY – THE UNITED KINGDOM
Scottish nationalists such as Tommy Sheppard speak so flippantly (and aggressively) about the presumed "illegitimacy" and "undemocratic" nature of the United Kingdom government because they choose to have no regard whatsoever for the fundamental belief of the United Kingdom as one nation – as one Big Country – with a shared historic development over hundreds of years, and a shared electorate with common interests.
So they think they can get away with misrepresenting the nature of the United Kingdom, and the nature of the devolution which flows from the British Parliament – as if their supporters in Scotland are the only people involved in this relationship, when in fact this is about the future of our entire United Kingdom as one Big Country.
However, once you see the reality of our one Big Country then you realise that everyone is involved – wherever we may live in the UK – and it should not be so easy to destroy it. As we always say, "If you're British, you're involved!"
Hundreds of years of coming together over time cannot be allowed to be destroyed so easily and by such a relatively small element of the British national electorate, in one part of the United Kingdom. In this article we crunch the numbers to find out just how small that proportion could be when measured against the rest of the British electorate.
It has to be spoken for, it has to be protected, and it has to be maintained by all of us, and certainly by our common British Union Parliament!
FUNDAMENTAL 3. THE UNION PARLIAMENT HAS A MANDATE FOR UNITY
Here is a basic political fact. The United Kingdom is maintained at the level of the United Kingdom Parliament.
That seems obvious, but it has to be said because it is not said often enough!
Here's the way it works...
The people of Scotland legitimise the Union of the United Kingdom every time we elect MPs to the Union Parliament at Westminster. We legitimise the Union and we legitimise Westminster's role as the primary Parliament in the UK.
There is no doubt that every time we vote for a candidate to sit at Westminster – and regardless of the party we vote for – we are saying that both the Union, and this Union Parliament, is a democratic and legitimate body.
When that candidate is elected and takes up his or her seat – regardless of the party that they represent – then they confer 100% democratic legitimacy upon the British Parliament to govern for their constituency and ultimately for all of the United Kingdom.
We call this our Mandate for Unity.
The Union is held together at the Union Parliament – not at any of its devolved and subsidiary bodies.
Therefore, it follows that the future of the Union must always be decided at the level of the Union Parliament – the very Parliament that every SNP MP, and every other MP from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales give democratic legitimacy to, because they sit there.
Furthermore, the Union Parliament also has the responsibility and duty, to withhold consent to a second referendum.
This is because it has a duty and responsibility to defend the integrity – the political cohesion, the togetherness – of the United Kingdom in the first place! As the Union Parliament, it is absolutely called-u