An AFFG activist holds a Union Jack on a massive flagpole in front of Holyrood on 1-2-20, the day after Brexit.
The issue is not whether Scots have "the democratic right to choose their own future" or whether "Scotland's future should be determined by the people who live here", or any other variation on the theme of the democratic rights of Scots, per se – which the SNP and its sympathisers are pushing out every day.
After all, the people who live in Scotland already determine Scotland's future through our electoral process!
And anyway, nobody is disputing the concept that democratic rights are possessed by the people of Scotland!
Rather, the issue is about whether an election to a devolved parliament within the United Kingdom is the correct place to seek a specific mandate for a second referendum to break up the UK.
We've already written extensively about the constitutional, moral and democratic reasons why the British Union Parliament is the proper place to seek the mandate. We've laid out the reasons which are constitutional, moral and democratic for all the people of the UK.
But even without going into those reasons, there are two quick reasons which present themselves straight away.
Firstly, Holyrood is not the correct constitutional forum to seek a mandate for a second referendum on independence, because such a separation is about the SNP removing its MPs from the British Union Parliament. That's what "independence" would mean constitutionally. So the British Union Parliament is the place to seek the mandate to remove them!
Secondly, unless the SNP is standing for Holyrood on absolutely no other policy than seeking a mandate for a second referendum, then people will be voting for the SNP (or the Greens) for many different reasons, which may or may not include demanding a second referendum.
So it is not appropriate to interpret their vote as giving authority specifically for a second referendum.
To get a mandate for a second referendum, the SNP would need to stand on no other issue than the issue of demanding a second referendum; and it would have to do so at a British General Election; and as we elaborate it would have to do so on an abstentionist policy; and it would only acquire a mandate if it won a majority of the seats with a majority of the electorate.
Then, and only then, could we start to think about having another referendum on this matter.
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