UK urged not to be bullied by SNP on timetable for independence

The UK government should not be pressurised into concluding negotiations to enable Scotland to become an independent state by an artificial deadline set by one party, according to a new report out today.

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The UK government should not be pressurised into concluding negotiations to enable Scotland to become an independent state by an artificial deadline set by one party, according to a new report out today.

Alex Salmond has previously set March 2016 as the point at which Scotland would become independent should Scots vote for it in September.

However, in a report on the constitutional implications of the referendum, the House of Lords Constitution Committee has concluded that the UK government “should not put the interests of the rest of the UK at risk by attempting to stick to that timetable”, raising the prospect of the SNP’s proposed timetable not being met.

The Committee explained:

“The Scottish government have proposed a timetable of completing negotiations on independence by March 2016. There is no constitutional principle by which that timetable would bind the rest of the UK. The UK government should not put the interests of the rest of the UK at risk by attempting to stick to that timetable. Any negotiations should take as long as necessary; they should not be foreshortened in order to meet a deadline set by one party to the negotiations.”

Meanwhile, the committee has concluded that to avoid a conflict of interests, Scottish MPs should not be involved in the negotiations that take place between a referendum and possible independence. The Committee explains:

“We recommend that MPs representing Scottish constituencies should not be on the negotiating team for the rest of the UK. Their duty as representatives of their constituents in Scotland would conflict with the objective of that negotiating team: to secure the best arrangements for England, Northern Ireland and Wales.”

It continues:

“We conclude that MPs for Scottish constituencies should not be involved in holding the negotiators for the rest of the UK to account, nor in voting on any measure which ratifies the outcome of the negotiations. In the event of a “yes” vote, we recommend that the Government put before Parliament a proposal that would put this matter beyond doubt before the 2015 election.”

In an unsurprising move, the SNP have responded not by addressing the substance of the report but by attack the messengers instead, launching a scathing critique of the undemocratic nature of the House of Lords. The party’s leader in Westminster, Angus Robertson commented:

“The House of Lords is an undemocratic anachronism stuffed to the gunnels with over 800 peers of the realm who answer to no electors and are often there because of privilege or patronage.

“To be lectured by them about timetables and for democratic processes is something that could only happen in Westminster. It will be elected representatives who will lead Scotland’s transition to independence, not some elite club whose members can still turn up for just half an hour’s work and get a £300 daily allowance.”

The report comes as the latest poll indicates that the Yes campaign still has a mountain to climb if they are to succeed in September’s vote.

The figures, compiled by professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University, and published on the What Scotland Thinks website, compiles figures based on two polls by Survation, one by ICM, one by YouGov, one by TNS BMRB and one by Progressive Scottish Opinion, all conducted between 1 April and 12 May.

Having excluded the ‘don’t knows’, the poll finds that 57 per cent of Scots remain opposed to independence compared to 43 per cent who support it.

29 Responses to “UK urged not to be bullied by SNP on timetable for independence”

  1. ShuggyMcGlumpher

    Yeah. Given that there’s a General Election in 2015, the March 2016 date is pretty unrealistic but that won’t stop the Nationalists going on as if they live in occupied Poland circa 1941 or something…

  2. ShuggyMcGlumpher

    Yeah. Given that there’s a General Election in 2015, the March 2016 date is pretty unrealistic but that won’t stop the Nationalists going on as if they live in occupied Poland circa 1941 or something…

  3. Iain Macmillan

    It’s great to see all you “socialists” supporting the haverings of the House of Lords. ROFL

  4. cynicalhighlander

    That unelected HoLs coming before democracy roll on the 18/09/2014 and Scotland rejoining most normal countries in the world.

  5. Scott Bowie

    honestly, every single step of the way its just one hurdle after another. first they told us we’d never be independent and flooded us with fear stories which are almost entirely baseless, then they tried lovebombing briefly, now with the polls climbing and people realizing the benefits of a yes we’re fed this latest insult. we’ll fight every inch for it, but do you have to make it so tedious?

  6. Michaelinlondon1234

    There is a lot to be organised to become independant.

  7. David MacGille-Mhuire

    Including your grammar and spelling.

  8. ben_cleuch

    How can there be “constitutional implications” when there is no constitution?
    The sooner we’re rid of an overpaid, unelected, irrelevant, and dare I say “unconstitutional” bunch of freeloaders the better.

  9. Alec

    The House of Lords is an undemocratic anachronism stuffed to the gunnels with over 800 peers of the realm who answer to no electors and are often there because of privilege or patronage.

    This is the 21st Century, not the 1990s. The bulk of the HoL is now appointed, and it’s commonplace across advanced liberal democracies for appointed – rather than directly elected – individuals to form actual Cabinet positions, nevermind mere scrutiny roles such as the HoL which can be over-ruled by the HoC.

    To be lectured by them about timetables and for democratic processes is something that could only happen in Westminster.

    Yet you expect the HoC and 57 millions other UK inhabitants to march to your tune. Your Party stipulated the March 2016 [1] date… others have different ideas. You know, in everyone’s best interests.

    I think there’s zero chance of the SNP bullying anyone post-YES. You have spent years of blamed all of Scotland’s woes on Westminster and EWNI, and you think they’d then turn on a sixpence and rush to accomodate you against their own interests: it’s headless chickens stuff.

    You’d be in for a very rude awakening.

    ~alec

    [1] If it’s a coincidence that this would be before the next Holyrood elections which you now are saying might not be SNP, I’m the Queen of Sheba.

  10. Alec

    How can there be “constitutional implications” when there is no

    constitution?What an asinine comment. Of course there’s a constitutional set-up… it’s just not written.

    ~alec

  11. Alec

    Unless you are a spellchecker, you are not obligated to correct minor typos. Contribute to the conversation.

    ~alec

  12. Alec

    Yeah, how dare they expect you to do any heavy lifting!

    I mean, if I want to be a concert pianist, it’s my right to be one! And anyone asking me to buy a piano or if I can tap-out a tune is just putting hurdles in my way!

    ~alec

  13. Alec

    The HoL, in its current set-up, is not too different from the concept of a civil service. D’you decry that?

    ~alec

  14. Alec

    Consider also that it neatly pre-empts the next Holyrood elections with the added benefit of avoiding a potentially new administration which Fish-heid McMoonface might not be able to control.

    ~alec

  15. Iain Macmillan

    LMAO

  16. Iain Macmillan

    You must be very near the bottom of that aristocratic supporting hole you’re digging by now?

  17. Iain Macmillan

    “Fish-heid McMoonface”! Dearie Dearie Me. What age are you?

  18. Scott Bowie

    don’t be a pianist alec.
    the piano is already there, we’re just being told we can’t play it.

  19. Alec

    On 18 September there will be a vote about whether or not we can. Have you heard?

    ~alec

  20. Alec

    D’you have a point, or are you just going to snipe from the sidelines?

    ~alec

  21. Alec

    Old enough not to have to be told by you what to do.

    Plus, given your earlier pointless “LMAO”, I’d say you have an uphill struggle to acquiring credibility in these stakes.

    ~alec

  22. Alec

    Have you considering starting your own blog? You plainly have no intention in engaging with this thread, instead behaving like a bad mannered troll.

    ~alec

  23. Alec

    As always, Ed, I do think you should start enacting a moderation policy. There are some here who are here only to derail threads they’re not in control of.

    ~alec

  24. Iain Macmillan

    And you behave like an anti Scottish bigot.

  25. Iain Macmillan

    You’re obviously totally ignorant of Scotland and the Scots so maybe you should keep your neb out of our affairs?

  26. Iain Macmillan

    You really do need to get out more, you sad little person.

  27. Alec

    Gosh, what a devastatingly comprehensive response !

    ~alec

  28. Alec

    I am Scottish. I am an ethnic teuchter. I have just as much right to discuss their future as you do. Perhaps you are unaware that Scottish self-determination will be fulfilled on 18 September no matter how many of us tell you to get to Forfar,

    ~alec

  29. Alec

    And you behave like a Goblin Man No thoughts of yourself.just repeats of whT YOU’VERAD

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