Independence campaign will be ‘annihilated’ says Clegg

Nick Clegg yesterday upped the rhetoric in the debate over Scottish independence by declaring that the case for Scotland going it alone will be 'annihilated'.

Nick Clegg yesterday upped the rhetoric in the debate over Scottish independence by declaring that the case for Scotland going it alone will be ‘annihilated’.

The deputy prime minister was responding to a question in the Commons from the SNP MP, Angus MacNeil.

Pressed over whether, if a party currently in government were to get annihilated at a general election, should it then keep its peers in the House of Lords, as the numbers would not then be reflective of the position in the House of Commons, Clegg responded:

“The only thing that is going to be annihilated is the argument for independence for Scotland, which is gaining no currency among the people of Scotland, because the vast majority of people in Scotland and elsewhere want to keep the United Kingdom together.”

It came as the SNP has attacked the Conservatives after junior Scotland Office minister, David Mundell, appeared to agree with the notion that Scotland was ‘extinguished’ in respect of international law as a result of the 1707 Act of Union.

Within their paper for the Scotland Office on the implications of independence for Scotland, professors James Crawford and Alan Boyle, both experts in international law, argued that Scotland was indeed extinguished by the Act of Union.

The experts reject the idea that Scottish independence would undo the Treaty of Union, which created the UK, allowing Scotland and England to revert to their pre-1707 status. They do not, however, reach a view on whether 1707 marked the creation of a new state in international law or the expansion of England under a new name.

They continue (page 75):

“For the purpose of this advice, it is not necessary to decide between these two views of the union of 1707. Whether or not England was also extinguished by the union, Scotland certainly was extinguished as a matter of international law, by merger either into an enlarged and renamed England or into an entirely new state.”

Speaking to STV, however, pressed as to whether he supported the notion outlined in the legal advice, Scotland office minister, David Mundell, simply responded ‘yes’.

Hitting out at the comment, SNP MSP Roderick Campbell declared the minister’s remarks to be ‘cack handed’, before going on to conclude:

“The anti-independence campaign is now asking people to vote ‘No’ and endorse the position that Scotland was ‘extinguished’.

“The Tory-led government’s inept leadership of the ‘No’ campaign has shattered the claim that Scotland is an equal partner in the UK – which will only serve to boost support for an independent Scotland and a ‘Yes’ vote.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives dismissed Campbell’s comments as a ‘smokescreen’.

The pro-union Better Together campaign has meanwhile launched a campaign calling on Holyrood to follow Whitehall’s lead and publish its own legal advice on independence.

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19 Responses to “Independence campaign will be ‘annihilated’ says Clegg”

  1. LB

    It was a Scottish King, James, taking over England.

    So if Scotland decides to go, don’t they keep the treaties and the rest of the UK has to renegotiate being a member of the EU etc.

  2. Atypical_Scot

    Should Scotland remain annexed by England?

  3. Independent England

    ‘the vast majority of people in Scotland and elsewhere want to keep the United Kingdom together’.Got any evidence for such a sweeping claim Mr Clegg? Polls I’ve seen show that a lot of English and Scottish people would be in favour of ending the Union of England and Scotland.. It’s the Lib Dems who will be annihalated at the next Westminster election. I hope.
    Vote SNP Set England Free!

  4. Andrew Fernie

    What the Hell did Clegg’s comment have to do with what MacNeil asked in the first place? That was the kind of response you’d expect from an immature child, not the deputy PM.

  5. You Want It? Have it!

    If the Scots want to pay through the roof for things they currently get for free (paid for by Britain as a whole) be my guest. Scotland gets far more from Britain than Britain gets from Scotland. You want your Independance? Fine, good luck with your Euro currency because you won’t be keeping sterling! You’ll be in a worse state than Ireland within a decade, an when you are, remember it was SNP who led you astray.

  6. Michael

    Funny that, coming from a man who leads a party which at the last Scottish election really was annihilated. I live in the Central Scotland electoral region which includes most of urban Scotland in the area between Edinburgh and Glasgow. In the 2011 election the Lib Dems got 1.4% of the vote in this part of Scotland. That was less than the pensioners party, less than the Greens and equal with the Christians so that meant they were 6th on the list. The independence supporting SNP that Clegg thinks is going to be annihilated was the most popular party with 46.6% of the vote. What a dick.

  7. Maureen Luby

    @9c70d5e8274f1ca5bd4f8113a44f1d7b:disqus You clearly know nothing about the economy of the UK. Scotland raises between 48-53 billion in taxes (not including oil or VAT) and Westminster gives us pocket money of 30 billion to manage our affairs. The Scottish government chooses to use this money to the benefit of the Scottish people while Wastemonster chooses to use it on illegal wars and strutting about the world stage etc etc. Go do a wee bit of research before commenting on something you clearly know nothing about. Best to stay silent and be thought a fool than………….:)

  8. Cameron

    Quack Quack

  9. Brian S.

    Amazing – a balanced piece on Scottish Independance from Ed Jacobs. Must be feeling unwell.

    I must confess to voting Lib Dem in the last election, not understanding at the time they were not really an alternative to the Tory/Labour Punch and Judy show, but a bunch of neo-liberal Orange Bookers, but was then apalled to learn that I had now contributed to five years of extreme Con-Dem neo-liberal crushing of the 99% (with an extra boot in the balls for the poor/disabled/unemployed), using the empty pretext of reducing government debt. My opinion of Clegg is, I think, quite understandably low.

    I rather think that he and his party are the ones facing ‘annihilation’.

  10. Newsbot9

    Yes, Tories like you are all for your friends. Moreover, there is no suggestion of ending the union – Scotland would leave the union.

  11. Newsbot9

    Not all SNP supporters support independence do they though. Don’t stoop to Clegg’s level of rhetortic!

  12. Newsbot9

    Typical nonsense, Tory.

  13. Newsbot9

    Shame your little fantasy is demolished by a casual reading of the Acts of Union.Plural.

  14. Mick

    Well well, so much for the ‘unity’-minded Left.

  15. Atypical_Scot


  16. Newsbot9

    he’s not a lefie

  17. Newsbot9


  18. John Ruddy

    You’re forgetting all the other things that get spent on by Government in Scotland – for instance benefits are £18-20 billion.

  19. litehoose

    We’ll remember that then. We’ll give you a wave as we overtake you.

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