It seems the Scotsman has a story of the SNP being ‘slapped down by Westminster’ over attempted talks to create a Scotland to Norway subsea cable.
At the heart of the matter is Westminster wanting to enforce the Scotland Act of 1998 which forbids the Scottish Government to have any international relations and any involvement of the generation and supply of energy.
Why this is an issue for Westminster now – with an SNP Government – is a mystery.
They seemed to be happy with Scotland’s unilateral involvement with aid for Malawi.
They seemed to be happy with Scotland promoting Tartan Day in the U.S.
They seemed to be happy when the 2006 Scottish Executive funded a feasibility study into running subsea cables from the Western Isles and the Orkney and Shetland Isles to the Scottish mainland.
They seemed to be happy when the 2006 Scottish Executive were considering plans to run subseas cables to Ireland and Norway.
Yes. You guessed it. All initiatives started by the last Labour and Liberal Democrat Scottish Executive.
All breaking the terms of the Scotland Act.
Previously not an issue.
But now when all the SNP Government want to do is talk, its strange that Westminster is hiding behind the terms of the Scotland Act in trying to deny them a freedom of speech.
The law should be the same for everyone; no matter which Government – it can’t be overlooked when your pals break it.
Otherwise its a bad law and needs to be revised.
The fact that all parties in the Scottish Parliament – SNP, Greens and Independent for independence; and Liberal Democrat, Labour and the Conservatives in the Calman Commission (with the blessing of the Westminster Government) – want the powers of the Scottish Parliament increased, changing the terms of the Act – agree on revising the law, all imply the latter conclusion: Its a bad law.
The mature approach then from Westminster would be just to let those breaches pass – as it did in the past – before the Act itself can be changed; instead of enforcing a law that has the agreement of no-one.
Enforcing it now seems petty, small-minded and just plays into the hands of the SNP.
And just reeks of double standards!!