I see that Westminster is about to scrap the role of Scottish Secretary. The role of the Scottish Secretary dates back to 1703, before the Treaty of the Union between Scotland and England.
What possible advantage is there to Westminster’s unionist ambitions to doing that? As someone who is pro-independence I can only see disadvantage for the unionist cause in Scotland.
The proposed Secretary of State for the Nations – combining the roles of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland ministers – effectively takes three ministers away that fought for the Union and replaces them all with one member.
It takes away what should be Scotland’s voice in Westminster. (Admittedly in the last few years the post has become Westminster’s voice in Scotland instead.)
Similarly in Wales and Northern Ireland.
It must be seen as a move that recognises that the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland represent the people of their countries not the Secretary of State; and hence not Westminster.
But it also weakens the bond between the devolved nations and Westminster. Each devolved nation no longer has a single voice to speak for it at Westminster cabinet for all those reserved issues.
The question must be then ‘What is the point of our continuing union with Westminster?’
The situations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are all different.
At times they might provide competing interests. How could one minister cope with that?
I don’t think anyone could, but I doubt that will be the main focus of the new position.
It does clarify the intent of the role as a mouthpiece for the promotion of the Union.
I also doubt English nationalists will be happy with the new title: ‘Secretary of State for the Nations’.
Is England not a nation now?
The idea is a unionist loser on so many levels.
As someone who is pro-independence, I say ‘Bring it on!’