Scottish Referendum

Scottish Referendum

Should Westminster Recall The Scottish Referendum

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Breach of the Edinburgh Agreement

Agreement between the United Kingdom Government and the Scottish Government on a referendum on independence for Scotland
Edinburgh, 15 October 2012
The United Kingdom Government and the Scottish Government have agreed to work together to ensure that a referendum on Scottish independence can take place.
The governments are agreed that the referendum should:
  • have a clear legal base
  • be legislated for by the Scottish Parliament
  • be conducted so as to command the confidence of parliaments, governments and people
  • deliver a fair test and a decisive expression of the views of people in Scotland and a result that everyone will respect
The governments have agreed to promote an Order in Council under Section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 in the United Kingdom and Scottish Parliaments to allow a single-question referendum on Scottish independence to be held before the end of 2014.  The Order will put it beyond doubt that the Scottish Parliament can legislate for that referendum.
It will then be for the Scottish Government to promote legislation in the Scottish Parliament for a referendum on independence.  The governments are agreed that the referendum should meet the highest standards of fairness, transparency and propriety, informed by consultation and independent expert advice.  The referendum legislation will set out:
  • the date of the referendum
  • the franchise
  • the wording of the question
  • rules on campaign financing
  • other rules for the conduct of the referendum
I would like to highlight a few points now in the agreement, which I believe have been breached by Westminster 

  • Both governments agree that the principles underpinning the existing framework for referendums held under Acts of the UK Parliament – which aim to guarantee fairness 
As you will see in my various posts, the Referendum was anything but fair. All the media was open in support for the NO campaign. All Yes voters and undecided voters, ultimately, were isolated by the media. Luckily most had social media access. However for the 65+ they did not have this luxury & this is reflected in the fact that most of this demographic voted NO.

  • The governments agree that it will be important to ensure that broadcast coverage of the Referendum is impartial. Broadcasters, Ofcom and the Electoral Commission will discuss the best way to achieve this.  
I will use the BBC as an example here. The BBC are very biased towards the NO campaign. They are owned by Westminster and controlled by Westminster. 

This angered many from the YES campaign - so much so that the staged a demonstration on the BBC at their offices in Glasgow. They were also inundated with complaints about their bias show.

Proof of this influence? The 65+generation, 75% voted NO. Why? Because they relied on Newpapers & TV for their information. Which was all one sided & completely vilified the YES campaign. 

  • Government activity during the 28 days before the referendum
29. It is customary for there to be a period before elections in the UK, during which Ministers and other public bodies refrain from publishing material that  would have a bearing on the election. Section 125 of PPERA sets out the restrictions that apply to Ministers and public bodies in the 28 days preceding referendums held under that Act. Both governments recognise the importance of respecting the 28-day period prior to a referendum, in the same way that both governments already respect each other’s pre-election period for Parliamentary elections.  The Scottish Government will set out details of restricted behaviour for Scottish Ministers and devolved public bodies in the Referendum Bill to be introduced into the Scottish Parliament. These details will be based on the restrictions set out in PPERA. The UK Government has committed to act according to the same PPERA-based rules during the 28 day period.

This is a massive thing, and should have been resolved as soon as this happened. 

On the 9th Sept, in reaction to the You Gov Poll, showing YES in the lead, Westminster announced the offer of "New Powers to Scotland" - advertised as "Devo Max"

Just remember - Devo Max was wanted on the original ballot paper, but Westminster refused! 

This offer, made 8 days before the election is a clear breach of the Edinburgh Agreement. 

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