"Insulting" for Westminster to dictate referendum
SNP MSP and convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Scotland Bill Committee, Linda Fabiani, has commented on remarks made by Canon Kenyon Wright on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland today (Tuesday) where he describes any attempts by the Westminster government to ‘dictate’ the terms of the referendum as ‘insulting’ and says that Labour and the LibDems ‘cannot in good conscience’ deny the sovereignty of the Scottish people on decisions about the referendum to be made in Scotland.
Canon Wright - a leading architect of devolution in the Constitutional Convention and former LibDem candidate – said that:
“…what’s even more unacceptable is that London can dictate what question, or questions and how many questions should be asked – that’s particularly insulting.”
On Labour and the Liberal Democrats he said that they:
“…cannot in good conscience logically and rationally deny the sovereignty of the Scottish people and the right, therefore, for these crucial decisions about how the referendum is held, what the questions should be to be asked in Scotland.”
Commenting, Ms Fabiani said:
“These are welcome comments from Canon Kenyon Wright and a stark warning to the Westminster government and the anti-independence parties about their behaviour.
“The UK Government, and in particular LibDem Ministers, should listen to Canon Kenyon Wright’s warnings that Westminster must not attempt to dictate the terms of the referendum or the options to be offered. He is correct when he says people who take a middle view should not be disenfranchised.
“The SNP will deliver the referendum in the autumn of 2014 and campaign for independence. If opposition parties have any sense they will listen to the advice from people like Canon Kenyon Wright, take the debate seriously, and put forward a positive vision for the people of Scotland.
“With support for independence now neck-and-neck with opposition in two polls already this year, it is abundantly clear that the positive approach towards Scotland’s future is winning over the negative approach from the anti-independence parties.”
On BBC Good Morning Scotland this morning Canon Kenyon Wright said on the terms of the referendum:
“Well, you know, one can’t be against negotiation and obviously it’s good for the Scottish Government to listen to all opinions, especially to opinions coming from Westminster, we must hear them. But there seems, to me, to be something which is actually, in the long run, non-negotiable and that is the idea that the Scottish Government has somehow to go cap-in-hand to London for permission to consult the Scottish people, and that seems to me to be totally unacceptable. And what’s even more unacceptable is that London can dictate what question, or questions and how many questions should be asked – that’s particularly insulting. So it seems, to me, that that is actually non-negotiable, and the reason why it’s non-negotiable is the Claim of Right for Scotland. Just a few days ago the Scottish Parliament, by a huge majority with only the Tories against, accepted – and I quote – “the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine their form of government” – end quote. Now you can’t say that and then go on to leave these crucial questions somehow to Westminster.”
On Labour and the Liberal Democrats he said:
“But Michael Moore’s party, like the Labour Party and the well, Liberal Democrat and the Labour Party, signed up to the Claim of Right for Scotland, so they cannot in good conscience logically and rationally deny the sovereignty of the Scottish people and the right, therefore, for these crucial decisions about how the referendum is held, what the questions should be to be asked in Scotland.”