Parliament urged to restate Claim of Right

SNP Depute Leader Nicola Sturgeon today urged MSPs of all parties to restate the Claim of Right and commit themselves to the principle that the people of Scotland are sovereign.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament Ms Sturgeon said

Today's motion states that “This Parliament acknowledges the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and declares and pledges that in all its actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount.”

That one sentence is charged with historical resonance for everyone in this chamber, and for everybody in Scotland. It reaffirms the ancient principle that in Scotland, the people are sovereign. Monarchs and parliaments are the servants of the people.

It is a principle which has its origins in the Declaration of Arbroath, was refined by George Buchanan in the late 16th century, and was restated in Scotland’s first Claim of Right in 1689.

Three hundred years later a new Claim of Right was proudly proclaimed by the Scottish Constitutional Convention, as it began the work which led ultimately to the establishment of this Parliament.

The founding principle of that Claim of Right is one that all parties which have taken their place in this Parliament should be able to subscribe to. And there has never been a more important moment to recommit ourselves to the guiding principle of the claim of right – that the people are sovereign.

The full speech can be read at