The First Minister has described plans by the Conservatives to take back powers over agriculture and food safety from the Scottish Government after the Brexit transition period comes to an end as “a full scale assault on Devolution” She accused them of making “A blatant move to erode the powers of the Scottish Parliament”.
Make no mistake, this would be a full scale assault on devolution – a blatant move to erode the powers of the Scottish Parliament in key areas. If the Tories want to further boost support for independence, this is the way to do it. https://t.co/Gt2b3W7X05— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 13, 2020
Nicola Sturgeon’s stance was echoed by former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Tricia Marwick who suggested that the move went against what was voted for in the 1997 referendum that established the Scottish Parliament. Ms Marwick believes that as the powers were put to the people in a referendum, the only way to undo them should be another referendum.
Scotland voted overwhelmingly for a Scottish Parliament in 1997, based on proposals in a White Paper. It set out what powers were reserved, all others being devolved.If devolved powers were to be taken back to Westminster then the people of Scotland should be asked for consent.— Tricia Marwick (@TriciaMarwick) July 13, 2020
It is widely accepted in Scotland, on both sides of the constitutional divide that the people are sovereign, unlike in England where Parliament is regarded as the Sovereign body. Given this context, any attempt to rip powers away from the Scottish Parliament may end up being at the cost of the Union.
Opinion polls currently put Yes to independence on 54% and it is difficult to see how the anti-independence side will make any headway in the current circumstances. Brexit and the First Minister’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis would seem to be opening a lot of people’s eyes to the possibilities that lie with independence.