THE acreage of replies (Letters, April 7 & 9) to my simple request for pragmatic compromise (Letters, April 6) makes further comment on the subject of devolution feel a bit like intruding on the private grief of the SNP. However, it must be pointed out that the timing of any further independence referendum is not – as your headline (April 9) says – solely in hands of the Scottish Parliament, as it would be subject to the agreement of Scotland’s UK Parliament, into whose hands the task of defending the democratic decision voted for by two million Scots has fallen.
Moreover, the SNP Scottish Government, when it concluded the Edinburgh Agreement, agreed that the 2014 referendum would be decisive (and subsequently defined that as meaning “once in a generation” on several occasions), but has continued to agitate for a further referendum since the day after the last one. Likewise, the same Agreement included a commitment “to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom”. How the divisive and destructive antics of the SNP are designed to meet this commitment is anyone’s guess.
In short, the SNP has shown in breaking the Edinburgh Agreement on multiple occasions that its word is worthless. It is hard to see why Scotland’s UK government should ever trust it again. And if there is no agreement, there will be no referendum.
Peter A Russell