𝗘𝗨 𝗠𝗘𝗠𝗕𝗘𝗥 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗦 𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘; 𝗨𝗞 𝗠𝗘𝗠𝗕𝗘𝗥 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗦 𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗡𝗢𝗧
So, the Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland’s government is not allowed to have an advisory-only referendum on whether its citizens want to leave the United Kingdom.
Permission must be given first by the ‘ruling’ government based in England, the court stipulated.
Funny thing, really. Brexiters claimed that in the EU, the UK was nothing more than a vassal state.
In the EU, all member states are free. They joined voluntarily and are at liberty to leave if they want to.
What’s more, all major decisions require the unanimous – repeat unanimous – democratic consent of every EU member.
Hardly vassal states, eh?
Contrast EU member states with the four member states of the United Kingdom. United? Not at all. Unlike EU membership, the UK is not an equal partnership of countries.
Half the countries of the UK – Scotland and Northern Ireland – voted strongly to remain in the European Union. But their wishes were ignored. Brexit went ahead anyway.
That could never happen in the EU where all big changes – every new treaty and any new member joining – require the say-so of every Parliament of every member.
Every country in the EU, however small, has an equal veto.
Funny thing, really. Brexiters claimed that the EU isn’t democratic. They said it’s a dictatorship run by faceless bureaucrats.
How ironic. The EU is a democracy, run by elected politicians.
By comparison, the UK seems more like a quasi-democracy, with unelected decision-makers and undemocratic practices that would be considered despotic compared with EU standards.
Take our Parliament. It consists of over 1,430 members (in the Commons and the Lords). Just 650 of them were elected, but the others, now numbering over 800 (it’s hard to keep track of the numbers), were appointed and not elected.
During Boris Johnson’s premiership, over 80 new unelected members of the Lords were appointed, including his brother, Jo, Brexit negotiator David Frost (enabling him to be in the Cabinet), and Johnson’s pal, the Russian oligarch and son of a KGB spy, Evgeny Lebedev.
Now Johnson is poised to appoint yet more unelected members to our Parliament in HIS ‘resignation honours list’
Even Liz Truss, who was only Prime Minister for 44 days, is entitled to appoint new, unelected members of our Parliament in HER ‘resignation honours list’.
By comparison, look at the European Parliament. It has 705 members, ALL elected.
How about SOME other aspects of so-called British ‘democracy’ that would be considered alien in the EU:
We have a legislative system whereby most laws are made by Statutory Instruments which cannot be amended by Parliament and most of which become law automatically, without a Parliamentary vote.
We have governments that can bypass Parliament with the use – and abuse – of arcane and ancient Royal Prerogatives and Henry VIII clauses.
We have an old-fashioned voting system of first-past-the-post resulting in governments that most people didn’t vote for. (In European Parliament elections, and almost all of Europe, voting is by proportional representation).
We have a government that went ahead with Brexit without giving Parliament an opportunity to debate and vote on WHETHER we should leave.
We have a government that gave lucrative contracts to their friends, bypassing usual procurement procedures and public accountability.
None of these undemocratic situations and practises would be acceptable in the EU.
The bottom line?
Many, quite likely most, people in Scotland believe they will be freer as a member of the European Union than as a member of the United Kingdom.
Says it all, really, doesn’t it?
Jon Danzig is a campaigning journalist and film maker who specialises in writing about health, human rights, and Europe. He is also founder of the pro-EU information campaign, Reasons2Rejoin. You can follow Jon Danzig on his Facebook journalism page at www.Facebook.com/JonDanzigWrites