As the world tries to wrap its head around what the hell is going on with that Brexit ballyhoo, and Leave campaigners like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage try to walk back some of their loftier promises in the leadup to the referendum and chart a workable path forward, the Scottish government is fuming a bit.
Why is Scotland mad? Well, 62% of the country voted to remain in the European Union, which might make them feel like they’ve been trampled by England. Seeing as they had an independence referendum just last year, you can imagine tensions around England would be a little high.
First Minister of Scotland and leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon, who has floated the idea of another independence referendum in the wake of the Brexit vote, has also suggested that her government could block it via the Holyrood – the Scottish Parliament.
“If the Scottish Parliament was judging this on the basis of what’s right for Scotland then the option of saying look we’re not to vote for something that’s against Scotland’s interest, of course that’s got to be on the table,” Sturgeon said.
“Looking at it from a logical perspective, I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be that requirement – I suspect that the UK government will take a very different view on that and we’ll have to see where that discussion ends up,” she continued.
The SNP has 63 of the 129 Holyrood seats.
This follows some analysis of whether the UK would have to get the express permission of the Scots to proceed with Brexit. A parliamentary inquiry into that very question seemed the suggest that they might:
Oh my! Looks like Scotland and Northern Ireland may have a veto on #Brexit process – p 19 https://t.co/7aqGpTDlBn pic.twitter.com/82zR5UFPfw
— Jim Fitzpatrick (@jimfitzbiz) June 25, 2016
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, said that she did not believe the Holyrood would even have the power to veto Brexit. She may well be right – if this comes down to a constitutional battle, it’s pretty likely the UK government could say “jog on” on and implement the required legislative moves anyway.
Another Conservative MSP backed his leader’s argument on Twitter:
Holyrood has the power to show or to withhold its consent. But withholding consent is not the same as blocking.
— Adam Tomkins MSP (@ProfTomkins) June 26, 2016
It’s going to be tense either way. I bet you that the UK is gonna look real different in 10 years time. Ya didn’t hear it from me.