Call for Welsh and Scottish parliaments to be ‘forbidden by statute’ from challenging Westminster sovereignty
A prominent Conservative pundit has called for the Welsh and Scottish parliaments to be “forbidden by statute” from challenging Westminster’s sovereignty.
Writing in the Spectator, Stephen Daisley said that power in the UK “resides exclusively at Westminster” but that the Scottish parliament, in particular, had become a “vehicle for achieving secession”.
“This entitles the Tories to reframe it on their own terms, as a mere administrative policy to make government more efficient and responsive,” he said.
“Not a constitutional equal to Westminster or a rival source of political legitimacy but a subordinate body much more limited in legislative and executive scope.”
Ministers should treat Wales and Scotland exactly as they might Yorkshire, the former STV political journalist added.
“Liz Truss needs to put someone in charge of constitutional policy who believes instinctively and intrinsically in the United Kingdom,” he said. “Someone who understands Scottish political sensitivities (and those of Northern Ireland and Wales) but isn’t petrified by them.
“Someone who grasps that the current devolution settlements are flawed in ways injurious and potentially destructive to the UK and so must be reformed.”
In the article he sets out three principles by which the UK Government should proceed:
- The United Kingdom should continue to exist as currently constituted.
- In the UK, sovereignty resides exclusively at Westminster, or ‘the crown-in-parliament under God’.
- The devolved institutions in Scotland and Wales operate within a framework defined by principles 1) and 2) and should be forbidden, by statute if necessary, from any actions contrary to these principles.
Stephen Daisley had previously called for a new Act of Union, warning that Scotland leaving the Union could lead to Northern Ireland and Wales following.
But Scotland leaving the Union would cause “indignity, if not humiliation, on the world stage,” he said.
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